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Millennium Post

Selling Her to sell your product

The nation has erupted in anguish and protest as the 23-year-old gangrape victim was cremated in the national capital on Sunday. Her death has left women, and men, shaken. But why was she raped? Or why do the many who are raped across the country and the world raped? Is it just lust and libido at work, or a stronger male desire to possess? And why do these men think that the women they are raping are their’s to possess. It would, however, be unfair to blame them for thinking so. Yes, you read that right. For our society has, from the time that a boy is born, instilled in him the belief that women exist only for a man’s pleasure.

It starts at home, when the the best dish, the most comfortable chair, the best education is given to the boy. The mother and sister exist, but to serve him. When he grows up, the woman changes from a server to an object of pleasure. And the whole world helps shape and strengthen this belief. Films, literature and advertisements, all work to this end. A woman’s refusal is overridden, attributed to her shyness (ladki ke na mein haan hota hai). Even women are taught to like and crave demonstrations of such brute male force (think the tall, dark and brooding male protagonists of Mills and Boon).

If a thin veneer of romance is reserved in literature and a section of films, all such pretences are pushed aside when it comes to using a woman (both her body and charm) for the aid of boosting consumerism. Have you ever seen a half-naked man selling woman’s perfume, or lingerie or something as unimaginative as soap? No! We would honestly praise you for thinking women more attractive and better suited for the job, but unfortunately when you show a scantily clad woman rushing into the arms of a man as soon as he uses a certain deodorant, the man on the street, hitherto unnoticed by the opposite sex, rushes to the shop and buys the deodorant. And yes, he expects the next woman he meets to swoon over him. If she doesn’t, he will jolly well force her to do just that. Dear advertisers, we know this was not your intention, but these are lesser mortals we are talking about here. And it doesn’t end with a can of deodorant. A mango drink, a flavoured condom, a bar of chocolate, they all use a woman’s pout, clouded eyes and heaving bosom, to get the man with the money to the store. Even the successful woman are not rid of this commodification of their sexuality. Think a certain tennis star and the line ‘Only the ball should bounce’. Well, it’s time to put a check on the bounce, to stop selling sexuality in the name of mundane products.
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