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The Arena

A woman is more than the sum of her body parts

By Tomisin Ojo

Sex sells.

You’ve probably heard people say this a lot of times, especially when one complains about the content of a typical Afro-Pop music video. With such a response, my next question then becomes: why does that male-dominated industry focuses on women in those music videos? Don’t men have sex?

The men in music videos are usually fully dressed, but the women are barely so, dancing ‘konko below’ (nothing wrong with the dance) and giggling as if they just won a lottery.

For me, that’s modern slavery.

Except for a few, vixens in these videos are presented more or less as being “ready and available” for the pleasure of the male artist, who is either rapping or singing. Occasionally too the girls’ faces are not shown; the camera just pans over their bodies like they were sexual objects purely for the viewing pleasure of an audience.

This fixation on bodies is the result of a lack of understanding of feminine sexuality. To make matters worse, we live in a largely patriarchal society, where women are expected to store their sexuality in some private compartment of their lives in order to be seen as “respectable” role models for other women.

“Cover yourself up”, goes the default admonition. Yet, the idea that women should hide their sensuousness, and that other women should follow this “good” example is an assault on the rights of women to sexual expression; it sends the unacceptable message that a woman can’t be proud of her body in public and that the curve of their hips, the bulge on their chests and the length of their legs should be unnoticeable the moment they leave the bedroom.

Of course there are lots of argument for and against this topic. With some it’s the argument that women who hide their bodies from the public eye give their bodies a sort of intrinsic value and is a precious gift to their spouses.

But this mentality only creates a problem. If the woman gets “body-shamed” by the so-called husband, she loses her self esteem and confidence. A woman’s value has nothing to do with how she presents her body, how much of her skin she bares, how many people see it, touch it or appreciate it.

As human beings our values are inside of us. It is the content of our mind, the compassion in our heart and the words that come out of our mouth. And so pegging the value of a woman to her sexuality only serves to objectify women.

And I dare say that we the women are the guilty party here. We allow it. We promote it. We encourage it. We preach it. We objectify ourselves and then blame the men for it.

We make ourselves available because of money to buy things we can do without, and still blame the men. We objectify ourselves, not to make us feel good about ourselves but to impress the men enough to turn us into playthings. The evil we think men do, women actually do much worse.

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