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Culture

Wearing A Mask: Suddenly, My Body My Choice No Longer Applies

By Julia Song·· 5 min read
wearing a mask my body my choice

The sovereignty of an individual’s body and identity are major issues debated in society right now. But it can’t only be one-sided. If MY body means MY choice, then what’s the deal with mask mandates?

We have all heard the endless sermons about respecting one’s identity, to the point where it became normalized to dress and parade a child as a drag queen, simply because we needed to respect that child’s individuality.

The limits are pushed time and time again. Whenever people attempt to object to these “innovations” and changes, they're accused of bigotry and of denying someone the freedom to decide what to do with their body.

The topic also often comes up with abortion, where the proponents of this practice claim that aborting a fetus is okay because it’s their body, so it’s their choice.

They don't appear to have the same sensitivity for Muslim women who are forced to cover their bodies head to toe and often forced into marriage at a young age. They will never call out the communities and religions who heavily restrain women’s rights, but if anyone dares to question the need to use a mask…

…The inconsistency kicks in. The side that claims to be against fascism won’t tolerate disobedience. They won’t tolerate argument or discussion. They immediately abandon their rhetoric on how you should be free to “choose” for your own body.

They Don’t Really Care about “Choice”

Our bodies suddenly no longer belong to us, and “choice” is completely removed from the equation. Masking up becomes a mandate, and if you don’t comply, you may be denied the possibility to enter places to buy food, medication, and other essential items. You become a pariah.

A nationwide mask cover promotes dehumanization.

For a society that fought so hard for the rights of groups such as women and minorities to express themselves freely through their looks and honor their ethnicities and preferences with their unique hairstyles, makeup, and clothing choices, we don’t seem that concerned that mandating a nationwide mask cover promotes dehumanization. It isolates people and can even be disrespectful to cultural expression.

Furthermore, the mask hall supervisors attempt to shame anyone into wearing masks to protect the lives of others, without regarding the individual’s preference and choice.

The argument never holds, but yet, we have a presidential candidate who wants to push us all into a nationwide mask mandate, and even Costco is demanding a face-shield in lieu of a mask. There’s nowhere to run from the dehumanizing pseudoscience behind face cloths. Respect for someone’s identity is nonexistent, exactly like it would be in a fascist nation.

The Masks Are Making the Divisiveness Worse

Not only that, but the divisiveness that plagues our nation is only heightened by people’s inability to smile at one another or exchange facial expressions that allow us to communicate with our fellow humans without the need for words.

The power of unspoken interactions can't be underestimated and it's under attack by the germophobia, social distancing, and masking and shielding of our faces.

Hospitals aren’t overwhelmed across the country nor are we short on ventilators.

COVID is a serious respiratory disease with the ability to hurt those of weakened health, and it's important that those people take additional precautions and that you take precautions when around them. However, for most people, it remains a very survivable disease, as demonstrated by the CDC’s own numbers.

Additionally, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed across the country nor are we short on ventilators. These were the initial reasons given for all these measures, which leads us to wonder… Why are we keeping this up?

The Lockdowns Have Their Own Serious Consequences

The survival rate currently runs at 99.6%, and while physical health is important, we must not disregard mental health and the challenges that come from lockdowns and such orders that take away our ability to socialize. We’re social beings who live in communities. The rise in suicides and drug overdoses during this time indicates a deeper issue we were quick to neglect.

The divisiveness in our country, the dehumanization brought on by masks, and the disregard for cultural expressions of oneself that have been fought for so fiercely in our country, are highly dangerous to our progress as a free nation and as a melting pot.

The rise in suicides and drug overdoses during this time indicates a deeper issue we were quick to neglect.

If we all become uniform, indistinguishable, if we can’t be identified by our traits and even proud of them without being publicly shamed or even jailed, if we can’t engage in long traditional celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, aren’t we essentially killing the spirit of our country and of its people along with it?

Perhaps the main question is, could it be time to leave the hypocrisy behind and focus on unifying? What would be the side effects of the prescribed mask mandate for our country and our people, and further, can our frail and divided nation survive such side effects?

Closing Thoughts

We shouldn’t judge and point fingers at those who choose to embrace their individuality. We should respect their choice, and unite behind their ability to choose. There are few countries in the world that allow for free self-expression, and it would be nice to see the nation that claims to defend those values, actually stick up for it at the moment it matters the most.

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