Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't Ask Women to Shut Up! Just Don't!

Reinstated by stereotypes of course, the "popular" notion of feminists equals manhaters.  Members of the Boys Club laugh at their sick in-jokes and that's fine, apparently and it really would be fine if everyone were joking about it and some people didn't actually believe it

Some members of the Freemasons Hall in Calcutta recently told me that they are a very inclusive club. I'm not exactly sure about where they learnt their English, but last time I checked inclusive meant including everything. Now I think, clubs by their very nature are elitist (DUH!), but the Freemasons Hall proudly struts their stuff and when asked to come up with a defence say, "but this is a tradition". WTF? Last Time I checked, burning women was also considered a tradition. Next time someone asks me to shut up because I'm too angry and I'm raving and ranting, I will say:

 1. Stop Stereotyping. NOW.  I'm sorry people I will say some really OBVIOUS things right now but I'm tired and irritated with all the lame comments that have been coming my way, so bear with me.

First, some people believe that they are feminists. Stop pandering to stereotypes and assigning characteristics to people randomly based on whether the person is a feminist or not a feminist. If you want to be respected, respect another person's opinion as well. Secondly, there are many women who don't consider themselves feminists and are fighting away for women's rights. If you're an ostrich and think that nothing's wrong, think again. I had written a post about women's bodies earlier this year and this guy who didn't have the guts to actually use his own name retorted by saying that I was trying to deny men the pleasure of fetishism by ranting about how women are objectified. Now I had said nothing of the sort, just stated that you cannot simply perceive a woman to be merely an object. I don't even know why I was wasting my time arguing with this guy, but turns out he was a complete jackass and I don't even feel angry. I just feel sorry about how ignorant he is.

2. Stop Stigmatising

Just Read this:


Here is an excerpt from the article above:

"Though the trial court had convicted the accused Munshi and another person for the rape of a 17-year old woman, the high court acquitted the accused persons on the ground that victim was promiscuous in her sexual behaviour and had already lost her virginity."

The Trial Court actually let those jerks go because the girl was not a virgin. How is that even relevant? Also, what's the big deal about the virginity anyway? This just disgusts me- somehow, if you're not a virgin, you're loose and you've lost your virginity anyway, so what do you care? Of course, it is of no consequence whatsoever that it is your body and you can do whatever the hell you want with it. Another brilliant myth is the "deflowering myth". As anyone who is informed enough knows, a girl doesn't necessarily bleed when she has sex for the first time. A domestic help I once interviewed told me that her husband left her for another woman because she didn't bleed on their first night. Now the hymen can be ruptured for many reasons :

 a. many women are born without the hymen
b. some tear it if they're heavily into sports
c. what the fuck does all of this matter anyway?

With reference to C, this is where I am wrong. Because you see, it matters. Recent studies have shown that women are opting for hymen restructuring or  inserting the blood of a goat's pouch just to evade the stigma. Simple solution? stop stigmatising.

3. Get your facts straight

Do some research and speak to reliable sources. Sometimes, the media can be horrifically misleading. Look up what women's organisations are saying and do some finding out for yourself. And next time you make a snap judgement, think twice.

As you may have already noticed, I have focussed on a bunch of negatives. But lots of people out there are really doing good work. I recently interviewed a woman who was working for rights for artisans. Google is your friend. Read about what people are doing and try and think about what you can do to help. And please don't ask women to shut up. Please.

12 comments:

Rhea Silvia said...

it shouldn't be this hard to communicate the simple fact that women are people, but good sweet gods, it is.

once more unto the breach, etc.

Arse Poetica. said...

OK, this post is very nice. Also, I can see and hear you say all this. :)

Reeti said...

@ rhea: succinctly put.

@ ahona: thank you and :D

Safdar said...

so much of reetiness!

thoda thanda hone ka, baba. :-)

the soliloquist said...

Great post.Very informed. And this post is very you: like ahona said, I can picture your hand gestures while you're saying this. :)

Magically Bored said...

Good post. And yes, the hymen is so overrated. It's made such a big deal of!
Do you know, some celebrity in UK (or perhaps USA) went through hymen restructuring surgery?! Her reason? Because her husband would like it.
If informed, educated women are doing this, then what hope is there for everyone else?

dreamer said...

A Letter to an Author Who Happens to be a Bright Young Lady



Dear Mam,
As you should have found out, I’ve been following your blog for quite a few weeks now. Being one among those ignorant many who really do not know how and mostly why to write a meaningful blog, I am in great awe of the “clickety, click, click” and look forward to it with even greater eagerness. Your posts on the more serious and ‘controversial’ topics(pardon my awful choice of words), beautifully enhanced by what appears to be your vast vocabulary show clearly your mastery of the art of writing meaningful pieces which bear the stamp of a most noble and exalted mind and also a good, kind heart to say the least. We do move on Mam, but our ideas remain.

Without the slightest intention of being a bore or a source of annoyance to you, I would like to (though petrified to state) come down to business. From what my feeble mind could gather, you are a writer/an author, or would an authoress suit you Mam for I am awfully unrehearsed in the unthinkably complex post-modern, post-structural dialogue. Harboring ideas of someday becoming one myself, I set out to study the language English in an ancient city but today I know it well that neither had I learnt the art nor could I master the craft. That training of five long years had confused my aspirations to a great extent which was followed by a period of unfortunate forgetfulness till now. The uninhibited ease of your strong pieces nudged my writer’s self (O horror! Wrong use?)into thought and therefore to action I called upon my ability to write, producing this letter to you. Mam, most humbly, therefore would I pose a question before you- how does one go about with the business of writing fiction? I know the general nature of my query brings its own problems, but I strongly hope that you will be kind enough to allow a few words of advice to this poor soul (Mam, do I disturb you?). I readily confess that I haven’t read much other than a bit here and there of Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, Hardy, T.S Eliot and of the contemporary I know awfully less. Worst of all, I haven’t read much outside my syllabus! Be not alarmed at my woefully inadequate training, for I am a most diligent learner. I promise to follow with all sincerity any amount of advice that you may further. Though, if still you feel all that would be a mere waste of your most precious time, I won’t ever complain. I will keep your refusal as a souvenir from a good lady in good spirit.

Dear Mam, please remove this post at once if you think so, don’t think twice. I will just remain one of the many followers of this blog, that itself is enough for me. And good lady, never mind those “men” with their typical “men-talities” for they had been a part of the show since times immemorial. Their fort may not hold for long now.


My little ink now is almost over and my pen threatens to run dry any moment and I should stop here. I profusely regret causing any inconvenience to you – all the blame is mine. Your reply, if any, will be most anticipated by me, though your silence I will receive in a most humble manner. I won’t bother you ever again if you wish so. Thanking you profusely from the core of my heart for spending your valuable time in reading my letter. I shall be eagerly awaiting your next post. I remain a most humble, photoless, detail-less, hopelessly male follower of your blog.
Yours most truly,
A.S.

Reeti said...

Ok wow!

I am really in no position to give anyone any advice on how to write fiction, but thanks for the kind words.

Reeti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reeti said...

@ safdar : so much safdarness. you should also join the bandwagon

@ sohini and tuna : Thanks.I was feeling incredibly angry and thought I needed to put the anger down in words

phenomenal woman said...

Very relevant. Almost in all contexts...
Reminds me of something that occurred in our flat a few months ago. I wrote a blog-post on it. Sending you the link.

http://maatrubhumi.blogspot.com/2009/03/case-of-adultery.html

Reeti said...

@ sanchari : thanks :) will read it.