If men don’t have to worry about their hard nipples showing, or their breast being on display, then why should I as a woman worry? A female’s body is socially constructed. The media and even ourselves have created this idea where females NEED to wear a bra or need to cover up their nipples or certain body parts. Females are restricted to dress or act a certain way because it wouldn’t be considered “appropriate.” To be a female, means society has much to say. It means we are inconsistent with our opposite sex. Meaning, we have to sit with our legs tightly closed or legges cross in public, even if your not wearing a skirt. We are expected to do all the housework while our father or brother sit in the couch and watch the soccer game. Gender is shaping our lives while sex is classifying people based on their biological differences. In the contrary gender is differentiating us based of physiology and socio-cultural characteristics. Basically, because I think I am a female, then therefore I am a female.
I have been marginalized due to the fact that I am a Hispanic, middle class and/or female. I had a boudoir photoshoot taken and I was judged by so many men, I was seen as a sexual object because I was simply smiling at a camera wearing a bra and panties. It showed my shoulders, which is really bad according to school policies to wear anything off shoulders. It showed my cleavage, which means I’m a slut. My knees were not as tight closed together as they “should” be, therefore I was a “puta”. At that moment I realized my body was a universal objectification for not only men but for women too. Society has created this idea on us where showing our shoulders is a sexual call to men. Where showing a clevege is also a sexual call. In this case the problem was that I was shirtless so many so me wearing a bra. Society has constantly reminded us that it’s very different to see a female wearing a bra than wearing a bikini top. It’s “inapropiate” to see her in a bra but not in a bikini top. For that reason, I was I became a “puta”, a “whore”, I was seen as someone who doesn’t love herself because I was exposing my body. Due to societies construct on our body, my body was marked. I asked myself why is it so wrong for me to have a picture in under-wear but it’s alright if a white, skinny female to have one. It’s okay for a male to have a photo with just boxers. They are not prevalent to the media’s objectification, they are seen with no problem. We as latinas posses the same rights as white women. If we desire to wear short clothes or even no bra we shouldn’t be called “putas”, it’s just breast. Male and female bodies have breast.
Like Lorde stated In her text The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, she says “Where the words of women are crying to be heard, we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives… there are so many silences to be broken.” Therefore, I can connect and say that us as women should stick together no matter our race or social status. Our sex shouldn’t affect how we are seen because of what we decide to show. We should speak of what we believe even if we are afraid we would become an objectification for men. We should find and connect with people who have the same vision or seek a similar world and stick together to breake the silence because this fear against what society expects us to be will just damage us even more.
In the essay The Masters Tool will Never Dismantle The Masters House by Lorde, she states that “Whithout community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not man a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense taht these difference do not exist.” We as women have been taught to view our differences as a cause for our seperation rather than looking at it as a force to achieve change. Therefore, those who stand outside of the lines of society’s definition of acceptable women (margenalized) “… those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, ,who are black , who are older” we know that our survival is not based on our academic skill. Its on us learning how to take our distinctions and make them our power our muscles to punch society’s construction.
So why wear a bra, why sit with our knees tightly in or cover our shoulders, boobs or clevege… it’s a stupid social construct that is damaging us on the long run.