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Why Is ‘Reformed’ Believer Kanye West Policing His Wife And Daughter?

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The credibility of anything that has to do with the Kardashians cannot be looked at without a doubt. The only thing Kardashians care about is fame and money, but when the almighty gets in the mix one is bound to be alarmed. Kim Kardashian’s husband Kanye West has announced himself to be a ‘reformed Christian’ now, as he dropped his new album Jesus Is King. In an episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden, West said that God is using him to “show off”, helping him clear the 35 million dollar debt that he incurred last year. West has also drawn parallels between his life and that of Jesus Christ, saying that as a married man he “suffers” like Christ did, but due to “racy” pictures posted by women on social media. What’s more, West has asked his wife to embrace modesty and reportedly criticised her for wearing a revealing outfit recently. He has apparently also banned his daughter North West, aged six, from wearing make-up. It is this last bit that draws alarming parallels with the everyday reality of many women. Men find god and religion, women face policing.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • “Reformed Christian” Kanye West has banned his daughter from wearing make-up and has asked his wife to embrace modest dressing.
  • Conservative beliefs and policing of women often go hand in hand.
  • What gives people the entitlement to push what they think is right on those close to them?
  • Is it religion that goads men to police women or is it patriarchy?

Often men have a big say in this matter, as they feel their wives and daughters represent them and their family name.

As I have said, I find anything related to the Kardashian family hard to digest. Do they actually mean what they say? Is there any sincerity behind any of their words or actions? However, the fact that West is trying to censor his wife and his daughter, hits close home. Agreed that one cannot defend a six-year-old putting on make-up, coerced by her mother. And that Kim’s clothes and “racy” photographs are indeed an attempt to grab eye-balls. However, what right does West have to tell his wife how to dress? Had he banned his daughter from wearing cosmetics on grounds that it is not good for her well-being, one would have perhaps understood his point of view. Even then ban is a strong word these days. As a millennial parent, I wonder how right it is to outright ban children from doing a thing they like, and rather talk them out of it gradually.

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However, the point here is the objectification of women in a traditional way which dehumanises them and giving them no or little agency over what they wear or how they present themselves to society. Often men have a big say in this matter, as they feel their wives and daughters represent them and their family name. Which is why they must dress “decently” that doesn’t show their family in a bad light. Somehow orthodox religious mind-set and policing of women go hand in hand. Why must a person with certain beliefs feel entitled to implementing them on those around him, or even her? Just as a person feels it is his or her right to practice faith, shouldn’t they allow the right to exercise one’s agency to their loved ones?

Once you cut the cord that bounds religious beliefs, religion and belief in god becomes a matter of individual choice, as it should be.

 Why the compulsion to dress, behave or live the way you think is right? At the end of the day, one needs to realise that it isn’t religion or god calling the shots when it comes to policing, but patriarchy. It is patriarchy that gives men the agency to police women and assume that they have the right to decide how they live. It is patriarchy which conditions women to internalise orthodox beliefs to an extent that they develop the desire to name, shame or control the choices made by other women around them, all in the name of faith. Once you cut the cord that binds religious belief and patriarchy, one can clearly see that faith is a matter of individual choice, as it should be. Belief, when it doesn’t come from within, becomes yet another norm, which can never inspire a person to be better, or worse, to be happier.

Image Credit: Reuters

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