Something that offended me a great deal the other day - The cover of the latest issue of the outlook mag.
IT ruining Bangalore's culture or some such shit. And guess what the accompanying pic shows? A woman smoking a cigarette. To start with of course, a cig smoking woman is hardly representative of the IT industry in Bangalore. The women are a small minority, cigarette smoking ones a fraction of that minority.
But thats not the point.The point is that as a cover pic, a jeans clad woman smoking a cig seemed the best way for the morons who designed the mag, to show a threat to this city's culture.
As of course are sundry things that women can and cannot do, which make all the difference to this city's, country's and this world's fragile cultural heritage. Whether its cultural biases, religious biases, regional biases, its women who have to work hardest to preserve, women who do the most to offend, and women who are given the least rewards from the old systems.
I don't know what kind of prejudiced stone age bastards control the mass media, but I can tell you this, they make my blood boil and offend me mightily. Of course our sense of outrage is not worth much, we aren't a vote bank, and we aren't the high and mighty.
Its funny, some little known authors old , little read autobiography's handful of pages, makes front page headlines on the Hindu for a full week. There are repeated references to the offence caused, although god knows who is offended and by what. Chance references to cobblers and goldsmiths in songs, cause furore all over. So many people with such tender sensitivties , protected not so much by laws as by brute power. They are safe, they won't be offended any longer.
And in the meanwhile, the mass brain washing and chauvinistic propaganda continues unabated in the mass media. The hypocrisy and double standards. Women smoking OMIngosh! women drinking - serious threat! Woman raped? ah thats caused by loose moral character. Ever notice how that phrase has common currency everywhere - every newspaper, every article. Ever heard of a man of loose moral character? Does moral character even have anything at all to do with your sexual promiscuity or otherwise?
And there's hardly a murmur about how offensive and pervasive the whole attitude is. A few voices here and there, an occasional publication of short stories by Katha, some spleen on blogs and the occasional animated conversation over coffee once every few years, and thats about it.
Where are our voices ? When did I stop shouting from the rooftops that I am a feminist? That all I ask in the name of feminism is the same respect and freedom of choices that are given to other human beings, the ones with the XY chromosomes.