ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41

Living ‘free’

By Free Verse

We were born decades after great cultural and political rebellion of the Summer of Love. We are worlds away from Winston Churchill and Gandhi: Our heroes are Superman and Optimus Prime. We are afflicted with melting polar ice caps, widespread poverty and pronouncements by a blond social icon who declares, "feminism: that's hot!"

On your average Friday night, wild music blasts from smoke-filled nightclubs as mass of scantily-clad female and male bodies writhe to the rhythm of the song, as vivid disco lights illuminate their perspiring faces and luridly colored hair. In our world of vitality and freedom inflamed with the rumbling beat of electric drums, erratic delirium is an absolute necessity.

We, children of the Generation Y, also known as the Echo Boomers, and Generation Next, are armed to the teeth with cocktails and cocaine as we enter the society in masses and prepare to take over the world. Female celebrities sheathed in minimum fabric in magazines and risqué advertisements for everything, from perfume to toilet paper are examples of media's exploitation of women's sexuality that successfully attracts female attention.

The world is progressively more engaged in it, at an alarmingly early age and in extraordinarily "interesting" ways. As an epidemic of divorces and unwanted pregnancies erupts around the world, authorities have become publicly concerned over the yawning ethical void that surrounds it all, which was previously filled with a responsibility to society and tradition.

Contemporary celebrities – a far cry from John Lennon and Audrey Hepburn – willingly express themselves through a bold sexual dialect. During her late teens, Paris Hilton released a video of her private moments with her boyfriend, which helped her achieve astronomical levels of fame.

From music, to fashion, to university events, all that Generation Y consumes is saturated in this need of senseless, loud, expression. This is one of the reasons that standard feminism doesn't entice the youth and why young feminists' interest seems to diminish. The pornography industry earns a fortune each year because thousands of new young women eagerly undress for the camera.

The roots behind a woman's need to strip for the public in the name of freedom and empowerment reach the Second-wave feminism, which believed that women's emancipation was innately linked to her sexual awakening. Truly liberated women would detach their femininity from male-enforced boundaries and demands, and be unreserved in their attainment of gratification.

In the early nineties, Third-Wave feminism put up an almost mechanical struggle to cure the bleeding feminist movement by adopting pluralism and tolerance to an extreme. The third-wavers, who identified everyone as a feminist, encouraged women to be themselves, with a political consciousness. They said that women were feminists because they wanted to be exactly who they were.

By defining feminism as such, they lifted the application of women's choice over the essence of women's choices, eradicating the necessity for discrimination or morality. Today, any woman's choice is an act of feminism, and thus, feminism is the ability to do whatever we want.

So where does it leave us? Needing to experiment but clueless about our safety? Gratifying our erotic needs in an effort to accept alienation as the basis of life? Does promiscuity equate popularity, and aggressive manipulation of your loved ones bring highest fulfillment above all?

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