Through out history, in the various parts of the world, there have been several ideas on what women should look like. In most of africa, women are expected to be shapely. Wide hips more or less guarantee a woman can bear a man’s 15 children and her bantu buttocks are fully expected to cradle a child on her back. And the giant pendulous breasts? Oh but certainly both child and husband can enjoy suckling at them 😉 Yes in the western world, thinner bodies are appreciated. An ideal that has led to severe psychological disorders in both male and females (although most often in females) like bulemia and anorexia nervosa. Good job Europe and America. You’ve turned a female dilemma into a general issue 🙂
For over a thousand years, women in China had their feet routinely broken and bound, with the aim of giving them a wavy “lotus-like gait“. Feet that are already too small (compared to mine), were shrunk down to fit in two inch shoes from as little as 4 years of age!! Why? Well because the men felt the lotus gait was sexually stimulating. How any man could bear to look at his wife’s unbound feet simply befuddles me. I honestly doubt that they ever assisted with the constant nail trimmings and the massages the poor women had to endure to try and stave off the pain (which they had to endure for the rest of their lives).
Of course, in most of Central Africa, some parts of Arabia and Asia, women were having their labia and clitorises lobbed off. The reasons, well, people (of course they were male) thought the female genitals were ugly and dirty for one. Chop them off and a woman would be better equipped to clean herself? Forget that for weeks, she would be afraid to attend to natures call; on account of the acidic nature of her urine would cause fresh reels of pain to course through her nether regions. Gentlemen, imagine touching yourselves down there with hands that are covered in pepper or a hot liniment. Think of lemon juice or salt in an open wound. Why would you subject anyone to this kind of inhumane treatment?
Some (obviously mentally unsound persons) argued that women had no right to enjoy sex and thus insisted on removing the centre of pleasure. What did this lead to? Frustrated husbands raping their wives, of course. Well if you make a woman hate sex, why on earth then, would you expect her to WANT to give it up? Yes, these women will stay away from men as intended but did the oh so intelligent males of the species forget that they were in essence, cock blocking themselves? (This actually made me lol. Amazing what stupidity we can eschew, n’est pas?)
What drew my ire most was one story I read (back in high school) where a frustrated husband; annoyed that he couldn’t get his overly-large african snausage through the tiny passage left by the village wanzam, decided to turn himself into a surgeon. Without anesthesia, ignoring the basics of sterilization, he beat his wife senseless, cut her open and then proceeded to rape her.
Did anyone think about the degree of pain these poor women would go through during sex, let alone during child-birth, before instituting this atrocious practice? No wonder many of them sought ways of abortion and rendering themselves barren. I doubt I could ever finish talking about this particular form of mutilation. It sickens me to the core and there’s absolutely no way I would ever condone it. I’m glad it’s no longer in active practice. Yes, I know it’s turned into a covert-op in our Northern regions but at least more and more people are aware of it and more women are standing up for themselves.
Women in Victorian England were expected to wear corsets. These tended to plump up the breasts while squeezing the spine into a most uncomfortable shape, cinching the waist into a thinner shape and allowing the hips to flare out. This practice had it’s own negative effects. Imagine having your internal organs pushed out of place, as seen in the picture above (corseted woman is on the left). People dealing with scoliosis would want to slap these idiots who willingly bend their spines out of shape! I know I want to…. On the other end of the boob shape spectrum, Catholic nuns up until the 1930s were required to wear a linen breast binding under their garments in addition to their everyday vestments. Clergy claimed that this measure was designed to eliminate any potential distraction that the nuns’ breasts might cause.Yeah right! I would far more prefer for wayward priests to go after the nuns than to turn to little children. How a priest can preach against homosexuality and tout sodomy as an act of the devil, and then force little boys into that act…well that’s a rant for another post methinks.
Oh and let’s not forget the women who had to hide their breasts from men (like Joan of Arc so she would be allowed to play soldier). Yes, it’s this topic that’s kept me awake since 11pm and will not allow me a moment of peace. BREAST BINDING!!! EUGH!!!! You see, I happened to take a look at Nana Yaw Asiedu’s post Breasts Pressed Messed… yeah, you can lay the blame for my insomnia squarely at his feet.
I’m SICK AND BLOODY TIRED of women having to constantly feel ashamed of their bodies. Enough is Enough!!!