Thursday, January 8, 2009

Of Viragoes, Shrews and Tom Boys.

Q. 1 You are (choose one)
1. Feminine ?
2. Masculine ?
3. Err.. ?

Ans: I'd like to be ME please.

Q. 2 Are women naturally feminine, gentle, mild mannered and nurturing?
Ans: No. Women (just like men) come in all kinds of temperaments. Some are gentle some are not, some are nurturing some have no interest in kids, some are mild mannered, some are aggressive.

Q. 3 Why not all?
Ans. I guess nature made them (us) all different!

Q. 4 Are the unfeminine ones abnormal or unnatural?
Ans: LOL what a dumb question!!! No.

Q. 5 Are the one's who are unfeminine undeserving of respect?
Ans: No more than unfeminine men :) This is a dumb discussion!

Q. 6 Whose respect?
Ans: I think it is important that they respect themselves first. This goes for all humans, even children.

Q. 7 Isn't being respected important for women?
Ans: As much as any other human. No more. No less. And it isn't a matter of life or death (as in honor killing).

Q. 8 If a woman expects to be treated as an equal human, is she being radical?
Ans: As radical as Democracy. All humans should be treated as equals. All children and even all men.

Q. 9 If a woman is being aggressive, rude or arrogant does she still deserve respect?
Ans: Any human - man or woman being rude, arrogant or aggressive needs to count till ten. (To begin with).

Q. 10 Doesn't a woman's charm lie in her being gentle and feminine?
Ans: I think her charm lies in being herself. Beauty and charm come in all shapes and sizes.

Koi Shaque? (Any doubts or disagreements?)


Pixie said...

Mine is the first comment! :)
No disagreements or doubts... :)

Smitha said...

No disagreements, doubts, or questions! Total agreement!

@lankr1ta said...

Completely agree. Why is it that somehow women need to be these very noble creatures who live for others, and have no human feelings. All women must be maternal and loving. Al women must look for respect and all women must swoon and be faint....The worst part is that even while crying out about stereotype this crap we all buy( a least most of us do).. Also that women like Pink....

Lekhni said...

I agree. Let's start with "what exactly IS feminine"? Who defines what set of behaviors constitute feminine? I have a problem with all these labels, like feminine, feminist etc. said...

nahi, koi shaque nahi. :D

Indian Home Maker said...

@Pixie Phew! I was worried if he first comment will declare these answers radical :)

@Smitha Thank You Ma'am :)

@ Alankrita I am linking my favorite post of yours here, "Feminism is not a dirty word"...let me go look for it.

@Lekhni I also wish we didn't have any labels, but .... We did a tag on what is Feminism (linked here)I would really like it if you'd do that tag, simply, What is Feminism?

1conoclast said...



1. Any guys around here yet? Or am I interrupting a pyjama party...?

2. NOW we're talking! What is Feminism?

3. Do I remember you agreeing with my "no ~ism sucks in it's entirity" comment?

Indian Home Maker said...

@mandira LOL :)

Indian Home Maker said...

@1conoclast But my question is KOI SHAQUE?
Do you disagree with any of the answers 1conoclast?

aneri_masi said...

ROFL :) Who asked you all these questions, IHM?

Indian Home Maker said...

@aneri_masi LOL ...just wanted to answer some generally expressed doubts :)

Unpretentious Diva said...

If a woman expects to be treated as an equal human, is she being radical?
Ans: As radical as Democracy. All humans should be treated as equals. All children and even all men.

True. But a woman who considers herself as an individual, a human with equal rights as any other human, wont be supporting all the unequal woman's rights bills, and reservation for women etc...Because that making women unequal to free human rights.

vimmuuu said...

Now would I be torn apart if I had any shaque ??? LOL !

You were absolutely right, and yeah, you need to respect yourself first. Its a big turn off when I hear anyone, especially women, degrade themselves. and who framed all these questions? were you answering yourself for the 4th and 5th question? wogay, wogay, I understand, the inner voice funda !

Btw, I dont know if you had missed replying to my comment in your previous post or you chose not to! Hmmpphh!! LOL !

Aneela Z said...

Oh I was going through a similar discussion (but what about little boys should be like) with my mid-wife the other day. I always wanted 'prospective kids' to wear 'summery dress' the first year irrespective of gender) and more so now as I dont want anyone ' reading' the body...most of the men of my generation (including the husband) did before the 'onesies' came in, and it didnt do anything for their testosterone levels. But I do face a LOT of raised eyebrows when I express my wishes. Koee Shaque!!!!

Solilo said...

Koi shaque nahin hai mere bhai!!! err...behen (in Dilip Kumar ishtyle)

But seems like a major part of janta is still in shaque because they are the ones who revere the savitris of Indian serials. An ideal woman is the one who puts up with all that is dished out to her, who forgets her maternal home and adopts her husband's home as her own, who cooks,clean,solve all problems and puts up with husband's 2nd 3rd and 10th wives..all thanks to Ekta.

@lankr1ta said...

Feminism is the radical notion that men and women are created equal.

And reservations or quotas or affirmative action are not inherently unequalizing in themselves- they try to make people who have had a negative start in life "more equal". Before the eyes of people who disagree with me explode, let them read on a little more.
All these are not ways to compensate minorities and women for their lack of equality but a way of making the playing field more equal. Most minorities and women miss out on education and career opportunities because of the inherent discrimination society serves them with. Reservations, quotas, affirmative action, try( albeit in a non- perfect manner) to level the field at some stage. Take the example of a "backward" class( how I the that term) person who applies for a job. Owing to his/her class that person has not had good education, nor opportunities, nor even the inclination to work in that job- lets say it is white collar job. The quota, reservation etc serves to make it more accessible. The same applies for women too. Too often they are nudged off higher paying degrees( sciences, math, medicine) because of their gender. They need the leveler. Which of course is not always perfect, because a quota system allows for misuse and abuse and the associated vote bank politics. The Affirmative action system is only a little better. The ultimate test of the efficacy of these systems is when they are no longer necessary. But we do not live in a perfect world. but we can try to make it better. Simply by trying to understand what is behind these "equalizing" things- and I am talking about the reservations, the quotas and the affirmative actions. We also need to develop a deeper understanding of how useful they might be, not buy into the urban myths that abound around them.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Unpretentious Diva The laws are generally to protect and to undo the damage done by centuries of oppression, social conditioning etc.
We still have baby girls being killed/aborted, brides burning, not just for dowry but also to get conveniently get rid of the girl (will blog about some specific cases I have seen personally), girls are not sent to school because there is eve teasing and sexual harassment by male teachers and students; politics is such a dirty word in India, girls generally stay away ... we need more representation of women in parliament, and judiciary and even media- ideally it should be in proportion to the female population. Just think until recently marital rape was not a crime? Until recently a woman would have been blamed for inviting her male boss's attention (still do get blamed, but now a law has made it easier to object/protest against it) ... Do you know a mother until recently could not be a child's guardian without the father's signature? I have faced this once, and couldn't believe it! In a school in Port Blair, since my husband was away I forged his signature, just wrote his name on a note saying he has permitted me to get our daughter admitted in that school. This was outrageous but the school authorities refused to admit her in KG II - without her father's written permission!! I still feel angry when I remember the experience! She had passed he written test (at age 5)and I couldn't drive .. and anyway! I was like I do everything for them, often single handed, and I am sure I care more than anybody else in the world, and I need her father's written permission and name to get her admitted in school!! And he had been there in the initial stages of admission, so they knew HE APPROVED anyway so it is possible that this was (or still is?) a legal requirement ... our schools are also like our bureaucracy!

We need to work for equality. Even the educated middle class women get beaten and abused and exploited. Being EQUAL also does not mean becoming exactly like men, it means Equality in the eyes of the law and the society. In your own eyes. Think how secure would a single mom's kids feel in this scenario?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Vimmuuu I apologize for this, thanks for bringing it to my notice. I had gone to your blog and read that post and seen that I had commented earlier also - when that brilliant post was nominated for Avante Garde Blogging award.... then got distracted with trying to create an html link in the comments - for some reason the comment wasn't getting posted... anyway, replied now, and redid the link successfully - please read it :)

unpretentious_diva said...

The laws are generally to protect and to undo the damage done by centuries of oppression, social conditioning etc.

that is why laws are Bullshit and they will never help.

The thing is, you cannot punish a man because his father killed someone.

Similarly, you cannot punish a person who by mistake took birth in a brahmin family by discriminating against him by means of reservations to some other person who is in some OBC or SC/ST family, or is a girl.

Reservations is simply bullshit.

Women's rights bills can never help and the people who supports them looks for political purposes alone.

Recently Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan donated Rs2 lakh for every family in which the first kid borne was a girl in the year 2008.

Whose money he was wasting? The Tax payers money. Then he donated a cycle for every college going girl. Whose money he was wasting?

Its common thing in general.

The feminists who seeks government's help (by any means) be it reservation or women rights or special laws etc are no better than the male chauvinists who oppressed women in some or other way under there collectivist approaches. No similar collectivist approaches these feminists apply for themselves.

its distortion of freedom and liberty nothing else.

Law should be similar to all.

About the attrocities done to women in past,

Evil requires sanction of victim

There was gargi, there was durga, there was lakshmi bai there was sarojini naidu there was the most attrocious woman of modern India the tyrant dictator Indira Gandhi.

And if feminists won't leave their collective approach, they will cause havoc in India too just like they did in UK.

Feminism is not wrong if it is Individual's stride to live for her natural rights, her natural freedom. Let it be individual feminism. let every woman have same legal rights as any man do have. otherwise it is unjust!

unpretentious_diva said...

About the attrocities you are talking of which are going on even now, tell me one thing, Do you know what are the individual rights? if a person realizes his/her individual human rights, does he/she need any special set of rights?
No he does not.

The problems you are talking of is the Problem of collectivism. You cannot find its solution by other and more dangerous poison of collectivism and that is government. Government can never Help Woman to be liberated. Woman, every Individual Woman will have to fight for and achieve her Individual Rights, her Right as a Human being, as a responsible free citizen.

Until she herself won't stand, she can't be saved. Although these irrational and WRONG bills and rights these feminists forces on citizens provides enough grounds for the corrupt and criminal Minded women to cause havoc to other human lives. its totally irresponsible to give any extra privilege for anybody because in general women are being exploited. We cannot keep begging UK just because British exploited India once. neither we do so. So why do women need to demand any special rights? Better they learn to achieve and earn their Individual rights. And if they do so, they wont be needing any special rights.

Just as the egalitarians ride on the historical prestige of those who fought for political equality, and struggle to achieve the opposite-so their special sorority, Women’s Lib, rides on the historical prestige of women who fought for individual rights against government power, and struggles to get special privileges by means of government power. (Ayn Rand, “The Age of Envy,” The New Left . New York: Signet, 1975. p. 173)

unpretentious_diva said...

Sorry for using too much of the word "you".
I didn't wanted to sound rude or personal. But its my weakness I am not good at conversation so please omit it if you find it rash or rude.

Indian Home Maker said...

@vimmuuu Women are directly or indirectly, asked such questions all the time, I wanted to put them without any distracting labels - sometimes labels can confuse. Feminism has had bad press. :)

@Solilo LOL :) And WELCOME :)
Yes a major janta is still in shaque or is confused atleast!
Ekta kapoor should be made to live the life of her exalted heroines :)

@Aneela Z It's simply a matter of convenience .. pink and blue and dresses seem to precede Barbie dolls for girls and Trucks and guns for boys ... that is seriously unfair to little kids!!

Indian Home Maker said...

Unpretentious Diva This post was not about the Women's Reservation Bill!

About Reservation for Sc/ST and OBC, read my views here

I answer these comments in my next post :)

Shilpa said...

Perceptions are so sown into our brains that being anything slightly different is abhorred.

So, if you've learnt that women are supposed to behave a certain way, dress a certain way and talk a certain way and you come across a woman who doesn't fit into that definition, she becomes a topic of debate particularly in the context of culture and upbringing

I am adding you to 'Hues from the blogiverse' section in my blog

Smita said...

No doubts whatsoever :-) loved the 10th answer the most...

Indian Home Maker said...

@Shilpa I agree.
In fact the demand to fit-in and Peer Pressure is way stronger amongst adults then amongst teenagers :)
Isn't that your blogroll?? Nice name!! Thanks :)

@Smita And it is true! Cleopatra was neither gentle nor conventionally feminine :)

Anonymous said...

Koi shak nahin IHM!!!I alternate between being Dr.Jeyll and Mrs.Hyde...we're human after all!!!

Sahaja said...

Awesome IHM!!
i agree whole heartedly!

Unmana said...

Great post, IHM! I seem to have seen it rather late!

Indian Home Maker said...

@Indyana That reminds me of this song :)

@Sahaja Thank You... :)

@Unmana Nice to you after such a long time :) Thanks!

Monika,Ansh said...

No disagreements & great post there!

Pooja said...

Very nice post.

There's a reason why women have such a big fight on their hands, and frankly being stereotyped is a lesser devil. It's that most women are facing-off not just with men but frequently against the sisterhood in their world too.

The day most women are supportive, rather than combative of their brethren, trust me, half the battle would be won.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Monika Thanks ma'am, how's your doc doing? No more T***i talks ? :)

@Pooja I agree ... I think we are conditioned to believe that fighting for our rights is being aggressive and selfish. And we must please the world, and seek social approval...
But times are changing, each generation breathes freer :)

Maya said...

its radical not to consider women as equal.

and on the equal thing.. nobody is equal, equality is just an illusion which could never be attained in reality. there are no equals between men and nor between men and women

Indian Home Maker said...

@Maya Yes it is radical NOT to consider women equal :)

By equal here I only meant equal in the eyes of law, equal right to vote, against violence, to be treated as equal witnesses ..

Monika said...

abs... there is no chance there could be disagreements here...

but u know what i am wondering, who ask these questions they are such dumb and irritating ques?

D said...

No shak at all! I totally agree with you.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Monika LOL :) Actually no one person asked these questions, but they come up in conversations all the time!

@D Thank You :)

Indyeah said...

All of it shaque at all:)...
and I never could get what exactly Feminity was?

Why is a loud voice?a hearty manner,backslapping etc etc considered unfeminine..?
And most of all as I have discovered lately ..even among my friends 'Feminism 'seems to have become a highly sensitive word...a dirty word....

The fools think Feminism =man hater/ in all probability unattractive/rebellious(hell yeah !rebellious with this kind of society that we live in)/ short the bra burning activist of yore....

"Feminism is not a monolith nor is it a dogma.The only thing you have to believe in order to call yourself a feminist is that ensuring women's freedom and equality of life in all speheres of life is a crucial priority .That's it. I define a feminist as a self-empowering woman who wishes the same for her sisters. I do not think the term implies a certain sexual orientation, a certain style of dress, or membership in a certain political party. A feminist is merely a woman who refuses to accept the notion that women's power must come through men." -- Erica Jong, Fear of Fifty, p.286

I have given up trying to explain to the ones who would rather be in a coma than wake up ans smell the coffee.....or tea IHM!..:)

Kislay said...

Bravo . And not even an iota of doubt Ma'm . :) Three cheers to feminism .

i am what i am said...

Who are the feminists and what is feminism? By feminists, we mean each and every politically and socially conscious woman or man who works for equality within or outside the movement, writes about feminism, or calls her- or himself a feminist. In reality, there is no formal alliance of women we can call "the feminists." Although there are institutions and other forums under which women and men organize and rally, feminism isn't a bureaucratic monolith like Communism or. . . Scientology. It's a loose collection of individuals.

In the most basic sense, feminism is exactly what the dictionary says it is: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women. Public opinion polls confirm that when people are given this definition, 67 percent say they agree with feminism. We prefer to add to that seemingly uncontroversial statement the following: feminism means that women have the right to enough information to make informed choices about their lives. And because "women" is an all encompassing term that includes middle-class white women, rich black lesbians, and working-class straight Asian women, an organic intertwining with movements for racial and economic equality, as well as gay rights, is inherent to the feminist mandate. Some sort of allegiance between women and men is also an important component of equality. After all, equality is a balance between the male and female with the intention of liberating the individual.
Breaking down that one very basic definition, feminism has three components. It is a movement, meaning a group working to accomplish specific goals. Those goals are social and political change -implying that one must be engaged with the government and law, as well as social practices and beliefs. And implicit to these goals is access to sufficient information to enable women to make responsible choices.
Of course the goals of feminism are carried out by every day women themselves. Maybe you aren't sure you need feminism, or you're not sure it needs you. You're sexy, a wallflower, you shop at Calvin Klein, you are a stay-at-home mom, a big Hollywood producer, a beautiful bride all in white, an ex-wife raising three kids, or you shave, pluck, and wax. In reality, feminism wants you to be whoever you are-but with a political consciousness. And, vice versa: You want to be a feminist because you want to be exactly who you are. That may be a person patriarchal society doesn't value or allow-from a female cadet at the Citadel to a lesbian mother. Maybe you feel aligned with the self-determination and human rights implicit in feminism, but you also organize your life around race, religion, or class, rather than solely around gender.
an excerpt from Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000). Learn more at

Ritu said...

I was a tomboyish girl, and every one tried to pressurize me into behaving lady-like. They did not succeed, ever. However, that does not mean I am not female.

Totally agree with you IHM

hitch writer said...

Woman hoood Ki jai ho !!!!

(hood) pun intended !!!!!!

Indyeah said...

Strong words these but true...

''Because women's work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we're the first to get fired and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it's our fault and if we get beaten we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we're nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we're nymphos and if we don't we're frigid and if we love women it's because we can't get a "real" man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we're neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect childcare we're selfish and if we stand up for our rights we're aggressive and "unfeminine" and if we don't we're typical weak females and if we want to get married we're out to trap a man and if we don't we're unnatural and because we still can't get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can't cope or don't want a pregnancy we're made to feel guilty about abortion and...for lots of other reasons we are part of the women's liberation movement.'' ~Author unknown, quoted in The Torch, 14 September 1987

And yes, I agree with a commentor that feminism has had a lot of bad press...

Varun said...

Perfect!! :) Dumb questions! Brilliant answers...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with you. No doubts at all.

naperville mom said...

koi shaque nahi ji...well said.

Indian Home Maker said...

@Indyeah Love these inputs ...The fools think Feminism = man hater/spinster .. so in all probability unattractive/rebellious(hell yeah !rebellious with this kind of society that we live in)/ short the bra burning activist of yore....
Indyeah, this is why I did not use the word Feminism here, just asked the questions as simply as possible.

@Kislay Once again I find the newer generations are more able to see a spade as a spade and not imagine a sword or a butcher's knife :)

@Ritu My sister loved tree climbing and I hated cooking !! LOL I still prefer gadgets to jewelery ... so I know :)

@I am what I am - I am not able to understand how somebody can possibly object to something so simple to understand ... Thank You for this informative contribution :)

@hitchwriter bloggerhood ki jai ? No puns :)

@Indyeah thanks! You are amazing! I made an effort to avoid using the word 'feminism' here ... to avoid any prejudices against the label/tag :)

@Varun Thank you :) I notice this new generation is way more unbiased and unprejudiced ...

@Prerna :) Thank You, like Indyeah says great minds think alike!

@naperville mom LOL Thank You ji :)

Khushi said...

Totally agree with each of your points!

This "radical" change in thoughts has begun and I am glad to be born in this age rather than few decades before :)

I have followed your blog since long time, but as a silent observer and anonymous commentator :) I was too lazy to start blogging or create an account.

But well i have started bloggin now (i mite not be a regular one), but would like to share it with you -

All in all good going IHM and keep the bubbly blogs coming!

Mampi said...

By God ki kasam,
where did you get these dumb questions from?> some questionnaire? Did they know they were being subjected to IHM? They should have had better sense...

Chirag said...

I am out of words, no serious. I agree with you. So no debate. Would like to see a topic where I disagree with you. Or is it great minds think alike?