The Feminine Divine

Friday, August 14, 2020


The feminine being is an alluring and immaculate creation that harbours the nurturing essence because the womb is the nucleus of creation. She provides strength and belonging to those around her and is gifted with the patience and strength of a warrior, the problem-solving of a scientist, and the compassion of a caregiver. Basically, she can be whoever she wants to be. But why is it difficult for most of society to embrace this power and strength of the female nature? 

    The girl and the woman as they continue to grow undergo a lot of pain and suffering that they bear with incredible strength but are meant to be kept hidden from outsiders. The birth of the female child, in some parts of the world still is not celebrated because she is a burden to the family. In fact, in South Asian culture, the birth of a girl in a home could mean bad luck or instead of celebrations welcoming her into the world there is grief and anger. A burden because her sexuality and phenomenal ability to bear children must be carefully controlled by the men around her so that her choice to proliferate and procreate is by the ones who want their genes to be the ones that are passed on. It is the paternal lineage that matters yet the man does not have control over whose child is actually born unless that watchful eye is ever vigilant on what enters his woman's womb. However, it is the woman's body that suffers monthly because of her menstrual cycle and undergoes incredible changes to bring life into the world. The immense pain and permanent changes that she undergoes to procreate a being are not celebrated or appreciated to the extent they should be. 

    Yet, at the same time, woman's bodies are sexualized from a very early age with different standards depending on the region and culture. In North America, cartoons, children's movies, toys, and clothing depict a certain behaviour considered acceptable and promoted within the media. It doesn't matter what the advertisement is for, cleaning supplies, hair products, cars, or shoes, the woman's body becomes the main focus. This sets up expectations for girls and subconsciously or overtly grooms their own expectations of their bodies and behaviours as they grow up. 

    This confusion expands as the responsibility of their chastity is thrown completely in the girl's hands and if something happens it is her fault. If she is sexually groomed by a family member or attacked in the street by a random man, the first thing most people ask is what was she doing to cause that man to approach her specifically? Why is it that society accepts that it is a man's nature to be a predator to the point that is so difficult to hold him accountable for his own actions and instead put the blame on the victim? In my society, if a girl is sexually abused by a male, the solution could even be to marry her off to her abuser to "save the family's reputation". Otherwise, the community will accuse the girl of being lewd and having accepted the abuser's advances as if it was her choice and she should have done something before it went any further.  There is no consideration for the fact that the victim did not have a safe place in her home or anyone she could trust to run to when faced with such a horrifying experience. 

    Unfortunately, we do live in a time where we still have to teach our girls to protect themselves because although change might be happening, it will still take some time for any proper change to be seen. As far as clothing goes, yes dressing modest might be a style that you personally prefer but it doesn't really protect her from being sought out. In Pakistan for example, I used to hear boys joke about how they could find out the girl's body measurements underneath her abaya by staring at her body long enough as she walked by. What this goes to show is being fully covered does not protect her. It is the boys who need to be taught to respect their female counterparts and not to objectify them. This is the only place where true reform can begin. 

    How the girls and women in the family are treated by the father and other elder males around them sets an example for boys on what should be expected by them as well as they grow. Dismissing physically abusive behaviour by the father or the son enables that behaviour to continue and that it is okay. Staying quiet exhibits neutrality towards the abuse and does not make anyone the saint. Providing girls with education and autonomy over their lives and teaching respect and love in both sexes will at the very least provide the females with a safe haven and place for open communication without discriminatory and accusing attitudes. 

    If you sense uncomfortable behaviour by a male, here are some steps she can take to escape from the situation:

  • Use your voice. Cause a ruckus if you have to or scream at the top of your lungs. You want to gain the attention of others around you because your attackers will want to escape the situation and not be found out. 

  • Kick hard. Use as much force as you can on joints such as knees or the shins and other vulnerable points on the body like the eyes and small fingers. All you need to do is immobilize the person long enough so that you can escape. 

  • Convicted felons have stated that they are less likely to approach someone who is carrying an umbrella because any object that can be used as a weapon is too much effort for them. This means even if you do not have a visible weapon, it is okay to carry something on your body at all times like pepper spray if you feel unsafe walking alone anywhere. 

  • If you feel you are being followed, go up to the closest group of strangers around you and start talking to them and let them know that you are being followed and point in the direction of your pursuer making it obvious that you are not alone. 

  • Call someone and place them on speakerphone and talk to them loudly about your location and ask them if they can meet you somewhere as soon as possible. Even if they cannot, try to hold a conversation with the person until you reach safety. 

  • Make eye contact with the person. Most attackers do not want to be identified so if you look at them or try to talk to them this may also deter them.

  • Always inspect your car before entering your vehicle and check your surroundings before opening your car door to ensure there is no one walking towards you or watching you. After entering, lock all your doors immediately. 

  • If you are being followed in your car or even while walking home, do NOT go home. Walk or drive to the nearest police station or hospital and notify them of the suspicious person. 

  • Lastly, call 911 if you are uncertain or feel unsafe in a situation.

Until Next Time,

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

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