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This article was originally submitted by Hafsa Saleem Jaam
Your body, your authority, your responsibility, your ownership, your entitlement, your pigeon. It deserves your care, vigilance, mindfulness, time, consent, guardianship, protection, providence, and most importantly your respect. It’s unfortunate how the plurality of our society is ignorant and unschooled in the rudiments of ‘respecting one’s body’.
This locution itself is a consequential curriculum or sine qua non for all and sundry, not contingent upon one gender. We need to recognise how the locution is pertinent to be taught, constituting in the most basic schooling. Mind you, I said ‘basic’; a necessary minimum, an essential core and an austere fundamental. Of all things we induce in a child, to respect their body should be preliminary.
Let me provide a rationale for and vindicate how ‘respect for one’s body’ is an education.
One that is supposed to be explicit, unequivocal and direct for the ramifications of the dearth of it can discern disgrace, indignity and discomfiture that you have been fighting shy of the whole time.
It is learnt at home, it doesn’t come as you age, it doesn’t come as you culture; it doesn’t come as you learn because your body doesn’t come into being as you step into adolescence, certain phases, swat puberty, or civilise. Likewise for it to be respected, you do not to be subjected to harassment, an incident, an objectification etc.
You need to be cognizant of its respect regardless of any reason at all. It is with you all along from the time you come; into this world, and you are obligated to respect it from the time of birth; from when you can wholly recognise your name and develop senses. In my opinion, when you explore the five senses sixth one perhaps should be this.
I will excavate instances I personally saw it evidently dearth in. This may mirth up many but it irrefutably speaks about our altitudinal idiocy. In villages, it is plain for a woman to complain; of how her child is so naughty and incoherence takes off clothes upon seeing guests over.
When I say it is plain, it really is ornery, conventional and normal. Absolutely not that inordinate, or concern-able of a problem.
It is to them as tolerable as for a child to have the inclination to break toys impetuously. I am certain most of you have been a monument to naked children; in underprivileged areas or on the streets, tools for professional beggary, and in households that are impoverished; just enough to afford their children clothes.
Moreover, as we see in proletariat households; men having the proclivity to roam around the house and often in the neighbourhoods shirtless.
Another incident that leaves me in a state of perturbation is when one of the villager; while narrating a story took glory in how she threatened a fellow village man of taking off his lowers; in case of any sort of obstruction in her cropping. Merely apprehending the scenario left me nauseous and disgusted; how those who lack respect for their own body need little stimulus to ridicule someone else’s.
To my utmost dismay, I recently came across a video; where three underage girls were sexually harassed and the video of them narrating their abuse kept circulating. The whole scenario falling egregious unfolding from whoever let the video of minors publicise; without censors but what was even worse was their mother; almost literally disarraying her daughter’s clothes in front of the cameraman; validating her claim of harassment.
Firstly, it is deplorably concerning how uncomfortable the child must have been upon the explicit exhibition of her wounds.
This is yet another example of how there exists nothing such as ‘respecting the body’ so it was inordinate; for the mother let the cameraman film her daughter’s uncovered body. Her molestation needs to be reprimanded and the culpable need to be lashed but the harrowing question here; is, did her body become worthless subsequent to abuse? Or it was never respected in the first place.
It’s straightforward and simple to educate your child of how he is responsible; to guard his body, take care of it and invest in it. It can be taught in modest most terms, by tutoring them that; feeding their body well, cleaning it well, clothing it well, guarding it well, all of it subsumes under respect. Telling them plainly of how to respect it. Tell them how outside home, one is always vulnerable; talking to them about being vigilant, educating them of strangers, educating them about; good touch bad touch, educating them that of all decencies of life, this is the foremost.
There are a lot of instances where the principle; of ‘respecting one’s body’ is in severe jeopardy, in slums, in ghettos, in; poverty-stricken households, in one-room houses, areas; with inadequate sanitation but in such cases, individuals culpability would be nothing but groundless; by dint of their straitened circumstances where they simply go starving for days let alone, clothing.