Tips on smashing conformity

The following is excerpted from an article by Malaysian academic, activist, and feminist, Rohana Ariffin. (Translation by Cycads):

Bagaimana untuk membebaskan diri daripada menjadi “pak turut” atau “mak turut”? Bagi saya ada dua cara.

Satu, menerapkan sikap ingin tahu terhadap segala ideologi, isu dan masalah masyarakat. Bukan menerima sahaja bulat-bulat pandangan orang lain tetapi mengkaji dengan sendiri apakah padangan itu benar, adil dan berperikemanusian? Membaca, berbincang dan terus mengkaji dari apa saja sumber yang boleh diperolehi.

How do you free yourself from being “Mr Conformity” and “Ms Conformity”? In my opinion there are two ways.

First, inculcate a sense of inquiry for all of society’s ideologies, issues, and problems. Never internalise without question the opinions of others but rather analyse as to whether those views are true, fair, and humane? Read, discuss, and always research from whatever form of available resources.

Kedua, mengamalkan kejujuran kepada diri sendiri dan masyarakat sekeliling. Apa perlunya kita menyenangkan pandangan orang lain jika kita sendiri menyeksa badan? Apa gunanya berpakaian ketat, mendedah tubuh atau menyelubungi seluruh badan jika tidak selesa? Mengapa kita menyeksa badan dan pemikiran sendiri dengan kemahuan yang ditetapkan oleh orang lain? Kita bertanggungjawab kepada pemilihan dan tingkah laku sendiri. Asalkan kita tidak mengeksploitasi orang lain dan mengelakkan dari tingkah laku yang tidak beretika dan tidak berperikemanusian, cukuplah.

Second, be honest with oneself and one’s surrounding society. What need is there in being the object of viewing pleasure of others at one’s own expense? What is the use of tight-fitting clothes, exposing one’s body or covering it completely if neither are comfortable? Why do our bodies and minds suffer due to the demands dictated by others? We are responsible towards to our own choices and behaviour. As long as we do not exploit other individuals and avoid acts that disregard ethics and humanity, that’s enough.

One thought on “Tips on smashing conformity

  1. Pingback: Friday Links — February 20, 2009 « Muslimah Media Watch

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