American Freedom

American freedom is an all inclusive freedom that includes choosing your own clothing, saying almost anything you choose, going to the store whenever you please and so much more. American freedom cannot be simply defined as a few things we can do, however it can be best stated as the ability to live without societal restrictions and to be able to think and express yourself without the fear of being ostracized by the community. This is a concept that other democratic countries cannot fully understand.

Women in America have full rights to vote, drive, work, and go out whenever and to wherever they choose. In some other democracies women are restricted by social barriers that restrict their freedom. For example, in parts of India women still do not go to the shops in their street because men linger there and make unwanted sexual advances towards them. This applies to all women in those areas, not just the few who have chosen not to go to these stores. Sometimes the stores are as little as three houses away in their crowded streets but they do not go.

Other freedoms that are restricted are the clothing they wear. American style clothing is very popular in India however the majority of women, especially once they reach marriageable age, is the traditional salwar kameez. They wear these because they cover their behinds and the necklines are high enough their breasts and cleavage cannot be seen. Further they cover themselves with a scarf, called a dupatta, to ensure their neckline is further covered from sight. The clothing is stylish for the area and comfortable however they continue to wear it mostly to keep men from assuming they are waiting to be bombarded with sexual advances. The women would also not be caught laying on their terrace at such an angle as to allow on looking neighbors to see the outline of their bottoms or their cleavage.

These kind of social restrictions have almost been obliterated in America as women are free to sit on their porches, yards, or balconies however they choose, sometimes in as little as a bathing suit, without fearing their safety will certainly be violated. Women in American can and will walk into any store, interact with any employee and browse the store until they have found the items they desire. They will then pay for them and exit the store without even thinking about the experience. They don’t walk around with the instinct to never let their eyes meet with those of a male in the street and they do not need their husband, son, or father to take them everywhere for protection.

India is not alone. Many other democracies still struggle to free themselves from the societal restrictions that disable women from experiencing true freedom. Women are also not the only group restricted from these freedoms. American freedom, which we struggle to lead other countries to every day, means the ability to choose your own thoughts and actions each and every day without being punished in some way by the individuals you interact with on a daily basis.