The philosophy of Capitalism is based on the concept of Positivism which puts the main emphasis on the dictum that man is an economic rational being and he will do everything to maximise his profit. Thus, capitalism is not bothered about rights, ethics, moral values, etc. Its only goal is to find out the ways for increasing profit and, in this attempt, it suppresses all the weaker sections of society, especially the poor, the labourers, and the downtrodden class. In the postmodern world, among all social sections it is perhaps women who are being exploited the most in the name of so-called freedom and equality. Capitalism exploits women in various ways and neglects their physical and emotional needs. Capitalism makes a woman a commodity and commercialises their body and soul while exploiting them physically, financially, and emotionally.
The modern system of capitalism needs a huge number of workers at lower wages, so it developed the concept of working women. It reduced the importance of family and social life. It considered marriage a meaningless institution and came up with the idea of ‘live-in relationship’ and ‘casual sex’ (sex outside marriage). The aim is to ensure all-time availability of women workers who have no family responsibilities.
Recruiting women at lower positions is the policy of IT companies, call centers, and BPO industries. Women are made to work for long hours during the night and respond to customers in a polite manner. This working style creates a number of health complications for women. According to the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), there are higher chances of breast cancer in women who are working during night shifts. Moreover, it has been found that problems like sleeping disorders, less sexual potential, cardiac issues, and other metabolic defects are more common in women who are working till late at night. Capitalists in modern companies ask women to provide quality work and at the same time, they are supposed to be good-looking. The Times of India had explained beautifully that modern companies expect her to “Look like a woman, behave like a lady, think like a man, and work like a dog”. The irony is that this oppressed weaker sex has no opportunity to raise their voice against atrocities committed against them.
Due to the weak implementation of the labour laws at the grassroots level, women face several risks in the form of physical and sexual assault in the male-dominant environment of many multi-national companies. The rape and murder of Tania Bannergy by her colleague in a BPO in Bangalore, the murder of Pratibha Moorti by her car driver, and such other cases reported from other nooks of the country can make us imagine the reality of these working stations. According to a report of The Telegraph (07 September 2011), in a survey of call center staff, 25 percent of men and women were found to regularly indulge in casual sex. The Wall Street Journal has warned that the call centers, BPOs, and other similar places can become spread centers of sexually transmitted diseases.
In newspapers, magazines, TV, films, the internet, and everywhere, women are shown as attractive toys to play with. Her body has become a product of use and throw and is kept naked as much as possible. It is decorated beautifully and is used for every sort of advertisement and trade. She is an integral part of every beautiful receptionist’s front office. No advertisement is complete without a female picture.
The disgusting act of using the female body as a commodity becomes clearer in the industry of pornography (illicit literature, photos, videos, films, etc). It is highly profitable for economic imperialism. Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the US, Japan, and South Korea, and these countries alone earn more than 60 million dollars through this industry. The evil of pornography has been justified as career opportunity and the ethical viewpoints regarding nudity have been changed in a much-planned way. Nudity has been termed a natural state. Clubs, markets, airlines, hotels, entertainment parks, etc, are being established for people to remain completely nude. They may be entitled with the civilised word “Naturist”. People who have even extreme liberal thinking are accepting that pornography gives birth to rape cases. One of the statements of Robin Morgan has become very popular that “Pornography is the theory and Rape is the practice”. Along with pornography, the internet has become a market for the sale and purchase of women. According to the research paper titled ‘Asian Mail-order Brides’, commercial sex tours and mail order brides are popular trades on the internet.
Beauty products and fashion form yet another industry with which to exploit women. Global capitalists earn annual profits of 19 billion dollars from this industry. They use every possible tool of deception, betrayal, and brutality to achieve their goals. Beauty competitions, fashion shows, celebrity culture, uncountable magazines for women, TV shows, reality shows, etc, are for the same purpose. Women are compelled to destroy their beauty, health, and peace of mind through this deceptive game. A famous magazine, Psychology Today, terms it “Body Mania”, i.e., the thirst of going to any extent for looking more and more beautiful, as a prevalent disease. Medical science describes “Anorexia Nervosa” as a disease. Women suffering from this disease start fasting in fear of weight gain. 5% of patients with Anorexia die. This disease is very common in America and Europe. This disease mainly affects the women models, who feel extreme pressure from their capitalist bosses for looking slim.
It is very sad to say that in some private schools also, the women staff is being exploited financially by the owner of the school. Women, even highly educated, are mainly preferred for up to the primary level and their salaries are less than the male teachers of the same educational qualification.
The need is to create awareness amongst the general population regarding the exploitation of women. The government, NGOs and religious bodies should come forward to save this beautiful creation of God from this demon of capitalism. It is high time that women must also consider their honour, respect, and dignity before falling into the trap of capitalism where everything is profit and nothing else.
The writer is a native of Anantnag and a student of Geography and Philosophy at AMU. [email protected]