Sunday, February 28, 2010

Economics @ Home © Volume 2 Issue 5

Wanting What We Can't Have

Ever wonder why we have desires? A true Buddhist monk who is truly enlightened supposedly has no worldly desires. They leave a peaceful life, and have no cravings of an iPod, or a 100-inch flat screen, or the latest model of Ferarri, or a pair of double-Ds. Wouldn't the world be a better place?

We are not here today to try to convince everyone that the world will be a better place without any desires. If anything, without the wanting more, things like cars, lighting, roads, computers, the Internet and what not would never even have been invented. And I would not even be typing this right now. So naturally, desires can be wonderful things.

However, just recently, I read a comment by a friend, that said:

I think a veiled woman is a wondrous creature. She protects her body. She protects her beauty. She protects her dignity.

Here is my reply to the comment:

While I may or may not agree with the message, I replied to the comment with something that I think people should think about:
Without offense to any religion or culture, just expressing a radical viewpoint which may or may not be mine, do you think it is possible that by intentionally concealing what people want amplifies people's desires? This does not only apply to women or the opposite sex. It is just human nature. 
Even children throw tantrums when their parents hide away their favorite toy, or refuse to buy them ice-cream. Add on another 20 years, the same case still applies. The animal instinct in humans encourages humans to seek what they can't have. While human reason serves as a control and check over their animal instincts, it is merely a denial of one's nature. 
Most people always want more. If you have a bike, you want a car. If you have a Viva, you want a Myvi. If you have a Myvi, you want a BMW and so on and so forth. Unless you truly have a pure soul that is free from life's vices, the desire for more applies. 
Just a point to think about, what makes women's breasts more appealing than men's chests? While we can comment about its shape and size, it is somewhat arbitrary. Who dictated that breasts are private parts? Why is it that men's chests are not private? Maybe it is because of the fact that the concealment of breasts led to the very desire of them which further leads to their concealment and the cycle goes on. If women's chests were exposed all the time, would there still be a desire for them? 
I singled out breasts as an example. I respect the rules of religion, please do not misunderstand me. The same argument applies for the withholding of any object of desire, be it a body part or otherwise. 
Just food for thought. The above statements are not exactly what I truly feel about the issue, but it is just something to think about. For arguments' sake or perhaps academic or philosophical purposes. 

In all fairness, I will also include the reply to my comment and I will add on my reply in parentheses where I deem necessary:

Don't worry. I've been waiting for this kinda comment to pop out. Definitely to quench the unbeknownst mystery among non-Moslem; academic discussion for sure. Human nature flourishes hand-in-hand with lust. Undeniable to be the solace for men. Nonetheless, it should be treated with boundaries. (Like I said, the gift of our minds serve as a control to our instincts. We are not animals and thus have no reason to succumb to fickle desires)
When you said by unveiling the body of women only to eliminate certain enigmatic 'arousal' to the curious and thus to alleviate that, one must not conceal it; that reflects the animal instinct of men. It comes with the nature that men are attracted by curiosity, I agree. BUT, does it really serve the purpose to quench the curiosity? Like you said, MEN WANT MORE. It would never tame the beast inside; only to fire up the flame even more. (I disagree. It is not to quench the curiosity. In fact, the curiosity would never have existed in the first place if the body parts were not concealed at all. The question still remains, why is it that men's chests are nowhere near as mysterious as women's? I do however agree that we will always want more, which is in fact, the title of this week's article. We always want what we can't have. So what I am trying to say is that if we give everyone a free and full viewing of "private" areas, thus it would totally dissipate the desire to view them. As an aside, when I said "Men want more", I am using the term "men" to  refer to both genders, without loss of generality)
Men are aroused by looks whereas women are aroused by thoughts. To say that ' If women's chests were exposed all the time, would there still be a desire for them?' certainly is not the mirror to the reality. Like you said, men want more. Just imagine, if every Malaysian women is to dress up scantily-clad and reveal their boobs; men would start having pervert impression towards women ALL THE TIME whereas when a woman who dress up in ALL BLACK and covers up her body does not trigger sexual aspiration as much as the ones with revealing-boobs. (Therein lies the problem. What I was advocating was the complete removal of all coverage, and not to conceal them with "scantily-clad outfits". The argument above merely supports my own because the partial concealment of certain areas would only serve to further amplify that desire. I am not comparing a woman who covers herself with one that doesn't. I am merely suggesting that if ALL women do not cover up at all without discrimination, there would be no desire for the "private" areas)
One simple test. Imagine there are 2 women in front of you. A she-taliban. And Pamela Anderson. Which one would you go for? :) (Once again, the same argument applies. You midsunderstood me in thinking that I am comparing a woman that covers herself with a woman that doesn't. I am comparing the case that ALL women cover up against the case that ALL women reveal everything)
It's not to feed the 'humanistic' purpose. It's not about to shun men's basic needs. It's not about liberation towards 'girl' power. It's about what God knows the best. Men are aroused by looks and women are aroused by thoughts. :) (How much evidence is there to support such a statement? Without any offence to any religion, I'd like some more concrete scientific evidence of that claim. In fact, a simple counter-argument to that would be all the oogling that goes on in high school about "hot" Korean boybands. Clearly, women are also aroused by looks)

Now that I have replied to all the comments made, I am still open to more feedback on this issue. Clearly the views expressed here are radical, perhaps overly so, but I personally think it is engaging and worth thinking about. Of course, asking everyone to go everywhere without clothes would be absurd. Or is it? But that is an argument for another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment