The You Said What Again Edition Of Laziness

Author’s Note – This is still dedicated to my SuperAwesomeFriend. As I mentioned in my last post, I got published in Womanist Musings. I linked it in my last post but as a reader ZOOlogu78 suggested to put the entire article here since most people are too lazy to actually go to the link and check it out. So to all you lazy people, this is my article.

———

Being an Indian And A Feminist? Has The World As I Know It Come To An End?

I’m fairly new to this space called the “feminist blogosphere”. My blog is just shy of being six months old and has recently become a tad bit famous over the last month or so. With this e-fame (however brief or slight) comes a bigger responsibility :  handling trolls who infest my space everyday. My troll-mail isn’t that different from most of your troll-mail  (with the ever-charming photographs of their boners, neatly listed reasons why I suck and need to put my head in the oven, how my writing is so deeply unoriginal that it makes the troll cry etc you know the sort) However, one thing all my trolls point out is — how am I an Indian and a Feminist? Isn’t there a law or something against it? My trolls behave as if it was I who single-handedly discovered Plutonium and managed to feed the entire country in the course of one day.

As much as I pity these trolls for being victims of the single story as pointed out by Chimamanda Adichie; I also sense a grain of truth in their words. Though there are a few Indian feminists on the internet writing for important blog sites (The F-Word Blog, Feministing to name a few) and highlighting issues affecting marginalised cultures as ours, today, we see very few or possibly no points of view from feminists living in India and fighting it out. This the point in the post where I see you metaphorically nudging me to point the obvious – I am an Indian and I live in India. How convenient. At the same time, I’m not really sure what an Indian feminist is.

I have read about Vandana Siva, presented a paper on Mahashveta Devi, fallen in love with words of Kamla Das, Nabneeta Dev Sen, Gauri Despande, Eunice D’ Souza, Pandita Ramabai  to name a few. There are resources that guide me to archives of Indian women who lie buried deep in local histories. The problem that faces me is a different one – I cannot seem to identify entirely with any one of them. I don’t feel victimised by the alien western culture nor do I feel like I’m treading in unknown space when writing or thinking in English as these feminists did. As a child born on the brink of the era of globalisation, my first language IS English. Like Bhalchandra Nemade , I don’t see myself as a pawn of the Colonial language. I am equally fluent in my mother tongue Gujarati as  I am in English. This rules out many issues and debates Indian feminists bring up time and again. I feel like an outsider when I read yet another essay about how alienated the author feels when faced against the Colonial giant as she goes on to equate the oppression she feels when writing in English with mainstream patriarchal oppression. As much as  I respect her words and opinions, they don’t resonate with me.

These feminists talk of forced marriages, oppression at the hands of their in-laws and society shunning them for the smallest social transgression – as a teenager living in Mumbai, these issues seem like fairy tales. I can agree I am speaking from a privileged stance, yet, as it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Most students my age feel the same disconnect with radical writers and feminists of the 80’s. We’ve grown up in somewhat liberal households, working parents aren’t a novelty to us, we’ve been exposed to mainstream Western culture all our lives. We have gay, lesbian and trans-sexual classmates and friends. This doesn’t make us liberal or progressive, but just the current demographic of the Indian youth.

We do hear horror stories of child marriages, of honour-killings, of female feticide, the daily rapes in Delhi ; there are many, many issues that need immediate attention — from reproductive rights to the need for liberal expression of sexuality — but again, all of this just translates to white noise. There is no reaching out to the afore mentioned demographic of Indian youth. This is not because they are apathetic (I agree some thick skinned idiots simply don’t give a fuck) but because of this disconnect we feel; the very same disconnect that borders dangerously close to assuming we live in a “post-feminist” world (to the delight of the omnipresent patriarchal douchebag). We don’t need a role model that ‘gets’ us, nor do we have the stereotypical need to be Americanised.

Most Indian teenagers have to negotiate their Indian identity into either blending in with Western values and immediately being liberal or retaining their Indian-ness and try to re-negotiate what norms they accept, for what purpose etc. To add to this existential burden, if the teenager is also (unfortunately) a feminist, then said teenager has to again see what norms of Western feminism to pick and which ones to leave out. There is no point in expecting a sexual revolution from a culture where parents would die of mortification being caught holding hands in public – there is a lot we have to filter and adapt to what suits us best while remaining true to the core beliefs and ideals of feminism. If I don’t then I’ll be sprouting Solanas in her original tone and next thing I know I am in an asylum. To make it simple – it’s a hard job being an Indian feminist.

I still resent and speak out against patriarchal norms that dictate many of my actions, I try to de-condition the bias we have against Muslims and point out the fallacies in pop culture and media. I can do that in the terminology I am comfortable in to drive my point home to you. So just because I talk of Nora Ephron instead of Gurinder Chadha, Maya Angelou instead of Gauri Despande, Alice Walker or Toni Morrison instead of Taslima Nasrin, Margaret Atwood instead of Arundhati Roy, harp praises about P.J. Harvey instead of Kavita Krishamurthy, bring up Gilmore Girls instead of Ladies Special – the list never ends – my Indian-ness doesn’t fade away in the Western hoo-ha. If I talk using ‘Indian’ terminology (case in point:  rotis, chai and dhobis ) I’m not being any more Indian than I am now.

Winding down my rant, all I can say is, next time you want to leave a comment on my blog, asking me “why don’t you sound Indian?” and “How do you manage being an Indian and a Feminist all at once?” take a step back and think about just how much bias and prejudice your one sentence contains. And then you can tear up the latest headline that suggests (yet again) that we live in a post-anything world.


An Open Post To All Sadsacked Losers Out There

Author’s Note : BLOG! reading people I have an important announcement to make – My SuperAwesomeFriend is still feeling blue. This week to add to her personal crisis, there is a teeny problem at work too; I may have been responsible inadvertently for that. Just support me in my ongoing effort to make her feel better. She deserves it. If you laugh/frown/yell at your computer screen/make any facial expression because of my post, as a favour to me, leave her a smile or a joke. As a favour to you, I am ready to talk about anything (within the realm of reason)  you request me to. Leave your suggestions for my next post in the contact form given below and I will do my best to accommodate your wishes *waggles eyebrows*. You are also crowned the NewGooglePervie for taking a double entendre where there was none.

————

Many, many moons ago when my Grandma advised  me to be very careful with the way I word things, especially my wishes, I took her words as one would have a well-worn cliché – openly acknowledging that yes indeed the said cliché happens to other people, just won’t happen to moi; because I was special. The “you are special”  speech I received in second grade when my mum tried to dissuade my hip new trend of reading books under my bench while the teacher droned about fractions has done more damage to my psyche than all my ImaginaryTherapists could ever diagnose. That being said, I didn’t really think wishes could come true. As a child growing up in India, my parents never had to lie to me about the existence of Santa Claus (thus giving me one less delusion then prescribed by the International Association Of Psychological Illnesses Parents Give To Children) You can imagine my surprise when the WishFairy got hold of my head and decided to dump all my UnWishes (as I fondly call them) on me in one week. Getting all most your wishes come can knock the wind out of any girl.

Most fairy tales we hear today are the second generation progeny of Hans Anderson, Grimm or La Fontaine. So I am guessing the afore mentioned WishFairy is sitting somewhere in Europe keeping track of everyone’s wishes. Maybe the trans-atlantic static is dappling my UnWishes or its a clear case of a cross-connection. You will see dear BLOG! reading person what I mean in a few minutes. See the following list kind BLOG! reading person.

  1. As a top-notch ranter, there have been many occasions when people who have the misfortune of being within speaking distance of me, people who are obligated to listen to me as prescribed by the Handbook Of Obligatory Parenthood (known as HOOP for short) on page 2, “Parents are required to listen to their loin fruit at all times. If you don’t want to listen to loin fruit, Parents have the option to keep said loins in iron shackles” have been the victims avid listeners of my rants. To spite me, one of you evil people must have surely forwarded my LadyLike grumbling to the WishFairy. Next time you do so, make sure you hear me correctly. I remember accurately that I said “I need a break from my nincompoop-y routine. I really need some rest”. You seem to have told the WishFairy to put me on BED-REST. Somehow, resting when I am forced to and not when I want to, just takes the fun out of mooching off people. Though, bossing people around and mocking those who are at my beck and call is fun. Only till they start looking at me as if I am the one responsible for the shooting pain in their eyes that is. That is when I realise how Proust must have felt growing up.
  2. At an extremely young and impressionable age, I was bitten by a radio-active spider (sound familiar?) that makes me leap towards books like my CeleryStick of a cousin on the treadmill after ingesting more than 100 calories-a-day (by the way BLOG! reading people, I am not making fun of anorexia or anyone with an eating disorder. I do invite you to help me tempt my CeleryStick of a cousin to eat a slice of buttered bread though) People are always impressed at my ability to sniff out the best books from the shoddiest of places and the best bargains. At least, that is what I take their muttering under the breath to be when I have taken a (yet) another detour to feed my-book-a-day radio-active spider-y needs. As I lie comatose after watching too many insipid soap operas in my bed as an existential rebellion to the world’s problems, a tiny silver invite comes to me announcing the biggest book sale since the one five weeks ago. The smug little invite mocks me from its spot under my pillow with the words “get surprise gift on showing invite”. Even if the surprise gift ends up being a pencil, I WANT it. After weeks of praying stalking the book-sale-people, I was given the invite. Now, it just laughs at me.
  3. I have grumbled too often that if I had the time, I would probably get to finishing my story I started months ago. As it turns out, there is more to write about hair/scalp issues than the thread I have at hand. And remember sweet BLOG! reading person, this isn’t Post-Story-Writing-Un-Confidence-Syndrome that attacks every unsure writer like every time my dog will want to lick his nether jewels when he thinks no one is watching. This is the My-Story-Is-Sucktastic-And-Even-Shaw-Can’t-Make-A-Play out of syndrome that is looming over me. In such a fit of LadyEmotions, I deleted it. Now I am convinced it was a masterpiece that even Shakespeare would have been jealous of. I found a program that autosaves my writing for me, now I need one that will swat my hand away from the ‘Delete’ button I remember distinctly that I wished for writing a Nobel Prize winning novel, not deleting the same. (are you taking notes WishFairy?)
  4. I have asked repeatedly for guest posts on anything whatsoever that are devoid of misogyny, homophobia, trans-phobia or any other point of view that makes the author an over bearing half cabbage/half turnip but ALL of you troll-people have sent me heinous e-mails full of so much crap that the world’s fields will not need manure for a month.  My favourite is by zasgajdn titled “I am a CUSS-er” where CUSS stands for Comrade that Understands Sisters and Spinsters. The words you just read weren’t invented by me, trust me, I would have used something original (case in point – Comprehender of Ubiquitous Sisterly Suffragettism)
  5. After my infamous cooking mishap of ’09, I have wished fervently to stay away from cooking shows/cook books or the kitchen. Turns out, the WishFairy was in desperate need of entertainment this week and sparkled her FairyDust over me that made me hypnotised me into believing that I could make toast. The toast went in, but while coming out, it started hissing and so did I. We yodeled each other out for quite some time (the toaster won though). After some innovative cursing, I stabbed the monstrous toaster with a fork and it is still stuck like that. My sister has officially crowned me the “Appliance LadyKiller Of ’10”. I wish to withdraw all my wet dreams about cooking like Meryl Streep in Julie  & Julia.

If anyone of you BLOG! reading people ever meet the oft-talked about FairyQueen, give her a swift kick in the shins. Then she will know how it feels to be me. Also, I promise to sublimate all my above mentioned desires that into becoming the Lady-That-Killed-The-Wish-Fairy. You will thank me someday.

{Dear BLOG! reader person read for subtexts of absolute madness in the post. This is what happens when you lock put  Jaded16 in a house on mandatory BED-REST. Also fill out the contact form letting me know what you want me to talk about in the next post}

P.S. One wish that I wanted did come through the way I wanted it. I got published in Womanist Musings! Again! Too bad I am too sick to enjoy it. Story of my life. Psst.

This Is What Happens When You Mix Poop With Sh*t

Author’s Note : BLOG! people I might get a job this week. I’m going to be the annoying person that repeats stuff over and over again on the news. For practice, I can take this completely random example, say this one – My BLOG! posts are still dedicated to my SuperAwesomeFriend. Now, I noticed something odd last time around, people read my post, stayed on my BLOG! for more than hour – pay close attention BLOG! reading people! This is the climax  – but they didn’t leave my SuperAwesomeFriend any smiles or jokes. That’s just mean. So, now I have a new rule – leave a smile (even the emoticon) or a joke even if you smile the smallest of smiles while reading. I promise, the next post will have more reasons to smile. This is my personal favour to you, BLOG! reading people. You know what to do.

P.S. I’m not stalking you. Just my blog is. Blame stat-counter; not me.

———–

This is for you jeaffe67 who says : u liik like you r smokin. he'res me boner. kiss me. I hope you liked it

This is for you jeaffe67 who says : u liik like you r smokin. he'res me boner. kiss me. I hope you liked it. And meet a dictionary will you?

The world is a strange, amazing place isn’t it? Not in a let’s-do-that-Into-The-Wild-And-Explore-Forests with Sean Penn kind of way, but I’m musing philosophically just-how-many-troll-people-can-infest-my-blog kind of way.  Something about my blog says “come hither you troll” like the way the Indian Parliament makes false promises *cough women’s bill cough* to all the troll-people in the world. Judging from the amount of troll comments and e-mails I received over the weekend, I actually considered changing my blog’s name to This Is What Happens When You Mix Poop With Sh*t for about 0.0002 seconds. I can’t give the troll-people that much satisfaction though. They will have to make do with this post title only.

You BLOG! reading people may have noticed I opened up a guest posting policy and repeatedly asked for anyone who wants to send their entries in to proofread for misogyny, racism, trans-phobia, homophobia or any other kind of condescending, privileged stance. But like most of my e-lectures blog posts, BLOG! reading people decided to ignore it and I got two posts. One is against me and the other is where the author denounced feminism. So I’ve added some special magic — also known as my wit in some circles —  plus the two guest posts and out comes wet with afterbirth the following new post. (Sorry about the afterbirth thing. I do overestimate my wit sometimes). Oh and both of you aren’t getting any credit for your words; mainly because I overwrote on them just like that; also you requested to remain anonymous. So this is what a guest post written by a troll-person looks like  (Spoilers – To make you not gouge your eyes out, I re-wrote it** and left my opinions in parentheses)

A Crappy UnAlternative To Life” .

Dear Reader,

I think this blog is a blasphemy blessing. We live in a beautiful crappy world (Really a world where a rapist tells his victims to learn from the rape is a beautiful world then my brains are gunk). There are a few many things that are essentially wrong with the world (see the rapist telling his victims to lock doors, people getting injured by bomb blasts, suicide bombers and other happy news from the past week to get what I am saying) and they can cannot be easily fixed even if we try (GO Team Unicorns! Try fixing Indo-Pak relations with your magic wand). The author of this blog is one of the most obnoxious delightful writers I’ve ever read  and she brings up the most inane thought-provoking subjects up for discussion. I don’t see why we have to read about her opinions on abortion, stupid sensible pro-choice and feminism. We live in a post-feminist world (This is a joke) and we don’t still  need feminism. Feminism makes women chase their men douche-y versions of men away. Which self-respecting and self-loving (no innuendo intended) woman wants that doesn’t like to get rid of douchebags? As a humble supremely over-confident person who has no reason to be, I’m here to state my opinion to you readers because the author has opened up her space (Guest posting officially closed for troll-people) and my though website gets doesn’t get half as many readers, I will tell you how it is be a whiny douche and write about how privileged I am.

Here’s the thing. My life is hard really boring and I will proceed to tell you the all the details in the most boring way possible. You’ll see how hard loser-y my life is. I am a straight dude douche from India, in my mid 20’s working as a chemical engineer in loserville. I used to be feminist (Ha! I can’t stop laughing) but I now devote myself to being an egaliatarian a CabbageBrain who flaunts his privileged ass  at every turn. I am trying to propagate a new way of thinking : CabbageBraining for Other CabbageBrains. I believe, with the power vested in me as a human an overbearing half-turnip, there can  be a way out for other self-deluded self-confident feminists. If you accept the take-charge nature partriarchal privilege that men have (Oh I accept it. I just won’t let it flourish) life would be doubly easier for you my pathetic little sack. My life is so hard loser-y because I’m not heard enough women run away from me (and they always will). You feminists make a lot of noise (!) about what should the world be (devoid of people like you for instance) but when I offer to create a solution more problems you ignore me. Don’t you know how hard loser-y my life is? I don’t have a job (I wonder why) and reading your sh*t about how women’s lives are difficult just make me laugh cry like a loser. My ex left me because (see the last parentheses) she couldn’t understand me I am a whiny CabbageBrain and then you write about how the world has made you an un-woman. Can you see why am I writing this to you ? (Not really). You need to stop writing what you write, especially they way you write and focus on making an egalitarian society (which translates to a patriarchal utopia in this dude’s head). I just don’t understand how do you have consistent readers? I write whine better than you (I second that).

This is my seventh e-mail to you and you just reply with “haha” (’tis true) all the time. It’s about time you take my words my super-whiny attitude seriously. I am a dude douche! I deserve a proper reply! You seem like an intelligent person (Finally! One thing you got right) and I’d like to know how you manage to get a consistent readership? I want to spread my ideas seeds of CabbageBraining too. Can you direct readers to my website? (The link is deleted because frankly I’m not that big of a sadist to inflict it on people).

I hope you answer this one. But I will write to you even if you won’t (don’t I know).

Regards,

The CabbageBrain(s) of the week.

About four months ago, my 7-year-old cousin asked me what would happen if one mixes two different kinds of poop. When I replied that we would get a new kind of sh*t, I wasn’t entirely sure of my answer. Until now.

P.P.S – Guest posting is still open. Only, again, make sure its proofread for misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism or any other condescending stance. Otherwise the same will happen to you too.

** Do you think I may have crossed the thin line between the real-world and the WorldWhereIamQueen? Let me know.

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 79 other followers