It is a just another way to insult the male, to ask him with evident contempt whether he wears bangles or to tell him with scorn to go wear bangles and sit at home (like a woman). Welcome to the world where you insult a man by insulting all women.
A few days back actor Anupam Kher said on his micro-blogging site, (referring to Mukul Roy’s incident) “When a minister refuses to visit an accident site where so many have died he should resign, wear bangles and sit at home.” (read here)
This incurred the wrath of Taslima Nasreen, the Bangladeshi writer and activist and rightly so, methinks. In fact I would go so far as to say it should incur the wrath of ALL women, not just Taslima Nasreen.
Why is it that anyone who wants to put down a man, compares him to a woman?? What the hell is there to be ashamed of in being a woman, can anyone tell me? Or what is wrong in wearing a sari or bangles? I have been wondering about this since my childhood, since the time I have been able to understand language enough to decipher what this meant.
When we were smaller we used to sing Poonthanam’s Jnanapana at evening prayers. There is a part that goes
Nari chathu naranayi pirakkunnu
Naari chathu oriyayi pokunnu
A tiger (nari) dies and is reborn as man (naran) and a woman (naari) dies and becomes a fox (ori)
I was quite young but still, these particular lines made me feel resentful. The certainty that women are inherently evil and the assumption that they will indeed be reborn as foxes in their next life angered me. Of course I was told it was the rhyme and metre that was behind the lines being written this way. But did that stop all and sundry (and also those who gave the explanation as rhyme and meter) from quoting these lines to put women in their lowly place? Oh no siree. It was just another case of repeat something a thousand times and soon everyone will take it for the gospel truth.
From there I grew up to hear men being called such gems as son of a bitch and other similar things. Never simply a dog (though it’s a pity that a fine animal has to be degraded thus), but son of a bitch. Without bringing the bitch into it, it seems there is not enough ammunition. Now why the hell should the woman be dragged in when the purpose is to insult the man?
The same goes for those stronger abuses that call mothers and sisters into the fray when a man has to be slighted. No, I am no prude. You can use all your bad language you want in my presence and I won’t turn a hair. But I still fail to understand why when the aim is to insult a man, women have to be dragged in and degraded. And here I point not to just men but to clueless women as well who delight in demeaning themselves and their sisters.
Oh I know the obvious answers that are going to come up as reasons for this. It starts with ‘Men are hunters and women are gatherers by nature and goes on blah blah blah followed by a lot more of blah blahs. Gawd, give me a break.
Anything and everything that you object to, in the treatment of women in the modern world, has its origin in men having been hunters and women gatherers. This is somewhat similar to saying the reason X has become a criminal is because his favorite toy rattle had been taken away from him while he was still a baby. That will not excuse him from being arrested and charged with whatever excesses he has committed, will it?? So let us bung the hunter-gatherer theories aside and think of the here and now. A teaspoon of gray matter is all it requires to understand the matter at hand.
When a man abuses another by comparing him to a woman who wears bangles and sits at home, isn’t he actually abusing all the women of his own household starting from his mother, followed by his sister(s), wife, daughter(s), and all other women in his extended family?? So any time he does that the women in his household should put him in his place. If home is such a shameful place to be in let him go sleep on the pavement. And if wearing bangles and sari is shameful all the more reason to change over to jeans. Moral Police be damned.
What about the women? They are no less in using the same choodiyan pehen rakha hai kya against men. Such women are like Kalidasa, who supposedly cut the branch on which he was seated. They are nothing but fools who demean their own selves and other women too in the bargain. Imagine a woman abusing a man by calling him a woman?!! Can anything get more absurd than that?! And yet sadly enough, all around me I see it happening. Looks like women themselves are ashamed to be women.
Taslima Nasreen said Anupam Kher’s thinking is backward. I don’t think there is any two opinions on it. You definitely get the impression when you hear what he had to say in reply:
“Friends please stop reacting to self-styled activists. We are brought up on Indian proverbs. You need to be an Indian to understand them.” (read here)
I am not any self-styled activist Mr.Anupam Kher. And I am an Indian to boot, brought up on Indian proverbs just like you. So I do understand them as much as you do and my understanding of them says exactly this: that they are humiliating to women.
You and those others (men and women alike) who use such ‘Indian’ sayings have no respect for women of your family as well as women in general. You are an intelligent actor. Even if you said this out of force of habit (every Indian has been hearing this from the time he is born, so I admit that could have happened) when someone (in this case Taslima Nasreen) pointed out how misogynistic what you said is, instead of seeing the truth in it, you chose to hide behind excuses. Now, that is rather shameful of you and a bit depressing for us.
This is interesting, at one point in college we were discussing why most of the swear words have relations to women and not men. You make a valid point, if a man says that some one who wears bangles is a degraded person, then by default he is implying the same for his family too. How silly we are
This is something I have been thinking of since long and have been discussing in my own home. Why must the bitch be there and why not just’dog’?? Why call someone MF, dragging in an innocent, unknowing woman into the equation for something that a man did? Why not people fight their own battles man to man as they say without abusing the women in their respective families?? I find that pretty amusing in a contemptible sort of way.
I agree with you bro. We are silly when insulting men by asking them to wear bangles. Just shows what the person thinks of the women in their own family.
@Shail, There was a time when we used BF and FF.. but those were only for novelty and the use is non existent now.. Most of the times when we have to swear it’s the standard MF,SF stuff..
@Hrishi, We swore a lot in college, is it just me or happens to everyone?
I guess people still do. I can see it being freely used on status updates on FB too by both girls and boys.
@Shail, I still am not that comfortable swearing the standard hindi gaalis in front of women. Although sometimes when some of us friends get together we do sing along the sutta song.
Because if a man want to hurt another. its the easiest way to hurl abuse & hurt their women from the time unknown,
Physical hurt is no hurt for a man. Its their pride ( in most of cases arrogance & mental impotency)which they want to secure the most.
Again there are two type of man:
1st.. treat their women as human and respect them.( real men)
2nd…treat their women as property and medals. ( I don’t have a proper noun for this spicy)
P.S.: I hope I have said what I wanted to.
I know the whys and because-s behind it. But I think it is stupid and offensive to use demeaning of women to hurt man’s pride. Life is not about man and his pride. It is also about women and their feelings. Time that people started thinking of that. As for physical hurt being no hurt for man, excuse me, that is nothing but baloney. If you physically hurt a man, he cries out as much as anyone else.
I don’t get what you mean by there are two types of man. Does that excuse some sort of behavior?
Indeed. I agree with you.
By mentioning physical hurt, I meant that its a kind it can be treated completely.
Emotional hurt are rather ever lasting.
Type of men, says that I personally don’t consider them men if they don’t respect women.
So No Excuse.
I know and kind of agree with your point. But these are standard proverbs and language. Blasting someone because he used proverbs is an overkill. I mean why don’t we object to the term man and women refer only as humans equality you know, is not a part of the language as it has evolved. I think Taslima was scoring brownie points to blast a celeb unless she doesn’t refers man and women differently in her novels, if her novels and articles are a reflection of our society and its evolution so are all of our languages (probably a larger, wider and more inclusive society than her novels)
//But these are standard proverbs and language//
Many such ‘standards’ and perceptions of them, including words and their usage, have changed over time. Yes, the word human is apt to talk of people collectively (though I did not understand the relevance of it here). But even then man and woman would exist and so this matter of demeaning women will not go away by using ‘human’.
//Taslima was scoring brownie points to blast a celeb…//
Well, this sort reasoning is something I have never understood. This is not a post about her. It is about something she said that echoed my own views on a topic I have been thinking about for more than three decades now.
I did not follow your point about Taslima not referring to man and woman differently in her novels. Also about language being a reflection of society. What is the relevance here?
I am talking about refusing to use the bifurcation of human beings into man and women, use human no bifurcation no distinction no demeaning, everybody refers to as plain and simple human. I mean what is the need to refer to someone as a man and women why tag a person with a gender, why it needs to be a part of description shouldn’t language completely do away with it. If this sounds stupid to you then I guess you got my point 🙂
Language cannot completely do away with man and woman as long as we are all man and woman. I don’t think it needs any more explanation than that. But of course it can also be Human A and human B, but it definitely will have to be two different things.
And why not? What is the need for a differentiation if they are equal?
The equality we speak of is in the opportunities given them. To identify male and female (where they have to be identified for whatever reason)
And I am talking about absolute equality no difference in opportunities, in treatment, in reference absolute equality. Why differentiate?
I really don’t understand the relevance of what we are talking here to this post. So yes you are talking of absolute equality. Fine. 🙂 So?
I believe the term man and woman is useful for referring to biological differences in humans. If someone wants to come up with new terms I personally don’t have any objection to it. Does that solve the problem??
This post was triggered by her statement, hence the point. I am assuming her statement was the stimulus behind this post otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned her.
I am just saying Anupam Kher used a proverb. I mean so every time you used a proverb like “Dhobi Ka Kutta…” or “Kutte ki Dum” the PETA should stand and say that you are demeaning the animals, the dog and the phrase should go. Imagine a language which cannot have a demeaning metaphor or a similie by that logic because you would be demeaning one or the other. Taslima Nasreen, being an author should all the more understand the nuances of the languages rather going into the specifics.
Their spat is what made me write what has been my view all along. And that saying used by Anupam Kher is politically not right and is demeaning to women. The fact that it has existed so long and is part of our language does not make it automatically right.
Btw, are you really comparing whats said about dogs and what PETA might say to what is being said about women who form half of what you call ‘humans’?? Well, that does convey something to me!
In your example of dogs, it is humans (through PETA) who object. But if a day comes and we humans come to know that dogs do understand what we say, yes of course to spare their feelings, the right thing the humans should do would be doing away with all such proverbs and NOT bring up some example of how cats are being treated to justify ourselves.
Right now we are talking of one half of ‘humans’ called women and what is demeaning to them.
Ideas and perceptions have changed, do change over time. What people thought as acceptable at some point of time has been questioned and rejected. The fact that this is a proverb or saying that is part of our language or culture is NO excuse to continue using it. And that is my personal opinion 🙂
ROFL!!! So having demeaning proverbs just because they cannot understand makes it right? So someone who doesn’t understands Hindi demeaning them in Hindi is right?
So we need to wait till they learn Hindi and then we stop demeaning them?
Humans form less than half of the set of “Living Things” and even if there are 6 billion human beings and 1 dog in the universe is it ethical to demean them?
Convinced? So you plan to stop using all the proverbs from now on “Hurt no one as they say :-P”
What else can I say when one half of humans are demeaning the other half, the women, and are not really bothered about correcting it?? Can I expect they will change enough to stop speaking of dogs who don’t seem to understand (as of now) the human language? So yes, I said if they object humans might have to change. Please remember that what I say is in my usual tongue in cheek manner. I know, not everyone understands that. I have so much experience of that. 😆
Humans may be a small percentage of living things on Earth. But whaddya know, surprise, surprise, in this blog post I am talking about “insignificant” them!
And lastly, to put it ever so mildly, oh wow, you do make a lot of assumptions, don’t you?? Like how I speak and what proverbs I use and how?! 😆 Good good. Let the show go on. I have experience of THAT too 😉
Spot on, Shail. I agree completely. I always cringe when I hear this ‘are you wearing bangles?’ addressed to a man to denigrate him.
I dislike hearing it too. I have been wanting to write on this for a long time and this exchange between the two celebs gave me the opportunity.
Sankaran Nampoothiri said:
I do not know if it was/is meant the way you see it. I could be wring, as I DO NOT KNOW for sure. However, the way I see it, ‘Go wear bangles’ must be meant to mean “you are not a man”, “you are effeminate” which is definitely insulting to a man, just as I presume calling a woman very ‘manly’ must be..
When you call a man ‘effeminate’ and mean it to be an insult to him, is it not insulting to a woman??
Sankaran Nampoothiri said:
@Shail, definitely not an insult to a woman. ‘Being like a woman’ is a woman’s prerogative, just as being ‘like a man’ is man’s… in fact in that very comment, I have also mentioned..”..just as I presume calling a woman very ‘manly’ must be..”
Tell me a few gaalis that a woman can be called that shows man in a poor light.
Sankaran Nampoothiri said:
@Shail, absolutely No idea!
I rest my case.
Shail, your comment to Sankaran – “Tell me a few gaalis that a woman can be called that shows man in a poor light” just about summed up the entire debate. In fact, the most often used gaalis refer to private parts of women. and yes, now we have a famous bollywood song that is a play on such a word; it is supposed to be ‘cool’.
I am looking for some posts to link where they talked about how all the derogatory words are linked to women and there aren’t corresponding words for men who act the same way. Words like bachelor and spinster which have entirely different connotations to them. (In the present of course it is bachelor-girl) Sissy is something to be ashamed of, tomboy is romanticised. And then they have all the gaalis which demean women!
Agnija Bharathi said:
The problem is equating effeminate with cowardice, non-professionalism and incapacity for logic and a whole bunch of other things. In my opinion, it is these virile men who use such insults that are the ones that lack logic.
Exactly what I think.
starry eyed said:
Agree totally….it starts even from childhood, you know, people tell my son when he’s being “shy”…are you a girl….it gets my blood boiling…first of all to comment on his nature, and secodnly to assign a quality like shyness as a female quality, and that too in a denigrating tone. I think Taslima was spot on…good she’s taken him on! And pray, what is a ‘self-styled activist’?! How dismissive.
Bingo! I am angered by ‘Are you a girl?’ asked in that despicable way to boys who may be shy or are hesitant to attempt something new. WTH. Not only is it unfair to the boys, but it is also demeaning to the girls.
That ‘self-styled activist’ bit was sort of mean response.
Totally with you ..
but each one out there is on scroing points spree , i doubt if this lady taslima cares anything , she got a point to make points she went for it ..
they are all the same … end of the day
I agree, that celebs always want the limelight. But for me, what they said became the reason to write down my thoughts.
They are bunch of idiots Shail… Tomorrow they will take the statement back and then agai say it … They are all the same
In our culture a whole lot of things, both male and female are related to a woman’s honor and respect of the male members of the family
Jutti, moonch, bindi+choori, pagri, palla, kandha (shoulder) etc etc
It is so stupid
Yes it IS stupid. The extreme importance given to these seems depressing and downright funny at times, especially in present times.
I have an aversion to using “bad” words for either gender. I dont like listening to it nor to I like to say it. My reason is very simple – there is enough hurt around the world, we dont need to add more to it with hurtful words. So I am against abusing, doesnt matter who is trying to insult who. There are better ways to deal with situations than using a put down.
Coming to insults, of the kind you mention- I think it is insulting to the person using the insults. It is a reflection of the abuser’s thought process(not really thinking), the choices in life. To me if a person has to resort to such words to show their annoyance, it shows a person lacking in good education, confidence, poise and grace and I wouldnt fight such a person, after all you should pick someone your own size to fight with.
I agree with you on that. i can do without them. I don’t have to prove a point to anyone by using them either. But I let those who want to, be.
Ahh, there you give good advice. ‘I wouldn’t fight such a person’ 🙂 Not worth it eh?
“Not worth it eh?”
I didnt calculate the worth.. I just know that its not a battle I can win 😉 so I wont pick it.
RACHIT SHARMA said:
Never thought of like that yet its something taken to be care and from hereon your post will make me think twice before insulting men by insulting women.
Nice read 🙂
That is exactly what I mean Rachit. Sometimes we don’t think about some things… till something comes up and we see it in a new light. That is when a seed is planted in our minds and we start questioning things which till then we accepted as normal. 🙂
Amen to that Shail! Most of the time it is ignorance or a lack of awareness of what is actually coming out of one’s mouth:) But, as you pointed out, a lot of women are ignorant too. Time for change, time for us to make a stand and speak our mind…so good going with this post:):)
Thanks Kala. Yes I agree a lot of times we don’t think much about it and repeat what we have been hearing. But to answer the way Anupam Kher did is really insensitive.
I wish to see Anupem Kher’s comment here
Haha, probably he’d call me another ‘self-styled activist’!
Agnija Bharathi said:
First, I used to have a high opinion of Anupam Kher because of the kind of roles he used to play. He just came across as a sensible sorta guy. I guess it’s an eye opener. People in the public eye do have an extra responsibility to do and say the right thing.
Secondly, because of the similarity between Tamil and Malayalam, I used to think that Nari meant the same thing in Malayalam as it did in Tamil, which is fox. I learnt something today. Cool.
Thirdly, how speciesist of humans to assume that being called a tiger is such a good thing, but calling someone a fox is bad. The poor fox is doing exactly the same thing that the tiger is busy doing — namely trying to survive the jungle!
That answer of Kher’s showed up shallowness. Yeah, tiger becomes man and supposedly wily woman, a fox. Rightly said, both, in fact all are doing the same thing, trying to survive. How does one become better or worse than the other, isn’t it?
Sad thing is people don’t understand that a man has a part of his mother and a part of his father inside him. When he mocks a woman he is mocking his own mother part. Same thing is true with a woman when she mocks a man as a whole.
Yeah, humans are parts of both. That truth seems to escape many.
Gud post. Humans have been living in a Patriarchal society even before languages were born. Our culture including our languages are fine tuned to reinforce and legitimize the gender oppression. It is sad that only one Taslima and now Shail is raising the voice against Anupam Kher’s patriarchal comment. In more advanced societies no public figure would ever dare to say such things openly. May be our Women have to more vociferous in attacking and there by changing such practises at least by public figures.
Thank you. I wish Prats would read this comment, especially this:
“Our culture including our languages are fine tuned to reinforce and legitimize the gender oppression”
Yes, I think women have to object to such remarks made by public figures. But they also have to stop repeating it themselves and protest when their near and dear ones say it. Men too.
@Charakan, If you consider Australia and England advanced countries, then you’ll see a lot of their cricket players sledging fellow players using statements like – I slept with your wife or mother or some other female relative. I am not sure it’s India-specific. But I do think that women in India have to be more vociferous and the expected turnout during the Slutwalk in Delhi is a good example that we aren’t…yet!
Patriarchy remains in Capitalism but is weaker than in feudalism. No Australian or English celebrity would have tweeted publicly in such a Patriarchal language. Even if some one did it would have created much more uproar than that took place in India.
G Vishwanath said:
You are spot on!
I fully concur with your views.
This gender prejudice and discrimation is rampant.
Let me relate my experience with my Reva electric car which I have been driving for for the past 3 three and half years.
I have been so satisfied with it that I later sold my Maruti Wagon R which I had been needlessly keeping as an additional car and underutilizing.
I was pretty pleased with my Reva. It is a two seater. Just right for me and my wife. There is no one else in my family to accommodate in my car.
It goes 80 km on a single charge. More than enough for me whose need is a mere 20 km a day.
It can reach a speed of 80 km/hour on a good road.
More than enough for me who rarely exceeds 50 km/hour.
It costs a mere Rs 1.50 paise per km to run compared to Rs 10 for an average car.
I was a happy and proud owner and still am.
My male friends ridiculed me when I bought it.
They called this a car for “ladies and sissies”
I can understand their contempt for a car that is not as powerful as a petrol driven car, but why bring in Ladies when you want to denigrate this car?
I used to be a Yezdi/Bullet Motorcyle rider during my younger days.
After I crossed forty, I sold it and bought a Kinetic Honda scooter.
My male friends circle were all Bullet or Yezdi riders.
They ridiculed me then too, saying this scooter is for Ladies and sissies and were offended that a male, Bullet rider should be seen riding this “effiminate” two wheeler.
When we call a man “effeminate” it is not a compliment.
Crying is dismissed as a ladies response to stress and not worthy of men.
When you want to encourage some to do something bold you often say , “Come on, be man!”
All “dirty” words and abuses refer to unmentionable parts of women’s anatomy.
Taslima was right in commenting on Anupam Kher’s statement.
Instead of agreeing with her and saving face by stating that he was merely using a popular proverb, and meant no offence to women, he defaulted further by calling her a self styled activist who doesn’t understand Indian proverbs.
I too am surprised at this reaction from Anupam Kher. I had a high regard for him, both as an actor and as a person. I guess all celebrities have bloated egos.
Thanks for a thought provoking post.
Yes, I think his reaction was insensitive and I for one did not expect him to be so.
By using your Reva, you are making your statement too, that you don’t care for labels such as sissy and that you use the car that you find the most useful. Kudos for that. :)By the way I wish I had a Reva.
@G Vishwanath, Thanks for your comment. I learned about Reva electric car, Maruti Wagon R, Yezdi/Bullet motorcycle (and the fact that you rode it in your youth days. wow!), and Kinetic Honda scooter. Just that I couldn’t find the relevance of it all and feel you could have done away with such details.
First they make women wear bangles and sit at home.. then they insult women for doing so *sigh* where’s the logic?
And just because men dont wear bangles.. do they become courageous?
question ( in last line)is invalid as it apparently suggests that whoever are wearing bangles, are not courageous.
See, unintentionally this happens. I assume she dint meant what I referred, but eventually she did it.
Referred what? Eventually did what? *mystified*
just because men dont wear bangles.. do they become courageous?
does not that suggest that whoever wear bangles are not courageous?
Exactly. First they tell you what to do, then make it sound like that is the most shameful thing to do. Frankly, I’d call a man courageous among other things, if he can wash his own dinner plate in front of friends and family. But how many men are actually that courageous?? 🙂
All the things that I think of Shail…
And like you said, I’m more appalled and angered by his response to Taslima than his original outburst !!
I am noticing that many others besides me have had these thoughts. So I assume there are more of us out there feeling outraged by such ‘sayings’ that are a legacy of an oppressed past.
In his response Kher showed his insensitive nature.
the ghost who eats said:
To be honest many of these things creep in without even noticing…I had this habit of saying to my son when he would cry… are you a girl and my wife never said anything infact a lot of people do… but ever since I started reading blogs even if it advarently goes out of my mouth I try to correct it…
Years of such books, such behaviour sometimes drills it in… thankfully now we have a medium like the blogs where in it makes us realise some of our mistakes !
@the ghost who eats,
This is just one among the many that we all hardly notice because it is so commonly used. About asking boys not to be like a girl… imagine if you had a daughter too and what it would make her feel.
Times change and so do our way of looking at things. In the present blogs are a great way of coming to know different perspectives and taking a look at our own. 🙂
The Fool said:
Guess the way things are they are for a reason. If they change, they will for a reason. Inspite of all these spirited souls have always succeeded. Going through the history of nations, women have risen to powerful position in every culture some time or the other inspite of all the stereotypes. But men as symbol of macho is a bilogical thing that has become a cultural thing. The whole point has an evolutionary angle. Evolution supports polygamy and propagation of only the fittest genes. SO men are supposed to fight and indulge in risky behavior so that the weaker ones are killed off before they mate and only the strong survive to pass genes to next generation. The taunts you mention are a cultural reinforcement of the genetic design. Thats how I see it.
So maybe this change in thought is coming for a reason? :)Like I said, everything starts with how men were hunters and women were gatherers. Many of those ‘cultural reinforcements of genetic design’ have already changed. Polygamy is not the norm. Weaker ones are no longer killed off, we try to save them by all methods possible and they mate too.
Yes, I know why such taunts came into place. But I don’t see any reason why they should continue in the present where it has no relevance. The fact that women are resenting shows something, doesn’t it?
I have issues with people telling me “women have risen to powerful position…. at some time or other” What about average women? Why should they not be given the same opportunities like the average man?
I read in a book that, all these concepts of biological and cultural influences happen over such a long, long period of time that it is of concern to those who study such things. It is no “excuse” for the way we behave or even of significance to us in our daily life. We live our life, fight our battles in the present and that is the way it should be. The long term results of our collective lives is for others to study in some distant future.
Speaking of biology, have you read John Medina’s Brain Rules? It has something interesting to say about man and woman (the emerging biology of it). You can read the salient points here at Kislay’s blog.
The Fool said:
I need to go over the full book to understand what he says. He seems to say most brain related genes come from the X-chromosome. My knowledge of this is from Jared Diamond’s Third Chimpanzee and Richard Dawkin’s Selfish Gene. As per my knowledge any charactertic has chance of coming either from the father or mother based on the 23 of the 46 genes randomly selected and between father and mother, which one is recessive and which one is dominant if they are different.
Anyway my point is it is in the nature of man to be agressive and risk taking. From the stand point of propagation of the human race, number of women is the constraint. So nature by deafult selects all the women. But only the strongest men have to be selected. So men are driven to be aggressive so that selection can happen. So any men who doesn’t idulge in such behaviour are goaded by other men by pointing out that they are not behaving in the pattern expected of a male. In the civilized society, the men who do not act like “men” gain and advantage by staying out of harm’s way. So the others need to goad them back to man’s ways to maintain a level playing field. Typically cultrual stereotypes try to reinforce the genetic design. But as you said, we as a human race have begun to break free from the natural path and chart our own course. Medical science is one such glaring example of defying nature’s way of strengthening the race. So as a race, we need to decide where we are going. But it is messy stuff – 6 billion people deciding together. But people like you who think you have some vision on certain aspects of the direction humanity should take can put out your opinions and see if it gathers support.
🙂 Vision? Certainly never thought of it that way. These are thoughts that come to me and I write them down.
BTW, you should read the book my Medina for the other things in it too. It is very interesting 🙂
Hi, this is your train mate!I am enjoying your articles.
U r creative and vibrant I say. I am at Vietnam and finding all the time to enjoy the tap dance of your fingers on the computer.
Ohhhhh!!!! Thank you, thank you. How wonderful to see you here train mate. WELCOME to Shail’s Nest. 🙂 🙂 I am glad you left a comment. I am still mulling over that topic you asked me to write on. The mood will strike some day and it will be here 🙂
What are you doing at Vietnam? 🙂 … and keep visiting. 🙂
Without a woman they cannot remain single,
so spare them and do not wrangle,
about their utterances about the bangle;
you know these men how they always bungle,
and get themselves into a knotty tangle.
Let them be and them don’t mangle or strangle,
or more importantly womanhandle,
for they will not b able to take it in any angle. 🙂
For a moment when I read the title I thought you were going to write about the deodarant/body spray ads which tries to fool men into believing that just a spray would be enough to bring women to jump on them and at the same time insulting women that they are willing to do anything for the sake of the fragrance of the deodrant. How very gross! Sorry I was not able to answer your mail. I am a little better now and I just resumed office today.
That’s quite a bit of ‘ngles’ 😆
Tell me about it, the Axe ad I mean. If one starts talking about it, the retort is that ads aim to catch your attention any which way, even a negative way. Aaaargh. I feel that is one of the dumbest ads I have seen. I have been meaning to write on the likes of them. May be I will 🙂
Bang on, Shail! Agree with all that you’ve said here. I take strong offence to Anupam Kher’s comment which clearly demeans and degrades women. The problem is, like hitchy pointed out, that we dont even realize when certain things creep into your life, be it a proverb or a belief or habit or anything. We grow up listening to them and instead of questioning the prejudices attached to them, we just go with the flow and practice them. And if at all we do question them, like when you felt the need to question those lines from jnanapana, our doubts are brushed aside with no valid reasoning:( I just hope today’s generation and the ones coming after are more vociferous in questioning these prejudices and stereotypes than blindly following them and parents and elders are wise and sensible enough to answer them in the most reasonable manner rather than hiding behind excuses or brushing them aside.
True. Some of the usages are so ingrained in us that we fail to see them until someone points it out. But to brush it off as insignificant and even justifying it makes Kher’s response unacceptable to me.
Many of what is in the scriptures are interpretations of different people down the ages. Moreover, we don’t live in the same conditions, so why should we cling to them? People accept all the latest gadgets with so much ease, but are not prepared to give up outdated and baseless concepts.
@Prats – Equality does not mean sameness, otherwise may be all the races should be called Caucasians, aren’t we all equal?
I find it amusing and depressing how equality is interpreted/misintepreted.
Its just a saying …. and originated in the times when women were house makers and men bread winners…the roles were clearly remarked. One doesn’t have to take literal meaning and twist the context. Look at the larger picture – do you really think he meant to insult women? To me it looks just that he wanted to say that the ministers ought to act and not just sit back as if nothing had happened.
When we say tera Chand sa chehra, is it insulting? Remember Chand mein bhi daag hai:)…. C’mon..It is just a metaphor; so is the line that Mr Kher used. We ought not to read more than what is there.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest and thank you for your comment, with which I disagree.
There is nothing like ‘JUST a saying’! Sayings are meant to convey something and what this particular one conveys is that being a women is shameful. First society assigns roles/dress codes to women and then the same society runs them down by using them as reference to insult men. How funny!
Ohh yes, I know, the women are then supposed to take it all as ‘JUST a saying’! Well, there are a few who refuse to do so, because they can actually think and ‘see’ the bigger picture: such sayings are silently re-enforcing the supposed insignificance of what women do and perpetuating the secondary role of the existence of women, to all who are part of society.
If you read the last para again, you will find the answer to your query ‘do you really think he meant to insult women’. So I will not go there. Arising from that, I would like to point out this: what Kher INTENDED and what his words actually MEANT and CONVEYS are two entirely different things.
You yourself in your comment have said what Kher wanted to say without referring to women in a demeaning manner. Why shouldn’t Kher (or anyone else for that matter) do that too? Why opt for telling it through such ‘JUST a sayings’ that show women in poor light?
It is laughable that you think that references such as ‘Chand sa chehra’ used in literature and the insults demeaning women used freely by the junta are comparable to each other. Excuse me, when you tell someone “chand sa chehra” you are supposedly complimenting that person, in spite of the chand having daag in it. But when you tell a man ‘jaake choodi pehenke baith’ in no way imaginable can you say that there is anything complementary in it to women or the men against whom it is used. Come on.
I disagree with you. We OUGHT to read more into Kher’s statement, especially in the light of what he said later.
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry about spelling…read DE-marked instead of remarked
Absolutely, Shail, they are certainly most insulting to women. And our scriptures too are replete with such innuendoes. It is quite disgusting, really.
@Writerzblock, I understand which scriptures you refer to when you say that! I was appalled to see that too but a learned human being I met, proved to me that those scriptures have been tampered with. There are translations and adlib depending on which ruler ruled India and how they wanted the society to behave. Try to get hold of some unabridged pure original content of those scriptures, though you’d have to know Sanskrit for that.
Yes, they are full of such and are gleefully quoted by all and sundry to put women in their place. 😦
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This shows the true character of Anupam Kher. And what on the earth does self-styled activist mean?
The self-styled activist bit was a cheap response from Kher though I am wondering too what exactly activism, self styled or otherwise has to do with the criticism raised against what he said.
BTW, welcome to Shail’s Nest.
I have been wondering the exact same thing for a long time now. I hate it when guys make fun of another guy when he cries. In school, if a girl slaps a guy…everyone would boo and say, “oye! ladki se pit gaya”. Not “oye, xyz ne abc ko peet diya.” The male ego…men always need that satisfaction…always trying to prove they are stronger and more powerful.
Absolutely love the post!! Thanks for writing it and raising an important issue.
Welcome to Shail’s Nest. The scenes you outline sound so familiar. I always wonder why the satisfaction men look for should come at the cost of demeaning women. It is almost childish, the pleasure that most of them seem to get from putting down women. (I know someone is sure to come up with a theory in answer to that!)
Thank you 🙂
Congrats and well deserved
Thank you Ritu 🙂
Psych Babbler said:
While I’m not well-versed with most proverbs, I do agree with your point. It’s similar to when young boys cry, they get told off for being “a girl”. And most times, it the parents saying that! In what world does that make sense? Is that putting down the boy’s mother, grandmother, sister and other women in the family?? It’s ridiculous…
Well, when anyone tried telling that to MY son, I put them in their place in no uncertain terms 🙂 If you don’t want your child to cry, want them to be brave, teach them to overcome their fears. Why should girls come into the picture at all when a boy cries?
I agree Shail.Why the demeaning language is required in the first place is beyond me.And to try & justify it when it’s pointed out is worse.
I felt so too Rajni.
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I don’t see how he insluted women saying what he said? He just said that if a Minister cannot venture out to the accident site then he should sit at home, become a house wife, ‘coz he is not willing to work outside. That does not mean that he thinks being a house wife or a woman is a bad thing!! This is all in the women’s mind, they take everything as an insult and have become over defensive. I am sorry, but I am with Anupam Kher on this!!!
So you think Anupam Kher was only telling the Minister to go home and sit there, because he had not done his job? Hmmm… Well, now, let me ask you one thing. If that was what Anupam Kher meant, WHY did he not simply say:
“Hey you no-good Minister. You are not doing your job. Go and sit at home, useless fellow!”
It means the same thing isn’t it?? And there was no need to drag women into it either. , let me see, if he was particular about emphasizing this ‘sitting home” thing, he could also have said,
“Hey Minister. If you can’t do your job, go and sit at home like OLD MEN, or RETIRED FPENSIONERS!” They too stay at home, right??
But that’s not how he said it and society too never says it this way. They want to compare useless men to women instead. Don’t you think there must be a reason why we NEVER hear people saying it the way I suggested above, but only ones like ‘Go sit at home LIKE A WOMAN’??! If you are able to understand THAT reason, perhaps you MIGHT understand what I have blogged about here. Perhaps…
Btw, please correct a misconception you seem to have: A homemaker ventures outside the home a lot, to buy vegetables, fish, groceries, to drop children to school, to buy medicines, to the bank, to pay bills in addition to doing the work at home. So the question again begs to be asked: why the hell should a Minister who fails to do something be compared to homemakers??
Btw, welcome to Shail’s Nest and thank you for stopping by to tell me whose side you are on. As you already know, I am on Taslima Nasreen’s side 🙂 Cheers.
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Ankita Anand said:
A much-needed post.
Thank you 🙂
Indian Homemaker said:
Congratulations 🙂 This post in one of the winners of ‘Tejaswee Rao Blogging Awards – 2011’ (TRBA 2011). We would like to create an ebook with all the winning entries in 47 categories on Feminism and Gender Issues in India (and one category on Animals Rights). Please do let us know if you are fine with your winning post/s being included in this ebook. ( Please click here to let us know).
Thank you IHM 🙂
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simple girl said:
So true shail.. Totally agree with the post.. This hurling of abuses shaming the women in the life of the men, so disgusting… On a side note demeaning women is a norm and so disgusting.. I remember one incident, there was this trekking route to a peak in the eastern himalayas.. as days went by the route became easier than before, easy to traverse, more comfortable and food and shelter being easily available in the halts on the way. So it was also possible for non trekkers or families(with grown up children) or first time trekkers to trek that route comfortably.. What was shocking was that I heard an experienced trekker(male) in our acquaintance circle describing it as a ladies trek as it had become easy and was not that difficult as before hence not challenging enough to be done by a man.. I mean seriously .. I though voiced my opinion about his gender biased views and found him fumbling with no apparent excuse to give but nonetheless was horrified to hear such demeaning things being said about women as I was still in school then…
That’s shocking. people make remarks thoughtlessly and fumble when caught out.
I’ve always been livid at the ‘son of a bitch’ thing. Whatever the ‘son’ does is because of the ‘bitch’? Give me a break, please!
And it is not an Indian thing, you’ll realize when you think of all the swear words. Is it inborn , I wonder sometimes. Can see it at home when son has started on these generalizations. I know he must be picking it up from his friends, and he gets it back at home. The only thing we can do is to change the attitude of our sons and teach our daughters to not take it lightly and give it back with twice the force.
Reblogged this on Crazy Girl In A Crazy World and commented:
Amazingly well said and a must read!
Very well said. It’s something that has always bothered me aswell. We had a poem called “kanakam moolam kamini moolam kalaham palavidhamulakil sulabhil” that translate to say that women and gold cause a lot of fights in this world and this was in reference to the mahabharatha and ramayana blaming both Draupadi and Sita for the wars that followed. Its atrocious, and it left me slightly disturbed for awhile as no one else seemed to find this wrong in class.
We need to stop teaching kids such misogynistic things so that they don’t end up saying things like Anupam Kher
Very well said u all but I think only 10% people are changed in India now in my daily life I am observing that men is humiliating women actually u don’t believe my engg college lecturer says why should I teach u a age Jake chapati banani h : how ridiculous he is very uneducated education is not like u should have degree then u are educated education is about or thinksing that is how u think to each other he is pada likha gawar . the thing is that I could argue but my marks was on his hand .after 300 year also India never going to be change