Friday, June 30, 2006

Ahem! This way, please

A friend mentioned that my name was entrenched in the midst of a pitted blog-war over at Great Bong's. I followed the thread (which, of course, in a different metaphorical thread of thought, led me to feel slightly disgruntled because, hey, if you're talking about me and my views, come do it on my blog, will you? This whole experience felt like eavesdropping outside a stranger's drawing-room where the conversation is all about me) with part-horrified fascination and part-bewildered amusement.... I mean, gosh! 'Intense hatred'?

Surely, surely not.

I would not have reacted except for that phrase. Hatred disturbs me. Hate is a strong word; I use it advisedly.

But let me clarify a few things here (and let this also serve as a response to those who did leave me comments, whether in agreement or not) with reference to my last post:

Okay, I'll concede that women too live trapped in women's bodies, as much as men in men's bodies. However, in general, women are not given to making assertions about men being the weaker sex. What's more, we are not permitted to make decisions based on such assertions. Hence, the reference to logic and rationale. What I was trying to say was - 'don't talk about the abilities and limitations of a woman when you don't know what it means to be one'.

The bit about women being more qualified to be in/lead armies, was based on an assumption made in the previous paragraph. There was an 'if' there, without which it wasn't complete. That 'if' was ignored and the whole sentence made non-contextual, and thereby, unfair. Which, to me, seems a little bit unfair.


Am I a female chauvinist?

Let me tell you something. It is said that all battles are finally fought for jar, joru, jameen. Gold, women, land. All three being things that are valuable. And possess-able.

Why?

Because women are the source of the most basic of all resources - human resource. And so, they had to be possessed. Controlled.

I believe that right through the history of mankind (and I use the term 'mankind' instead of womankind, with a careful pause for thought, because history in general has been written by men, for men), there has been an ongoing battle of the sexes. This is not a battle for a metaphorical supremacy. This is a battle for real power.

I don't like such battles. I think 'make love, not war' is a very good motto. But the battle-lines were drawn long before and the battle is being well and truly fought, like it or not. Sometimes, it was verbal, or artistic, fought through words and images. Most often, it was fought on terra firma. A fight for social control.

There were times when women were in control of human civilisation. Most societies have had some sort of matriarchal past. There was a time when women controlled land/property. And property is one of the main sources of power. Material/money/resource power.
The other major source of power was spiritual, which translates into religious, in practical terms. We all know that before the gods came, there were the goddesses. All humanity began with worshipping the earth-mother: the source of all life.

Which leaves one source of power - armed collectives - or the army. If we are to trust history, most armies (with the exception of records about tribes like the Amazons) were male.

We do not know, at what point of history men took up the sword/the gun/the missile. It might have begun as tribe/clan-wars. It might have been that women fought alongside. I don't know. Maybe it was that one group decided, maybe both did. Maybe women stayed away from war at first, in the mistaken belief that it was better for self/child-preservation. Maybe the men discovered soon enough, as was inevitable, that with a weapon in your hand, you become even more powerful than nature intended you to be.... who knows how it happened. But it did.

Like I've said before, swords and guns are dangerous things. Groups of people with arms are dangerous things. When you arm only one group, you make the world a more dangerous place for the other group. When you restrict weapons (and most countries do restrict weapons to the police and the armed forces) and the training required to use weapons to only one group, you automatically disempower and disarm the other group. When you say 'only men will fight', you automatically say 'women will not fight', which soon becomes 'women cannot fight'.... which becomes a belief. And widespread beliefs are often mistaken for facts.

Between the battle of the sexes, that leaves women staring into the muzzles of guns. Always. Never holding the gun. Not allowed to.

As long as society stayed matriarchal and matrilinear, and God didn't become a single HE, the balance of power was manageable. But as things stand, and have stood for centuries, the balance of power is tilted against women. Patriarchal systems ensured that women have control over nothing - not religion, not property, not arms-and-ammunition.

Do I want the balance of power to shift?

Yes, indeed. Equality is not even debatable. Like independence, it is our birthright. If it is not given, we will take it. But if it is a choice between male domination and female domination, I want the latter.

Does that make me a female chauvinist sow? (shrug-shrug) Please feel free to call me a sow. If it pleases you, you can even append 'virulent' and 'sophomoric' (Is that a bad word? Explain yourself, please) as adjectives.

But 'Misandrist'?

No, I do not hate men. I do NOT want to rid the world of all men. There are some men I love. I trust them with my life and I would give my life for them. But, there is not one man on earth who can persuade me that women cannot do X or Y task because they're not good enough.

Also, I've lived long enough in a male-dominated world. I'd like to live at least some of it in a woman's world and see if I don't prefer that instead, thank you very much. Does that spell misandrist? If it does... guess what I'm thinking?

On an entirely different note, I find it strange that a discussion about armies and women should lead to a generic discussion on feminism and that should prompt people to start mentioning lesbians and dildos.

Why?

Misogynists are simply called misogynists. Nobody refers to them as homosexual men running about with penis pumps. Why do feminists attract the lesbian-dildo analogy?

You guys wants to think about that?



PS - Did anybody notice that certain people slip in 'nutty' along with 'feminists' completely unselfconsciously. As if it were the most natural combination of words possible?

And this one is for the mirthful Mental Baba - http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/conflict_disasters/downloads/bn_tsunami_women.pdf

PPS - Aravind said, elsewhere, that he would never come back here. Will somebody please communicate to him that I do NOT make gentlemen get up for me in buses or trains, even if it is a seat reserved for Ladies? On the contrary, when I see elderly men, I offer my seat to them - and they gratefully accept. I have also seen several instances where men occupy the handicapped/eldery seat and do not get up when a handicapped or elderly person enters the bus. It was the women who vacated their seats and offered them to the person on crutches, each time.

45 comments:

Erimentha said...

Way to go, Annie! I'm a first-time commenter but have been a 'lurker' much longer. I found GreatBong's post on DesiPundit, and it made me sick but I didn't know why. Thanks for saying what I was feeling!

Dilip D'Souza said...

Well Annie. What do I say except that I hope you get some people to think. I couldn't manage it.

froginthewell said...

certain people slip in 'nutty' along with 'feminists' completely unselfconsciously. As if it were the most natural combination of words possible?

I was fully self-conscious. And your sentence "As if..." is a completely random assertion, as no correlation was implied between someone being a feminist and someone being nutty. I do think feminists who are not nutty treat men and women equally.

froginthewell said...

On second thoughts your "As if..." is not a completely random assertion as my usage doesn't make it clear whether I imply it with or without correlation. But let me clarify that I don't ( and didn't ) suggest any correlation.

MadHat said...

I quote --

Radical feminism *does* mean "getting to the root of things" and yes, radical
feminism *is* about seeing male supremacy as the "root problem,lying behind
oppression by race and class" (lying behind oppression of *women* !!)
Radical feminists have pinpointed, among other things, the family as a
primary site of women's oppression and many radical feminists (or radical
lesbians in France) extend this analysis to the institution of
heterosexuality.
Radical feminists also look at ways in which the domination
of women =AD including violence against women (domination being in any case a
violent phenomenon on some level, whether physical or psychological) =AD is
culturally coded, through such things as advertising and pornography,
certainly, but also through religion, for example, and through the
construction of "cultural identity". Many radical feminists focus on "overt"
physical violence against women (e.g. rape, prostitution etc), but many of us
(myself included) focus on things like "culture", "nation", "religion", and
on racism and classism as *gendered*, and not "separate" from male domination
of women.

What distinguishes radical feminism from other expressions of feminism is
then
a) getting to the root of the problem and understanding women's oppression as
not just limited to things like wage inequality or how many women there are
in parliament
b) what might be called a "holistic" approach, i.e. seeing the different
forms of oppression as forming part of a coherent system of domination which
many of us call "male supremacy". Looking at the different ways in which
women are oppressed is not a matter of arithmetic (this oppression plus that
oppression etc).
c) positing that the "universal' category of "women" *is* possible, in that,
while diversity and the differences in the ways we experience oppression are
important, there are many many commonalities to women's experiences and
women's political choices.
d) refusal of libertarian arguments for "free expression" as such arguments
are usually a defence of the "right" of some to exploit others and the
"right" for individuals to 'sell themselves' into such exploitation
e) refusal of "cultural relativist" or "group rights" arguments that usually
give tacit or even overt support to various forms of oppression of women in
the name of "national" or "cultural" or "religious" identity.
f) seeing oppression, and women's "identity", as a social and not a
biological problem.
Bronwyn Winter
bronwyn.winter@french.usyd.edu.au


Source

I hope this answers your question...

MadHat said...

One might argue that the above quote talks about a small group of feminists and that there are other branches which do not think so. But radical feminism is the most visible as it is one which is most easy to attack by anti-feminists...

MadHat said...

btw, thank you for that tsunami report.

and sorry for spamming...

Joy Forever said...

It's nice to know that you leave your seat for elderly gentlemen. It's something that I have seen some other women doing in Kolkata. But it's the reaction that should be. Nothing great about it. Let's consider old and handicapped people as an exception and keep them outside this debate.
But I have NEVER seen a young and fit man sitting in a ladies seat while a woman is standing. However, I've often come across the opposite scenario. That's where my objection lies. Half of the seats have been given to you and half are ours. If we aren't allowed to sit on your half while you are standing, then you shouldn't sit on our half while we are standing.

bewra kekra said...

What everyone going on and on about equality often forgets -

Equality can *never* mean equality in ability. That is an impossibilty. No two people (notice I say people) can ever be equally able.

What is important though is equality in rights, in oppurtunities, in responsibilites. That last is something that most people forget too easily.

Deep said...

Well I have seen lots of men...and women...offer their seats to the elderly/handicapped in public transport. I don't think its a man-woman issue at all, it depends totally on individual sensibilities - beats me why someone would like to look at something like this with feminist glasses on.

Also, war being fought for women "because women are the source of the most basic of all resources - human resource." what is this supposed to mean?? Little too simplistic I feel. Much like "We all know that before the gods came, there were the goddesses. All humanity began with worshipping the earth-mother: the source of all life" is a rather simplistic interpretation of mythology.

Again, as I...and many others...have mentioned in Greatbong's commentspace as well, nobody is arguing the basic premise of what you're saying (equality- as in equal opportunities-between genders),its just that something in teh tone of your posts doesn't sound very 'equal'.
And if I may add, you're right in conceding that "women too live trapped in women's bodies, as much as men in men's bodies": 'nutty feminists', much like MCPs, prove just why.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that wars between modern nation states occur because of "Jorus". While possibly true in the times of Rani Padmini, Helen of Troy - does that hold true today ?

Sudeep

wise donkey said...

The UN had found that women do two-thirds of the world’s work,
while receiving less than 5% of its income,
and owning less than 1% of all assets.
The United Nations further calculated that if women’s work were counted worldwide, their unpaid labor would be worth $11 trillion a year.

there is no need to idolise women or demonise women, treating them as humans would be fine, and whats the big problem with that?

wise donkey said...

"But if it is a choice between male domination and female domination, I want the latter."

just because its women dominated wouldnt automatically mean everything would be great for all the women in the world.

because even though its a men dominated world, its not great for all men, there are concepts of race,caste,class etc..

even if its utopian, i would say neither is preferable, for me..

jaygee said...

Woman! You can't help yourself.. can you? Why do viewpoints mean.. convincing unconvincable individuals of it?? Though people do think controversy is good for society but sometimes just let it go.... :)

kuffir said...

'Yes, indeed. Equality is not even debatable.'

amen.

Gaurav said...

As I wrote even on greatbong's post, I didn't find your post even remotely misandrist or hypocritical. This is a great follow-up post. And the restrained tone, even in face of the nature of some comments, is laudable.

You raise a very valid question about why some folks introduce lesbianism into the picture when feminism is talked about. My theory is, that feminism being a relatively new concept is still viewed very suspiciously, and very rarely understood. People find it difficult to debate the saner and more logical voices amongst feminists. So they choose the easier strawman of misandrist, we-dont-need-men extremism to tear down.

gaddeswarup said...

It is possible that this is mentioned before. Just finished reading an old book "The Red Queen" by Matt Ridley (1993). I felt that a lot of sensible things are in the book (the author wrote as if he expected to be attacked by some groups), often backed by resarch up to that time. Just one of the statements from the book, page 263. " The evidence suggests that women are on average slightly better than men at running countries. The evidence supports the feminist assertion that men can only envy the female touches they bring to such jobs-intution, character judgement, lack of self-worship. Since the bane of all organizations, whether they are companies, charities, or government, is that they reward cunning ambition rather than ability (the people who are good at getting to the top are not necessarily who are best at doing the job) and since men are more endowed with such ambition than women, it is absolutely right that promotion should be biased in favour of women- not to redress prejudice but to redress human nature". There are such frank passages through out the book and many women and men may not like the book. But the above quotation and many other statements in the book tally with my observations.

Anonymous said...

Female Domination???

Women throughout the world have the option of both choosing a career and also staying at home... do men have that option?

How many of you radical Feminazis are ready to accept a Home Maker husband?

How many of you radical Feminazis are ready to take a man who has poor or low income as husband and support him???

And Radical Feminazis are talking about oppression of Women in Family... pray what? There is no Family System in any of the other mammalian species. The male of the species and female of species have intercourse and it is left to the females to raise kids.

It is only in Homo Sapiens that Male of the species are tied to family and burdened to support women and their kids ...

Women get months and months of maternity leave while men get nothing.

I for one fully agree that Family System and marriage is oppressive... not for women, but for men. Let us return to what other species are doing. Do away with family and marriage. Let Women earn their own incomes and support their own kids. Let Women also be given choice for whether they need to have kids.

The world will be better off without lazy stupid homemakers of any kind.

Anonymous said...

Those radical femiNazis, who think that women are more caring, humane ,and ethical than men, read this:

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1038828

Women can be as much cruel, despotic and bad as men, and women can excel men in abusing young girl children

Strawman said...

The Strawman above writes: "My theory is, that feminism being a relatively new concept is still viewed very suspiciously, and very rarely understood."

So feminism is a new concept! Ha! What education the strawman spreads in the blogosphere, by and by :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

Note also Strawman's judgemental tone, as if he was the High Council's Chief Judge reading it out, passing a judgement in favour of Annie.

ROTFL!

wise donkey said...

this is to the annon 11.04 and 12.30
there was a time when i was earning and my husband a homemaker and sometimes we both earn and sometimes i am hte homemaker.
but a pity i am not a "radical feminist"..

btw have ever questioned a MCP who has a homemaker spouse, why the homemaker has a 24 x7 job, with no weekend offs , no retirement benefits . have you ever told a guy, after retirement, perhaps you should become a part time homemaker?

///slash\\\ said...

so i take it you weren't exactly being satirical(for want of a better word) in your previous post???

Sreekumar said...

Hi Annie,
New to your blog and will keep visiting.
Just a comment though, I think that female or male domination would be equally bad. Just as I dont think the women have inferior ability to men, I also dont think that women will be kinder and create a more just society if they dominated.

I think the reason for male dominace is that the male is the assertive one, and taught to be one too, and, usually those are the ones that dominate.

Anonymous said...

To those Radical Feminists, questions again:

1. All those who claim that Homemaker job is a 24*7 job please tell, which homemaker is working all 24 hours?

Yes it is a 7 day job because, home makers dont have more than 4-5 hours of real work... rest of time is spent on chatting, gossipping and TV Watching.

2.Homemaker job has no benefits? A job of homemaker is just cooking,cleaning and raising kids and the homemaker gets to claim 50% of the spouse income... why is that not considered?

3.And more important, most homemakers, espically elite employ maidservants and cooks and do no more than 3 hours of work.

4. Next important thing, Homemakers are not to be compared with regular employees... they have no job assessment, appraisal, nothing.. they get to claim half of their spouse's income in any situation. And if they have a problem with spouse, divorce laws do the job of getting the same.

5. Given this, why dont women who complain, espically elite rich women, marry unemployed males who would be wiling to cook and take care of kids?

Society is giving the option of women to be homemaker or working woman or both, but men are denied. Even in the enlightened US/West Europe, almost no women are interested in taking homemaker husbands , why?


To conclude, Homemaker is not a regular job in any sense. It is not a proper occupation in the sense that a homemaker woman's work is definitely less valuable than the work done by a regular employee (male or female)working in an organization.

Anonymous said...

Society is cruel to Men in its own ways... something feminists refuse to acknowledge.

It is not that if you are born as a male, life is sweet n sexy and full of fun... being man does not mean that you have beer and butterchicken and sleep every weekend with some new partner.

Our current social system and institutions (including and espically marriage and parenting) are structured to put immense pressure on men to perform and earn like a machine, or else the system throws away the guy as a social reject.

This is not the case with Women (what i said is generally true of all societies across the planet, from developed scandinavian nations to the underdeveloped Congo)

- OppressedGuy

Anonymous said...

What radical feminists refuse to acknowledge is that Life is harsh and unfair to men too..

It is not that all men have a nice time living in this planet, it is not that being born as a man is all fun and celebration, it is not that men enjoy lives with beer, butter chicken , and a new partner in bed every weekend.

The current social system (everywhere in this planet) is extremely stressful on men... adult men are expected to compete in a brutal world and become money minting machines... those men who fail to succeed are brutally cast away as rejects.

THis is true of every nation in this world, from developed Scandinavia to backward Congo. Dont forget that men live lesser number of years on average than women.

wise donkey said...

it doesnt require a radical feminist to answer some of the annon questions.

"1. All those who claim that Homemaker job is a 24*7 job please tell, which homemaker is working all 24 hours?"
If the job requires working at any hour, its 24 x 7. I never see the people who spend their office time watching porn, talking with their friends or indulging in any non-productive activities deduct this time from their office hours and say hey i work only 7 hours or 6 and half hours etc..4 hours etc.

"2.Homemaker job has no benefits? A job of homemaker is just cooking,cleaning and raising kids and the homemaker gets to claim 50% of the spouse income... why is that not considered? "
50% in India ? Yeah I can imagine the money being transfered to the bank account every month..Just like the wedding costs are split in half

"3.And more important, most homemakers, espically elite employ maidservants and cooks and do no more than 3 hours of work."
Vice President Sales doesnt go door to door selling. But no one questions why he/she should be paid more than the Sales personnel..

"4. Next important thing, Homemakers are not to be compared with regular employees... they have no job assessment, appraisal, nothing.. they get to claim half of their spouse's income in any situation."
actually job assessment wouldnt be a bad idea, or appraisal. It would be nice if its recognised as a job. Andshow me the application of hte 50% rule.

" And if they have a problem with spouse, divorce laws do the job of getting the same."
no hard assets and no portion of bis investments, provident fund or pension would come to her. Even alimony is at the judge's discretion and based on her husband's income. The law says the husband should take care of the woman's 'reasonable' needs through alimony and/or maintenance after divorce. The problem lies in defining 'reasonable'. The most she could hope for, would be one-fifth of the husband's pre-tax (roughly a third of his post-tax) income as alimony. And you have to Prove the income, Prove the stridhan.
And there was an article in TOI on husbands who skip town and simply avoid alimony. And for some, the reverse alimony is also applicable.
The father is the guardian of the child. When even a child is not her own after divorce, when a divorced woman had to go to Court against the RBI because she wasnt allowed to make a deposit for her own child, in India, Get real.

"5. Given this, why dont women who complain, espically elite rich women, marry unemployed males who would be wiling to cook and take care of kids?"
Ha. As if every earning husband who has an earning wife, thinks, just like we both earn, we both should take care of the home. Does it happen in most of the houses?
And I have seen homes, where the husband might be unemployed and the wife earning, and yet, its the wife who has to take care of the home. No one is forcing the men to earn. Though there is plenty of history of men burning wives for not bringing money from her parents.

"Society is giving the option of women to be homemaker or working woman or both, but men are denied."
Society doesnt deny. Men alwayw have the option. Women took the initiative to earn. And even after writing posts and comments on a male's right to be a homemaker and even after practising what i preach, i dont find many men, yelling hey this is our right.

"Even in the enlightened US/West Europe, almost no women are interested in taking homemaker husbands , why?"
there is a difference between a man who is not employed and a man who wishes to be a homemaker. Homemaker doesnt mean sitting at home watching tv.


"To conclude, Homemaker is not a regular job in any sense. It is not a proper occupation in the sense that a homemaker woman's work is definitely less valuable than the work done by a regular employee (male or female)working in an organization. "
This is from www.salary.com . the typical Stay-at-Home Mom (I made it 0 kids) in the United States would earn the pay shown below for her work
$75,010 National Low
$134,121 National Median $191,983 National High

According to UN Data women account for two thirds of the world's working hours but their share of the world's income was only 10 percent.

As the saying goes, the GDP of the nation goes down when the housekeeper becomes a wife.


"Society is cruel to Men in its own ways... something feminists refuse to acknowledge.
It is not that if you are born as a male, life is sweet n sexy and full of fun... being man does not mean that you have beer and butterchicken and sleep every weekend with some new partner."
Err which feminists implied that.

"Our current social system and institutions (including and espically marriage and parenting) are structured to put immense pressure on men to perform and earn like a machine, or else the system throws away the guy as a social reject."
How many women divorce their husbands because they have stopped earning.? In the over all divorce sceanrio.

"This is not the case with Women (what i said is generally true of all societies across the planet, from developed scandinavian nations to the underdeveloped Congo)"
How many earning women with earning husbands have to take care of the home too?
And how many earning men with earning wives take care of hte home, more than the wives.

"What radical feminists refuse to acknowledge is that Life is harsh and unfair to men too.."
The point is life is harsher for women.

"It is not that all men have a nice time living in this planet, it is not that being born as a man is all fun and celebration, it is not that men enjoy lives with beer, butter chicken , and a new partner in bed every weekend.
The current social system (everywhere in this planet) is extremely stressful on men... adult men are expected to compete in a brutal world and become money minting machines... those men who fail to succeed are brutally cast away as rejects.
THis is true of every nation in this world, from developed Scandinavia to backward Congo. "
Men are welcome to protest for their right to wear skirts, but then its tough for htem because they have viewed the skirt till now with a smirk.

"Dont forget that men live lesser number of years on average than women."
That could be due to their lifestyle habits.
Btw
Marital Rape is still not a crime in India. And women dont have the right to insist on contraception. And an unfortunate big percentage of the HIV+ population are the wives who acquire from their husbands.
Every 5 minutes a woman dies from Childbirth in India.
And thats worse than the rate of Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, and its preventable.
10 million girls have been killed before birth in just 2 decades.
These are not the challenges, men have to face.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
silbil said...

ummm...opressed guys and the weird anonymous...your comment section might be inviting SIF and allied blogs...i would suggest comment moderation not because you want to censor them or anything because they at times send 40 comments in on go...that might be tedious

annie said...

erimentha: you are welcome
dilip: one lives in hope
froginthewell: fully self-conscious? in which case, you need to be a little more conscious about the issue.
madhat: i never described myself as a radical feminist, but people have varying definitions and no, that does not answer my question

annie said...

jaygee: letting go is for hearts, not for minds. :)
wise donkey: many thanks.
joyforever: am not claiming to make life easier for men in general - esp healthy young men who don't need it. and I don't expect men to do much for me. if someone does something for me, male or female, I'm simply grateful.
bewra kekra: you're right. no two leaves are the same.
deep: i'm afraid, i can't simplify it any further.
anonymous1: i was talking about fights/battles/conflict in general. modern wars happen mostly because of jar and jameen. but there is also the whole issue of women (=joru) in this conflict between western/modern societies and islamic countries. food for thought, no?
kuffir: :)
gaurav: thank you. extremists being attacked isn't so much of a problem. taking a radical stand means being prepared for the backlash. however, many of us need the extremists to shake us out of our stupor and to show us what we're blind to. all feminists owe a debt of gratitude, in that respect, to the radicals.
gaddeswarup: thanks. will try and get my hands on the book.
anonymous2: feminazi? how many feminists have actually behaved as the nazis behaved? and yes, i'd be happy to have a homemaker husband. or a man who made lesser than i did. assuming i want that particular man as a husband. 'lazy stupid homemakers'? i agree that the world will be better off without lazy stupid people in general, whatever their vocation. having no homemakers (male/female) will mean having no home, not in the way you recognize home - is that what you want? you might want to do a re-think.
anonymous3: i read the report. exception, not the rule.
strawman: thanks, but come to think of it, feminism is a relatively new concept in india. the vast majority has never heard of the word.
slash: i'm not sure what your point is, but I may have been mildly satirical in a couple of places. so what?
sreekumar: thanks. and that's precisely why we need to re-teach people.
anonymous4: (are you also 2 and 3) wise donkey has wisely answered your questions, better than i could have.
oppressed guy: society is cruel. to both men and women. but society as we know it is also male dominated. that's the funny bit.
silbil: thanks, i just might have to.

PLEASE NOTE:
you anonymous people who have mentioned karan johar in the comment section - please remove that bit from your comments and repost. You may say what you like about me on my blog, you have no right to say anything about Mr Johar, especially because I have not brought him up at all. If you do not remove the offending comments within 12 hours, I will delete them myself.

MadHat said...

@annie: I did not say you were. I was just trying to answer your question as to why feminists are perceived to be lesbians. It is just that there is a faction of vocal feminists who reject heterosexuality and the anti-feminists reduce all feminists to lesbians. It only shows their (anti-feminist's) narrow minded perspective.

anyway, welcome back... :)

MadHat said...

@annie:
however, many of us need the extremists to shake us out of our stupor and to show us what we're blind to. all feminists owe a debt of gratitude, in that respect, to the radicals.

so true...

Shan said...

We have deviated from the original point. The question is not "Are (or should) women be equal to men?" The answer to that is a fairly unequivocal yes. The real question is - Should women be considered equal to men in the armed services? I'm afraid that answer to that is not as simple as Annie wishes it would be. Three retired Chiefs of Army Staff have raised pertinent issues that should be addressed before taking any decisions.

Let's remember that there is idealism on one side and then practicality on the other. It is difficult, for example, to see how women would be able to occupy the same bunkers in remote location with the men in the army without raising the possibilities of significant problems. There is the question of privacy and bonhomie, to say nothing of sexual attraction or tension. These are the (grim) realities, and short of suggesting that there be separate female squadrons/platoons, or separate sleeping and living quarters for women at all deputation areas, there are no immediate and obvious solutions.

Even the US does not allow female officers in many war situations and even in a system with as many checks and balances as the US, there are reports of sexual harassment and rape in the cadet training schools and of illegal "fraternising" on the front.

It is easy to say, as a feminist and idealist, that women should be accorded the same status as men in the army. But saying this without a proper practical rationale and a solution merely make pronouncements like these juvenile exercises in ideological masturbation - the kind we used to do at college after lit crit class.

The criticism in Greatbong's blog degenerated and went into various tracks, but the thrust of the objective posters was that in her endeavour to rebut someone else's blogpost, Annie's response, instead of being measured and clinically dismissive, degenerated into a misandryst rant. And I'm afraid no Dilip D'souza or follow up post by Anne can cover that fact up. Not any more.

wise donkey said...

cant help wondering.

on sexual tensions : so ww
hat about gay men..

on reported instances of rape : solution women shouldnt be in army. after all its their fault for tempting the men, and these soldiers who rape their combrades are going to do such a fab job in the enemy territory..these soldiers are of course more important then women who want to fight for the country.

and oh there are rapes in the society..
perhaps we should just eliminate the women

Dilip D'Souza said...

objective posters

What was that again?

annie said...

right, so the anonymous offensive comments will have to be deleted. much as i abhor having to censor anyone - slander, i will not have, here.

annie said...

madhat: thanks for the clarification. i understand now.
shan: wise donkey's said some of what i was thinking. but really, if women are in combat zones, fighting enemy fire, i doubt that the first thing on their minds will be the availability of separate bunkers etc. not unless they have reason to fear their own fellow-soldiers. and if they do, guess who we don't need?

MadHat said...

Between the battle of the sexes, that leaves women staring into the muzzles of guns.

Rabin said...

In an unrelated tangent I haveta point out a minor technicality that the female counterpart to a male chauvinist pig is a female chauvinist pig (not a sow, since a sow is a female pig and a boar is a male pig but they all are pigs nevertheless, quite literally too).

Zero said...

I am commenting here pretty late and anyway it's pompous of me to expect you to reply to my question.

It was the women who vacated their seats and offered them to the person on crutches, each time.

I wonder why you chose to add this to your response. Doesn't it, sort of, defeat the purpose of your post? And isn't that generalization? (I don't even claim that I will always offer a seat just because I don't know!)

annie said...

madhat: thanks for the link
rabin: thanks for the correction. pig, in that case.
zero: not sure what you assume the purpose of my post was, but I was not generalizing. i was referring to my personal experience, in response to the allegation that somebody else had made - that i'm the sort of woman who makes men give up seats in buses etc. the whole post was a response to a response, really

Zero said...

Annie,
Well, I thought the purpose was to say that you weren't being unfair to men. No further assumptions.
And I was just wondering why you didn't leave it by telling the concerned person that you never do so (even if it's reserved for ladies or whatever).
Just an inconsequential question by a curious person! :)

Anonymous said...

I always thought seats were reserved for women so that the men did not misbehave with them. You know, men arent allowed in womens bogies in trains because they always grope and misbehave with women. Reserving seats do not solve the entire problem, but I dont think women need to get defensive about it.

R

Aparna said...

hi Annie, this is the first time I am commenting, though I do read your posts. I got onto this post a little late, and found so many comments before mine.
Just wanted to say, it was a good move to write a follow-up post.
I would have responded to a lot of anonymous comments here, but I suppose you and the wise donkey is doing a good job anyway, so keep it up.

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