And when I say “move”, I mean the basic primary meaning of the verb. A woman has the right to move her hands while talking, sit with slightly parted legs, or take a crossed legs posture , lean her head, bend her back, lay down to walk barefoot anywhere without being down-looked, underestimated nor judged . A woman has the right to express herself verbally and physically as freely as she can.
It may sound trivial to proclaim such a right in a society where women still have limited access to education, health and shelters, where they suffer from domestic violence, and many other pressures and prejudgments.
But believe me it’s all related to what image/role that society associates to the woman and expects her to fulfill.
As a child I have been always scolded for laying down raising my leg and putting them out of the window! I suppose this wasn’t respectful (I kind of agree, as I did it basically because, I was always amused to imagine the face of the viewer if s/he just saw a pair of barefoot from the window in his/her face) but the reason that I have been told was that all my legs are uncovered.
A bit younger, I always got this severe look because I sit with parted legs, this is not what a respectful well-raised young woman do.
Raised in a religious school, I was always keen to have a friend for company to hold my hands behind my back, to avoid moving them while talking to my nun, which was considered a sign of disrespect!
If we analyze all these proper postures code promoted, circulated and forced to be followed by the society, we will figure out that a proper respectful “Lady” is who “stay still”.
And as a person who by nature moves a lot and has a strong body language, I find myself in many situations, not really fulfilling the image of the “Lady” : I have always to control my body language and postures, and adjust how I look to the “expected image”. I often surprise myself after taking spontaneously one of these “big no – no” postures, always thinking “what people will say of me now?!”
Now how liberating it could be, to be in a company (especially if there are guys around) where nobody judges you according to the posture you take while talking or downgrades your maturity or femininity if for example you laid down on your belly , or took off your shoes and walk barefoot on sand or on grass, or if suddenly you decided to lay down on your back, raise your legs perpendicularly, or spread them wild. Or when you ride in a car and get this urge to get your face and half of your body out of the window’s car to face the cool breeze.