Gender in a Cigarette
Lately, there are a lot of things disturbing my mind. But, I want to write regarding this issue because I am so done with all those arguments and I have been wanting to express this feeling to one of my articles or stories. I am not a supporter of those who smoke because I do not smoke and I believe that smoking can be dangerous to health.
The thing that I do not understand until today is about who can smoke and not, some people have their reasons why they smoke or about them avoiding cigarettes. Many of stigma or the notion that cigarettes should only be smoked by a man especially in developing and conservative countries like Indonesia.
They are not gonna surprise at all if there is a man who smokes and even tends to be regarded as a dashing figure, but if they see a woman who has a cigarette they will be very surprised and embed the notion that she is a naughty and wild woman. Embedding a label on a woman who smokes is very illogical. They said that was a part of the norm that should not be violated, but isn’t the effect of smoking equally bad for both genders? I believe that women or men who smoke are equally responsible for their bodies and also passive smokers who are already smoking the smoke of their cigarettes.
When did cigarettes have a gender? so people are easily throwing a “naughty” label to a woman who smokes. Once again I do not support those who smoke but I don’t think we should give different labels to women who smoke. After all, in the end, the effect is also the same for male and female bodies right? I have many female friends who smoke but none of them is bad or naughty like what people say.
Why do women have to receive labels that do not make sense? Why so many demands and pressures in women’s lives? why they receive a lot of criticism for what they do even though they know the consequences?
The sentence of a woman is always right actually never applies in our society.
Men receive lots of benefits just because they are just men. They can smoke freely even one of the universities in Indonesia prohibits female students from smoking around campus while male students are just free for doing it, their risk of being harassed is pretty small, The possibility of them surviving while walking alone at night is very large. Privileges do exist, right?
Giving labels to women smoking makes no sense, especially cigarettes are the thing that not only used by men. There is no single rule that cigarettes are only for men just because their ads on TV always portray strong men when smoking. Also, there are many assumptions that men who don’t smoke are less macho. Smoking and not smoking is not a macho matter, or even naughty. If we think smoking can be dangerous to our health, we should raise awareness instead of having to bring down each other and label a gender.
A woman who smokes does not mean she is naughty or wild, and conversely, a woman who does not smoke does not mean she is good and obedient to the norm. Likewise, with men, a man who smokes does not mean he is macho, and a man who does not smoke does not mean he is not manly. it’s all just stigma and social construction that actually really makes no sense and detrimental.