SHOULD PERSONAL CHOICE OF APPEARANCE BE CRIMINALISED?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Appearance is a personal choice reinforced by social approval. People do not just get up and dress in a given way or maintain their skin colour in a given way. Behavior is either socially rewarded or sanctioned. If Parliaments do not have gender sensitive males and females whose duty is to prevent social legislations which may criminalise acts touching on the personal lives of the citizenry women would always be victims.How far the state should go to intrude into personal lives should be a matter of discussion before any legislation is passed.

There are certain ways of life which affects the person but which society leaves to personal choice and civic education to address. For example, cigarette is harmful to health but should it be criminalised. An executive and parliamentarians who are male chauvinists would quickly criminalise skin bleaching but would never imagine criminalising cigarette smoking.

After criminalising skin bleaching they would continue to claim that “Musu Koi SasaBoro” (the woman with a light skin tone is medication for a man’s fresh cold). Men are the ones who should change their concept of beauty so that women would appreciate their natural appearance and preserve it.It is double standards to go after women with light skin tones and then condemn those women who bleach to make their skins light in tone. Civic education is the way to address the problem of skin bleaching.

Women carry too many burdens. They need relief and not more coercive legislations to tell them how they should look. Teach and guide pupils and girls to have self esteem. They would know how to protect their natural skin tone.