By now, most people in the civilized countries must all have heard the Spice Girls: five gorgeous young females who are famous for their distinct images, cheery songs, and most of all, female-dominant slogans. Of course, their sudden fame are not at all surprising, since women throughout the world are becoming more aware of their images, powers, and rights. As we all know, the traditional female role and identity has always been portrayed as weak and introverted. After all the suppressions and inequities that was traditionally accepted, females are beginning to realize the female rights and protest the male dominance and privileges. People are beginning to learn and accept feminists, who were seemed as deviancies because they opposed the traditionally biased society. However, Spice Girls have faced many negative comments even from some feminists saying that they are not good role models from girls due to their wild behaviors and sexually explicit images. I, among with some others, do not feel the same way towards them. Contrary to these people, I strongly agree that they are good role models for females in poorer or uncivilized countries where women are still being oppressed and unjustly treated. They are good models because they are strong, they have the right to make choices, and they are sexually independent.
Throughout the world, media has always portrayed women as weak and dependent. These traits have been improved and somewhat changed in Canadian society, but in countries such as India the societies still see the women in these negative identities. In India, no women are allowed to vote, drive, and many other privileges that we take for granted. Perhaps men did not give women these rights because men thought women were fragile and unintelligent. These false gender identities have been taught not only by media, but also the law. Furthermore, even in Canada, where the society has less prejudices against women, there is still a stereotype about women s ability to drive. Many males just assumed that women are bad at driving, and do not agree that women can drive as well as them. It is time for these men and women in India and other countries to learn about women powers, and realize that women are strong, they can take care of themselves, and they can do whatever men do well – even driving!
In many articles from Marie Claire magazine I read, I was shocked to learn that in many less civilized countries women still do not have the rights to decide many simple choices in life. These choices ranged from decisions as simple as makeup and travel, to rights as important as husbands and defense which have all been taken away by men. One extreme case is Iran. Iranian women are not allowed to wear Western dress and makeup; they must wear hijabs which covers them from head to toe. They can not travel, work, attend college, or even leave their home for any reason without their husbands permissions. In courts, women s testimonies have half the value of men s, and women can only receive half as much inheritances as men. (Darabi. 1997) Even more ridiculously, men may divorce their wives without their consents, and without informing them beforehand. Any women committing a crime, such as showing her hair, are punished by death. Why shouldn t they have the rights to make choices just because they are women? What make them so disreputable that they can not have the rights men have? They should not be born to be treated unfairly. Therefore, it is necessary for these women to hear about Spice girls and female powers and learn about their legal and emotional rights. It is important for women to find their rights and stop being the victims.
While reading through the textbook, I come upon an emotionally disturbing page containing an article and a picture. It is about females from poorer countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt, and three dozen other nations in Africa and the middle east (Macionis, Clarke, Gerber. 1997) who has to have female circumcision because of their husbands selfish needs for their virginity. In these countries, all girls, even as young as eighteen months, must have their clitoris surgically removed to lose sexual pleasure and therefore lose sexual interests in having intercourse with males other than their husbands. The picture shows a young girl, no more than 13, in the process of being circumcised. I can tell from her scared little face that the procedure hurts a great deal. Why do they have to suffer that kind of needless pains when they are as young as eighteen months? What makes the husbands so remarkable that they have the power to demand their wives going through such a painful experience? Similarly, why don t the husbands go through a painful procedure like the wives? In these countries, woman powers are in need to be taught and enforced so that woman knows their rights and choices. They should be sexually independent of their husbands: their sexual needs should not be their husbands decision, but women s. Likewise, all women should be sexually independent and have the rights to decide what they are doing to their bodies. This is what women power is, and why it is so important for women to learn and act.
Overall, Spice girls have opened the new era for oppressed women in many societies. We, the fortunate females who live in a fair society, should thank all the females who stood up for injustice and prejudice towards women which did not happen long before. At the same time, we should try to judge the world fairly, try to help the less privileged women in less civilized countries, and make female power known to more people. Female power is not fighting for wearing what the society are not permitted to wear, but fighting for the right of wearing what individuals want to wear. I understand this is why Spice girls received so many negative comments. However, no matter what the oppositions say, Spice girls have the courage to do what others are scared to do, wear what others are forbidden to wear, and fight for the power that only men have; and to me, this is true girl power.