Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Selective Politics and Individualism

Often, I have been branded as being ‘backward’ or even ‘regressive’ for some of my views. Although this post is about how I wish I were neither, it is also about a certain kind of pop politics that seems to make up for politics that comes through serious study and application.

Firstly, my views on the ‘pink chaddi’ campaign. For those of you who didn’t know what it was, read it here. While I totally empathize with the sentiments expressed for the right wing group, what I found repugnant was the coming together for one’s own class, and in such large numbers, aided by the press. The press that is a mute spectator to the millions of women who go through rape and torture in police thanas, at construction work sites, on the bus, in the street, and, why, even the Khairalanji massacre etc.

And, of course, I have my views on the pub culture per se, especially in the context of women empowerment (sic!)! Very simply, are all the women who go pub hopping or the ones who participated in the campaign empowered? Well, empowered to do what? Well, what with new ideas of empowerment doled out: a woman with sindoor on her forehead sipping wine and having a cigarette in hand; and even worse, you would wear the mangalsutra, wear jeans, and party, and you are empowered! Give me a break ya, guys!

A brief glance at the pubs today! A colleague, sometime back mentioned about some new types of pubs that have come up all over the place, which have an amazing décor and color combinations because all of them were cotton mills earlier! Yea, the mills from which thousands of workers (both men and women) were thrown out on the streets and all their families reduced to migrant labor so that all you pub goers can go and have a good time, gyrating to the latest rap and consume litres of liquor! What else does this pub culture do, well to the those very people who pub hop! Guys, don’t you all have a life? Really? I mean, look around, people are on the streets (actually thrown out so that u can have a cozy space to gaze deep into each others’ vacuous eyes), there’s rampant diseases spreading (because you guys can have the best treatment), and even the planet is breaking away, and all that you can come together for is your space to consume liquor and send pink chadis, after even chadis are in abundance! How much more pathetic can you get! The more you (or we) continue this, the more are we going to land up as broken, individualistic dehumanized robots! Wake up, when it’s not too late!

Secondly, clothes! Especially, the way (young) women dress. I have been at the receiving end of a lot of flak of late. I know, am almost opening a pandora’s box here, I would still go ahead and do it, so that perhaps all of us gain some clarity about what is ok! It is my view point that most of the clothes that women wear are designed to make her look curvaceous and attractive and appealing to a man. Now, I am not getting into attraction and sexuality here (which again, I don’t think rest on one’s looks as much as they do on each others’ attitude and mental makeup). So, what is the need for clothes? Just find something to walk out of the house, rather than spending thousands (at branded outlets finding the right fit, etc.) and hours before the mirror, and all for what? Just to turn some heads! I mean how much more pathetic can it get? And, what amazes me is the amount of vacuous politics that gets into the picture about justifying or even rationalizing skimpy and even vulgar clothes! And, it really leaves me befuddled when people ask me to explain what I mean by vulgar! Ok, now, am open to the bullets…let’s get the discussion rolling.


Ta'fxkz said...

lol- interesting

good you are expressing yourself, there is a lot of anger in your tone and that is a good thing


can you list 3 results you want from/(or to appease) your anger?

i am not saying that you should because anger is good enough to be expressed for it's own sake - existentially if you feel the anger then it is clear that you have perceived an injustice that you are angry about

if you want to invite other people to just know that you are angry and if it is ok with you that they might walk away not knowing/realizing what you want sorted out it is still quite fair because you have the right to expect them to take the pain to figure out results/solutions if they want to

there is yet another way to do this and it is to express your anger but also point out what you want sorted out - even spelling out how you envisage it to get sorted out. It helps people see your vision and think it through for themselves


My suggestion to you with regard to your angry writing is that you eventually let your writing invite dialog and i think you are smart enough to know how you would want to go about it if you want to - but don't stop writing because as the anger clears up solutions will be easier to see.

Jai said...

Yes, Hanna, please state the questions you have in your mind clearly, succinctly, separately :)

Deepan Kannan said...

"And, what amazes me is the amount of vacuous politics that gets into the picture about justifying or even rationalizing skimpy and even vulgar clothes!"

May be true! But what if the politics are about "who defines what is vulgar and what exactly is vulgar!" Most often, we are trying to term many of the clothes that women wear as Vulgar. But the term vulgar, many a times is subjective and is from a moralistic perspective.

May be women who wear branded skimpy clothes may not be involved in politics about empowerment, but by branding their choice of clothing as vulgar or inappropriate, aren't we just depriving the women of their choices? Well, if we could go back in time and look at the clothes women were wearing long ago, especially in Tamil Nadu, they were all skimpy.

Your argument holds good for women who dress up for the heads to turn. But what about women who want to dress up just for themselves? Just the way they like?

Well, i fired my bullet! Let's keep it rolling! :)

Sudhanthira said...

I inspired u?? Why o Why heavens?

I am yet to read it. Will read it and comment.


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