Am I getting hypersensitive these days for whatever reason (adolescent daughther, perimenopausing body…we can always blame the woman, you see), about the rampant and abject misogyny in India, or has India indeed gone from bad to worse?
An ad on the radio (Bosche washing powder or machine or some such thing).
Man: Darling, can you please hand wash my shirt? It is new and delicate and I don’t want it ruined in the washing machine.
Woman: But dear, I just got a manicure.
Man: Oh no.
Woman: But not to worry. With Bosche (washing powder or machine, by now my BP is shooting and I don’t hear the rest of it too well), both your shirt and my hands will be saved.
What the frack, man.
Another FM ad:
An irritating female voice: If you cook well, you not only please your husband but also your mother in law.
Seriously, what the frack ?
See below, a WhatsApp conversation in the only group to which I belong(ed). I am dead against groups for this very reason, that all kinds of idiots post all kinds of things without thinking. The only reason I got into this group was that my very good friend (GN) begged me, because according to him, “it is hugely entertaining to see how our classmates have deteriorated over the years”. I keep telling him that he would be the reason I would go postal. See below, a recent conversation. The players are SG, me (LG), AJ and of course GN, LG being the only vociferous woman in the group of 18 (9 men, 9 women), all post graduate degree holders. Some Ph.Ds (e.g. SG), some in the national civil services (e.g. AJ) and others in various levels of career and domestic life, distributed across continents.
3/28, 7:18 AM] SG: .
🌳 *தினம் ஒரு கொன்றை வேந்தன்*🌳 . 🌲 *ககர வருக்கம்*🌲 🌴 *கற்பு எனப்படுவது சொல் திறம்பாமை*
*கணவன் சொல்லுக்கு மாறாக நடவாதிருத்தலே கற்பு.* 🌴
[interjection: This is an excerpt from a twelfth century Tamil work by a woman poet called “Avvayar”. This poem says this: “chastity for a woman lies in obeying her husband”]
[3/28, 7:22 AM] LG: Really ? In this time and age, SG? Hmmm.
[3/28, 9:53 AM] SG : That’s the way she has defined the non-physical aspect. I have lot of respect for Avvaiyar. She has not probably experienced it. You (Married women) can differ because you know what it is to live with non-ideal husband. One more point, ஆண்களில் ராமன் கிடையாது. உள்ளத்தால் உள்ளதும் தீதே பிறன் பொருளை கள்ளத்தால் கள்வேமெனல்.
[Interjection: He says “There is no Rama among men”, meaning, no man is perfect..although I have no idea where that came from or why that is relevant to women needing to obey men]
[3/28, 10:08 AM] LG: “married women can differ”?? Where do I even start tearing that to shreds? So, men concur? Your daughter and mine are not married. Tell them this. See if they agree. There is no such thing as ideal human being, leave alone husband. Even if my husband WERE ideal, why would I want to “obey” him. Forget man and woman. Why must any human being “obey” another? Are we so arrogant to believe that one human being is better than the other to lord over?
Also, where does Rama come into this at all? But assuming it is true, and Rama is not a fictional character from an epic, and he is “perfect” (banishing wife on hearsay of a dhobi is perfect?), and that no man can be like him, what stops one from aspiring?
And if a person were indeed perfect as “rama” the wife should obey him?
But yeah…At the risk of instigating a war, the y chromosome is weird enough to justify an outdated, misogynistic opinion.
[3/28, 11:01 AM] SG: Rama figured in this just because he had supposedly not set his eyes on other women. I am not saying that he was truly perfect…. There nothing wrong in obeying others (irrespective of their age, status, etc). If they are right in that particular issue. …. Of course, we do aspire to be like Rama in as many aspects as possible
[3/28, 11:02 PM] AJ: Please don’t get serious about it..not to hurt anyone SG and lg.
At this point, I gave up mainly because the veins in the head threaten to pop. Don’t get serious about someone saying “a good wife should obey her husband”. Besides, my friend, the idiot who made me join the group , writes to me privately :
[3/28, 11:02 AM] GN: Chill, LG. Take a break from WhatsApp today. I should have told you that before you responded.
[3/28, 11:02 AM] GN: It’s not worth it. Remember… They just forward without reading anything.
So, I gave that up. This morning, SG sends this to the group. From the very same sangam literature by Avvayar
[3/29, 8:02 AM] SG:
*தினம் ஒரு கொன்றை வேந்தன்*🌳 🌲 *ககர வருக்கம் 🌲 🌴 *காவல்தானே பாவையர்க்கு அழகு*
\ *விளக்கம்* *காவல் மற்றும் கட்டுப்பாட்டோடு இருத்தலே பெண்களுக்கு மிக அழகு.* 🌴
Being controlled is beautiful for women.
- I am out of the group.
- I used to think Avvayaar was a good poet. Now I think she must be banned from being taught in schools.
- There is no hope for anything even remotely near gender respect in the foreseeable future in this country.