This is a very long post and I suggest to those who have strayed onto my blog to read just the article and move on, unless they have precious little to do anyway.
This article spurred me to write about many men I have met in my life and their views on women and feminism. I assure you that all these men were highly educated and have always acted in a politically correct manner as far as women are concerned. They are all kind, brotherly Sir Galahads.
1. My father - He taught me the the physiological differences between men and women and how to distinguish between both sexes when they are fully clothed or even bizarrely attired. He has always been polite to women and was supposedly quite the gallant knight when he was a young man. Yet he feels extremely uncomfortable when my mother takes off her mangalsutra at the hospital for scans and x-rays. He blusters incoherently in unutterable rage when he hears of young married women not wearing the mangalsutra or sindoor. He gave up after nearly 20 years of trying to force me into wearing a bindi. He also believes firmly that women should not be over-educated. A graduation is enough for them and was very disappointed when I did my MBA.
2. Then there was this boy, who was a good friend of mine. We read the same things, listened to the same music and seemed to have the same tastes in everything. He firmly believed that sexual harassment happened only to poor illiterate rural women. The women who complained of sexual harassment in urban work-spaces were,in his opinion, only trying to turn their gender into their favour. He also lent me Disclosure, telling me what a great read it was.
3. A friend of mine has worked with an NGO which deals with destitute women and women's problems in general. He has worked for, I think, 2 or more years with them. He thinks his quota of feminism is done. He finds women who talk of women's empowerment in classes very outdated and boring. Of course, he is an authority on women because he has worked for the most downtrodden amongst them and he must be aware of the latest trends in feminism and such.
4. Another man I have had the great honour to meet, was a classmate. He is runty, ugly, has a needlessly aggressive and very off-putting personality, and is a great attention seeker in his own pathetic way. He once said, " There is not a single attractive or intriguing girl at (my B-school)
5. My mind turns to another conversation which I once had with a friend of mine. At that time, I hadn't known that he was gay. It wasn't conversation, it was just idle banter. We were talking about the different forms of dancing that we liked and he suddenly said with a huge grin," The best kind that I like is the ball dance". I said, " Really? Well, i guess. I do like waltzes." and he said disdainfully, " You don't even know what I am talking about." But I did. I knew then, but I pretended to be innocent. For isn't every woman supposed to be armed with feminine innocence ? Gay men, may or may not be misogynists, but they can only be men at the end of the day.
6. A man I loved once and stopped loving because he believed in sexual liberty only as long as it went according to his plan. As long as I loved being the bottom half in some mild S&M and he was top, we were made for each other. Even idle talking of role reversal was not allowed, coz he was sure. He was sure he wouldn't like to try. He wouldn't even want to try something that involved being the bottom. Not even for fun.
7. Another man, whom I was considering getting married to, not because he was suitable but because he didn't seem entirely unsuitable. That is, until we had this conversation. He said that he conservative in his views and opposed to same-sex marriage. I got past that. On exploring what he meant by conservative, it came to light that he wasn't against women working( Wowie! Thankee, mister.), but she must only do most of the housework as he still couldn't bring himself to believe that a married man who cooks more than the occasional breakfast-in-bed on wedding anniversary days, isn't emasculated. In order to do his bit for equality, he offered to mow the lawn and take out the trash.
8. Another suitor who told me that I didn't need to work, and that he was earning for more than 3 people. He said, if I felt the pressing need to make myself useful, why, I could do a PhD in anything I fancied in some nearby university. He would pay, of course. There was another one too who believed that both man and wife should work and earn, however she must sleep in another room and not touch him when she had periods. Yeah, when my womb is bleeding, sexual harassment is foremost in my mind.
9. Yet another friend, who in a very important essay, essayed forth his opinion on fierce femininity. The dominatrix tigress in thigh high boots who is not afraid to ask for sex and locks eyes with her prey and drags him to her boudoir for her own pleasure. Of course, this was path-breaking as well. I mean, Dominatrix! So not a stereotype!
10. A friend who is a fashion fiend is sadly embittered by the women he has met in his life. He says all the women he knows are all scheming, plotting, boob strategists. They use gender and hotness to their favour and are self-centred and milk men to the last drop of their money. He may be right for he can only quote from his own experience. However, I also notice that he is drawn to and notices first the women who follow the style manual to the last period. The high-heeled, double-waxed, stylishly dressed women. Well, if a woman invests so much in her looks, she has to get something out of it. She has starved, primped,preened, curled,waxed, popped pills to look as close to the ideal as possible. If she doesn't milk it for all she is worth,she is a fool. And she is only obeying the code that men set up for women.
Men and their ideas on what women should be, what feminism is. How can men live with women all their lives and not know anything about them?
I want to be a woman. I am a woman today simply because I am not a man. I want to become one really and truly. I want to deserve the title of Woman. I have no clue what one does to do that. The article that I read made me write about some of the men whom I have met or befriended and what they think of women. The poor feminist Sheila Jeffreys, for all her pains, got a dildo named after her. A dildo called - Sheila : A spinster's best friend. I am pretty sure, that a man was responsible for this nomenclature. For only a man could have thought that, by associating a penis-shaped sex accessory with a woman's name could insult her like nothing else.
How absurd! I would love to have a dildo named after me. To know that my name would be associated with sexual pleasure for millions of women all over the world, would give me satisfaction like no other.