The minister of higher education in Karnataka has advised girls to not wear make-up as it is harmful to the skin. According to a report in The Times Of India, while speaking at Nataraja PU College for Women he said, “Earlier, women used to apply turmeric and vermilion, which are natural, to enhance their beauty. But the younger generation prefers to apply cosmetics which are harmful to the skin. Instead of applying vermilion, girls prefer plastic bindi. Using cosmetics regularly would damage skin.”

In his enthusiasm to mansplain, the minister forgot that his young-adult audience would be well aware of what they are putting on their skin. How didn’t it cross his mind, that these young girls would perhaps know more about make-up its effects and maintenance of their skin more than him?

Keep the finger of your explanation out of my foundation

The minister automatically assumed that these girls were so ignorant and naïve that they wouldn’t care about what they were putting on their face. That they would need a grown man, who doesn’t know the difference between BB and CC creams, lecture them on what is good for their skin.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Karnataka’s minister of higher education recently lectured a group of college girls about the harmful effects of applying make-up.
  • There are some men who consider themselves to be worldlier and more intellectual than women, just because of their gender.
  • The minister assumes that his position and social standing makes him a health expert.

Think about it, a man with no expertise in cosmetology or dermatology lectured a bunch of college going girls on ill-effects of cosmetic products. This is mansplaining at it’s finest. Time and again we receive unsolicited advice from men who think they know better than us even on issues which singularly concern women. From what to wear, what to eat, to how to talk and now even our make-up is a matter they must express their expert opinion on.

The minister assumes that his position and social standing makes him a health expert. There are others like him who consider themselves to be superior and hence entitled to hold an opinion in matters where their noses don’t belong. What gives them such an air of superiority? The power that is placed in their hands by our society in the name of their gender.

Men are revered as superior beings, more knowledgeable and worldlier. The special treatment they receive on the basis of gender lets some assume that it is their duty to forever educate women-the more helpless and naïve of the two sexes.

Mansplaining is not just an effort to explain things and theories to women. It is an automatic assumption by one person that another is dim-witted because of their gender.

Cosmetology is an advanced science today. Women are increasingly paying attention to beauty products. We care about what we are putting on our faces. The breakthroughs we see in cosmetics today are because women have raised concerns and questions. It is our awareness which has led to the conception of more skin-friendly products, which are customised for various skin types.

Was the minister aware of this? Does he know that women don’t blindfold themselves while they go to buy cosmetics? That in this age of the internet they are making better and much-informed choices in every aspect of their lives, including make-up. But one cannot expect such a rational thinking from men who feel entitled to being acknowledged as more intellectual just because of their gender.

Also Read: Are Only Good-Looking Smart Woman Worthy Of Company?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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