‘Do not do this when you’re what…’ ‘Do not wear this where you’re what…’ ‘Do not act like this when you’re what…’ ‘Do not be like this when you’re what,’ – countless instructions, sometimes inconsiderate. It’s just like when we define perfection – we start from the eyes, down to the most trivial parts like toenails. We always have sets of dogmas to follow – and we’re always bound by them. But where do these codes come from anyway? And why are we so obsessed with them?
Social networking sites nowadays, as cliche as it may sound already, have become platforms of hypocrisy rather than means of better communication. Almost everyone has Facebook, Twitter accounts. Facebook accounts which provide a virtual ‘face’ to anyone, and Twitter accounts which provide a virtual ‘mouth’ to anyone. Sitting in front of the computer, completely protected by the screen and by distance, it is easier to impress the world with posts. Posts which have long gone from expression, to just mere, oppression of others.
Once there was this person who posted about believing that ‘girls who wear short shorts to work do not deserved to be respected.’ It hit a nail on the head on my part, simply because I loved wearing shorts. In fact, I don’t wear pants at all, unless of course the situation calls for it (like protecting yourself from hungry, tiny creatures who lust for your blood) I don’t wear pants because first, my skin is sensitive to rough textures. There were times my legs would itch upon contact with jeans. But before this post becomes about me, let’s move on.
He continued the parade with comments such as ‘girls who wear short shorts look like eatery girls.’ Whoops, that’s beyond the line. Fortunately for me, I don’t get offended with things I don’t really associate with myself – but these words got me thinking: why are we humans, so obsessed with telling others what’s right and what’s wrong? Here are some points to ponder about the posts: First, how would it be wrong to wear shorts, when in the first place, there exists no dress codes? (in this context) Secondly, how is it that women who prefer to wear short clothing do not deserve respect? And third, what is it even wrong with being an eatery worker? There are no concrete answers to each, simply because there is nothing wrong in the first place. But of course, society would say something else.
The concept of right and wrong, isn’t universal, just as how there is no absolute truth. What may be right for one, may not be right for another. What serves as an act of urban symbolism, may come off as a form of curse to others. What may come off offending and invading, may actually be just a form of greeting in good faith from others. Yes, there would be norms that would govern what is right and what is wrong for a specific area of scope, but it will never be universal, and would never be absolute for a one person, especially when he or she leaves that scope.
To some, wearing short shorts may seem ‘promiscuous,’ or ‘immoral.’ But for some, it may just be ‘self-expression.’ Or for others, like me, there might even be a small hint of a scientific explanation. Someone’s concept of right and wrong, will surely cloud neutrality, and open-mindedness, because humans always seem to tend to tell others we’re right. It’s called inferior thinking. And it’s a part of us – but it’s not normal when it’s too much.
Think about it this way – who set the rule that office attire should be trousers and blazers? Or slacks and button-downs? It was us, humans. Because we built a perspective that office wear should be prim and proper. Had it been different, and office wear meant two-piece summer wear, would wearing slacks then become ‘immoral’ and ‘improper’? Yes it would. Because it breaks the norms, and the code humans built for office wear. Heck, it would even be a mortal sin to some to wear pants on a beach, simply because it hampers on what others believe as right – to bare.
But having a different perspective – does it necessarily equate to not earning respect? When one wears button-downs and pants to office, and one wears shorts and T-shirts, does that necessarily mean that the latter committed a mortal sin, just because the first one believed something else?
But in the first place, was there even such thing as a rule in dress codes? Was this rule written on the world’s best-selling book? Was this rule carved as ordered by the pharoahs of Egypt during Tutankhamun’s time? Did Zeus order the mortals to obey this so-called rule? As far I remember, in my encounters with Greek Mythology, Aphrodite didn’t even wear anything, but she wasn’t called ‘immoral,’ and people respected her.
And does this rule say, that women who wear small amounts of clothing equate to eatery workers? And does being an eatery worker, equate to not getting respect? Eatery workers, in my perspective, constantly work under pressure, without air-conditioning, and under repeated scolding by insensitive customers, for the money they earn. If it is anything, it is, I believe, a humble and noble job. But of course, some people’s perspective of right and wrong begs to disagree. Because to some, ‘right’ means the glamorous life. Again, another twist in beliefs.
It all boils down to the fact that everyone has their own set of beliefs, and with them, comes the concept of right and wrong. But in this world inhabited by billions of people who have their own rights and their own wrongs, how can we survive? The key is understanding, and RESPECT. There is no such thing as absolute truth, just as an imperfectly-shaped apple does not make it an apple anymore – invalid.
And social networking should help us understand people more – because it connects us to everyone, everywhere. It shouldn’t be used to build walls and barriers around us just because we can say whatever we want and degrade whoever we want through our posts.