Quite often I question the true definition of liberty, moreover, what it means to be a liberal Namibian woman. The word that is synonymous to freedom and independence truly means being able to maintain one’s equality and individuality through your own choices, subsequently this could be for self-betterment or could place you in a detrimental predicament. Woman need to understand the significance of the clothing items they choose, the way they behave in public and the information, including pictures they choose to disclose publicly, as it may be used to exercise their right to liberty. However, with rights comes responsibilities, which are equally significant and paramount, as all these aspects directly influence how women are labelled as a collective within society.
I am always in search of the latest hangout spots and perceive myself as a very jolly young lady, thus walking into Chopsi’s Bar on “QizNight” and cinematically look at every second woman (who by the way is an academic, professional of some sort or born into privilege), confidently walk around with a choker around her neck, which previously was a sign of slavery and prostitution. And right next to her stands a girl whose nipples are popping all over in the direction of her red boots – ultimately defeating the purpose of the ‘bra’ invention and rebelling against a clothing item that was meant to support her vital spine and back. As if that’s not enough distraction, I turn to my phone and log onto Facebook for some source of sanity and to my surprise, a picture of a girl pops up that’s practically dressed in nothing. At this point my spirit is broken and with shattered thoughts, I decide to head home. It then becomes more and more evident that those women create the circumstances in which they are portrayed to be victims of.
I may not be Oprah Winfrey and in no way trying to tell Jessicah, Silvi or Alina how best to lead their lives or to teach these women right from wrong, but merely educating them on the consequences of their actions. It is important for young woman to comprehend that the internet is a lifelong gallery and that a few years along the line what used to be a trend would have faded into thin air and in as much as your clothing items allow you to be liberal and express your individuality (which I personally think if every second woman owns and wears a choker cannot be defined as a form of individuality). One would not like to be in an awkward position of having to explain to your grandchildren why the internet has naked pictures of you.
The girl child is taught to value her body, however, society denotes that being naked is celebrating your body and embracing your flaws – but really it’s a form of exposure, which may lead to vulnerability.
Over the years, liberal feminist groups have made it their mission to change the position of women globally and it would be a shame for their triumphant efforts to go to waste. Women can fruitfully enjoy their right to liberty through making informed decisions.
So take time to think the type of liberal woman you portray and what you are going to tell your children when things go wrong.