I think, therefore I write

Tag: Men

WhatsApp and Sexism – part 2

Read part 1 here.

I couldn’t quite cover the other side of the coin with my earlier post. So, penning down this sequel in an attempt to cover more vantage points.

So when I discussed how lack of social responsibility leads to a trend with WhatsApp forwards that portray men as victims of marriage at the hands of women, I also had a look at the other side. Are there no jokes about men? Of course, there are. In fact, I would argue, the same jokes that target women are the most insulting ones to men. They portray men to be weak dummies in a marriage, they show men as incapable of being independent, taking part in running a household, unable to cook… the list is endless. One counter-point to my earlier post was that men take such jokes lightly. Well, they shouldn’t. If I were a man, I would be terribly offended by this trend. Especially when the men are equally equipped with household, help out in parenting, do everything they can to pitch in. These jokes are totally unfair to them.

If we analyze the direction in which the scales tip when you see the statistics, even with generalization, there are a lot more jokes that target women than men. This, as I said earlier, is just how the meme/joke creation process. Whichever jokes go viral, their themes are the trendy ones. So if a certain theme is more prevalent, we only have ourselves to blame. So how do we achieve balance or equality? There are quite a few ways to go about it. The easier way would be to take everything lightly and make fun of both men and women equally. Or the longer route would be not to use social media as a platform to target any particular faction. Unbiased social media! Well, that’s the dream 🙂

Let’s also look at another way of taking things sportively than to blindly make fun of everyone. Let’s say, a husband makes fun that his wife can’t cook, straight to her face, and she gets back with an equally funny response about him being useless in the kitchen and the family enjoys a laugh. This scenario is less nefarious because it is a personal situation handled directly within the family. There is no stereotyping that all women cannot cook. There is no generalization that all men are useless. This is about a couple/family laughing together over a funny comment about themselves. They know what boundaries not to cross. However, when we take this scenario, share it on all social platforms, influence the audience who might or might not have an opinion about it, that becomes a meme. Slowly as the meme feeds on colored opinions and conditioned mindsets, the boundaries fade into non existence. And eventually it ends up offending some while others say it is not so bad.

Now, let’s go one step further and remove gender from the main premise. Even if a meme is just about how bad married life is, think about the message being conveyed. And if the number of times you listen to this message keeps growing exponentially over the years? It is easy enough to be influenced. After all, we live in the digital age. If we look at a particular brand’s advertisements often, we are tempted to choose it over others. How hard is it for teenagers or younger children to think that marriage as a concept is just a joke? How can we explain to them about the value or culture of marriage after feeding them years of bias? If we are fine with them taking this message in, then we shouldn’t be cribbing about how the culture of this country is going downhill because youngsters no longer want to get married, they prefer live-in relationships and the such.

Social media is bad enough with the privacy invasion, tracking users and their behavior, mining users’ data and selling it for profit. Throw bias and prejudice into the mix and you get one colorful cocktail. One that will make you feel on top of the cloud while actually robbing you of your personality, individuality, and credibility.

Until later 🙂

#WhatIReadToday

In the chaos of gender equality, there seems to be some confusion creeping in. Most people are thinking and working only towards the idea that women are born to do everything men can. But if we think of it as women are born to do everything men can’t, a whole new dimension opens up.

Strong women don’t play the victim. They don’t seek pity from others. And they don’t point fingers to make themselves feel better. They STAND and they DEAL.

My personal thought – The latter quote need not just apply to women. Applies to any strong person.

How to check out women?

Dear Menkind*,

We all know that you check out women when in public places. Irrespective or whether you are single or in a relationship or married, irrespective of who is with you, irrespective of time, place and context. We know that you check us out, give ratings in your mind and pass comments if you find us interesting. Especially when you are with your friends. I agree that women check out men too but more in a non-crass manner and most times our comments stop at “Ooh! That guy is hot”. So here are some tips for you to do what you do more effectively and in a civil manner. What? You thought this is a guy-bashing post? Your mistake! We know that “it’s in your genes” and that you wouldn’t make any attempt to civilize yourself (Who needs civilization when one gets pleasure by simply looking at ogling at the opposite sex? 😐 ) and no amount of advice can bring about any change in you. Our best hope is that you guys will get bored of looking at women, but that seems like a far cry for now. So if you are gonna do something wrong, do it right. 😎

1. When a bunch of you are out roaming and one of you sees a woman worthy of your interest behind you, you tell your friends and they all turn their heads around one by one, as if in some circus parade and look at her. You guys do that sequential head turning so that the woman doesn’t notice the blaring fact that she is the current subject of your discussion. How dumb do you think we are? 🙄 Your circus parade head turning and the fake looks on your faces are more than enough for us to know. So you might as well turn around together or wait till she comes into your line of vision.

2. Please DO NOT giggle. I have seen men giggling (and sometimes blushing) like a teen girl the moment her crush looked at her. And it makes my hair stand up and NOT in a good way. How can a woman enjoy the rest of her shopping when she knows that she was checked out by a MAN ( ❓ ) WHO GIGGLES? 😮

3. Teasing each other and praising each other in loud voices don’t work. We all know that whatever you are talking is for our benefit and are not believing one word of what you are uttering. We are not even listening to you. If you look closely, you will see us being interested in the price of a cabbage or trying to figure out which shade of purple will match our cream top. So do not waste your energy.

4. Try to be as inconspicuous as you can. Let’s face facts, this is obviously a time pass for you. So, at least give us the peace of mind while we are shopping without having to worry about the creep who keeps staring at us but then we we look up stares at a wall intently or picks a product and tries to see its price (without even noticing it is a feminine product).

how-it-worksImage Source: cavemag.com

I was at the supermarket the other weekend and there were these 3 guys, in front of me on the escalator. One of them looked back and told the others something and the head turning happened. And then the giggling happened. And then the teasing and praising happened alternatively and then the creepy staring happened. All of them one after the other. First I thought something was weird with me and checked my reflection in the window thinking I am missing an earring or inadvertently wearing my dress inside out or something like that. But no, I was okay! I was like “Oh my God! Here I thought guys have become cool these days” Guess that cannot be said for all guys. I was so pissed off that I took my mangalsutra out and brushed my hair so that the sindoor on the forehead is visible. That shut them up 😀 (To all the married ladies – Sure shot way of shooing away such guys, show them that you are married)

Until later 🙂

P.S: I am discovering a lot of new blogs and bloggers who are like-minded. The reader in me is happy 🙂

*P.S: Give me the benefit of generalization with this post. I have written a post about people who do what I have written about and not about those who do not. If you are ignoring my warning and taking offense, well then, that says a lot about you!

ssp