Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Confident Faffings on Stuff I Know Nothing About.

This is a super self-obsessed post. It is on my sins against gender stereotypes.

I am of the school of thought that believes that to acknowledge stereotypes is to perpetuate them, so I've been sitting really quietly in a corner and hoping this tag will pass me by, but mera bad luck hi kharaab hai and she thinks I should do this tag, so here it is.

1. I cannot dance. I will not dance. I do not like situations where I am expected to dance, and I will shamelessly sit at the corner table, eat everyone's food and drink all the Pepsi while they are living their brief alcohol-fueled Hrithik Roshan delusions. If you try to force me to dance, I will not like it, and then I will get agitated and then I will pass out.

2. I do not wear makeup because I hate how it feels like a plastic raincoat on my skin. I began wearing kohl a few months back, so on a good day I'll be wearing earrings and kohl. On a regular day I will be wearing neither.

3. I have a very dirty mind and a a huge appetite for off-colour jokes. I swear a lot in ordinary conversation and I love learning to swear authentically in different languages. I am an equal opportunity letch; I letch at men and women of all ages. I regularly objectify people and I rather enjoy it.

4. I am a very focused, very quick shopper. I love my friends, but I will never accompany the more finicky ones on a shopping trip because I enjoy the glow that comes with not having killed anyone.

5. I have a very literal mind and I usually do not 'get' hints. If someone wants me to do something, their best bet is to ask me directly, otherwise it will never happen.

6. I do not remember birthdays. I have on occasion, forgotten my own birthday, and having been reminded of it by a friend, acknowledged it and proceeded to ignore it. It's a birthday, it's no big deal.

7. I can't cook. I can't even boil water without help. However I can make very decent tea, and a passable maggi. I have a theory that the Food Pyramid requirements are covered by tea and maggi. If they are not, I'm going to have a very short life.

8. My deepest desires are to go paragliding, parasailing, waterskiing and bungee jumping. I also really, really REALLY want to learn to shoot, in pursuit of which desire I have spent two whole days taking buses from dingy office to dingy office in Madras, only to have an assortment of moustachioed idiots tell me that there are, of course, places to learn to shoot in Madras, but I probably can't because I'm too skinny and too female. To these men I offer the one-fingered salute, and the privilege of being my first targets when I DO learn to shoot.

9. I do not like newborn babies. To call them ugly is to downplay the sheer animal STRANGENESS of their faces. They can't focus their eyes, and their irises simply bounce randomly about in the sockets. Their mouths are shapeless and lipless and always open in some silent primal scream. Their heads are constantly lolling about. They look like miniatures of the grandfather who had a stroke in Thevar Magan. There is nothing charming about that. Nothing.

This list stops at nine because it will pain me to stop at an even number.

Now, why I don't know if this tag is a good idea:

I've read many many blogposts by many different women who have done this tag, and I find the gratuitously self-congratulatory tone of most of them somewhat self-defeating. Acknowledging the breaking of a(n alleged) stereotype as a 'big deal', simply attributes legitimacy to that stereotype where none may really exist. I must confess that stereotypically 'womanly' women have been the exception in my life, and most women I know straddle gender roles with ease and display no special sense of accomplishment for having done so. So forgive me for suspecting that the 'womanly' stereotype is simply some highly fictionalised, excessively romanticised construct that may at some point in time have had a strong basis in reality, but which no longer has that.

In other words, it's no big deal to sin against this stereotype, because no one really fulfils it to begin with.

Feel free to call bullshit, I have no training in sociology.


Jil Jil Ramamani said...

Chah! You axshully took me seriously and did the tag. Much louwe and the love for shooting seems to be genetic eh?

Punvati said...

I just noticed that all your I's in the long apology above the comment box need capitalising.

I just capitalised on your error. Yes, I have a capitalist frame of mind.

I shall put a cap on this now.


By the way, you can't even boil water without help? If anyone else alleges anything along those lines, you protest loudly and violently, but you will proudly announce it on your blog?

Captcha- Bancym.
That's how Bankim Chandra Chatterjee would spell his name if he were numerologised. I doubt that's an actual word. Pliss to pardon.

Actual wala bai.

soin said...

ada ponga saar every where i read this tag mokkai vonly..but first time me happy am not the only one @6.. btw dont tell all the three of you couples live in same room

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

I find 9 the only unique point from among all the women I've read taking up this tag, and I'm glad its there. One must be a darned cold liar to say human newborns are cute. To say they look like miniature 'yoda's would still be an understatement.

Also, women who break all gender stereotypes are as boring as those stereotypical women. I place a premium on individuality, and if a woman 'chooses' to acquire the more stereotypical traits, so be it.

I believe they train you on rifles in NCC. Why not join (part-time?)? Personally, I've enjoyed shooting the M16 rifle more than the 22 and 38 milimetres hand gun variants.

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

I found your blog some days back, and found it again today. Reader-ing you.

Agree with your take on the tag a 100%. One person said that the 'sin' she has committed is that she can drive. I mean, you have to be really twisted in the head to be living in a metro and to mark that as a stereotype to be sinned against. Or maybe I should stereotype her as the only Tier-III town-dweller with a super-fast internet connection who holidays in exotic places. Then she'll have lots to sin against.

And you said it about the forcing-to-dance thing. I never saw anyone getting pulled OFF a dance floor by someone who prefers otherwise, saying "It's funnnn! Tryyyyy it.. I wanttttttttt you to!"

Spaz Kumari said...

@jil - yes, lets blame my bloodlust on genetics. :D

@punvati - you are on probation, as discussed.

@soin - yes, ive had to explain #6 too many times. Who couples? And you are tagged! :D

@karthik - yes, i wish people would just realise that gender emancipation is simply in the power to make choices. I'm really annoyed by the whole "Look, I can handle a spanner, I must be GI Joe!" attitude.

@alex's bhoot - yes, yes and yes. I think i may be in love with you. And thanks!

Spaz Kumari said...

@karthik - ooh and re the NCC thing, that's a really good idea. Except will they insist on..er...fit-tening me up generally also? Because i dont want to march or run or climb rocks or anything. :(

soin said...

all the three of you are couples in various pnc.. and no no no madam.. i dont do tags..and why go for classes?? get one country pistol from the rajasthani thathas and start sooting.. try sooting divya firstu. you might get some pun with gun embeded in it.free

Punvati said...


Spaz Kumari said...

@soin - that is a number one best awesome first prize comment.

soin said...

ayeah what type of ponjaadhi are you? am asking you to shoot your kanavar. i expected savithri reply.not this.also dont reply. am so vetti that i will keep on replying.free

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Yes, there is that. Btw, if you are shooting a real gun or rifle, I'd advice ear protection. They are VERY loud.

Jil Jil Ramamani said...

@soin - When there is a chuck-alathi in the picture,nothing wrong I say

soin said...

@ramani.. specially if you can sing sakalathy baby sakalathy babay.. but will spaz understand..free

indira said...

Thank goodness. Finally, someone made sense. I have read so many blogposts by so many women taking this tag. And not one of them thought it was as commonplace as, say, wearing tee-shirts and belching.
This tag has successfully redefined the new stereotype. 'i-don't wear-makeup-everyday' types .
As an aside, I really think you should have passed this tag! :) But written the comments, nevertheless.

Loved your blog!

Spaz Kumari said...

@indira - yeah i think i should have done that too. ah well.

Rahul Saha said...

I have this thing against babies. I don't know how women bear them. An alien life form inside you. Might make a good B-Grade movie but otherwise, YUCK!

Spaz Kumari said...

agreed. It would all be very Ramsay-brothers if it weren't true..

ramsub said...

I love babies, they make me sooo happy! and I'm called ramu bhai.