Sunday, September 08, 2013

Bruised Goddess


This post is late in coming, but here it does, inspired by a facebook update, that (ironically) evoked in me, ideas radically opposed to those it intended to.


The goddess was bruised, of course by the brutalization of the girl in Delhi in December last year and another in Bombay recently.

But she was bruised more severely and much earlier by

- The objectification of women in the cinema and other forms of art in the name of creative freedom

- The brazen production of one item song after another in the movies in the name of entertainment

- The consent given by millions of men and women of this country to such abject degeneracy through their thronging the theatres to watch one ‘dirty picture’ after another

- Women ready to act in porn movies, worse than prostitutes; because they don’t just devour one man but weaken, cripple and enslave thousands of men

- An entire wretched generation of boys and girls that fuels the billion dollar porn industry through their ever raging search for more and more porn

- The quiet of a nation when Sunny Leone is given a red carpet welcome to our midst, paid to act in some useless TV show, given an image makeover and glorified as a successful icon

- More and more women taking to tobacco, alcohol and drugs for the sake of fashion and de rigueur

- Scores of women tossing their newborns into the hands of nannies to follow their ambition and career, in the name of liberation and equality

- An entire generation of women living neck-deep in cosmetics, chemicals, high heals, plastic surgery, silicon implants, abusing the sanctum of their body and directing most of their focus, time and energy to appearance instead of character building

- The willingness of women to objectify themselves through their dressing and attitude in the name of ‘to each his own’

- The simplification of a woman’s essence to a pair of tits and ass – by the effort and industry of various people under various pretexts – artists, movie makers, actors, singers, dancers, businessmen, researchers, governments, marketers and most of all by women themselves

It’s not that I am not outraged at the recent incidents in Delhi and Bombay; it’s just that I don’t know whom to direct my anger towards.

The police? No. We don’t even have enough policemen to guard us from thefts, frauds, murders, traffic accidents and terrorist activities. You want a policeman patrolling every street in the city watching over women passing by?
To all those who are angry at the police, will you make one of your sons a policeman to protect ‘the daughter of this country’? No, you won’t, you will make him a software engineer.

Law? How many laws do we already have in the books against every conceivable crime? How many criminals have these laws deterred from offending us? A very few. Lets have more laws for the protection of women, by all means, but they are not going to make any difference.

State? The police and the law are it’s arms. And we have discussed both.

System? We are the system.

Social transformation? Yes. But it’s not going to happen tomorrow. Not next year. Not even in the next five years. It will take 20 years.

So what should one do?
First, acknowledge that you and I are the system.
And before you ask for transformation through education in schools, begin transformation at home.

Will you say No to watching any movie that has item songs in it? Will you say No to watching any movie that has women in it with no meaningful roles but naked dolls with a view to market?
Could you say No to songs, Indian or western, filled with ‘shake your this’ and ‘shake your that’ and such lyrics that view women not as humans but as lumps of flesh?
Will you say no to porn?
Will you say no to smoking, drinking, drugs and everything that abuses your body?
Could you start caring for fashion and de rigueur? Two hoots, no more?
Could you say no to a shallow existence that revolves around beauty parlours?
Could you take a step back from your feministic notions of equality and understand that man and woman were never meant to compete with but complement one another?
Could you women delegate your ‘ambitions’ to your secondary role, but first perform in your primary role?
Could you even ask what your primary role is?

If your answer is No or if you are simply silent, then you have no bloody business to carry banners, march on streets shouting protests against the world. You are apathetic, downright, and your anger is pretence. Your raving on facebook and elsewhere are just to get yourself some attention and make you look good in your social circle that’s as half baked as you are.

I don’t watch porn, I vehemently say no to filthy movies, cheap TV shows that thrive on the voyeurism of the masses and to dirty literature.
But I am guilty of beauty parlour visits and one inch heels, though I don’t take it too far. I mean, they are the least of my preoccupations.
So I cannot say that the Goddess is perfectly happy with me. I am sure I too cause bruises on her, small and big.
But I am grateful for the good sense that makes me see all too clearly that a society gets just what it deserves, just what it asks for, that it’s all our own making and if anything has to change, it has to begin with me.

Yeah, I can see your next question coming.
What about the west? People there do all the above you are asking us not to, and yet, women are not brutalized.
My answer is, they may not be brutalized but overall, their situation is worse than ours.
Tell me what is better? One man killed by an enemy followed by universal outcry for ‘right to live’ or all men drinking poison of their own free will, smile on lips, no one seeing any wrong in it?
The former.(I pray you think so!)
The same way, a woman stripping of her own free will, smile on her face, is much worse a tragedy than a woman stripped against her will, tears, blood and all.

Stripping was just an example. Don’t take it literally, get the drift please.

A society that grows up on ‘sexification’ of everything from tissue paper to laptop (as seen from their advertisements) and gives its hearty approval to teenage sex and pregnancies, ‘prestigious’ porn stars, strip clubs, sex shows, naked women in Times Square inviting men to take pictures with them for money and lastly, to 50 percent divorce rates, is no haven for women. Nor for men. Not for any human being.

10 comments:

Opus T. Penguin said...

Wow, great post.

Ranj said...

Rape is not something a man does because he is horny and looks at a pretty girl and can't control his urges. Objectification of women...now that is a different topic....

Ranj said...

5 year old boys, mentally disabled girls, cows etc are all raped by men...Rape is not a new phenomenon...This has been happening since medieval times...We cant blame Sunny Leone and porn and strippers for this streak of violence found in human beings

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

Dear Sowmya,

Your post reminds me of a couple of incidents.

One of my friends, a girl, once happened to show me a clip of the Chamatkar-Balatkar scene from the movie ‘3 Idiots’. This was back in 2011 and I had not watched the movie then. When, at the end, she asked me how I found it I asked her how she can tolerate such nonsense. She was taken by surprise. I explained to her that rape is a very serious offence. It not only outrages the modesty of the woman, i.e. the victim, but also debilitates her psychology and unbalances her socially; and yet how can we, men or women, be so shamelessly laidback making a joke of it and entertaining ourselves at its expense, even if for a moment? If you can’t do anything about it just keep quiet. But, at least, don’t make fun at it. The same thing happened when this girl asked me to listen to the DK Bose song. I raised a twofold objection here. First, it was sheer glorification of offensive language (again offending a woman). Secondly, it was obviously written to raise eyebrows and thereby create publicity. And that is not a very positive means of marketing if you come to think of it. As for my friend’s argument, she asked me why I need to be so serious when all this was only meant for ‘entertainment’. My only point was: Are we so deprived of our means of entertainment that we have to fall for cheap lyrics or cheap humour or anything cheap that is marketed to us as creativity? What surprised me more was that despite being a girl she found nothing offensive in all this. In the end, my objection to such subtle objectification of women only led me to be labeled as ‘out of sync’, ‘obsolete’ and ‘old-fashioned’.

In another case, I asked a friend of mine, again a girl, ‘why’ she drinks on every other occasion. Her reply was: “Why not? Why should boys have all the fun.” Mind you, my question was not asked with any prejudice to either sex. It was only with a genuine view to ‘discover’ why a girl like her felt like drinking. In reply, I asked her if she drinks ‘because boys drink’ or ‘because she actually draws some fun from it (irrespective of whether boys like it or not)’. She said it’s because of the second one but I have reasons to differ. This same girl once said to me that she had decided to flash a nose-ring by piercing her nose and get a tattoo on her upper back as well. My immediate question was ‘why’. There was nothing wrong with the present state of her face or body. Yet somehow she felt it needed some ‘ornamentation’. I pressed her hard not to go for it. I even asked her why she wanted to torture her ‘natural’ body (abusing the sanctum, as you have said) by piercing or tattooing as her ‘natural’ body looked far better. And her reply was that I was sounding like her father or that I was an MCP who would not let women be women. Sure, I like women being women. But had she really discovered what ‘being a woman’ really is? Or was she just blindly imitating what ‘men do’ trying to prove in the process that women are no worse. She missed the point though. Within a few months she had pierced her nose, tattooed her back and had also coloured her hair (as if black was sounding racist).

So, that is freedom and equality defined. Hmmm.

Sowmya Chakravarthy said...

Ranj,

Tell me. What's your reason for being honest? Fear of the police? No. You are honest, because its the right thing to do.
The same way, we must curb our obsession with sex, and stop using sex as the sole means of entertainment, not because of fear of rape, but because its the right thing to do. Because its the right way to live.

That's the reason I haven't co-related the two in my article.

Claustrophobe,

I agree with you.
Don't be deterred by the labels and judgments.
Dig deeper to justify your stand (to yourself) and you will discover some amazing and irrefutable arguments and the profound truths at the root of all our social customs and traditions.

Ranj said...

Right way to live? How much sex is the right amount of sex? So we should tell the Tibetan Monks also, that abstinence is not the way to go...Having the right amount of sex is the right way to live...Who are we to judge? How can anything be right or wrong? In any case, we are going off the topic. We are not talking about sex. Porn and Sunny Leone and mini-skirts. You are basing all these as causes of rape on a premise that male sexual impulses and behaviors are uncontrollable and must be satisfied. My dogs are very horny not because they see other dogs naked. They just are. Human beings are born horny. But you live with it. Rape is not the same as the urge to have sex. Rape is violent, forceful, sick, brutal, an assault. I repeat 5 year old boys, mentally disabled girls, cows etc are all raped by men...Saudi Arabia where women are covered from head to toe report the highest number of rapes in the Middle East...Porn is banned in this country...I would rather support hanging a 100 rapists than banning porn and Sunny leone and mini-skirts.

Sowmya Chakravarthy said...

Its like demanding a solution to Cancer but getting mad when asked to give up Tobacco, demanding proof that Tobacco is the cause of Cancer, arguing that even those who don't smoke Tobacco can get Cancer, arguing that drinking milk can also cause cancer, blaming doctors for not trying their best, and if you could find someone to hang, hang a hundred of them...and so on...

Why the bloody hell cant you simply give up Tobacco without a further word, Cancer or No Cancer???

You are wasting your time on this blog...

That analogy was just an example; the same cause-effect relationship may not apply to the subject of this article in a direct way. I am not even bothered to establish a cause-effect relationship between rape and all the things I have mentioned; I am neither talking about rape nor about banning anything.

One can get a drift of what I am saying very easily but only if one wants to.

Ranj said...

There is a warning label "Smoking is injurious to health" on the cigarette cover. As long as there is no warning label on mini-skirts that say "Mini-Skirts will attract you to rapists. Wear it at your own risk" or Porn videos with warning label that says "This could lead you to rape someone" I don't think I get any drift or analogies that is meant for everyone...

Ranj said...

And about me wasting my time on your blog that has ideas I don't get a drift of....You and I and people of the online world have a lot of time. If we don't have time, we will make time. We are the arm-chair analysts, the pen-pushers,the theory generators...the experts who know what really is wrong with the world and we refuse to empathize...But as long as we are not part of the decision-making process, we are all wasting our time and the world is safe...