The New Face of Indian Feminism

The new face of Indian feminism, and whole lot of crabs:

Ah, the prude me! If only I had the guts to substitute the word face with something with more, umm, oomph factor, I guess I’d have made the cut (into the real liberal league, or the RLL for short). I should start kicking myself, and learn to be more liberal (or more real liberal). Bear with me. Bear with me, as you’ve been bearing with me all these days/months/years, the way you bear with any other megalomaniac dimwit (if you’re a first timer, go to paragraph no 31 directly). This time, I’ve an excuse. I’m writing after a long time (unless you count book review as writing). Yes, at times, the anti-constipation medicines might be a little too effective for comfort. So, for the third time, bear with me. I’ll come to the point, later, rather than sooner. Oh hell with it. I’ll come to it anyway. What’s sooner or later between friends?

Yes, I’ve come down from the pedestal already, as some of my regular readers (actually one, unless I count myself), would say (IW, you’re still reading, aren’t you?). I mean, why oh why, am I chewing on a subject that deserves its own share of ignoring? The reason, as I already told you, is this: something is better than nothing. I mean, I’m thirty one plus (not twenty-something, unless 11 counts as something), not getting any younger, definitely not getting any smarter, more definitely not getting any creative (I contemplated if I should add more before creative, but then backed off). My writing career is in the middle of nowhere, since the day I started. Mind you, it hasn’t moved left or right, up or down. It’s right in the middle of nowhere, all along. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that is where it’s gonna stay. So what was I doing on the pedestal anyways? Smart question. But then, I’ve come down, haven’t I? OK, OK! I promised I’ll get to the point.

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we, for a change? Let me share all that I learned in the last two hours (I hope my manager, who has the feed of this blog in his reader, and even reads it sometimes, isn’t reading this. He thinks I’m writing a design paper. There! I’ve confessed! Ummm. Sorry, I shouldn’t be jumping the gun). So first thing I learned is: there is a blogger called eM. Damn this new Firefox feature of online spell check. It says eM is a misspelling. I mean, do these guy have any sense of humor? Just because you spell something in reverse doesn’t make it a misspelling! Doesn’t make you ulta either. There! Another red line under ulta. Okay, honest now, I’ll keep it straight. Not that straight, dear. I mean, of course I’m straight. But as an aspiring member of the RLL, I don’t want anyone to think that I meant straight as a value-judgment. The last thing I need is being called homophobic!

So anyways, I was telling you about eM. She has a blog. What did you say? Everyone has a blog these days. Thanks for educating me. But eM has an ubercool blog: The Compulsive Confessor. It deals with: “partying, smoking and binge drinking, along with candid musings about sexual techniques and escapades” according to Telegraph (UK) feature. Oye, where are you going? I haven’t even finished! Good thing I didn’t give you the url right away. So anyways, Telegraph (UK) did a story on her. And what’s more, the story divulged that Penguin India has commissioned her to write a semi-autobiographical book. So far so good. What has it got to do with feminism, you ask? Well you tell me. I wish I knew! Who’s saying anything about feminism?

Oh you mean the title. Sorry. Fooled ya! Ha. Just kidding. I’ll get to that. (No wonder no one takes me seriously).

On Sepia Mutiny — the greatest thing to have happened to Indian Blogdom since Margaret Thatcher (what? what has she got to do with Indian blogdom? I’ve no clue. It’s the first name that came to my mind. It seemed as good as any) — Amardeep did his take on the article, and then Indian feminism was born. Err. Okay, not really. Again, blame it on those anti-blogstipation medication thanks to Amway. I’d have sued Amway, but then my brother will be implicated too. (What I’ve no brother? How did you know? Is there no privacy on net, dammit?)

So we had two of the most famous Indian Women Bloggers (or so I’ve heard) taking up the fight against the patriarchy that was pulling crabs down, and pants up.

What’s wrong with compulsive confessing, Sakshi asked. Well, absolutely nothing, I agree. I mean, just because it’s compulsive doesn’t mean there is something wrong!

Wonder why our society’s philosophy on empowerment starts at providing women with decent education and then abruptly ends when she starts expressing her individuality.

Indeed! With you all the way.

Similarly, many think eM writes solely to attract attention and gain that temporary hype (and therefore she ended up getting a book deal) because it’s difficult for them to comprehend the fact that an Indian woman can also think, write, discuss and not be apprehensive about her intimate thoughts on a public platform

Absolutely. Indian Women rock! Err. I didn’t mean… you know what I didn’t mean.

On the other hand if her writings were preaching the sati-savitri qualities in desi-women, the joys of motherhood, the precious value of an intact hymen – she would be applauded for her thoughts, no matter how farce they maybe in actuality.

There you lost me, Sakshi. Intact hymen? Are there bloggers writing about intact hymen? Where are they? Why are they hiding? I mean, if they’re being applauded, as you contend, surely I should have heard about them. But then, I’m a little hard on hearing, so sorry for asking again. Where are they? I so love blogs about intact hymen.

The only question I have is, where in the blog did Sepia Mutiny/Amardeep actually said she should not express her individuality, or take off her blog/not write a book/do whatever? But asking that question might bar me from RLL. So for the record, I never asked it.

Melody highlighted the Indian Crab mentality with a nice old story. Of course she was being a little judgmental of the crabs but then I’m not a PETA activist, so I guess crabs will have to deal with the damage to their self-esteem on their own. (Comment to the crabs:) Sorry guys. I like you, but on my dish. Lightly spiced, and cooked well. Your self-esteem is, frankly, not my problem. (End of comment to the crabs). Besides, she didn’t really give the crabs a benefit of doubt. Maybe they are pulling the other crab down, because they:

1. Think he might be killed if he goes out, in the unknown world.
2. Like him so much that they don’t want him to go away.
3. They are actually trying to push him up, but are just plain incompetent.
4. It’s not a he crab, but a she crab. And the he crabs surely don’t want to let a her go.

(Note: I’ve implied that the pulling crabs are all male. After all, women crabs cannot be that insensitive!)

But I get the point. Postmodernism is not on offer for the crabs (although crabs are on offer for the postmodernists! What a win-win). Especially not for the Indian crabs. There I almost sound like a PETA activist now (except for that insensitive comment about the dish. But then I really like crabs, when dished out that way). I’ve heard PETA members have a preferential queue in RLL. But then we aren’t reading for any ulterior motives, and just taking the things on face (errr! there again, I lost my second chance. the prude me) value.

According to Melody, its a “very very sad” thing to “diss”(miss?) another blogger, a fellow Indian blogger at that, a fellow Indian Female blogger at at that that (this last I presumed), especially by a group of “desi bloggers”. Doesn’t she get it? There are Indian bloggers, and there are Desi bloggers. Surely, you can’t expect one group to root for the other! But then, I’m with you Melody. We must not ever dismiss anything Indian. Even Shobha De. There, I’m against Sakshi, even. She says Shobha De is a hypocrite! How could she. I mean, Shobha De is an Indian Writer for god’s sake. And an Indian women writer at that. And an Indian women writer who wrote about women taking down their pants (or so I’ve heard), and men too, for it takes two to tango, and in those days when you said two, you said one M and one F, how homophobic!) long before there were bloggers writing about women taking down their pants.

I get it. I get it. Why Shobha De is not kitsch, is that she only wrote about other people taking off their pants. Never about she taking off her pants. But it’s a big mistakes. She never wore pants! So come on now. Let’s forgive Shobha De for her alleged hypocrisy. We must root for Indian feminism, in all shapes and forms. Err… I didn’t mean it that way. You know what I didn’t mean, don’t you?

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15 thoughts on “The New Face of Indian Feminism

  1. asuph says:

    iw: you i thought you were durkn when you wrote that commetn. btu nwo thta u r sober, u shd check it out man, eM’s blog i mean. and lol@gangubai.

    atul: whoa, by readership doubled (if i don’t count myself, before and after) :).

    and that last comment: it’s the result of irrelevantisis, a highly contagious disease. but thank for all the praise.

    bilbo: you are educated and liberal. how does the chicken-egg problem matter?

    cheers,
    asuph.

  2. parikrama says:

    Just a minor clarification, I meant “sober” as in fully awake in morning & as opposed to half-asleep the previous night when I read your post & commented. Please don’t damage my image by hinting that I might have been high on liquid stimulants.

    I did check out eM’s blog the next day when I was fully awake.. and I must say my judgement isn’t that bad when I am half-asleep. The content of her blog & her writing style is still yawwn inducing. Perhaps if I was a pimply teen in the age group of 16 to 20, I might have found her writing interesting & titilating. But not now.. not in this day & age.

  3. asuph says:

    iw: i’m sorry for my careless comments. i didn’t mean to damage your image. i should have known what you meant by sober. please accept my sincere apologies.

    and what’s happening to you man!

    aria: elaborate, will you? you’ll at least do it with more style.

    cheers,
    asuph

  4. parikrama says:

    >> please accept my sincere apologies.

    *rubbing eyes in disbelief* I never thought i would live to see this day. You are getting old alright.

    As for your question about what’s happening to me ? well I will come back to you on that once I have a definite answer myself 🙂

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