Body Dressing “Dress, Gender and the Public Display of skin”

The more baring women dress, as said in this chapter,  the “shortest way to a man’s favor” for marriage. Power of dress is expressed as a “nonverbal communication of both personal and sociocultural identity in three major settings distinguished as public, private, and secret both to men and women in daily life. What is interesting to me is the fact that women are persuaded to show skin as a sign of “beauty, eligibility for marriage, and accomplishment of motherhood” as described in this chapter as an example by the Kalabari people in Nigeria. The symbolism of fertility by the exposure of the women’s body is an act of responsibility and continuation of society as respect to their ancestors

Kalabari Women

Kalabari men

. Though I can understand the symbolism behind exposure, the daily practice of exposing skin on a daily basis in comparison to men (who are not supposed to show skin) to attract men is a double standard, which I disagree with

ideal Woman

. Yes, our attention is drawn by what attracts the eyes, but that should not define our capabilities as a woman. In my opinion, Women should be recognized more by their distinction of character. The effort and discomfort that women have to partake in order to get a man’s attention is a sure sign of male dominancy in society

The Dominant man

. Men are the laborers and hierarchy in the Kalabari society as well as any other society, and as a result, women are expected to fulfill male desires in order to be taken care of.  As expressed in the article Masculinity-Feminity: Societies Difference Dividend “According to sex role theory, men are aggressive, rational, dominant, and objective or in Gray’s anatomy, Martians value “power, competency, efficiency, and achievement”. Women are passive, intuitive, submissive, and subjective. Or rather, Venutians value “love, communication, beauty, and relationships”.

Male dominance versus women in society

Though society has changed any many ways, sex roles has not taken as big of turn as it should have.


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