The Concept of Equality

272 Comments

Secularism, the way I understand it, is looking at all religions the same way without bias—in essence accepting the equality of all faiths (as opposed to my God bestest).

Likewise, gender-equality strives to attain equivalence of the sexes in terms of perception and opportunity.

Noble aims indeed and ones to which I fully subscribe to.

One of the fundamental concepts inherent in the definition of “equality” is that to an external observer, the two equal quantities should appear the same, modulo some property. In other words, if I say that A and B are equal in weight, then modulo the property of weight, they should be indistinguishable.

Right?

Or not?

Annie Zaidi writes thusly about the debate about women in the Army:

The trouble is that men live trapped in men’s bodies (and of course, they don’t have a choice in the affair) which makes them utterly incapable of forming rational, logical views on the subject of strength, fortitude, courage etc.

And then:

As a woman and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, women are more fit for the job than men are.

The response in the comments section of Annie’s post: “Bravo” ,”Applause” and other assorted encomiums.

Now, let’s say someone had written the same thing in such a way that every occurance of the word man/men and woman/women are interchanged:

The trouble is that women live trapped in women’s bodies (and of course, they don’t have a choice in the affair) which makes them utterly incapable of forming rational, logical views on the subject of strength, fortitude, courage etc.

And

As a man and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, men are more fit for the job than women are.

Here’s the question. Since I have replaced equals with equals, the effect of these two posts should be the same with respect to reader reaction.

I suppose you have already realized the point I am trying to make.

If anyone had written this “interchanged version” , the comments would be “Shame shame” (from the same people), and the blogger would be dubbed a MCP, a misogynist and worse.

Is this equality?

Now the point here is not the blog post. It’s the audience reaction to it. As an example, this is what Dilip D’Souza says this about the post from which I have extracted the above lines.

There are many reasons Annie Z is a fine journalist. Here’s one more.

This labelling intrigued me as I have always wanted to be a fine journalist myself—-and have only polite “No thank you”s and editorial silence to show for my efforts.

Now when someone like Dilip D Souza, a famous journalist, awarded author and noted blogger himself, calls this an example of fine journalism—–I have to confess that it sets me thinking as to what the concepts of fairness and equality really are in the journalistic world.

As another example of this curious definition of “equality” between the sexes, we have had a spate of cases in the US where female school teachers have been found sleeping with underage school boys and let off with much lighter sentences than male teachers who have indulged in similar acts of moral turpitude.

These female-teacher-does-male-student-stories generate mass media frenzy (standard Leno joke: Goddamn, I wish I went to that school), there is a lot of sympathy for the female teacher (ooh her husband ignored her in bed), the underage boy is blamed (it was he who seduced the female teacher—-he looks so grown up) and legal howlers like the case where one female offender [Debra Lafave] was let off on the grounds she was too sexy for jail.

“Lafave, her lawyer argued, was simply too attractive to be put in jail.

“To place Debbie into a Florida state women’s penitentiary,” Fitzgibbons said, “to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hellhole, is like placing a piece of raw meat in with the lions. I don’t think Debbie could survive it.”

Judge Timmerman apparently agreed.

Now if the perpetrators were male, there would no jokes, no quarter given for an aloof wife, no consideration of whether the girl came onto him or how mature the girl looked—he would be seen as a paedophile and nothing more.

There would be universal revulsion and condemnation all around, people would chuckle gleefully at the indignities that would be heaped on a child molester in jail,pointing out to each other that it’s time this pervert realized how it feels to be violated.

When faced with such facts as the above, the standard “counterattack” from people whose concept of gender equality borders on female chauvinism is that women have had it bad for centuries and in some ways, it’s payback time.

So tough luck.

Of course, this is the same logic that justifies caste-based reservations (punishing this generation for the wrongs of their forefathers) for all perpetuity.

And also sanctifies the breaking down of mosques ( Babur and Mahmud of Ghazni broke our temples in the 1500s and burnt our house and raped our women—-and so in 2002 we am doing the same to you)—–so I won’t spend time in discussing this absurd arguement any further.

Which leads me to the question I started out with: is the concept of equality something I have totally failed to comprehend (a rather damning possibility for someone who proves equivalence relations between process models for a living)?

Is this the reason why I have never managed to become a journalist—let alone a fine one ?

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272 thoughts on “The Concept of Equality

  1. I agree with you on the teacher-student issue where the sex of the offender shouldn’t matter because the victim is a minor (considered incapable by the law of making a sound decision even regarding his/her welfare)

    But the other issue of men vs. women in the army, you might observe that women have been selectively excluded from those professions due to a simple gender difference without any sense of logic or reasoning. Women physcially weaker than men holds good only in duties that actually need physical labor and we know that not all duties in the army need that. The major difference here is the history of discrimination that even the legal system acknowledges. If a particular section of the society has been historically discriminated then it is required by the state to correct that anamoly by recommending relevant and feasible ameliorative action.

    Thus, you cannot really argue for equal thinking when you compare men and women and probably interchanging those terms in the passages may not be appropriate. That said, I may not agree specifically with those exact words by Annie as I would have to go back and read the context in which she made them.

  2. @Patrix: Ahem. I think that if a male blogger had, in ANY CONTEXT, made those remarks then the proverbial shit would have hit the fan. In any case, the extracts have nothing to do with the argument about women in the Army but instead are “assertions”—assertions I found rather “interesting”.

    In other words, there is NO context in which someone who believes in gender equality as opposed to superiority can make those statements.

    In your comment you have commented upon the men vs women in the Army which is a totally orthogonal issue to the one I have written this post on. Which is why I am not commenting on it here—maybe a subsequent post will do justice to it.

  3. I completely agree with you on that one. In fact it reminds me of something else. While studying from Operating Systems Concepts by Galvin/Silberschatz/Gagne, the programmer, or any other human character is referred to as a “she” in the sixth editon. Everytime I encounter this “she”, it rings a remote alarm bell. Not that I find it annoying, but it seems absolutely foolish. Forgive me, dear womens’ rights activists, but sadly and tragically, a majority of the world’s programmers are men. I agree, that the best they could manage was just a bug-ridden Microsoft Windows, but the truth still stands.

    The point I wish to make here, and I am in complete agreement with you, is that if men are such a useless bunch of people, then in a thousand years men will be wiped out from the face of the earth and the world will be full of dildo-wielding lesbians, who dont know how to produce children. It is not pretenders like Annie who need liberation, but those really oppressed women in the villages who need it.

    Annie is just another of these “misandrists”- if there is anything like one, who loves to bait upon the male species.

    [Edited out by Blog Owner: Let's not get personal about any blogger here, Harsh. I have edited the next two sentences out--the edit does not alter the point you wish to make---]

    Likening every man to a worthless criminal, feels exactly like likening every woman to a whore.

  4. “Have you seen what Greatbong has written”, the email said. So I came running over.

    You’re on the button.

    But my point about journalism was different, and I believe your post only affirms it. Journalism must serve to make people think. (What was it that somebody said? “Journalism must comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”). The best journalists stir you up, give you provocative things to think about, etc.

    So when I pointed to Annie’s piece approvingly, I was not saying “This is a beautiful piece of writing”, or “I completely agree with all she says”. I was saying “Here’s something that will make you think and react.” It’s Annie’s ability to do that consistently that makes her a journalist I respect.

    On a related note: couple of years ago, I did a review of Suketu Mehta’s “Maximum City”. Here are some lines from that review: Before I read it, someone at a discussion described this book as “literature”. That put me faintly on edge. … It is Mehta’s great achievement, and I mean this as high praise, that this doesn’t come across as literature, just literature. Maximum City is a tour-de-force of journalism, of measuring and reporting the rhythms of my city.

    I know lots of people who didn’t like “Maximum City”. I know very few who didn’t take away something to think about from it.

  5. Too cool…
    I totally agree with the fact that female chauvinism is seen by people as liberating while Male Chauvinism is seen as potentially barbaric…

  6. GB,

    Now now haven’t you read 1984 and Animal Farm.
    You should have been aware of the game by now.

    Patrix,

    Women physcially weaker than men holds good only in duties that actually need physical labor and we know that not all duties in the army need that

    If that is the case why not do away with the requirement of physical tests (for both men and women) for those jobs altogether (which do not require physical labour)

    Regards

  7. GB, the trouble here is the concept of equality DOES NOT exist in a socitey….every body knows for a fact that he or she is either superior or inferior to the person he is being compared to…..the concept that should be preached is tolerance (indifference actually)…”till you are not troubling me, you are entitled to what u think!”

  8. All sexes are equal, but some of them are more equal than the others.

    That is why we have separate ladies’ queues at ticket counters, ladies’ compartments in trains, ladies’ seats in buses. Nowhere do we have a “gents’ compartment” or a “gents’ only queue” or “gents’ only seats”. Ladies make use of the “general” ones as well. After all we are equal, right? Who ever heard of a lady leaving her “general” seat in a bus for a (physically sound) gentleman?
    And try to get onto a ladies’ compartment! There have been incidents where men were pushed off running local trains because they climbed onto a ladies’ compartment in hurry.

  9. @Arnab

    What can we say? After that masterpiece of illogic on reservations, the redoubtable Anne Zaidi is at it again!

    @DilipD

    The point of journalism is not just to provoke reaction and I take issue with your characterizing as such. If that were the case then each article and book by Ann Coulter will also have to characterized as “fine” journalism. Anne’s article is nothing but political correctness run amock, where just being female gives her the right to say anything against men and get away with it.

    And you (and so called enlightened and progressive journos like you) let her (and others like her) get away with it, maybe as Arnab implies, to atone for the misogynistic history of your (our) forefathers…

    Whether women should be in the army is a different question and Anne does women no favours by her statements. If she is representative of a gender who wants to be in the army, then I would be deeply suspicious to letting them in any kind of decision making position.

  10. We, as Indians have let the country down at every point. We have not been able to stop infighting and get on with buliding a future. It is either lower castes v/s upper castes, hindus v/s muslims, and holy cow…. men v/s women. We have to make sure that everyone is either pulled down or taken apart. if anything works, we have to break it. If anything is broke, we wont fix it.
    Point is, it does not matter who gets in to the army. Only criteria should be phyiscal & mental capability along with the right intentions of the country.
    Why shoul there be relaxation of rules for women. Let the physical tests be the same. Let them fight it out. If you cannot compete with your fellow men, dear ladies, the enemy is not going to spare you an inch.
    And if you are good enough, you know what, the enemies across the border, will have a tough time explaining to their superiors that they got beat down by a woman. More demoralizing than losing Kashmir , I guess. But to do all that, please compete on an even keel with our men. No one in the country is unwanted (except traitors of course and mischief mongers). Please dont make it sound as if you being victimised. If the army sees a number of cases of women not being able to cope with the rigors of the army, then they have to take some action, else the human rights vultures ( yes, right they are vultures , nothing else) will descend upon them and hold them culpable of treating women with such disregard. Who is to say that the same blogger , Miss Annie Zaidi wont come out of the woodwork and say that women are being ill treated in the army and that there should be separate tests for them.. Hell with qualty and to hell with equality. We want represenataion……

  11. equality is a myth. its like the concept of a warfree world. note, i am not saying peace. such concepts are multilayered and interconnected.

  12. @DilipD
    I completely agree with you when you say that textual pieces like “men live trapped in men’s bodies” is provocative and makes the reader think. It not only makes you think but also makes you read it again and again to understand what the meaning is. You are a MAN (hope that does not hurt) of good taste. Bin Laden is so provocative, Kiran More is provocative too.

  13. Agree with you on almost every account GB. I have as much of a problem with misandry as I have with misogyny. The way for women to realize their potential is not to compare themselves to men and assert that for every parameter they score higher.

    The fundamental problem has been one of institutions discriminating on the basis of sex. While it’s one thing to patriarchy – it’s quite another to blame men. By insulting men – we’re alienating them from the entire exercise. I personally think it borders on foolish to compare women and men – like you’re comparing race horses.

  14. MERCY!
    BRAVO!

    Greatbong, in my completely unqualified and foul-mouthed opinion, I think you’d make a fucking fine journalist!

    (umm, in case you’re wondering, this means that I think you’ve written a great response).

  15. its simple..fundamental really…as the saying shows:- “Show me the person and i will show you the law” just as men will be men, women will be women, birds and bee gotogether…..this law is universally applicable!!

  16. Greatbong:
    Bravo!

    Women & The Army Dept:

    I believe that referring to the purported discrimination against women in the army into this post doesn’t make any sense. Whichever way you look at it, it doesn’t come across as the fundamental problem, if we confine our discussion to this post.

    The way I percieve it, this post comes across as a general comment on the acceptability of an anti-male attitude/misandry in the society, which talks so glowingly about equality otherwise. As Greatbong rightly pointed out, regardless of the context, “The trouble is that men live trapped in men’s bodies (and of course, they don’t have a choice in the affair) which makes them utterly incapable of forming rational, logical views on the subject of strength, fortitude, courage etc.” was an indepented assertion fully qualified by itself.

    That assertion, and “As a woman and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, women are more fit for the job than men are.” comes across as nothing, but blatant female chauvinism, naturally overlooked by everyone else while showering praise.

    If you ask me, Annie has got her foot in the mouth with this one.

  17. I think you have plucked Annie’s words completely out of context.

    If you have read her post, you must realise that she wrote as a response to a blatantly sexist post. An indication of this is her asking the question “Does the army really need men?” as a radical counter-point to the question “Does the army need women?” And the fact that she starts off the post mentioning that she is pissed off by that sexist post she refers to.

    She argues against the notion that women are fragile creatures who need to be protected by men; men who are the perpetrators of most crimes against women. Biologically, women are the ones who face the most trauma. Before the 20th century medicine, one in three women used to die at childbirth. So, you cannot argue that women cannot take pain or that they lack the mental and physical strength. Physical strength in warfare is immaterial unless you are fighting empty handed. Strength is not required even in a sword fight. To quote some one, “it hardly requires a pound of pressure to break skin [using a sword]“.

    Also, even when she is pontificating a radical viewpoint, she says this -

    “are women more likely to ask questions, worry about who they’re killing and why, as compared to men?
    I wish I could say an emphatic ‘yes!’ … but, I don’t know. Yet, I do know this – if women are more likely to stop and think before killing, then that is all the more reason to have women in the army.”

    Note the emphasis on ‘if’ there and the ‘I don’t know’. Hardly sexist…

    Plus, if you have read Annie’s post regularly, you would realise that she is not the kind of radical feminist who says that the world does not require men. So, to accuse her of being [reverse-]sexist and her regular readers as being blind is hardly a creditable argument.

    I support Dilip’s view that she is a fine journalist. In fact, I would go further and say that she is an exceptional journalist. One who knows how to write effectively about issues that matter. we need more people like her.

  18. PS. I am disappointed with the responses that this post has generated. Misandry is uncommon. Misogyny is exremely common. An indication of this is the popularity of the ‘Great Indian laughter challenge’. If you ever find a joke there that is misandrous, I will be damned.

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  20. GB – First time commenter here.
    Big Fan of your blog!!
    I have a feeling that Annies is being satirical in her post, which essentially was a response to an insensitive post regarding women in the army. The stress is on insensitive(not sexist) and hence her post resorting to the same insensitive tactics from the other side of the court. Exactly what you have written in your post where you replace ‘women’ with ‘men’ – but its not very obvious if youre not a regular follower of her blog.

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  22. Dilip,

    a) Do you or do you not agree with what she says in her post?

    b) Do you or do you not agree specifically with the portions from her post that GreatBong has quoted?

    A simple yes or no answer, please. Thank you :-)

  23. Hi,

    This has nothing to do with Annie’s post, but yours has an inherent logical fallacy. That switch of words you have made shows that you start off with the assumption that men and women have complete equality in society and have had it long enough for inherent biases to be wiped off. That you are ‘replacing equals with equals’. That’s not true. This whole discussion about the Army has started off because historically that’s not been true. So the mere interchanging of words becomes a trifle simplistic, and triggers off silly, predictable responses such as ‘women get ladies seats, special queues’. It’s so much more complex than that, really.

  24. GB,

    Some very good points there. Annie might be a fine journalist but clearly she does not as yet have a sense of proportion. She relies more on clever word play rather than logic. However, this was not about the women in army issue as you yourself pointed out. This was about a blatantly sexist statement made by Annie.

  25. Apuva,

    I will go further ahead and said she is the finest journalist around. So?

    Yes, her post was a reply to a blatantly sexist one. So?

    No one if defending what shravan had written, but I am unable to understand why you have defend Annie around when she is in wrong. That is all!

    @Nitin
    :)

  26. Its a dying sine curve. Men had their time. Women are currently riding the peak and this is the last one. But the great equalizer zero seems nowhere in sight. Like all other facts of life, this may seem unfair, but its true.

    And, yes, you DO make a good journalist. :)

  27. Marauder’s Map

    GB post has no such assumption.
    His assumption (if it can be called )is that “men and women are equal” not “There is gender equality in society”.

    Seriously people should understand that there is a thin line logic and sophistry.

  28. Nitin,

    Can’t do “simple yes or no”, no matter how much you amuse your emoticon-happy readers by asking for it. Not least because “Do you or do you not agree“, you will agree, does not permit either yes or no.

    (“Do you or do you not agree that Rajesh Khanna acted in Hindi films?” “Yes.” “Yes, what?” “Yes, I do not agree.”)

    Nevertheless, I will give it a shot because I believe in trying to answer questions. I realize that’s a rare trait in these parts.

    a) I agree with some of it. I don’t agree with some of it.

    b) I don’t agree with the first excerpt. I agree partly with the second, and with GreatBong’s transmogrification of it.

    31 responses here already. Annie, we need more journalists like you.

  29. Dilip,

    Can this emoticon happy reader do one more please? :)

    But seriously speaking, if getting responses is any criterion for deciding the quality of writing then Shravan would be the finest journalist around, no?

    I am not questioning Annie’s credentials and I applaud you for answering questions(I hope you share the same sentiments about me) but a wrong is a wrong. Please do note, your approval of Annie’s post carried no such clarification that you recommending it only because it will provoke a response.

  30. I couldn’t resist adding my two cent’s worth.

    Personally, I’m still trying to figure out what journalism has to do with any of this. The way I saw it (the way I still see it) Annie’s post was simply a rant – the expression of a strong personal opinion against a fairly execrable post. As far as I’m concerned there’s no information in that kind of a blog post about how good or bad a journalist someone is.

    For the record, I do think that the statements quoted here are over the top, and agree with Neha that rants like these do more harm than good to the feminist cause. That said, I do think Annie had provocation, and a number of the other arguments she makes in her post are good ones. None of that excuses the discriminatory statements she’s making, of course, but it explains why I’m willing to cut her some slack, and why I think accusations of misandry are probably excessive.

    Finally, on the larger issue of equality more generally, I think the problem is at least partly semantic. As I’ve argued elsewhere on the blogosphere, I think one of the key failings of feminist rhetoric is its tendency to use words like ‘men’ and ‘male’ loosely – making an insufficient distinction between an attitude and a gender (a failing that, sadly, often ends up corrupting the logic of their arguments as well). A lot of the ranting one sees against men is really ranting against patriarchal attitudes (and perfectly justified ranting against patriarchal attitudes at that) and using more generic terms like male / men ends up confounding the issue. laying feminist arguments open to misinterpretation and charges of discrimination and misandry, and causing the movement to lose crucial male support. To the extent that gender inequality is a reality, the rhetoric against gender discrimination will always be one-sided (as will positive action taken to correct the imbalance) but we’d all be better off, as GB suggests, not dealing in stereotypes – either about men who hate women or about women who hate men.

  31. Arnab,

    First up let me point out that out of the 37 comments made thus far, 5 are by my namesakes. My comment will mean approximately 16% of the posts are by people bearing my name. That is grossly disproportional to the percentage of people bearing my name amongst the blogging population of India, and hence I feel guilty of perpetuating social injustice. ;)

    OK, getting serious…

    Arguments which are reverse-discriminatory are in fact very damaging to the very concept of equality, since such arguments can be shredded to pieces by someone like you and rightly so.

    Having said that, while I feel the Lafave case and the response to female teachers guilty of sex with minors is a classic example of that very hypocrisy and double standards, I do not think Annie’s post deserves to be tagged as such. I find the post to be well short of crossing the line in that regard, especially considering the context.

    I also think that in these modern times, when a hand-to-hand fight is not the dominating method of military combat, it should be fairly easy to find several women who will fit realistic criteria of serving as soldiers and/or officers. Basic physical fitness is not solely the domain of the male, even genetically speaking. Armies of today are not necessarily made up of the world’s strongest men, in terms of brute force.

    I find any attempt to use Sushmita Chakraborty’s suicide as a tool to even start a debate about women in the army (either for or against it) as idiotic, irrational and bigoted. As if men never commit suicides. A suicide is a personal decision, and I do not see it linked with one’s gender.

    I just realised that you said that the issue of women in the army is orthogonal to this one, so please treat the previous two paras also as orthogonal to this debate. :)

  32. @confused: as someone said, Annie’s post was satirical. By giving a radically opposite viewpoint, she makes you think.

    Her post reminded me of a short story written by a Bengali female writer in the early twentieth century. Sadly, I do not remember her name or the name of the story. But I do remember her arguments. One of which goes like this – women should not be imprisoned in zenanas to protect them from men because that would be akin to imprisoning the innocent. it is men who should be imprisoned much like lions and tigers are in zoos and national parks, so as to stop them from harming the innocent.

    I know you are going to jump all over this as a piece of misandry but her argument is compelling. Tigers are put into cages because they are deemed dangerous, even though it is usually the older and injured tigers that become man-eaters. Preventive detention is used in the case of human beings too. For example, the police would arrest potential miscreants before a certain provocative event.

    Plus, it would be a mistake to assume that she is actually suggesting that men be shut into cages. What she is really trying to do is to counter the argument for keeping women in burqas and in the zenanas. Pointing out that this patriarchal argument is fallacious is the intent of the story, and not a cry for a radical social change.*

    Annie’s post is exceedingly similar to this story that I mention. Her post basically points out how fallacious the argument of Shravan is. Full. Stop.

    @falstaff: I kinda agree with you but I don’t think Annie use of the stereotypes is wrong, mainly because she is pointing out the stupidity of arguing based on stereotypes by deriving a radical counter-view, that is obviously unrealistic, based on those same stereotypes.

    I somehow think that Annie’s post has been extremely misunderstood. Most people seem to have taken it as a personal attack on them and not surprisingly, their responses have been defensive.

    * Interestingly, if I remember correctly, she wrote this story to impress her husband who was instrumental in getting her educated. He was, needless to day, impressed.

  33. Apuva,
    congratulations for your pseudo-freudian analysis.
    If there was any satire it was missed by everyone.
    It was what GB said, it was also what GB did not say (out of politeness) tripe.

  34. I find this (off-topic) debate on the defining ‘good journalism’ as bizarre. Dilip said: 31 responses here already. Annie, we need more journalists like you.

    Come again ? If someone makes a blanket statement on their blog: ‘The trouble with having Muslims players in the Indian cricket team is that they are unpatriotic and hence not dependable…..’ (mind you – neither I or anyone else is making that claim – just considering a hypthetical situation) – I am sure that blog will get flooded with comments (if enabled and un-moderated) – mostly against and unfortunately, a few in favor. Especially so if the piece gets picked up by Desipundit or any A-list blogger. But where is the correlation between number of comments (or even the popularity of a blog) and good writing/journalism ?

    If this was the case, then a Glenn Reynolds or Kos would have been Pulitzer prize winners many times over.

    Coming back to the topic – could not agree more with GB and some other commentors here about how discussions on equality (race or gender) is often hijacked by the ‘some are more equal than others’ fallacy.

    Having said that, I do believe that anytime a historical minority is allowed entry in a profession or even society at large, there does need to be certain safe guards for that minority. Discrimination against women in army or the workplace in general, both in India and US, is very real. Dealing with it sensitively without going overboard in political correctness is a delicate balance.

  35. First thing first, Greatbong, good post, and a thought provoking one at that…because as you pointed out, it’s true that an article by a male for males will provoke an outrage as opposed to an article by a female for females. In fact, the sunday TOI had recent articles like ‘Women on top, are you men ready?’, which I felt was too juvenile and immatured because all that the article was about was infidelity in marriages and women are catching up with the men there…God, as if that was something to be proud of!

    But then, I haven’t read the actual article on which you commented but if it is in reply to a sexist article, naturally it will be sexist too…you cannot blame the person who replies without bringing in the person who provoked the reply…I suppose you can only be fair in pointing out both articles.

    @Harsh:
    While studying from Operating Systems …. the programmer, or any other human character is referred to as a “she” in the sixth editon. Everytime I encounter this “she”, it rings a remote alarm bell. Not that I find it annoying, but it seems absolutely foolish. Forgive me, dear womens’ rights activists, but sadly and tragically, a majority of the world’s programmers are men.

    So, just because a majority of the programmers are male, you need not ridicule or discredit the fact that there are female prgrammers as well. I find it ‘absolutely foolish’ that you have a problem when characters are ‘she’ , as then, by your logic, till the 5th edition of that book, there might have been females who would have a problem reading those chatacters as ‘he’.
    And yeah, the majority of programmers are male because there are more males who are into science and technology than females, so what’s the big deal here, which is making you gloat? Are other occupations, like teaching or nursing, where women are a majority, so demeaning?

    Lastly, this is for ‘Joy forever’, who wrote:
    ‘That is why we have separate ladies’ queues at ticket counters, ladies’ compartments in trains, ladies’ seats in buses. Nowhere do we have a “gents’ compartment” or a “gents’ only queue” or “gents’ only seats”. Ladies make use of the “general” ones as well. After all we are equal, right? Who ever heard of a lady leaving her “general” seat in a bus for a (physically sound) gentleman?’

    Well, women do have separate queues, seats and compartments, and don’t pretend to be naiive or outraged about it, they have these ‘separate’ places because otherwise they would be victims of so-called ‘eve teasing’ or rather, more simply put, sexual harassment. It is out of necessity and not as a favour, so don’t try to make it into an issue when there is none. If men could behave themselves in these places, there wouldn’t have been the necessity of ‘separating’ queues, seats and compartments.

  36. Sigghsss.. Dilip is here too. I wonder how many discussions has this person spoiled with his inane logic.

    Now the discussion will disintegrate to an India bashing rant soon, and everyone will be frothing seeing Dilip repeat the same things again and again in different words. And of course, Desi Godwins Laws apply too. Just replace Hitler with our very own Modi.

  37. Apurva,

    “I somehow think that Annie’s post has been extremely misunderstood. Most people seem to have taken it as a personal attack on them and not surprisingly, their responses have been defensive.”

    This is called freudian analysis.

    By everyone I meant everyone who was not amused with this piece of fine journalism. My bad.

  38. good post. agree with great bong.

    If the govt. can discriminate between people based on math/phy/chem marks etc. Why can’t they discriminate people based on gender. As claimed by Annie in her post – if women can be superior to men in some aspects – they can also be inferior in other aspects?

    Borrowing somebody’s joke – It is like women wanting equal rights to be a p e n i s model.

    maybe women simply just fail the physical test, which conveniently appears as “excluded” in media.

  39. Someone here remarked that using a “She” was ridiculous. Well, in all honesty – I find using a “He” always rather ridiculous. Like Man discovered how to make a fire, Man invented the Wheel, Man discovered agriculture and Man harnessed the power of water. When you talk to ten year olds and ask them to draw a picture of the discovery of fire they ALWAYS draw one man bent over a pile of sticks or with a flint in hand.

    Woman is as likely to have invented the wheel. And yet why do people cringe when they read “Woman invented wheel and it revolutionized how humanity could do work”. Why is the word man more representative of humanity than woman?

    I don’t think Annie’s post and the sexual assault bit can be drawn up as neat parallels. Child Sexual Abuse, regardless of sex – is when an adult sexually abuses a person under the age of 16. However, I don’t agree with Annie’s post on comparing men and women either. I can’t help but wonder if there is an element of satire to it. Journalism it isn’t – opinion at best.

  40. Apurva: “I somehow think that Annie’s post has been extremely misunderstood. Most people seem to have taken it as a personal attack on them and not surprisingly, their responses have been defensive.”

    And why do you think that is? My whole point is that it’s because she’s using stereotypes that she’s getting that reaction. It’s unrealistic to say that ‘men’ are “utterly incapable of forming rational, logical views” and then not expect them to get defensive. The sad part is that she’s making some good arguments in the rest of her post, but because she chooses to deal in stereotypes she undermines her own credibility.

    Oh, and I’m fairly sceptical about the satire argument – if the post was meant to be satirical I would say it was extremely bad satire. And to GB’s point, if we’re willing to assume that Annie’s post was satirical, then why not assume that Shravan’s initial post was satirical too? We could then say that Shravan’s post has been extremely misunderstood, most people have taken it as a personal attack and not surprisingly their responses have been defensive (not that I believe that for a moment). Why not give them both the benefit of the doubt (here’s the crucial word): equally? :-).

  41. Falstaff,

    I am not defensive, I am quite incapable of any rational thought :-).

    I am deriving malicious pleasure from the hiding the “fine journalist” and “the messiah of poor” got from GB

  42. @falstaff: Agreed that Annie’s post is not exactly a ‘classic’ satire. In fact, I would have to stretch the meaning of satire to catagorise her post as one.
    But her use of stereotypes is a deliberate undermining of the stereotypes themselves. Maybe, it wasn’t as obvious as I thought it to be…

    It’s unrealistic to say that ‘men’ are “utterly incapable of forming rational, logical views” and then not expect them to get defensive.

    I didn’t. I find this a very individual response but just that the majority of those who responded this way happen to be men. Reason: On its own, this sentence seems to imply that the writer is a bigoted person who thinks all men are dumb. But in the context in which it was written in, ie, as a response to Shravan’s assertion that the army is about physical tenacity, violence, physical rigor, and many other such characteristics that go with being men.

    Both the statements are ridiculous which is exactly the point.

    Men arn’t all brawn. Men arn’t all brain either. Women likewise.

    I, personally, would not characterise myself as physically fit. Maybe my Y gene has been corrupted. :)

    why not assume that Shravan’s initial post was satirical too?

    I just had a ‘d’oh’ moment when I read that.

  43. @gaurav: Still not convinced. Even if that last statement of mine was indeed a piece of Freudian analysis, firstly, how is it pseudo, and secondly, how is it that you dismissed my entire comment pseudo-freudian when it was the last bit that you point to?

    btw, I never said that her post was journalistic. I was actually referring to her real journalistic pieced that get published in the magazine, Frontline.

  44. Arnab,congrats dude,you have done it once again.The hornet’s nest has been sturred to the right oscillation and now let me sit back and watch the swirling comment section.Reminds me of the Crichton novel Disclosure.But then again it’s a blogging world where all we do is type and type.At the end of the day there will still be leagues of fuming feminists, macho MCPs and a few good men and women torned in between.

  45. Apurva,

    As Falstaff pointd out that Annie’s piece was not a satire. She has made a serious argument against Shravans illogical and sexist statements.

    Why should a sexist statement countered by another sexist one? I would have thought that Shravans little tripe would be so easy rip apart that you did not need to make a sexist argument at all.

    If I am told that because I am a man I am unable to comprehend a woman’s issue, then well, you lose me. That is all.

    @Bongo,

    bang on bro! lovely. :)

  46. Women are not equal to men, not physiologically not psychologically.
    A woman having sex with a young boy is different from a man having
    sex with a young girl for the simple reason that the emotional responses
    are different, and consequently the psychological effects are different.

    The silly thing is that this is something we know quite well from our everyday interactions, but
    on putting ink to paper we suddenly insist on the existence a fantasy.

    I do not think it is morally correct to insist on two beings with different innate instincts and physiologies to be treated to the same behavioral standard. It is perhaps even stupid to insist so.

  47. Confused,

    “If I am told that because I am a man I am unable to comprehend a woman’s issue, then well, you lose me. That is all.”

    Ahaa sparks are still there :-)

  48. @confused:

    Why should a sexist statement countered by another sexist one?

    *sigh* Why is that I feel I am talking to a wll whenever you are involved?

    If I am told that because I am a man I am unable to comprehend a woman’s issue, then well, you lose me. That is all.

    Ah! You take her words quite literally. It was not meant to be (atleast I think so).

  49. @Apurva,

    Fine. We can agree to disagree.

    btw, it makes me go duh! too.

    It would have been better of course if Annie herself had defended her post instead of you knowing and thinking everything on her behalf.
    But from her past record, she never will.

    Have a good one.

  50. Well, enough anatomy of both the posts has already been done, but I dont think there can ever be a comprehensive all-points-discussed-and-mutually-agreed-upon kind of discussion. ‘I’ is ego, and till it remains live (God! let it..’we’ stinks.. amen), there will always be a debate – who is superior and who isn’t.

    In my view, “equality” should be replaced with the now notorious “equal opportunity”. The meaning of this term has been skewed much by certain Arjun Singh…but anyway, I believe in it the following way:

    Let there never be an aggreement on who is superior, and lets just see each men-women-oppressors-oppressed as egos. Let them play the game akin to Last Man (oops) Standing, Let the egos clash to the point one prevails over the others. Let there be no cheat-codes of reservations in this game, and who ever wins takes away the Girl (oops again)

  51. @Harsh: Though the idea of dildo-wielding lesbians wandering the world is rather arousing, I dont think we will come to that. And in our politically correct age, perhaps we need to create a 3rd gender-neutral pronoun—-I propose using “it”.

    @DilipD: The response to your comment has already been made very eloquently if I might say so by others in the commentspace. Repeating what they in essence said, I do not think that good journalism lies in making people “react”. Anne Coulter makes people react. Narendra Modi makes people react (and think). Would their writings and speeches make for “fine” journalism just because they make you stop, think and react?

    @Scipio: Stemming from a notion of faux-”liberalism” if I might say so.

    @Gaurav: Yes I know some people are more equal than others……I just wish they would actually keep up the pretence of “equality” .

    @Gourav: True.

    @Joy Forever: Well all I can say is that if a woman genuinely believes in equality, then she should not sit in the Men’s section when the Woman’s section is full.

    @Shan: Aah well.

    @Anon: Again the point here was not whether women are suitable for all sections of the Army. I deliberately did not discuss the original issue for fear of obfuscating the main point.

    @Jedi: Perhaps so.

    @Gangadhar: I am fine thank you. I am honored to be a part of your family.

    @Neha: Agreed totally with your first comment. Now with respect to the second,
    you said:

    I don’t think Annie’s post and the sexual assault bit can be drawn up as neat parallels. Child Sexual Abuse, regardless of sex – is when an adult sexually abuses a person under the age of 16.

    Why are they not parallels? My point is that media and public reaction varies according to the sex of the 15 year old—just as it does when the male and the female word are interchanged from Annie’s post.

    @TTG: Fuckin good man.

    @Gourav: LOL. Is this the last scene of “Yaadon ki Baraat” ? Do you see me playing a guitar?

    @Pegasus: The pot calling the kettle black.

    @Satyajit: Bird and bees go together?

    @Vulturo: Thank you

    @Apurva:

    Plucked out of context? Right. Absolutely. Of course by providing a link back to her post, I have allowed people to read the context—-but of course you wouldnt care for that.

    Because you have already honed in on the truth. She wrote this in response to a blatantly sexist post.

    Just like Narendra Modi justified the murder of Muslims as a response to Godhra—–one bad deed truly justifies the other just as one act of sexism (I do not think that the original piece was as sexist as Annie Zaidi’s) justifies the other.

    Apurva, actually we need more people like you. Misandry is uncommon—perhaps. But we see one glowing example here, no matter how you would like to call it.

    @slash: Its strange that so few people got the satire and the sarcasm. I think I am pretty good in understanding such forms of rhetoric —-and I found absolutely none. Except this one in the comments section of Annie’s post:

    Studies in leading universities in Canada and the United States have repeatedly shown that women do not have a penis.

    On second thoughts, I am not so sure.

    @Nazim.k : Thank you

    @debOLiN: :-)

    @Marauder’s Map: No its not more complicated than that. As I said, Annie’s words have no bearing with the Army—they are just flat, sexist assumptions. Whether women have it easy or hard is not germane to the issue. Saying that men are incapable of strength, fortitude and courage cannot logically follow from historical wrongs against women.

    It is indeed disappointing (since I do admire your blog) that you would seek to justify this kind of writing.

    @Confused: Right….

    @Ali: Do I ?

    @Falstaff: I would be very much curious if this happened:

    A blogger A, based on an outrageous statement by a Maulvi (say a fatwa against Sachin Tendulkar) goes on a rant against Muslims (saying how they lack courage and judgement etc etc).

    People come and say: ” I do not agree with the discriminatory statements A is making but I am willing to cut A some slack considering the outrageous statements of the maulavi. Accusations of communalism are probably excessive.”

    Yes I would like to see that happen.

    @Gaurav:

    Oh dear…so many proud Gauravs here—-all in my family of course. As you pointed out, the point of this post is NOT the debate over the role of women in today’s army but certain ad-hoc sexist statements made by a certain blogger (and as I have taken pains to point out: this cannot be justified as a reaction—if it is then Gujrat and Delhi 1984 can also be rationalized).

    @BongoPondit: Couldnt have said this better.

    @Apu: One wrong does not justify another. I beseech you to read the post Annie’s post was in reaction to and compare the shrillness in their tones.

    @Shadows: I dont think we will get to India-bashing in this comments section. Modi—I have already brought him in…but not to compare any of the discussants with Modi.

    @Suyog: And when there is a lot of fair sex in it.

    @Hawkeye: True….discrimination is all around the world… and some of it is essential.

    @Apurva: No the satire is not as obvious as it should be. And I have been saying D-oh moments too—-and I have been having them while going through some of your comments.

    @Bishu: Stirring the hornet’s nest is much fun…as they would say in JU—”Bawali hobe…..”

    @Seven_Times_Six: Awesome. This comment should be highlighted.

    A woman having sex with a young boy is different from a man having
    sex with a young girl for the simple reason that the emotional responses
    are different, and consequently the psychological effects are different.

    What if its a man fondling a boy? How about the emotional response there Mr 42? Dont let the kinky appeal of the older woman–younger boy coupling cloud your judgement here.

    I felt a bit sick reading your comment.

    @Deepa: Now that would not be sarcasm, would it?

    @VNS: Didn’t quite get the point…

  52. GreatB: The response to your comment has already been made very eloquently if I might say so by others in the commentspace. Repeating what they in essence said, I do not think that good journalism lies in making people “react”. Anne Coulter makes people react. Narendra Modi makes people react (and think). Would their writings and speeches make for “fine” journalism just because they make you stop, think and react?

    Just because the response was made by others doesn’t make it right.

    Annie makes people think. Annie is able to do that consistently. (My opinion, of course). Those are the things I said about her. These things, I believe, make her a good journalist.

    I don’t believe I could say those things about Coulter/Modi.

  53. @Dilip: I dont think I can say that about Annie either. Her piece, characterized by a form of virulent chauvinism (and let’s not get into the action-reaction chestnut here), is absolutely Coulterish and Modish…that you choose not to see it is of course your choice.

    I am sure that Modi says had made you think—-the revulsion to Hindutva that you have always conveyed through your writings for the last 6-7 years was ,I presume, born out of thoughts triggered by the actions/speeches of the Hindu Right.

  54. GreatB: “those things”. I said two things about Annie. She has a body of work. I have read some of it. For “those things” and for other reasons that I’ve noticed in that body of work, I believe she is a good journalist.

    I don’t believe I can say those things about Coulter/Modi.

    If this has to be reduced to a comparison to Coulter/Modi, I’ll let you do it. I’m not interested.

  55. Studies in leading universities in Canada and the United States have repeatedly shown that women do not have a penis.

    On second thoughts, I am not so sure.

    I await with baited breath the release of your sexual memoirs, o greatbong.

    P.S – Apologies for the blatant “misquoting” for the purpose of conjuring up an innuendo. :)

  56. @ GB: If we compare the number of comments to your blog and how detailed they are, with those of Annie’s blog for this topic; it’s obvious who has a written a ‘better’ journalistic piece according to Dilip D’Souza’s criteria of “making people think and react”.

    I guess if DD calls you a ‘fine journalist’, you would be pacified and comforted! ;)

    I have never been interested in blogs…but last week, I read one of your blogs and ever since I’ve been hooked. :) Good blog, this one, as always.

    ———————————————————–

    By the way, I tried reading Annie’s piece and frankly speaking I don’t see what was so fine about it. It was filled with the usual cliched illogical female chauvinistic horse-shit about the “pain of child-birth” and “women in Rajasthan carrying water for 20 kms”. I gave up before I could even finish. Nothing original or witty or thought provoking about it and too full of illogical ideas to even want to leave a comment there.

  57. GB,

    You can’t expect people to react the same way to similar kinds of posts by men and women. It has been my experience that most ( civilized ) men tend to be more sympathetic to women than other men; and women ( except nutty feminists ) treat men and women equally. Thus, the world being male dominated contributes ironically to life being harder for men. I hate this but that is how people seem to function.

    The west – the kind of free individualistic society you seem to uphold in many a libertarian post – seem to be becoming increasingly anti-male ( some of the issues are listed here). Inspite of sensible organizations like i-feminists that strive for genuine equality the male-bashing trend is what seems to be getting stronger. And I think that is the way a free individualist society will proceed – it won’t behave sanely. So much for championing freedom etc.

    7*6 : you have made this same comment before in ravikiran’s blog. Do you have any concrete suggestions on what kind of difference there should be in treatment?

    Neha : If you had as much problem with misandry as with misogyny how is it that you yawn for one post and link the other in global voices with a favourable language? This is downright hypocrisy ( while I don’t agree with shravan but going by the language etc. I don’t think he was nearly as vituperative as Annie ).

  58. @GB:

    Just like Narendra Modi justified the murder of Muslims as a response to Godhra—–one bad deed truly justifies the other just as one act of sexism (I do not think that the original piece was as sexist as Annie Zaidi’s) justifies the other.

    And I have been saying D-oh moments too—-and I have been having them while going through some of your comments.

    I see… It looks like I either failed to put my point across or there has been a complete failure of understanding. I would just say that you are mistaken…

  59. My previous comment here brought two responses apart from GB’s… so I’ll try to answer them.

    @The Marauder’s Map: You said, “So the mere interchanging of words becomes a trifle simplistic, and triggers off silly, predictable responses such as ‘women get ladies seats, special queues’.” Yes, those are silly, and predictable too. Because they are true. You rightly said, the issue is much more complex. If so, then why try to oversimplify it by creating stereotypes out of men?
    …which brings me to the second response.
    @Apu: You said Well, women do have separate queues, seats and compartments, and don’t pretend to be naiive or outraged about it, they have these ’separate’ places because otherwise they would be victims of so-called ‘eve teasing’ or rather, more simply put, sexual harassment. It is out of necessity and not as a favour, so don’t try to make it into an issue when there is none. If men could behave themselves in these places, there wouldn’t have been the necessity of ’separating’ queues, seats and compartments.

    Egg-jaktly! How right you are! I have been a daily-passenger in Kolkata local trains, and since I was unable to ‘behave myself’ (being a man), I sexually harassed a woman every day. Sometimes two.
    So it’s certainly natural that they’ll be needing separate queues, seats and compartments. Only, it beats me why they come crowding into the general compartments, seats and queues. Maybe they wish to be sexually harassed? Maybe they try to seduce the men? Otherwise how do you justify women sitting on both ladies’ and general seats in a bus while the men are standing (I’ve personally seen this)? Imagine a situation with the roles reversed! And it also beats me why we don’t have a men’s only compartment or queue… they should be protected from sexual harassment by women, right?
    Now… did you say women don’t do that? Come on! They are not equal to men then, after all.

  60. GreatBong: I did not make any comment on the psychological effects of men fondling boys, so you can feel as sick as you like by as much extrapolation as you’d like. The fact is, most 14 year old boys wouldn’t be psychologically affected by having sex with 30 year old women, while the reverse does not hold true. That’s all I said, and that’s all I’m going to say. To demand the same punishment to both perpetrators is silly.

    FrogInTheWell: perhaps you misunderstood me. I’m not saying they “should” be treated differently. I’m saying it is wrong to say they “should” be treated similarly. There is a subtle but important difference between the two statements: One example of the difference is in the first para.

    I’m saying this not so as to rationalize treating women differently in an exploitative fashion; I say this so as to prevent blind ethical passions, removed from reality, from exploitatively forcing women to behave similarly to men.

  61. @Gaurav Sabnis: My sexual memoirs? A blank page? A pamphlet perhaps at the most?

    @Gusty: Yes ! So I at last become a fine journalist but not the way I expected.

    @FrogInTheWell: True…

    @Apurva: Yes I am wrong. Now since we have all logically proved that, can we get on with our lives?

    @Seven_Times_Six: Yes I understand it. Boys enjoy sex with older women….which is why they dont get psychologically affected. To demand same punishment to both is silly.

    One word: sick.

    I am also curious as to how Seven_times_six’s view on boys and the effect of rape on them is not being attacked by “feminists”…

    Incidentally, if women fondling boys leaves no effect, then why should men fondling boys be any different?

    There is an organization you might be interested in—it’s called NAMBLA and it uses the same logic that you do. Except that it talks about how boys enjoy molestation by older men and how it leaves NO EFFECT on their minds.

    You can start NAWBLA and take your comment and put it as the motto.

    Sick.

  62. With due apologies to Samuel L. Jackson in my all time fav movie , Pulp Fiction (Q. Tarantino, 1994):

    I enter an apartment and find several ‘fine’ female journalists discussing something in a very animated fashion. Behind them are several guys who are clapping at each word the women are saying.

    fine journo 1: “So what I was saying..that a women goes through much more pain than a man. So the army general should be made into nice patties. Ill put 1 in a burger every day (takes a big bite of the burger).”

    Me, to male 1: “looks like Ive caught you at breakfast. What kind of burger is that?”

    Male 1: “Royale with cheese. And she (points at the girl beside him) has one with logical fallacies ketchup added to it”

    Me: “whats so special with that sauce?”

    Male 1: “Claims that it will enable her to raplace equals with equals and make non-simplistic assumptions and inferences. Would make a good feminist.”

    Me to fine journo 2: “Maam, can I have some of your tasty burger with that sauce ”

    Fine journo 2: “Sure. go ahead”

    I bite into the special burger. But its has a bigger effect on me than it was supposed to. I develop a seething hatred towards all male in the room( dont blame me..it was the sauce). I hear fine journo 1 saying ” women are more fit for the job than men are.” I cant take it any more. I take out a gun and shoot Male 1.

    Fine journo looks at me with disbelief.

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Did that break your concentration? I didn’t mean to do that. Please, continue. I believe you were saying something about “more fit”

    Then to journo 1: “What does the indian army look like? “, and then add, “if I say that A and B are equal in weight, then modulo the property of weight, they should be indistinguishable.”
    “what? ”
    [some editing]
    Me again: “Does it look like a brothel? ”

    “no”

    “Then are you fucking with it? And bringing silly gender discrimination etc logic into it”
    Me : ” Well there is this blog post that i got memorized.(just like ezekiel 25:17) …Would be appropriate in this situation.” And then I read out your post.
    ————————————————————————-

    Now coming back, it was a superb post GB. Loved it. Let us go back to the origianal post by Comfy Numb. That boy was absolutely correct. He is not an MCP or anything. to quote him: “Do not get me wrong. I am not being male-chauvinistic. I am not saying that women are inferior in any way. I am not saying that women do not “deserve” to be in the army. I am just saying that the army should function as a professional body, and not pander to the wishes of irresponsible politicians like Sushma Swaraj. Sushma Swaraj believes that the army should work like any responsible MNC in Bangalore, and hire a minimum number of women.”

    Beautiful. And still people say hes a sexist. If as DD says good journalism makes u think , the that boy is a fine fine journo. A Z ’s logis is like this : My boss fires me for being lousy and a shirker. And I go out and say to the world ” Me a shirker..what does he know about hard work. ” Of course I may be gulity of missing out on a lot of logic as i couldnt progress beyond 3/4 th of AZ’s post…i was hit by a bout of nausea.

    Now I completely empathise with the girl who commited suicide. She came on her own volition..and sets an example to many others..both men and women in AC rooms . The army generals comment , i have to say was a bit tactless but not that boy’s post. AZ gave a sexual colour to it, just like Sushma swaraj.

    That Lafave analogy was spot on…GB…why didnt we have teachers like that (can give an arm for her) when we were 14?

    Ill extend your logic and say theres a helluva lot of discrimination in the fashion world…most people are women..and if the head of some fashion company says…”men aint necessary. women models bring in more revenue”, would she be equally guilty in the eyes of all those who support AZ’s view. The situation is unnecessarily being given a sexual twist. But they had forgotten you. As Uma Thurman said in that great movie , “Dont you just hate that ..uncomfortable silences? ” Yeah…and way to break it is by embarking on a meaningless rant like AZ did.

    Wish I could write more…but Spain vs France is happening. So adios for the time being.

  63. 7*6 : are you saying that consensual sex has more adverse impact on a 14 year old girl than a 14 year old boy? I am getting vague hints of a possible reason but I would still like to get an authentic reference.

    Also, our legal system seems to be one which concerns itself more with the intent of the perpetrator than the effect – eg. accidental vs. planned murder.

  64. GB, wanted to say, thanks from the bottom of my heart for this: One word: sick.

    Also, Someone way the hell up on the page somewhere complained that Annie has not or would not make an appearance here (or something, I’m not going up to get the exact quote). Why would she? This is just a beat up AZ fest.

  65. it is becase the world is full of inequality that we have got diversity.
    otherwise, we would be clones of clones of clones…..

    and sadly, we are somehow brainmapped for conflict… we like causing pain, distress, war and even the most pacifist among us likes getting into lengthy blog arguments as a civilized alternative to hand-to-hand combat

    hindu mythology is quite comfortable with the idea that the destructive force can be both male/female (kali-rudra)
    and when mahishasura had to be destroyed, a multi-armed durga was invoked.

    no male gods.

    that poor asura was so wonderstruck by the beautiful ferocity of his adversary that he proposed while trying to kill her.

    in the end, he got his come-uppence.

    sounds like a mythological kill bill

    fillums like that work cos the protagonist is a woman. no reviewer worth his column-inch would rave about it if it showed a male in such a gore-spilling spree.

    its arnab’s misfortune to live in times when male-bashing is considered politically correct
    wife-beating is frowned upon
    husband-beating is sniggered at

    interestingly, indian kings liked their personal bodyguards to be women.
    so, women were a functional part of the army, much before the modern equal-oppurtunities defence force came into existence

  66. @yourfan2: Did you see a sign outside that said dead chauvinist storage? You didnt. You know why. Cause there isnt one.

    Priceless movie that is.

    @DilipD: Am curious. Whats the thanks for? Me calling 7*6 sick? Or do you mean to call us, who I think are trying to talk about equality rather than superiority, sick?

    As to this being AZ beat up fest, I am sure you would be the first in line for a XYZ beat up fest if someone had written that Religion H is superior to Religion M and given certain reasons for that.

    You would not call it fine journalism simply because it provoked people to think—you would call that person communal (and he deserves to be) and you and your friends would descend on the guy like the Nazgul (I am trying to be funny here).

    None of you would, in the interest of fairness, argue for the blogger (as an example, AZ wrote this post in response to a blogpost she thought was chauvinistic…why wasnt that called a Shravan beat-up fest?) if you did not agree with him/her.

    Not that I could care less if AZ commented or not (no disrespect to her of course)—but I find your line of reasoning rather tenous.

    And I suppose I am not the only one.

    @Swati:

    that poor asura was so wonderstruck by the beautiful ferocity of his adversary that he proposed while trying to kill her.

    Sounds like the typical “May I do franship with you?” Orkut junkie.

  67. @Gbong

    @DilipD: Am curious. Whats the thanks for
    GB, arent you familiar with dd’s methods of debate?

    a. Freeze on one argument and defend it until hell freezes over. Ignore all possible logic, reason or countering arguments
    b. Every third comment must thank someone. Keep firing thanks here and there. Dont think what the thanks are for. go through his debates and see how many of these inexplicable thank yous creep up
    c. In case it hasnt been emphasised, defend argument ignoring reason until Christ is seen on the horizon

  68. GB, I thanked you for your remark about 7*6. That comment of his is putrid. It needed to be pointed out as such. (Not the first putrid comment he has made, though).

    Sometimes, you know, sometimes, it’s a straight compliment. Please do take it like that.

    Back to other stuff.

    The “You would not call it XYZ” hypotheticals can go on forever, sort of like the Coulter/Modi comparisons, so I won’t extend them.

    As a rule I don’t join beat up fests. I don’t know who you mean by “none of you” and “you and your friends”. My tenuous reasoning is hardly made more tenuous because you’re “not the only one” who finds it so. (In other words, it remains tenuous all through).

    Speaking only for myself, which is all I really can do, I’ll say it one last time and if it doesn’t reach a functional eardrum it’s going to have to remain floating in the air: I believe Annie makes people think, and consistently. I’ve seen the kind of work she does. (I can think of only a handful of other Indian journalists who do stuff like she does). To me, those things make her a fine journalist. Period.

    I shall now oblige a certain shadows, though not without pointing out that the mention of Modi wasn’t from me. And I hope he hasn’t found much India-bashing going on.

  69. I am also curious as to how Seven_times_six’s view on boys and the effect of rape on them is not being attacked by “feminists”…

    GreatBong: You have me pissed off now.
    It is not me being sick, it is you being stupid.

    I did not refer to molestation or rape. The question there is in black and white: of course coercion is detestable.

    I compared, as at least FrogInTheWell thankfully does not misunderstand, quite clearly to consensual sex between a 14 year old boy and a 30 year old woman and the converse of a 14 yr old girl and a 30 yr old man. This of course being a reference to the recent school teacher controversies.

    Additionally, I said the psychological effects are DIFFERENT (lesser for the boy), not that that there isn’t any. So, I said, the punishment should not be the same.

    I’m sorry you misunderstood, but please leave me out of your sick extrapolations. THANKS.

  70. dilIp : any person in his right mind who makes such an endorsement as yours ( of AZ’s controversial post ) would have appended a caveat saying that the endorsement applies only to the ability of the post to generate discussions and not to those statements of it which are fraught with intense hatred. That being the case, there is absolutely no reason to believe that you are being honest in claiming that your intention in linking to the post was what you claim it to have been. Also a statement like

    I don’t know who you mean by “none of you” and “you and your friends”.

    isn’t really honest as well, clearly.

    However, I think 7*6 is making an honest attempt to study the situation. While I don’t know if his assertion has truth in it ( and if so to what extent ) we shouldn’t totally ignore the evolutionary psychology issues ( may be sick, but our object is to get as close an approximation to truth as we can ). yourfan2 : nice re-appraisal of shravan’s post.

  71. Dilip,

    I made that remark that Annie would not appear or defend her view. I don’t think this is a beat up Annie fest at all. I have certain times got into arguments on the other India blog where I have been the only one advocating a certain line with 5 people opposing me. I dont take that as a beat confused fest. You your self have made arguments on my blog, when many people have opposed you, do you take that as a beat Dilip fest? If you did then you wont bother to reply back, will you?

    I do not question her brilliance as journalist, I just belive that in this specific matter she has made a highly sexist remark. She always has the option of saying that, hey, this was not my main argument and acknowldge that she made a mistake in writing those particular lines. Of course, that is up to her and she has the option of showing how others are wrongly interpreting her.

    best

  72. @parakrami: Thanks :-)

    @DD: Well Mr. 42 made us think too—didnt he?

    @Seven_times_six: Should I feel afraid that you feel pissed? Okay I am. And stop trying to amplify/modify your SICK POV (at least for once DD and I agree) with things like “affects boys lesser than girls”—– for an underage, sex with an adult is RAPE and there is no less than and greater than here.

    @Froginthewell: I wouldnt agree with your point about Seven_times_six. I just do not agree that a boy, manipulated into a sexual situation by an older lady, is likely to suffer any less of confusion and turmoil than a girl. If it was the case, the law would have been different. I fail to see any evolutionary reason for this—it’s pretty straightforward.

  73. I have to agree with seven_times_six and the reasoning about consensual sex. Why the same standards are not applicable in a major and minor sex offence case is mostly because men and women are psychologically different and hence the effect of the abuse on the victims differ. The cases need to be treated thus, there cannot be a forced standard of equal judgment where there is none.

  74. Whoa! What a load of crock that Annie’s post was. Could’nt read through all that mindless ramblings, did not finish it, will never go back to her blog and I don’t think it deserves even a comment on her own blog.

    She went from female animals protecting the male of their species and then to childbirth being torture?? We did not ask them to give birth, atleast not me… Come to us when you want children will you? I am going to be an MCP, I usually am not, ask any of my girl friends. I sincerely believe in equality, but this is just the shittiest comment by a woman.

    /rant over.

  75. @Aravind: Well it made you react didnt it? And that it seems to be one of the main characteristics of good journalism.

     @Shreemoyee: Of course. I stand corrected. Its fine to rape a boy but not a girl because the boy is made up of “different stuff”. Needless to say, there is no scientific evidence of this fact—which is why the laws are the same.

    We are seeing a rather radical definition of feminism here—where raping a boy is a “minor” sex offense case. Again Shreemoyee, what if the perpetrator is male? That is man raping a boy vs man raping a girl? Minor offense —first one right?

    Or do you like Seven_times_sex believe that a woman raping a boy is “ok” but not a man raping a boy? Because by your logic, it’s male mentality which makes raping a boy a “minor offense”—-whether the perp is male or female should not matter.

    (I am sorry if I sound intolerant but having people coming and calling rape of young boys as “different” than that of girls (and consequently a comparatively “minor” offense) is simply too much for even non-judgemental liberal me to digest)

    Again Shreemoyee, let me recommend NAMBLA to you——–they share your POV 100%.

    Or you can try Michael Jackson’s ranch.

  76. I was talking about consensual sex which by law, is an offense where one of the partners is a minor and not rape. Again effects on the minor victims cannot be generalized, but studies say that the effects are indeed different. Rape or unwilling sex perpetuated on any one of any gender is henious.

  77. @Shreemoyee: Studies? Where? Conducted at the Neverland Ranch maybe?

    Now get this. A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 18 CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX IF AN ADULT IS THE PERPETRATOR. EVEN IF THE CHILD SAYS “YES”  IT IS RAPE. IT IS CALLED “STATUTORY RAPE”.

    From here.

    The term “statutory rape” is used when national and/or regional governments, citing an interest in protecting minors, consider people under a certain age to be unable to give informed consent, and therefore consider sexual contact with them to be a felony regardless of their stated consent

    In other words, there is no concept of consensual sex for a person under 18. Any sex is RAPE/SEXUAL ASSAULT (term varies)—-the “yes” of the victim is not taken into account.

    Again under Age of Consent–> No concept of consensual sex.

    Is that clear?

  78. @greatbong: Yes, it made me react. No, it is not good journalism. I will never go back there. Will never recommend any one to that site. There are a few good women and men out there who are fighting for a just cause for women. She, is not one of them. She is demeaning women.
    She is the first one who would cry foul if we took their seat on the bus. Well, equality madam, we are as equal as you are and unless you are old, sick or pregnant, I won’t give up my seat for you.

  79. GB : I didn’t say that 7*6 was correct; I only said he seemed honest ( in the sense that while his reasoning may be wrong/insufficient his is genuinely an attempt to study ). I don’t see an evolutionary reason either, to warrant differential treatment, and as long as there is no evidence of such distinction I would demand strict equality should be maintained as well ( this means that contingent on the lack of evidence, I disagree with 7*6 ). Certainly I don’t buy the point of view just based on statements by 7*6 or Shreemoyee, but I would like to mull over the arguments evolutionary psychology can offer ( me getting too repetitive :-(( )

  80. They aren’t talking about consensual sex as defined legally, but the kind of sex had without forcing ( I am not endorsing their point of view, only trying to point out the communication gap ).

  81. @ 7*6, @ Shreemoyee:

    Since you are talking about consexual sex, who exactly is bringing up the charges against the 30 year old male/female? Not the 14 yr old kid I guess, rather the parents or a guardian of the kid. Irrespective of whether the kid is a boy or a girl, the parent is gonna be equally pissed…I don’t see the mother of a 14 yr old boy going, “Oh my kid is a boy and scientific research suggests that these sexcapades with the 30 yr old lady is going to effect him ‘differently’ (‘lesser’) compared to a girl, so it’s ok if the punishment is less stringent (or ‘different’)for the lady”.

    Some other questions:

    1. What about consensual sex between a 30 yr old man and a 14 yr old boy? Does the 30 yr old man get a higher penalty compared to a 30 yr old woman or does he get the same? In other words who causes more trauma? (Requires research, eh?)

    2. What about consensual sex between a 30 yr old lady and 14 yr old girl? Do you feel a 30 yr old woman will cause less trauma or more trauma to a 14 yr old girl than a 30 yr old guy? (Some more research, eh?)

    3. And seems to me that a paedophile targeting young boys is gonna get away with a lighter sentence compared to a paedophile targeting young girls…since they would be causing less psychological trauma. (or maybe you feel it is the other way round?)

    The other issue is the “psychological effect” thingie…after-effects of consensual sex as a kid are often visible prominently during adulthood. So deciding on a punishment by checking the mental status of the kid at present can be quite flawed.

    The deal is that consensual sex between a 14 yr old kid and an adult is a crime, simply because the law believes that the minor is not mature enough to make the decision about having sex. So his/her consent or his/her being currently psychologicaly stable does not hold any force in a court of law whether the minor be a boy or a girl.

    One last thought…if a boy has less psychological effect compared to a girl, after having sex with an adult…might that mean the boy is better suited to make sexual decisions compared to a girl of the same age? (Do I hear proponents of gender equality crying foul? ;) ) Maybe they should lower the age limit for guys then for various sex related things…give us admission to watch adult movies earlier than 18 for instance! yeah! :)

  82. @froginthewell: In this post, forcible sex is not even a question. The issue is male teachers having sex with female students vs female teachers with male students. There is no violence involved here. In this context, Shryeemoyee says that scientific research (yeah right!) says that boys are less emotionally affected by this than girls. Which of course is hoohah.

  83. I remember when I first learnt about “girls and boys”, I used to study in a boys only school. We were ~13-14 years old, and we all had the hots for our chemistry teacher. I dont think if anyone of us had consensual sex with her, we would have had long term psychological affects. Questions about statutary rape etc didnt concern our minds at that time, we considered ourselves *very* equipped to give consent. B-)

    So there, I said it :-) May be it makes me sick and perverted, but I am just relating the way we grew up.

  84. @ Sudeep: who knows dude…maybe you would get so obsessed with your chem teacher…you would look for your chem teacher in your girl-friends and wife and be disappointed all your life if you didn’t get what you want. or maybe your partner would have to talk about acids, bases and salts to get you turned on! ;) u never know dude!! :D

    by the way, can you imagine a ‘sudeepa’ making the post you made or you feel only boys have a thing for grown ups of the opposite sex?

  85. GB: My point is simple. You claim you’re outraged by the response to Annie’s post. That the rhetoric in the post does not measure up to your standards of equality, and therefore you’re shocked that anyone should appreciate it.

    But no one (except Dilip) is saying that the post was fine journalism or set standards for thinking about equality. Yes, it was a blatantly biased post. No, it was not journalism. But the second half of it made several good points about the culture of militarism and the role of women (points, incidentally, that echo Germaine Greer in the Whole Woman) which is what made it interesting reading. One would hope that we have enough perspective to accept what’s valid in someone else’s argument without fixating on whether they were being entirely politically correct or not. It’s easy to dismiss the sensible things Annie is saying in her post by labelling her a man-hater (as many of the commenters to your post have done). That’s precisely what I’m arguing against.

    So yes, if a maulvi issued a fatwa against all Hindus and Hindu blogger A indulged in a rant against maulvis and muslims more generally, then went on to make valid points about how organised religion corrupts society, I would say that his post was interesting and worth reading, despite the blatant communalism, and that to dismiss everything he was saying as being the biased viewpoint of someone who hated Muslims was a mistake.

  86. @Sudeep: What you say is a fantasy—which is fine. Its when we try implementing our fantasies that we get into grey areas. I am sure there are some boys who would be least affected by an experience with a chemistry teacher. And there are some (very few) girls whom I know have been least influenced by their experiences with “senior” guys (all of whom quite overage) when they were in school ——I know this because they recounted the experiences with some fondness.

    Which just goes to show that how much you can cope is not a function of gender but of your general mental make-up.

    However, the reason why these kind of relationships are illegal is simply because mostly adult-underage sex is a result of manipulation of the child by the adult (not just violence or co-ercion mind you)—hence the need for a blanket ban.

    @Shreemoyee: Yes the last refuge when cornered. I understand. If alternative view points were not welcome. comment moderation and deletion would be the policy here (like it is at many other fine blogs). I give you the space to share your ideas, no matter how reprehensible they may be. (I have not deleted you have I?).

    However I should also have the right to respond—shouldnt I? Or is it, that to show my fairness, I need to wag my tail and say “yes yes mam…thank you for commenting”.

    I think not.

    You have written. I have responded. And that should have been the end of story.

    However, you crib “Why have I responded”?

    It is my right Shreemoyee just as it is yours to comment.

    In any case, Godspeed to you.

    @Falstaff: I understand the point. If the reaction to blogger A would have been as you said, then there is no problem. However, that is rarely the case in reality—as most experienced Indie blogsurfers would no doubt attest to.

  87. falstaff, take a look at the garbage spewed in that AZ post. Some quotes:-

    “Point being: in general, men fight for, and against, men. Not for women.”

    “And if you want to talk about masculine/feminine natures, then, as history is our witness – the male fights to acquire. The female fights to protect.”

    “As a woman and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, women are more fit for the job than men are.”

    What I see is a bunch of opinions motivated by pique at best, misandry at worst. If this sophomoric crock of shit passes for fine journalism, whats wrong with great or little bongs saying that the emperors and empresses (?) are nanga-fungas ?

  88. @falstaff: “One would hope that we have enough perspective to accept what’s valid in someone else’s argument without fixating on whether they were being entirely politically correct or not. It’s easy to dismiss the sensible things Annie is saying in her post by labelling her a man-hater (as many of the commenters to your post have done).”

    I don’t think anybody criticizing Annie here feels that women don’t have a place in the army or that they can’t be as effective as men in the army. I am sure everybody believes that the standards for selection should be the same and everyone should get equal opportunity.

    So nobody I am sure is dismissing these points. The reason why we aren’t praising these points in Annie’s post is that it’s soooo obvious that we don’t need to read her arguments to be enlightened about gender equality. The ‘sensible’ things that she is saying are obvious and hence no comments praising it’s insightfulness.

    However as you said she was blatantly biased (also devoid of logic most of the time) and since everybody didn’t think so…we have this interesting discussion happening. Or as DilipD put it (unfairly) “beat up AZ fest”.

  89. GB: True. And just to be clear – I’m entirely with you on the point that claims like Dilip’s about how that post is great journalism are ridiculous. I’m just trying to make it clear that not all of us who found the post interesting liked it for the same reasons as Dilip. But then, as Apurva said, I’m probably being defensive. And possibly satirical. :-)

    Sudeep / Gusty: What I found interesting in the post (however badly stated) was the argument that militarism is an outgrowth of a patriarchal culture that glorifies violence. That the macho view of strength equalling aggression is what leads to the kind of commando comics posturing (beautifully exemplified in Shravan’s post) that drives us into armed conflict. That it’s useful to remember that strength comes in many other forms – not all of them involving attacking other people, and that when you consider the physical hardship of women’s lives and the work they have done over the ages it’s not just patently ridiculous to argue that they’re incapable of matching men in physical endeavour, it’s also downright discriminatory.

    Gusty: All of that may strike you as “sooo obvious”, it isn’t to me. And from the fact that Shravan’s post assumes that everyone will agree that women are weaker, I’m not sure it’s obvious to people in general.

    Sudeep: As I’ve said before, I’m not saying that her post wasn’t over the top or that it was journalism at all, fine or otherwise. And I’ve certainly never suggested that GB is wrong in what he’s saying. I’m only saying that if we let the surface rhetoric of the kind you quote distract us from the underlying points that she’s making, then the loss is ours. Men may or may not start wars, patriarchs certainly do.

  90. First thing. The evil at the root is the ‘suppression’ theory.
    Second thing. The other evil at the root is ‘euality’ theory.

    Feminists come up with supression theory all the time. I guess it makes them feel good.
    Men venturing out into jungles, clearing fields, building homes, making food, hunting for food, fighting for survival and fighting to protect their women and kids; along with women taking care of the home, relationships, children, men’s and tribes nourishment— which I call division of labour, happened NATURALLY.

    NOT due a evil plan secretly implemented by men to SUPRESS women.

    It happned naturally and independantely across continents, across civilizations, across thousands of tribes.

    The same way, men were never taught how to polish their nails and make their bed, women were never taught how to fight. (Please dont list isolated execptions. We are talking about humans and we are talking averages)

    After 20000 (twenty thousand) years of known organized war and military by men, afters thousands of wars, after hundreds of conquests, after billion sacrifices by men to protech their women and children, after 100s of millions of dead men, if the new age feminist suddenly comes up and tells me that she is better than men, well, to be polite, I would call her STUPID.

    Next evil is, this totally misunderstood, equality.

    Men and women are NOT EQUAL. We are different. Millions of years of evolution evolved us to BE a little different. Gender equality is about equality to access to an oppurtunity. You should not deny/provide/judge based on the gender. Thats all gender equality is all about.

    Gender equality doesnt mean that we men and women are equal.

    Bah.

    Pseudo secular dudes like DSouza coming up with a bravo for such a stupid article and later trying to cover their ass is hardly surprising. Actually that was expected.

    Another Bah.

  91. @DilipD: When you called Seven times sixe’s line of reasoning “sick”—-you obviously thought about it and said it. So while I am well advised to “speak for myself” you are also well advised to “be consistent”.

    @:-): Hmm….

    @Bonatellis: Sorry for not replying sooner—-but yes I can see how loosely the word “journalist” is defined.  

     

  92. Thank you for leading me to what has got to be the greatest joke in the history of MANkind (any feminists here?). Annie Zidi just made my day, which was otherwise rather melancholy.

    “For instance, during the Tsunami, more women died because women are not taught to swim.”

    I did pinch myself but… I mean, hey. I admit I’m mental. I sort of visualized this lady swimming in 40 foot waves in her string bikini (any feminists here?). I think we might have our very own desi version of Ian Thorpedo here. Call Suresh Kalmadi pronto.

    I usually try to spend as little time as possible in cyberspace but I’m going to make it a point to visit her website and those belonging to her admirers. I need a few laughs.

    As far as the Debra Lafave thing goes, dude educate yourself and give her a break.

  93. hi.
    whoever talks of men and women equality should be first of all clear in his/her mind that the equality has to be in every walk of life. no amount of social and peer presaure should change the thinking. one cannot talk of equality of men and women in some area and in other it’s women who has to have some patience and should make sacrifice.if you beleive in the concept of equality than behave that way and stand strongly on your statements.

  94. Oh no, don’t tell me I’ve lost my only celebrity reader! :D

    No, but see, I said I have nothing to say about Annie’s post. I am absolutely not defending it — as many people have pointed out here, sweeping rants against ‘men’ often harm feminism more than anything else. What I’m saying is things like religion, gender are not absolute entities, so you can’t equate them saying “if a is equal to b”, because most often a is NOT equal to b, given inherent biases and attitudes. That’s all.

  95. Well Mr. 42 made us think too—didnt he?

    Is it just me who finds this one statement self-evidently empty? Or is the glee-club unable to see it? Or unwilling?

    GB, I looked out at the sea just now. The rough waves made me think. On the way home yesterday from dropping my son, I ran into a fellow parent who said “Gotta run, we’re late!” She made me think. Met an investment banker for dinner last night, he said interest rates are rising. He made me think. Had an encounter with a young student in Ahmedabad a few years ago, he told me “Every Muslim is a terrorist.” He made me think.

    Which of these is a fine journalist?

    Answer: all of them! Of course.

    Which is obvious, given the fact that I’m inconsistent, pseudo-secular, covering my ass, dishonest, and a so called enlightened and progressive journo. I would know, of course.

    Oddly enough, Falstaff says more or less exactly what I think — at least for once F and I agree — about Annie’s post (and have said on this page, if more briefly): that there are parts I agree with, parts I don’t. (You will recall this was in response to a determined attempt to make me give a simple yes or no answer).

    But of course, F prefaces his comments with “I’m entirely with you” and “except Dilip”. Is that how he escapes being told “Well, Mr 42 makes us think”, and “be consistent”?

    Hey, so maybe I should do the same? You know, GB, I’m entirely with you! Nobody except me has said that Annie is a fine journalist! Now what, GB?

    confused: yes it was you! (I guess your comments leave an impression). You know, not everyone is up for turning out in a ring like this one. Do understand that.

  96. @joy forever:
    since I was unable to ‘behave myself’ (being a man), I sexually harassed a woman every day.

    I am taking this as sattire or maybe (sic) humour. Just because you were lucky to have never faced things like groping, staring, comments in your life, does not mean that you should joke about it. It is extremely juvenile and pathetic to joke about sexual harassment by men to women in public places.

    Now, did you say women don’t do that? Come on! They are not equal to men then, after all.

    Am just borrowing some logic from GB’s post that when 2 entities are equal, they have certain properties which are same, note: not all.
    So women don’t need to sexually harass men to prove they are equal. In fact, when it comes to sexually harassing the opposite sex, you men win hands down. So savour your victory!!

    @ Gusty

    It was filled with the usual cliched illogical female chauvinistic horse-shit about the “pain of child-birth” and “women in Rajasthan carrying water for 20 kms”.

    Am not commenting about the whole article, but why did the instances pointed out sound cliched to you? Don’t you think they are true? Or do you think women are faking child-birth pains?
    Annie pointed out these instances to show that women are tough, so why did these sound wrong to you?

  97. @ Arnab,
    Fantastic !!!

    @TTG,
    I fully agree with your completely unqualified and foul-mouthed opinion that Arnab would make a f***ing fine journalist!

    @ Arnab,
    Seriously…why don’t you just give it a try? Some freelance journalism…you have the thing to give some frontliners in the field a run for their money…

  98. you have the thing to give some frontliners in the field a run for their money.

    I couldn’t agree more, GB. (If I have to say it, I’m serious). Give it a shot.

  99. Dilip,

    Those questions were posed because your initial response was a cop out. The topic of GreatBong’s post is the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality. Your definition of what makes a good journalist, and whether or not Annie Zaidi fits that definition is beside the point. The reason I asked you this question, because you gave an appearance that you supported her views. The questions, therefore, were framed to get you to take an unequivocal position on where you stand with respect to those views. Your answers don’t make your position any clearer. But thank you for taking the trouble to answer them.

    (As for smileys, I insert them to communicate courtesy and politeness over an impersonal medium. That such courtesy is amusing to some and suspicious to you is entirely incidental)

  100. Dilip, if I may – your point isn’t really clear. The points you have made seem to be :-

    a) Annie has a body of work that is praise-worthy

    This is possibly true. I have not read a great deal of what she has written, but looking at her blog, I will say that she definitely has the characteristics of a good journo (apart from a couple of nonsensical rants, but we’re all allowed a mistake or two).

    b) Annie’s post on women in the army was, like the curate’s egg, good in parts.

    Fine – while it came across (to me, at least) as a poorly thought-through piece, I am willing to grant that she raised one good point.

    Now here’s the reason why you have been accused of being inconsistent.

    You have used this good-only-in-parts piece as an example of Annie’s fine journalistic ability, as mentioned on your blog. This suggests one of the following -

    i) This post is one of Annie’s best.

    You do her a disservice if you suggest this. If the best she can do is something that is good in parts, then she really can’t be called a fine journalist.

    ii) The few good parts were so much better than the many bad parts (blatant generalisations, rampant sexism and incoherent ranting), that the piece, as a whole, was great.

    If this is true, then I must suspect your judgement. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that you consider her ridiculous anti-men stance as a minor offense. Naturally, I will consider you biased if this is true.

    iii) It was all written with the express purpose of drawing exactly these reactions.

    This is akin to the skier who tumbled down the beginners’ slop stating “I meant to do that”. Doesn’t wash.

  101. Desi Godwins Laws stand vindicated. 17 references to Modi, including this one in the comment thread.

    Pretty much like how nazis are blamed for everything wrong with the world, its pretty much Modi who is to blame for everything wrong in India. Hey Dilip Dsoosa, get a life.

  102. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: How come my following comment bounced although I posted a while ago? Am I being barred?

    @GB: I was out of station so could not read your recent posts. I still don’t have the time to read thru all the comments. So my comment might be repetition. It is true that in general women are treated not equally by their husbands although the husbands proclaim equality. It is just a lip service. I can give you fifty million examples of that but I resist. The same attitude prevails in our so called educated society which includes the fathers, brothers, brother in laws, male friends etc. On the other hand women also take advantages of so many things by flaunting that very womanhood yet cry wolf at the drop of a hat. I can also give you fifty million examples of that but I resist. I am saying all these in spite of myself being a woman. Of course there are exceptions. According to me the term ‘equality’ and its usage between genders (I am only saying this about genders – not about casts/religions/army etc) is not so clear cut – there are lots of grey areas which make it quite complicated. And that needs a separate post all together with no reference to anything. If you write a separate post about it then I will definitely send my two cents observations/views.

  103. >>> Which is obvious, given the fact that I’m inconsistent, pseudo-secular, covering my ass, dishonest, and a so called enlightened and progressive journo. I would know, of course.

    =====
    @Dilip,

    Dilip, so you finally admit what all of us have been trying to say.

    Now I will make you think.

    Dilip – You all are wrong, communal, insensitive, etc.
    All – No Dilip, we are not what you think we are. Be logical. Its you who are wrong.

    Guess whom would I believe? A hundred people all over the blogosphere or you, who keeps on repeating the same s**t over and over again, like a broken record.

    Now, guess I will make you think again. I have never visited annies blog, I find it pukeworthy. I read a few paragraphs of annie’s posts on reservations, and wow.. she is a good journo (broken language, strange outlandish arguments, illogical comparisons, she’s got it all). Also I never felt like reading her blog ever again. Now if greatBong has analysed her writings twice and not favourably, she would make a good journo.

    Anyway, is annie your relative. Like emraan hashmi is mahesh bhatts relative and mahesh bhatt goes around recommending him to everyone.

  104. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB: How come my following comment bounced twice although I posted a while ago? Am I being barred?
    @GB: I was out of station so could not read your recent posts. I still don’t have the time to read thru all the comments. So my comment might be repetition. It is true that in general women are treated not equally by their husbands although the husbands proclaim equality. It is just a lip service. I can give you fifty million examples of that but I resist. The same attitude prevails in our so called educated society which includes the fathers, brothers, brother in laws, male friends etc. On the other hand women also take advantages of so many things by flaunting that very womanhood yet cry wolf at the drop of a hat. I can also give you fifty million examples of that but I resist. I am saying all these in spite of myself being a woman. Of course there are exceptions. According to me the term ‘equality’ and its usage between genders (I am only saying this about genders – not about casts/religions/army etc) is not so clear cut – there are lots of grey areas which make it quite complicated. And that needs a separate post all together with no reference to anything. If you write a separate post about it then I will definitely send my two cents observations/views.

  105. Coming back to the post, do you know what happened with Jessica Lynch. She was sexually assaulted. And what do these dumb enlightened progressive journalists think, that this punjabiyat and biryani-shero-shayri friendship with a radical Islamic Pakistan will stop them from sexually assaulting women POWs. Hell, no, in fact the Kuran tells them to do that. Take the women of the defeated to your harem.

    And as usual, India will complain to the UN.. the same old story.. LOLzz…

  106. Anyway, those who have not read the original.. here it is. Where is the guy being male-chauvinist.

    http://alternative-theory.blogspot.com/2006/06/was-pattabhiraman-right.html

    Just another thought. Why are women not allowed to work in mines and steel factories. Isnt that inequality. Women should be allowed to work in hazardous environments too.

    I think the whole issue is ultra-feminist. The issue seems to be to prove that women are as strong as men. But if women are not allowed in hazardous environments, there must be a reason for that. Its for the women’s own safety actually.

  107. @Joy Forever: Not for the first time I completely agree with your views. Actually the argument that seperate facilities are there for women out of necessity to prevent eve teasing is as bullshit as they come. It is only beacuse there is gender segregation in schools etc that the female body becomes such a coveted and elusive object in many third world countries. Free mixing would have prevented or at least stymied the development of such an outlook and hence that of rape and leering and eve teasing. And as you say, if facilities are segregated…then they should stay that way. Also note that in no western country would you find a ladies compartment type of thing…many offices have unisexual toilets…it was a Victorian concept…like say the ladies stand in a cricket match.

    @GB: :) Now we need a Harvey Keitel to clear this mess up dont we? Let us now analyze 42′s views. He says that due to physiological and psychological differences , the 2 acts- older man molesting an underage woman and older woman molesting an underage man aint the same. Well, with the little biology I know, females attain sexual maturity much earlier than males do. In fact, very recently a close high school female friend of mine reminesced just how dearly she held to her heart her first time with her physics private tutor. Shes getting married soon..and yes she was underage when it took place..it was of course consensual, and instead of scars she manifested pure unalloyed joy from her trip down memory lane. Ahem…if I can confess…I myself had an incident with a 15 year old female in a state where the age of legal consent is 16. However, the next day…she seemed quite unperturbed…”Ive had it with many other guys”…while I (>18) was the one who was sweating and losing concentration.

    Also, since its proven that sexual arousal in males is primarily visual while in females its due to emotion and touch, may I present my own small lemma beside 42′s big theorem that the female perpetrator has therefore commited a bigger crime as she has gone more out of her way…and is therefore more guilty. The bottomline is Rape , irrespective of sexes is an act of unsolicited molestation and is an even more sordid when the victim is a child. One may argue that 42′s argument has some merit…otherwise why does it happen that people who are insane (or are proved by their lawyers to be so- one Edward Norton movie–cant remember the name) get lesser sentance..but the point is …that was not the reason why Lefave was let off.

    Also at this stage the discussion aint exactly what your blog merited…DDD came into the picture only because you exclaimed at his logic of praising AZ baffling. If I may say, I am also flummoxed by his statement but I agree his right to voice his opinion. I also learnt from A that being contrarian is satirical. I thought Bongo Pondit was spot on and I very much liked Neha’s comment- I too could not find any satire in AZ’s post- if I understand satire that is. And what to say about parakrami’s comment…LOL.

    Oh, and the reason why maybe editors dont print you is maybe beacuse you arent exactly the Respected Sir, Im politically correct and dont call a spade a spade and never shoot from the hip..yours etc..type. It could be also be because you like Orwell (someone mentioned that above), are a man much ahead of his time. However the scenario is likely to change once you get your book published (any plans of naming it 2084? -since you are a Star Trek fan :) ). Till then, be satisfied with the title of a blogger- and our country’s finest at that.

    @froginthewell: Thanks. Also notice that the persons who have found Shravan’s post detestabale have found AZ’s views illuminating and vice versa. I however think that the original post was anything but sexist..he had clarified at least 10 times in his post that hes not belittling women..what else could he do? Now while its fine of someone to counter his point and show that he is wrong and that efficiency of the professional body can be enhanced by women…AZ starts with the premise that he is a sexist and then after some bashing, takes a detour…a meaningless detour to establish a point. Now I dont exactly like detours and the latter part of her post makes me question- was the original post attributed just for the sake of somehow stumbling on to her passages later on about how women take pains too (which taken in isolation is an irrefutable fact)? If so, I must say it was a very weak attempt and serves nothing but to show the original post in bad light. Hence GB’s response.

  108. yes evrytime ‘men’ replaces ‘women ‘it sure sounds offensive.
    its not abt physical endurance but there is one significant issue in the army viz if women are taken as prisoners of war wat can they be subjected to.
    How women r treated in a controlled atmosphere of the army is like they r in any other field , once they cross lines how a pow is treated cant be predicted.
    and surely like an overdose of anything else there exists a spectrum of blatant exploitation to female chauvinism.
    and talking abt journalism the one who wrote bibek maitra’s obituary is the best.
    i look no further

  109. Dear Nitin,

    Those questions were posed because your initial response was a cop out. The topic of GreatBong’s post is the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality. Your definition of what makes a good journalist, and whether or not Annie Zaidi fits that definition is beside the point.

    I see.

    I went back to GB’s post (remember that? you’ll find it way up on this page). What does he say? Here you are:

    the point here is not the blog post. It’s the audience reaction to it

    How do I square this, Nitin, with your “The topic of GB’s post is the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality”? He has himself said, explicitly, that the point of his post is NOT Annie’s post, but the “audience reaction” to it.

    Do you or do you not agree that GB said this, Nitin? A simple yes or no answer, please.

    GB goes on:

    As an example, this is what Dilip D’Souza says this about the post from which I have extracted the above lines.

    There are many reasons Annie Z is a fine journalist. Here’s one more.

    This labelling intrigued me as I have always wanted to be a fine journalist myself—-and have only polite “No thank you”s and editorial silence to show for my efforts.

    Now when someone like Dilip D Souza, a famous journalist, awarded author and noted blogger himself, calls this an example of fine journalism—–I have to confess that it sets me thinking as to what the concepts of fairness and equality really are in the journalistic world.

    Pretty much whichever way I read this, Nitin — left to right, top to bottom, upside down, whatever — it seems GB is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”.

    Do you or do you not agree that GB is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    And if he is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”, it would seem to me that my “definition of what makes a good journalist” is exactly the point. Not beside the point, but the point itself.

    Do you or do you not agree with this, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    Then you say my “initial response was a cop out.” What was my initial response, Nitin? Here you are:

    Journalism must serve to make people think. (What was it that somebody said? “Journalism must comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”). The best journalists stir you up, give you provocative things to think about, etc. So when I pointed to Annie’s piece approvingly, I was not saying “This is a beautiful piece of writing”, or “I completely agree with all she says”. I was saying “Here’s something that will make you think and react.” It’s Annie’s ability to do that consistently that makes her a journalist I respect.

    In other words, I was explaining what the phrase “fine journalist” means to me (stir you up, give you provocative things to think about, do it consistently, etc).

    Do you or do you not agree that that was what I was explaining, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    So Nitin, where is the cop out?

    As for smileys, Nitin, what was my reference to them? Here you are:

    … your emoticon-happy readers.

    This wasn’t a reference to you, Nitin, but to your readers. So I am bewildered that you feel the need to tell me why you insert them, and just as bewildered that you would think I am “suspicious” of them. Nevertheless, I don’t use them.

    What this whole enjoyable fest seems to boil down to is this: All of us believe Annie is a poor journalist, so let’s get together and keep affirming that to each other. And if someone disagrees, boy we are so insecure in our beliefs that we had better attack that someone too.

    What is it, you want me to admit Annie is a poor journalist? Well, tell you what. You roll over and say “Annie is the bestest journalist in the whole wide world and I’ll say so till the cows come home and then some” — you do that, and I’ll give it a thought. Deal?

  110. guys, i don’t understand this at all … AZ’s blog was all about freedom of expression, and so is GB’s …
    and ummm, so are Dilip’s comments … and, I guess, he also feels duty-bound to defend a brethren – all very understandable …
    but why are some taking potshots at Dilip now?

    but, i guess, we’d miss all delightful comments otherwise …

  111. Ah, another Dilip-Nitin debate.

    These are my favourite of all Dilip debates, because Nitin Pai is smart enough to stick to the basic point and not let Dilip throw sand in his eyes. The apptern is predictable. Nitin will post precise arguments, and Dilip will try to drown him in a sea of verbosity. Doesn’t work. Then Dilip slinks away.

  112. equality of the sexes, altho i m all for it, is literally impossible to achieve.

    instead of male and female, lets call it A and B (without stating who is A and B). for equality, anything said or done agaisnt A must be treated the same way as anything said or done against B.

    but this is impossible to achieve. for the simple reason that anything said and done against either of the sexes is not viewed in the same way.

    taking the case of religion… today standing up for a minority is branded as secular whilst standing up for the majority is branded as communal, regardless of the cause being good or bad.

  113. Dear Dilip,

    I went back to GB’s post (remember that? you’ll find it way up on this page). What does he say?

    When I did that, I noticed it said “Concept of Equality”

    How do I square this, Nitin, with your “The topic of GB’s post is the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality”?

    I suppose you noticed the use of the word topic, as opposed to individual sentences, arguments or examples in support.

    He has himself said, explicitly, that the point of his post is NOT Annie’s post, but the “audience reaction” to it.

    Do you or do you not agree that GB said this, Nitin? A simple yes or no answer, please.

    Yes.

    Pretty much whichever way I read this, Nitin — left to right, top to bottom, upside down, whatever — it seems GB is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”.

    Do you or do you not agree that GB is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    Yes.

    And if he is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”, it would seem to me that my “definition of what makes a good journalist” is exactly the point. Not beside the point, but the point itself. Do you or do you not agree with this, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    No.

    In other words, I was explaining what the phrase “fine journalist” means to me (stir you up, give you provocative things to think about, do it consistently, etc).

    Do you or do you not agree that that was what I was explaining, Nitin? A simple yes or no, please.

    Yes.

    So Nitin, where is the cop out?

    The cop out is this — after reading your plug, many readers, including GB and I, thought that you praised Annie Zaidi because you agreed with her, that you endorsed her position. I invite you to point out any post from your blog where you have praised a journalist or anyone else who you don’t agree with.

    Your comment ignored the content of her post, instead, focused on the definition of a good journalist, which I still think is beside the point — no matter what GB’s literal words were. That is a cop out.

    This is not about Annie or her journalism. It is about whether or not you endorse the views she expressed in her post. So do you, or do you not? :-)

  114. My 2 paise (or less) :

    a) Men and Women are “different”..and probably will always be. We will do different things, have different skills, have different problems and still have a lot in common. We can (and should try to) co-exist without having delusions about the disposability of one of the sexes. Violation (including by way of counter-attack) of this tenet leads unto the path of megalomania. Supporting people who violate the tenet, smacks of lack of judgement.

    b) Anne’s post is piece of uber-feminist RANT. Not worth analysing, I do think GB’s not leaving deliveries outside the off stump is more entertaining though :) Who did not enjoy Dada’s cover-drives…oh! are those days to be back ever again…

  115. Since /you/ made this post, there have been good comments and follow up. If Shravan had made (which had made Annie post that post), some people would have simply “yawned” at Shravan’s post.

    Anyways, nothing to take away your credit for the brilliant, “thought provoking”(fine journo there!) post !! Well Done.

  116. @mental_baba: Dude, get a hold on yourself. Just because she claims bipolar disorder does not give her any right to molest boys—-all rapists claim (some truthfully) of being abused as kids, not being hugged and of voices in their heads. If they are male, people say “Bullshit”, if they are female, they shed a tear.

    @Dwaipayan: Thank you

    @Armina: Hmm this is a totally different issue and a very gray area.

    @Marauder’s Map: Ooh am I? (Turned red in the face, knows should not be carried away but nevertheless is)

    @DilipD: If you note, I did not call you a pseudo-secular. Second point: I do not think that Falstaff and you are saying the same thing. This is what Falstaff said:

    But no one (except Dilip) is saying that the post was fine journalism or set standards for thinking about equality. Yes, it was a blatantly biased post. No, it was not journalism.

    If after this, you still wish to maintain that you and Falstaff are in agreement, then I have to question my understanding of the word “not”.

    Explaining it further–

    Premise 1: DD says AZ is a fine journalist
    Premise 2: Falstaff sais that AZ’s post is NOT journalism
    Premise 3: DD and Falstaff are saying the same thing.

    Is the contradiction evident now?

    Coming to the points you point out to Nitin:

    When I said the point was not AZ’s post per se, I said so such that people like you do not call this “AZ bashing”—-of course the fact that I cannot prevent people likw you from saying that, no matter what I did, was lost on me.

    My point was that–”Okay so AZ is a biased female supermacist. There are a lot of such people in the blogosphere espousing extremist viewpoints. However the REACTION to them are different.

    While almost all of them are the subjects of scorn and derisive laughter, AZ is applauded (I am not saying ALL Az’s post are extremist—but this one was.) And called a fine journalist by no less a person than you—-who is not a leftist, rightist but only a typist (which I presume means no bias) . That was what shocked me even more than AZ’s chauvinistic, extremist rant.

    In other words, by saying that “AZ’s post is not the point ” I had hoped to take attention away from AZ the person to the principle behind why everyone is supporting her…..

    @Clairvoyant: Fame, my friend—fame.

    @Yourfan: I totally agree to what you said. I think Marauder’s Map was saying the same thing, in a different way. However this controversy of the Armyman’s comment is based on the notion: “Whatever men can do, women can do too”. If we accept this principle (which as you said has grey areas), then the test of equality in terms of public perception needs to be applied. The reason I have not commented on the Armyman’s assertion was simply to prevent any confusion to the focussed point I was trying to make.

    @GB: First time with physics private tutor? Do we know the same person? Or is this more common than we thought?

    @Varsha: Oh yes the overweight Bibek (Vivek) Moitra piece—yes that was mighty fine.

    @Bonatellis: Sure…its only one person who felt her “freedom of expression” was being tampered with because I replied to her comment….

    @maverick: let’s not get started on the pseudo-secularism thing—–if you go through my archives, that topic has been flogged to death. And even that death has not ended the fun——so it may be flogged again in the future.

    @Voice Within: Yes…of course…swirling the bat outside the offstump is fun. Sometimes it ends up with Moin Khan and sometimes it rattles into the fence.

    @Raj: Thanks

  117. @ falstaff: “the macho view of strength equalling aggression is what leads to the kind of commando comics posturing (beautifully exemplified in Shravan’s post) that drives us into armed conflict.”

    “Men may or may not start wars, patriarchs certainly do.”

    It seems to me that you agree with AZ’s assumption that men and their macho aggression is responsible for armed conflicts. That in my opinion is one of the many simplistic and sexist statements made in her article, which I did not agree with.

    The most common reason for armed conflict isn’t “commando comics posturing” but rather it’s driven by needs, often bordering on greed. And needs and greed do not depend on your gender. There have been many instances when women have been at the helm, been in charge of wars of conquest. Some examples are Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria of England. Then there is Queen Catherine of Russia…I could dig up more of these women from history, who were as aggressive and manipulative as any king. During the reign of these women there was no perceptible decrease in wars fought for conquest by these countries. Infact Queen Catherine is credited for expanding the Russian empire and so is Queen Elizabeth for England.

    The point I am trying to make is AZ’s post was as sexist and illogical as it can get. The above idea of wars being started by men because of the way they inherently are and not by women is just one of the many examples of misguided deduction in her blog. I think it is a fallacy to believe in such generalizations just on the basis that historically a majority performing a certain function belongs to a particular group. She has been as biased as the General who started this whole controversy and many times more virulent.

    @Apu:

    ” but why did the instances pointed out sound cliched to you? Don’t you think they are true? Or do you think women are faking child-birth pains?”

    Cliched means Having become stale or commonplace through overuse. I called her arguments cliched because I have heard such arguments showing how tough women are for a long long time now. I am not disagreeing with the fact that women need a lot of endurance and go through a lot of pain during child-birth. I am just saying the I have heard them too often.

    “Annie pointed out these instances to show that women are tough, so why did these sound wrong to you?”

    Yeah these instances do point out that women require toughness and endurance. But their child bearing capability wasn’t enough for them to have an equal presence in the armies for all these centuries. And AZ’s arguments don’t hold force because their child-bearing capability isn’t enough to get them into the army even now. There are obviously a lot more involved reasons for why traditionally women haven’t been in armies as much as men have. And please lets not get into this “conspiracy theory” of men keeping women out of the army to subjugate women! Who cares about the gender of the soldiers who get butchered in wars? There are many instances, for example the FLN during the Algerian Freedom Struggle and the LTTE, who have actively recruited women cadres. And if I may remind you, our ex-PM was assasinated 15 years ago by a woman.

  118. @greatbong – i would agree there. the point i was trying to make is that taking a stand on either side is going to land one in hot water. so its a lose-lose situation

  119. Dear Nitin,

    Not that quibbling proves very much, but … You said, first, “The topic of GB’s post is the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality”.

    Then you point to the topic being “Concept of Equality”. So I am to understand that “concept of equality” means “the contradictions in the arguments made purportedly by supporters of gender equality”? Something of a stretch.

    I’m baffled. I asked this: And if he is questioning my use of the phrase “fine journalist”, it would seem to me that my “definition of what makes a good journalist” is exactly the point. Not beside the point, but the point itself. Do you or do you not agree with this, Nitin?

    Why would you answer “No”? How else must I justify my use of the phrase “fine journalist” but by telling you what I believe makes a good journalist, Nitin?

    Finally, So do you, or do you not? [endorse the views she expressed in her post]?

    OK, let’s see.

    About comment #25 on this page, you ask me “Do you or do you not agree with what she says in her post?”

    About comment #32 on this page, I answer: “I agree with some of it, I don’t agree with some of it.”

    About comment #135 on this page, you ask me what seems to be the same question from #25, except “agree” has changed to “endorse”.

    So fine, I answer again: “I endorse some of it, I don’t endorse some of it.”

    I look forward to this carrying on till comment #245 (the interval is 110), when you’ll ask me the same question again.

    In some circles, this is called “being smart enough to stick to the basic point.” Of course, in those circles I’ve slunk away. I’m not really here, please note.

    GB: Really, whatever. Falstaff says he agrees with some of what Annie says, doesn’t agree with some. I say I agree with some of what Annie says, don’t agree with some (as you will note I have said to Nitin twice now). You want to believe there’s a contradiction there, please do so.

    I will repeat: For various reasons, I think Annie is a fine journalist.

  120. I notice that you are unhappy about the equality aspect of how more of a fuss is made when an underage girl is raped than when an underage boy is…

    - Historically, people tend to get more upset when women are raped because the female body has always been treated as property of some sort. So when a girl is raped, she has been polluted and her family disgrace – the kind of reasoning on which people mass rape during a war…to pollute the enemy’s territory.
    - I’m not going to undermine an underage boy’s experience and say that it is impossible that a boy could suffer from any trauma…it’s just that if it’s a teenage boy, odds are that he’s applauded as a ‘stud’ whereas the girl would be shunned as a ‘slut’. So the way society can convert the experience into one that very different for boy as opposed to a girl. I do think though, that a boy should equally be offered some redress…because there’s a good chance that a male/female teacher rapes an underage boy…and he never recovers from the experience.

    -On the subject of equal treatment…you’re advocating formal equality – that everyone be treated the same way,regardless of disparities in power that could have been caused over centuries. The substantive equality approach – that women need to be brought to a point where they are able to bargain with men as equals – is the more evolved way. It’s necessary because we live in a society where Rakhi Sawant is laughed at for objecting to Mika Singh’s invasion of her personal space. Because people think that a woman without ‘morals’ is a woman without rights. Because dowry deaths and rapes are reported almost everyday. And because one in every four girls has been sexually harassed in some way at some point in her life
    -And :-) is wrong… this isn’t the natural order of things. There are matrilineal tribes like the Khasis and the Nairs that once did things differently – till patriarchy from outside permeated their communities as well.
    -As with caste, a power imbalance was created…and until it is rectified, substantive equality requires that the disempowered group be protected.

  121. @DilipD: Whatever? Is that the parting repartee of one of the blogosphere’s most avid debaters? What next? Talk to the hand?

    The point under discussion is “Is that piece good journalism?”

    You said “yes”. Falstaff said “no”.

    Dont try to obfuscate the issue by saying “falstaff found some parts of AZ’s post good and so did I”. That point is not under debate.

    What is under debate is whether that blog post is an example of fine journalism.

    Whether AZ is a good journalist IN GENERAL is a totally different issue——whether this piece is AN EXAMPLE of FINE JOURNALISM is another.

    @Chitrangada: Thank you for that comment and the standard (dowry deaths, females as possessions, females as sluts) speech that has nothing to do with my post. It reminded me a lot about Mamata-didi’s crowd-pleasing verbal beamers that used to be delivered at Gariahat crossing holding up the traffic. Brought back old memories. I cannot be help but be amused how RS is now a poster child for the feminist movement but I shall let that pass. Too much swinging outside the offstump isnt good either.

    Okay maybe not. RS is laughed at because she is a liar. She contradicts herself and she deliberately plays upto the press. If you want proof, go through my previous post and go through the video of her interviews and her crying tremulous voice as she details how the directors have made her “nude” and how her conscience was crying as she danced to “Aankhiyan na Maar” (of course in another interview for the same sequence, she says she was proud how hot she looked and wondered why the other girls were even needed in the sequence). It’s because of lies like that that people laugh at RS.

    However this fact doesn’t make for good fiery oratory. So let’s not talk about it.

  122. @DD >> I will repeat: For various reasons, I think Annie is a fine journalist.

    But But But.. when you were plugging for her post, you said, here is one more reason why Annie is a fine journalist.

    Sir, since you are the connoisseur of fine journalism, I beg you to tell us what you appreciated in that blog. I ask you this only because my inferior General Category brain is so dull that I am unable to appreciate fine journalism. What exactly do you find praiseworthy in that blog ? The phraseology ? The rhetoric ? The namecalling ? The ranting ? The analysis ? The ability to make you think ?

    But But But.. Out of so many comments here, only you and falstaff appear to have thunk anything after reading that post. Most readers (including me) just turned off their braines, or may be, our brains only are dull. In fact, some shamelessly patriachal fellows were provoked enough by the article and your plug to call you guys nanga-fungas !! The horror !!

    Sire, please enlighten these dull brains with the burning light of your scintillating knowledge about true journalism.

    Sincerely
    Sudeep :-)
    —————————————–

    To falstaff and others who may think war and evil in this world is all about two legs (oops) patriachy, there was this lady called Indira Gandhi.. and there was this other lady called Margaret Thatcher. Then there was Golda Meir. Then theres this woman whos considered to be a part of the so called neocon brain trust – her name is Condoleeza Rice. All women only, No ?

  123. @Gusty, I agree completely with your point about how it is simplistic to link wars with males. Remember who Britain’s PM was during the Falklands War. Or who India’s PM was during the 71 War. Or Kumaratunga’s ruthless crackdown in the North.

    The most glaring counter-example is of course that chilling statement by Benazir Bhutto about how they would but Jagmohan into pieces.

  124. @Gaurav Sabnis, may i also add to the list both the PM of Bangladesh and the leader of their opposition… suffice to say Bangladesh is far from a model country

  125. Wow. Just read through the comments. After getting his butt kicked by Amit, Ravikiran, Gaurav and Nitin at various points of time, Dilip D Souza gets one more from Greatbong, in Greatbong’s own classic style.

    GB, Please do not try to read sense into what Dilip writes. The reason why Dilip called Annie’s piece fine journalism is because they belong to the same mutual back-scratching (I was going to use a different word here but do not want to be moderated) club. I also ask you to read the post where Dilip applauds Shivam as an example of a courageous blogger because he blogs under his real name. Yes that’s courage. Of course, the fact that he removes comments critical of him is also a matter of courage(you yourself have pointed out how your trackback to Annie Zaidi’s reservation post got “removed”).

    As an another example, Dilip attacks a certain Karishma Pais for saying “intimidating African Americans” (that’s chauvinism) and applauds Annie Zaidi for her crazy post( that’s journalism). [Of course, Dilip's biggest fan Mridula is a co-contenstant of Karishma for the OKTATABYEBYE prize and I am sure Dilip's attack has nothing to do with it.]

    The reason I make this point is that Dilip’s endorsements are reserved for his “friends”—and his criticisms for those who are not. That explains the “Whatever”, he has no leg to stand on.

    Warning: Be prepared for anonymous comments, multiple id-ed comments on your subsequent posts because you have just gotten into the “typist”‘s black book.

  126. Sorry I don’t agree with certain people that boys are less pyschologically affected by underage sex.Infact many girls fall in love with their teachers when they are in school. They may be 12,13. If they have sex should the teacher be excused?

    You people are so sexist that it is stupid.

  127. @Gaurav Sabnis, maverick:

    Yeah those are some examples. In fact Indira Gandhi was the woman who first came to my mind…Bangladesh and ofcourse Operation Bluestar. But then I didn’t mention her in case somebody objected, “Oh but that was to protect and not to acquire!” and quoted from that fine journalistic piece of our times – “And if you want to talk about masculine/feminine natures, then, as history is our witness – the male fights to acquire. The female fights to protect”.

    Baloney.

    And what do we have to support that assertion? Because females of the mammalian species are given the responsibility of protecting the young.

    As if females of these mammalian species don’t kill for food.

    B-A-L-O-N-E-Y.

    And while these females of the mammaliam species are protecting the kids and being a “one-man (oops sorry, woman)” army and a “mini-academy”, what do you think the males are doing? Out their trying to spread their love and their seed…thats what they are doing.

    I guess that proves males are more “loving” and believe in “spread the love” than females! [;)]

  128. @How The Other India Lies: Please let us not foist motives on people. This post is not about Dilip or his politics (if it is as you say) or his relationship with other bloggers—so why go off-topic? And thank you for your warning: I have had same people posting under different names before and with IPs getting logged, it’s a problem that is usually easily solved. (Of course some people refuse to admit it even after being caught).

    Just to make things clear I am not saying Dilip will do this. Just saying that it’s a subterfuge that is mostly, quite easily caught.

  129. GB,

    Its great to see you “diversifying” ;-) and writing a bit more on political/philosophical issues – you make a lot of sense and are readable as always. Plus your comments section makes for great entertainment ;-). Go for it!

  130. GB: What next? Talk to the hand?

    Maybe, maybe.

    The point under discussion is “Is that piece good journalism?” … Whether AZ is a good journalist IN GENERAL is a totally different issue.

    Could have fooled me.

    You yourself said: “Now the point here is not the blog post.” [i.e. Annie's]

    Now you say the point is indeed that blog post.

    Then we had your first complaint after quoting me, which was “I have always wanted to be a fine journalist myself—-and have only polite “No thank you”s and editorial silence to show for my efforts.

    Now you say the business of being a good journalist is a totally different issue.

    Tell me, is this also what is referred to in some circles as “being smart enough to stick to the basic point”?

    Nevertheless, as always, I shall try to answer the question you now ask: “Is that piece good journalism?” The same question, in essence, that Nitin asked me in comments #~25 and #~135.

    So you get the same answer, in essence, that I gave him: Some of it, yep. Some of it, nope.

    You said “yes”. Falstaff said “no”.

    Like I said, you want to see a contradiction, please do.

    And do pay attention to the hand.

  131. @Venu: I have been trying to be ‘serious’ for quite some time. People keep misunderstanding it as humor.  

    @DilipD: It’s not me only who sees a contradiction—-I am sure that you will accept.

    I am also amazed how you fail to understand that the point of the post was NOT to go after Annie Zaidi. I do not want to bash anyone.

    Some points of AZ was good journalism. And some of it wasn’t. Okay. Unfortunately, I didnt get that impression from your blogpost pointing to AZ.

    And talk to the hand isn’t usually considered a good rhetorical device—-if you get the drift.

  132. @Chitrangada:

    1. “The substantive equality approach – that women need to be brought to a point where they are able to bargain with men as equals – is the more evolved way.”

    How pray, are we to bring woman to this point?

    2. “It’s necessary because we live in a society where Rakhi Sawant is laughed at for objecting to Mika Singh’s invasion of her personal space. Because people think that a woman without ‘morals’ is a woman without rights.”

    Do you personally think Rakhi Sawant is a woman with ‘morals’ or is a woman without ‘morals’?

    3. “And :-) is wrong… this isn’t the natural order of things. There are matrilineal tribes like the Khasis and the Nairs that once did things differently – till patriarchy from outside permeated their communities as well.”

    patriarchy from outside permeating communities isn’t a natural thing is it?

    4. “As with caste, a power imbalance was created…and until it is rectified, substantive equality requires that the disempowered group be protected.”

    I don’t want to go into this because I probably know what’s coming…but anyway, maybe you would surprise me so…how are these disempowered groups to be protected? so that may be able to “bargain as equals”?

  133. GB: I’ve lost count of the number of times on this page someone has said something to the effect of “It’s not me only, there are others who feel this too.”

    So? Why should you tell me that it’s not just you that sees the contradiction? If you see it, that’s enough for me to try to address it. I don’t address it any stronger if you tell me others also see it.

    Yep, I would agree, in your post you did not intend to bash Annie herself. I cannot say the same about some of the other commenters here.

    When I link to things, I don’t tend to say: “Some stuff here is good, some isn’t”, or “some stuff here I agree with, some I don’t.” Not something that I’m interested in doing. I just link. You who read are free to think whatever you please about it, and about the writer. You don’t have to explain to me whether you agree or not, whether you liked it or not, whether you found it execrable or not.

    Do allow me the same freedom.

    I came here solely to explain a point about journalism, that I felt had been missed when you took up this issue. You will notice that I said right in that first comment that my intent was not to say “I completely agree with all she says”. Meaning, I would have thought, “I don’t agree with all she says.”

    Yet through 150 comments, that’s the one thing I keep getting asked: “Do you agree with what she says?”

    I don’t understand: do people not read? Or what?

    Can we — you and I, because I know some others here can’t be reached — call a halt to this here?

  134. Regarding Chitrangada’s point on Khasis and Nairs : Nair society was only matrilineal, not matriarchal. The decisions were still made by men.

  135. GB, this blog rocks!
    Well, Annie’s piece is clearly an example of courageous journalism, may not be ‘fine journalism’ -there are lots of loopholes in her passionate argument and they are not difficult to pick, so Dilip has clearly lost the battle of logic hopelessly trying to defend her.

    The last line in Annie’s article reads “What makes (or breaks) a civilization is its people. And women are people too.” Sadly, this spirit of ‘equality’ is mostly absent in the rest of her outburst against ‘man’kind. She actually makes some very valid points – biologically women are programmed to be more enduring (not “stronger”) than men, that women have been for ages – and still are – repressed in large sections of our society, that it is women who generally bear the brunt of social stereotypes and defined gender roles, and that women have shown they can compete equally with men wherever they have been allowed to do so. Also, that many of the qualities that a modern army requires – like courage, endurance, determination and a sense of fairness and purpose – are not determined by a person’s gender.
    Of course where she errs (which is why it isn’t ‘fine journalism’) is in coating her argument with liberal doses of feminism and resorting to an useless ‘we better than you’ line of reasoning, which was totally un-necessary to defend her basic premise.
    She mentioned Guantanamo but conveniently forgot the role of a woman in the Abu Ghreib prisoner abuse fiasco (the woman in question was as much a sadist as her male colleagues, clearly not in line with the inherent sense of fairness in women Annie assumes).

    So if the summary of what Dilip is trying to say is: “Lets not look at isolated sentences which probably ain’t meant to be read out of context, she has raised an issue which is very relevant today and she has argued her point forcefully with some pertinent facts and examples. AND, sometimes ‘fine journalism’ doesn’t mean flawless writing where you can’t nit-pick, but powerful writing which makes people sit up and take notice”, I won’t agree with him totally but I will buy his point.

  136. Well, DDD; I am curious : would you agree that *some* of AZ’s statements in that post reek of misandry? Or sexism/female chauvinism?

  137. @Apu: You said…

    I am taking this as sattire or maybe (sic) humour. Just because you were lucky to have never faced things like groping, staring, comments in your life, does not mean that you should joke about it. It is extremely juvenile and pathetic to joke about sexual harassment by men to women in public places.
    Thank God you understood it was a satire…! Now try to find out some figures, before you try to argue on this issue further.
    1) What is the percentage of women who travel in segregated compartments daily as
    compared to the total number of women travelling?
    2) Out of the ones who travel with the men, what percentage get harassed there on the public transports?
    3) What is the number of cases of ‘groping, staring, comments’ in India as compared to another country like USA where we do not have separate facilities for women. (I personally feel there’s nothing wrong in staring, but that’s a separate issue)

    The first point I’m trying to make here is, a very large number of women rub shoulders with men all over the world every day. Most of them remain unharmed. Do NOT think I feel that harassment of even one woman is ok. Sexual harassment is bad, even if it is for 0.1% of the total number of women. But, if as you imply, all of us men are uncivilised and can’t behave ourselves, how do the majority of the women manage to survive amongst us? So please do NOT generalise.
    Second point: Let’s say men are bad. Women need to be protected from them. So we have Ladies compartments in trains, queues at counters and seats on buses (I fail to see how the last two prevent ‘groping, staring, comments’ though). So why don’t the women stay in their reserved enclosures? Why come running like greedy after our seats, compartments and queues? Isn’t that unfair to men? And if you are coming, mixing with us, and trying to get yourself sexually harassed, you are automatically offsetting the good that’s done by segregating some of you. Also, you are able to solve the problem here by separating men and women. What about the army? (I know this is irrelevant to GB’s post, but anyway). If they are sent to fight together with men, will they ask for separate facilities? And preferential treatment when they become POWs? A separate army maybe? As yourfan2 pointed out, these are the things that increase sexual harassment.

    So women don’t need to sexually harass men to prove they are equal. In fact, when it comes to sexually harassing the opposite sex, you men win hands down. So savour your victory!!
    Comeon… This was only a joke based on someone’s remark here that the TOI had published an article saying women were beating men in indfidelity… :)

  138. @DilipD: Sure. However I failed to see one thing in one of your comments and it’s a point I wish to make because it needs to be made. I would have made this earlier but the statement escaped me amidst all the other statements.

    Lets not look at isolated sentences which probably ain’t meant to be read out of context,

    Under no context is Annie’s chauvinism acceptable. If someone, even with valid points had said that “Hindus are fundamentally superior than Muslims in certain respects” you would be the last person nitpicking about context—you would be criticizing the person based on that line alone.

    As an example, do you remember the context in which Rajiv gandhi said “When a tree falls, the ground surrounding rumbles?” Did you really care?

    Or do you remember the context in which the student whom you met in Ahmedabad said “Every Muslim is a terrorist”.

    No you dont. And you should not too.

    Simply because they are not acceptable in ANY CONTEXT.

  139. @froginthewell…I did use the word ‘matrilineal’, and I am aware of the distinction between matriarchal and matrilineal, thank you very much. My suggestion was merely that if as Mr. Smileyface suggested…the natural order of things was that men dominate and control – how is it that ancient traditions that give the women control over property exist? And of course the Nayar men are now dominant – British laws that give men rights their wives property as well as a whole lot of other perks do tend to make that kind of impact.

    @GreatBong I see that it really is pointless trying to reason with you. If you and your cronies persist in ignoring a large body of though that has changed the way in which people look that the world….persist away. I shall not waste by breath. Someday perhaps, you will discover that most of the joys of discussion come from listening to people and making a real effort to understand what they are saying and where they are coming from…not from getting on your soapbox and shouting for all you are worth.

  140. Why is it that people who are supporting AZ’s article in any form or to any extent, getting exasperated with GB & his cronies (another generalisation which I guess includes me) arguing against their viewpoints. I have already noted 3 such instances of holier than thou…we are not ‘listening’ to their view-points and ignoring ‘a large body of though (sic) that has changed the way in which people look at the world’.

    Does this holier than thou, short on patience, attitude come along with this pseudo-politically correct viewpoint of how things should be? I don’t know, just a thought…I have noticed this attitude before whenever people are bring pc.

  141. @Chitrangada: No mam, its you who are standing on the box and shouting. And certainly do not waste your breath–watch Rakhi Sawant videos instead and shed tears for her. I hope you also understand that the joys of commenting on a blog come from READING what the blogger wrote instead of bookish feminist rants about how women should be brought to the level of men blah de blah.

    Was that what my post was about? No.

    It was about 4 lines of the worst kind of female chauvinism and how the press treats female and male criminals differently.

    Yet your comment is all about the usual heard-before-a-million-times rant about how women’s bodies are conceived as property and so on…..which has nothing to do with my post.

    And in conclusion, if I don’t shout my opinions on my blog, where else should I? On your blog perhaps?

    @Gusty: Of course—-again the skewed concept of equality. They do it—it’s the moral majority. We do it—it’s cronyism. The fact that most of us are in agreement because of decisions arrived at independently and not because we are part of a clique is of course something that some people are unwilling to understand.

  142. My aim was not to do character assasination of anyone. It was to tell you what the reality behind Dilip’s endorsement is. It is useless for you and Nitin to argue with Dilip because the reason Dilip called it “fine journalism” was because he had to butter Annie up.

    When he wrote the post, do you think he thought “Hmm some part of it is good, some is bad but I will just call it good?”. He just linked to it because you get brownie points in Dilip D Souza’s circles if you as a ‘man’ say that ‘women’ rule, if you as a Hindu say that “Breaking a temple is fine, but not a mosque”.

    So do not waste time trying to find logic behind Dilip D Souza’s ideas.

    I hope you understand that this is not character assasination but my attempt to tell you the real reason behind that “fine journalism” post.

    So I agree with Dilip: give it a rest. We all know the reason. Dilip will never accept it and go on sprewing his trademark empty words and you and Nitin will continue painting him into a corner.

    Let him go GB.

  143. I started off typing a long comment…….but then read through all the comments here, so will avoid starting another prolonged debate (mostly because I don’t have the time to participate in it).

    But…..this is a very good post, and raises some very interesting points.

    And yes….equal standards for every one (or every thing or every system) does not exist anywhere.

  144. Chitrangada : women never had control over property in nair families. It is just that if I were a nAyar I would belong to my mother’s family and control property there. I suspect the reason for such a system evolving should have been nampUtiris’ ( kEraLa brAhmaNas’ ) desire to mate with women from kShatriya and nair castes ( analogous things did not happen in other states ). To explain this I will have to write a lot; already I have digressed too much ( sorry for that, GB ). My intention is only to make this aspect clear – not to debate on what the natural order of things is. nAyar men were always dominant.

  145. Dear Dilip,

    In response to your answers to my questions, I wrote:

    The questions, therefore, were framed to get you to take an unequivocal position on where you stand with respect to those views. Your answers don’t make your position any clearer. But thank you for taking the trouble to answer them.

    This confirmed my doubt — the doubt which prompted me to ask the questions in the first place — that you would not take an unequivocal position against what GreatBong has clearly proven is a fine example of chauvinism. Taking an equivocal position on chauvinism is a cop-out.

    But you disputed this in your next comment. So I had to ask you again. To clarify the doubts of those, including me, who suspect you plugged Annie Zaidi’s post because you agreed with her, I invited you to point out one instance where you have praised anyone whose views you did not agree with. You did not offer any. The conclusion, therefore, is that you praised Annie Zaidi because you agreed with her. But you don’t want to accept this either.

    So as long as you retain the position “I agree with some. I disagree with some” you will be copping out. But if you do not want to accept that you are copping out, you will have to get off the fence.

  146. Shit! I guess I missed a lot after my first comment. Anyway, too late to harp on the issues raised here which are extremely interesting. Too bad we didn’t see too many ladies around here to discuss the topic.

    BTW a tangential and slightly related tip, watch North Country when you get a chance. Truly makes you ‘think’.

  147. Dear Dilip,

    In response to your answers to my questions, I wrote:

    The questions, therefore, were framed to get you to take an unequivocal position on where you stand with respect to those views. Your answers don’t make your position any clearer. But thank you for taking the trouble to answer them.

    This confirmed my doubt — the doubt which prompted me to ask the questions in the first place — that you would not take an unequivocal position against what GreatBong has clearly proven is a fine example of chauvinism. Taking an equivocal position on chauvinism is a cop-out.

    But you disputed this in your next comment. So I had to ask you again. To clarify the doubts of those, including me, who suspect you plugged Annie Zaidi’s post because you agreed with her, I invited you to point out one instance where you have praised anyone whose views you did not agree with. You did not offer any. The conclusion, therefore, is that you praised Annie Zaidi because you agreed with her. But you don’t want to accept this either.

    So as long as you retain the position “I agree with some. I disagree with some” you will be copping out. But if you do not want to accept that you are copping out, you will have to get off the fence.

  148. GB: However I failed to see one thing in one of your comments … “Lets not look at isolated sentences which probably ain’t meant to be read out of context.”

    This is great GB. Now you quote to me something that someone called Deep has said and tell me I said it, and tell me it’s “one thing in one of your comments”, and then proceed on many lines of moralization about context.

    OK fine. Attributing to me stuff that I didn’t say is not acceptable in ANY CONTEXT.

  149. Man! Another of those debates.

    The problems with Annie’s posts are obvious; most people have pointed out what they are. But Dilip being a ‘professional blogger’ won’t admit to it and, like a lawyer, argue to win the argument rather than winning the audience.

    That would work in politics and even in professional journalism, where these folks will not admit their mistakes no matter what. Blogging is a different thing: your credibility depends on being honest, on being able to own up mistakes, on being able to convince others and sometimes being convinced.

    I think that is the problem dcubed is facing here.

  150. @DilipD: I do apologize for quoting something you didnt said. I missed the word “summary” in Deep’s comment. That you were essentially saying the same thing is of course another matter—-but of course that doesnt excuse my mistake of quoting you wrongly.

    However all I can say is that I accept I am wrong. Unlike some other people here who shall go nameless.

  151. Great Bong : Just to set the record straight, I was being sarcastic about Debra and her laf-ave (till the intestines burst) claims of bipolar or whatever. Ok va.

  152. @Mental: Okay didnt get the sarcasm :-)…..just like I didnt get the sarcasm in Annie Zaidi’s post. A pattern here….things will be all right once I sit through my newly acquired VCD of “Sher-e-Hindustan”.

  153. GB: Thank you. That’s graceful.

    Yet you now accuse me of “essentially saying the same thing”. Where? Can you please tell me? I find Deep’s remark nonsensical in the first place, and I would never say something like that.

    I found the student’s remark abhorrent (and told him so); I found Rajiv Gandhi’s remark nauseating (and have written so); etc.

    Yet why should I have to say this in my defence in the first place?

  154. There’s nothing illogical in the claim that patriarchal attitudes are closely linked to violence as a means of demonstrating superiority. Annie isn’t the first or only person to have made that point, and it’s a point I continue to agree with. Finding isolated incidents of women under whose regime violence has been undertaken is besides the point – this is not about gender, it’s about attitude. There’s no reason why a woman can’t be a chauvinist or can’t conform to patriarchal ideologies any more than there’s a reason why a man can’t be a feminist.

    The point is simply that patriarchal cultures have always celebrated violence – attacking someone else and defeating him is seen as sign of superiority. It’s a socially defined gender role – in patriarchal cultures boys are taught, even encouraged to fight. That’s not to say that all men are violent or that no women are. Or to say that there’s anything innate or ‘natural’ in this. It’s just the way social conditioning works.

    And it’s naive to think that kind of validation of aggression doesn’t inform war-mongering. Just listen to the rhetoric behind any invasion. Obviously, patriarchy is not the only factor driving wars, economic considerations (greed) clearly play a role. But what legitimates the use of force to meet economic ends? Patriarchal assumptions about the legitimacy of aggression. Oh, and it’s even more naive to think that wars have a single cause or that greed alone drives armed conflict.

    To summarise then:

    a) The argument isn’t that women don’t start wars, it’s that patriarchs do – and there’s no reason to assume that some women, especially women who rise to power in otherwise patriarchal cultures, don’t embody the assumptions and attitudes of patriarchy

    b) Economic considerations alone do not drive war. They need to be wedded to ideologies that support and legitimise the use of violence as a means of conquest – and that is a belief closely linked to and perpetuated by attitudes of patriarchal chauvinism

    c) The fact that some violence may be driven by other factors does not prove that patriarchy does not cause war. Saying patriarchs aren’t war mongers because some non-patriarchs (even assuming the women cited were non-patriarchs) have started wars is like saying cancer doesn’t cause death because I know three people who’ve died of car accidents.

  155. Nitin: in what you write, I agree with some things, I disagree with some things. Was that a copout? In some comments you have left for me on things I’ve written, you’ve clearly agreed with some things in that particular piece, and disagreed with other things. Was that a cop out?

    Are you really trying to say that unless we either agree entirely with an article someone writes, or disagree entirely with it, we are copping out? You really expect such a thing of your readers? You really want to paint yourself into a corner like that?

    Well, I admit it then, I accept it: I am copping out.

    I shall await comment #245 and your repeated questions there. Not too much longer, we’re at about #180 now.

  156. one final clarification (GB: my apologies for taking up so much space in your comments section)

    It is not my position that the role of patriarchy in driving wars is an established fact. Frankly, I doubt that, as a hypothesis, that contention is capable of being proved or disproved based on historical evidence, because it’s hard to come up with a historical example of a non-patriarchal world where we could see whether wars existed or not.

    My point is simply that it’s a theory that I personally find fairly credible and that is just as logical as any other explanation of the causation of war. A priori, there’s nothing untenable about it. And the fact that those arguing against it can come up with nothing better than examples of ‘women who have caused wars’ proves only that they don’t understand the logic of the argument or the terms on which it is built. And the fact that they don’t is what makes Annie’s post interesting, because it voices a not uncommon point of view about the link about militarism and patriarchy that a lot of people, as evidenced by the comments here, don’t get. That doesn’t justify the biased ranting in her post, or her wayward use of the term ‘men’, nor does it make her post good journalism. It just makes it interesting. And worth thinking more deeply about than just reacting by saying “Oh, but Indira Gandhi led wars too!”

  157. @Dilip: You keep justifying Annie’s credentials of “fine journalist” based on certain other parts of that post (i.e. other than those lines I quoted). [Some parts you liked, some parts you didnt---right?]

    That other part, other than the one I quoted, is what forms the “context”. (Of course, AZ didnt just say those sentences and shut up….. what surrounds those quoted lines is what is called the “context”—parts of which, let me repeat, you liked)

    Now based on those good parts, you called the post “fine journalism”. {So insignificant were the bad parts that you didnt even bother to qualify  YOUR original pointer post with a “There are some places where she is pretty bad too” ).

    I hope you agree upto here. [Please let us not bring AZ's general history into this as you specifically called this post an example of "fine journalism"]

    Now that Ahmedabad student—I am sure he told you other things. Did that context (even if it was say “neutral”) prompt you to say “Much of what he said was ok”.

    No.

    You remembered just one line—the outrageous bit.

    Okay maybe wrong example. Maybe everything he said was tommyrot—after all he is a Hindu fundamentalist. And you were there, and I was not.

    So let’s take another example.

    When some commenters said that boys are mentally better equipped to handle molestation and hence it is “less of a crime” if done on boys, you called it “sick”.

    Did you consider the context they said it in? Some people actually didnt find the context to be all that bad—(the fundamental inequality between men and women) but they did condemn the outrageous assertion (some found that statement quite all right too but that’s a different story)

    But you didnt consider the context, you just honed in on that part and called it “sick”. You didnt say some parts were okay, the conclusion was sick.

    And I am with you 100% on that.

    The point I am getting at is that when someone says something really as crazy as that student in Ahmedabad or that commenter on this post, then the viciousness of that sentence (or two) supplants all the context, all the genuine grievences he/she may have had (I am not saying he/she had one, but “if” he/she did)—it’s all wiped away.

    Why?

    Because he/she has revealed his/her bigotry/chauvinism/sickness.

    Just as Annie Zaidi has revealed extreme bias (to put it mildly) with these sentences. A great “context” still doesnt hide that fact.

    It’s still poor journalism. Even if 95% of her post was logical and 5% was crazy chauvinism.

    Also, when you say “there were some parts I didnt like” I find that extremely mild—instead I would have expected you to have said: “there were some parts I found outrageous and chauvinistic”.

    Now I am sure you didnt find them outrageous and chauvinistic. Otherwise you would have said so right?

    This is where I find inconsistency in your reactions considering how hard you come down on similar instances of bigotry elsewhere in the blogosphere. (the Karishma Pais thing being a case in point) or in the political sphere.

    In conclusion, you found the Rajiv Gandhi remark “abhorrent”. Now what if I write a post in which I say that I remember the Rajiv Gandhi speech and that speech was an inspirational message to the grief-striken nation— and later conceed okay maybe there was that one stray line. (And I don’t even mention that in my original pointer post—I didnt find it worth mentioning).

    Would you let it lie? Won’t you say “But what about that line?” Won’t you say “That line is a call to murder”?Won’t you say “I don’t give a damn for what else he said.” Wont you tear me to shreds if I said “RG was a great leader, the speech he delivered after his mother’s death was a proof of that”?

    Yes you would.

    Now I am not comparing AZ’s lines to RG’s. One is a statement of chauvinism and one is  a call for mass murder and deserve different degrees of condemnation.

    But I hope you get the point. I am sorry if I havent been able to still get it across. 

     

     

  158. @Falstaff, Yes, I now see your point which I had earlier not fully grasped. It is more about patriarchy than about isolated examples of ruling women and a few women who rise to power in such a system would still be waging war in the patriarchal frame of mind and context.

    You have also rightly stated that it is a hypothesis that can not be proven because there aren’t examples of non-patriarchal societies, at least not on a war-mongering scale.

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  160. @DilipD: (Addendum to last comment)

    This you wrote:

    When I link to things, I don’t tend to say: “Some stuff here is good, some isn’t”, or “some stuff here I agree with, some I don’t.” Not something that I’m interested in doing. I just link. You who read are free to think whatever you please about it, and about the writer. You don’t have to explain to me whether you agree or not, whether you liked it or not, whether you found it execrable or not.

    Got it. That you don’t tend to say is upto you. I presume Nitin is asking :” Why dont you tend to say?” And what you are saying is: “Well I just dont”.

    But you have to realize that we are also free to assume that you endorse the POV of the post when you call it FINE. (It is indeed the most natural conclusion that can be reached). And when that post contains lines of chauvinism that stand out, we are also free to asume that you also support those lines of chauvinism.

    Re-using my RG example, if I pointed to RG’s speech as a “fine piece of statesmanship” and then said “I dont believe in qualifying my endorsement, people are free to think whatever they want” then people would feel free to think that I also endorse the mass murder.

    That’s how ordinary mortals arrive at conclusions.

  161. @falstaff
    >> It is not my position that the role of patriarchy in driving wars is an established fact. Frankly, I doubt that, as a hypothesis, that contention is capable of being proved or disproved based on historical evidence, because it’s hard to come up with a historical example of a non-patriarchal world where we could see whether wars existed or not.

    To a certain extent, a lot of sociological hypothesis are impossible to prove or disprove. Yet, one can arrive at a conclusion that a particular hypothesis is reasonable or not.

    One may arrive at the soundness or un/reasonable-ness of a particular argument by applying it to historical events or present social context. Secondly, the absence of a non-patriachal world is immaterial to showing the reasonableness of this hypothesis. One only needs to plausibly demonstrate how patriachy fuels conflict in the present social context. For instance, How does Patriachy explain the war that Pakistan wages on India ? How does Patriachy explain Bosnia ? 1971 ? 1965 ? Falklands ? Sri Lanka ? or the Cold War ?

    AZ’s hypothesis does not appear reasonable as it assigns a simplistic explanation for a very complex and extreme breakdown of human social rules, that is – War.

    >> My point is simply that it’s a theory that I personally find fairly credible and that is just as logical as any other explanation of the causation of war. A priori, there’s nothing untenable about it.

    Is that a proof by assertion ?

    >> And the fact that those arguing against it can come up with nothing better than examples of ‘women who have caused wars’ proves only that they don’t understand the logic of the argument or the terms on which it is built.

    Followed by a proof by the absense of good opposing arguments ? :-)

    Saying that Patriachy and men are *the* cause of war, as AZ claims in her “fine example of journalism” is similar to a Bible thumper claiming that abortion or homosexuality or masturbation is the cause of wars.

  162. @falstaff : “Finding isolated incidents of women under whose regime violence has been undertaken is besides the point – this is not about gender, it’s about attitude. There’s no reason why a woman can’t be a chauvinist or can’t conform to patriarchal ideologies any more than there’s a reason why a man can’t be a feminist.”

    Really? It’s not about gender, it’s about attitude? I thought that’s what people CRITICIZING Annie’s ideas have been saying. And I thought Annie is making it a gender issue rather than anything else…isn’t she?

    “That doesn’t justify the biased ranting in her post, or her wayward use of the term ‘men’, nor does it make her post good journalism. It just makes it interesting.”

    yes…very interesting…i find it rather interesting that you have been able to decide where AZ is using the word ‘men’ appropriately and can call those portions biased and figure out where she is using the word ‘men’ in a wayward fashion and substitute your own non-gender but appropriate ‘attitude’ related words to derive your conclusions.

    yeah, I do that often…sometimes reading an article or a poem, I come up with an idea or hypothesis which was not what the author most probably meant in the first place. Coming up with different interpretations which the author never imagined is common.

    By the way, can you tell me how you define ‘patriarchal’? and throw in your definition of ‘matriarchal’ as well. You could also point me to a link where it explains your definition.

    It seems to me that we are trying to say the same thing but are going around in circles over the word ‘patriarchal’. May be what we mean is something like ‘chauvinism’ or ‘jingoism’ rather than ‘patriarchal’??

    p.s. by the way, when you first commented: “militarism is an outgrowth of a patriarchal culture that glorifies violence”, it got my alarm bells ringing (not quoting directly from the source usually does). I had to go look up in my dictionary the words ‘militarism’ and ‘patriarchal’ to make sure you were stating what AZ said explicitly or you had come up with your own interpretation. According to my dictionary, it did mean a gender issue rather than an attitude issue. Hence my opposition.

  163. Dear Dilip,

    You wrote:

    Are you really trying to say that unless we either agree entirely with an article someone writes, or disagree entirely with it, we are copping out?

    But you generalise. My questions to you were specific — the first referred to the views expressed in a specific post by a specific writer; and the second was even more specific, about a specific extract from a specific post by a specific writer. The specific post and extract communicated a specific idea.
    You wrote:

    Well, I admit it then, I accept it: I am copping out.

    That settles it then. Thank you.

  164. Annie Z post was an emotional outburst. Good Journalists seldom give in to emotions.

    not a fine peice of journalism from whichever angle you look at it.

    i agree with the author of this blog on this. And all of us are aware of the same. I think Dilip got a little carried away with her sincerity too.

    I was touched by her previous post on Sexual harrassment.
    she writes with all her heart and however illogical u may find it, I think she has the capability to become a great journalist some day.

    But a few observations
    1. i like this blog a lot. its the best writing the blogosphere has to offer. thank you so much for putting this up.

    2.there’s no gender inequality anymore. how come u are aware of this?

  165. First Time Comment.
    Great posts, especially the humorous ones.
    Her arguements seem to be made just off the cuff without any thought involved. Its like somenone saying all Pakistanis are b****ds. And the defence that it is satirical is rather farfetched – her comments can be characterized as emotional at best, on the face of it. Coming to the point of whether the Army needs women or not the answer is clear. The Indian Army has a shortage of officers. Considering the fact that very few people come forward to join it anyone who does do should be encouraged.

    Its my observation that its the in thing to bash up men. But if you change the parity then there will be hell. And wiomen seem to live in this false dream that if they ruled the world there would be no wars and peace evrywhere. Women and men are the same (as women claim but I disagree). What is true is that both share the same emotions of greed, anger desire, hatred. All I can about their claims is – patent stupidity

  166. @Whats_ the _big _deal:
    had it not been for emotion you wouldn’t have almost 200 comments on this …
    also, journalism is largely (if not entirely) about emotion … without that, you wouldn’t have journalists around …

  167. Priceless…

    I am not talking about the blog post. Actually I am enjoying the comments section more than the post itself.

    Going on the lines of Greatbong’s- If anyone had written this “interchanged version”, just to emphasise the point -

    Kajol’s character in some movie says “All men are bastards”. Had someone said all women are filthy [expletive deleted], the producer, director and script writer would have been slammed openly.

    Guess what Dilip bhai aka Dilip D souza would have said…

    The director/ script writer is amazing just because he/she has managed to elicit response. Wouldnt you Dilip? Just give the straight answer. A simple “yes” or “no”.

    @Nitin – Thanks for the “yes” or “no” part.

  168. bonatellis:I have just discovered its better to be objective about things rather than be emotional.

    be emotional by all means but never give in to emotional outbursts.

    Emotional strenght makes you more objective.

    its always better to RESPOND rather than REACT.

  169. Hey guys, forget it. Stop arguing with dilip.

    Dilip will just continue beating around the bush and frustrate all of you, till the point where you start abusing him. And then, he will accuse you of being abusive and start all over again. He has all the time in the world to argue all over the blogosphere. Maybe he does not even know what topic is underway on which page, the responses are standard.

    Others like him are Shivam Vij, Annie etc.

  170. Oddly enough, I overlooked writing about this.

    A few excerpts from this page:

    The way I saw it (the way I still see it) Annie’s post was simply a rant – the expression of a strong personal opinion against a fairly execrable post.

    I do think that the statements quoted here are over the top … the discriminatory statements she’s making.

    she [Annie] undermines her own credibility.

    it was a blatantly biased post. No, it was not journalism.

    None of this was mentioned in the third comment on this page, which reads in full:
    Interesting. To tie in to your two part classification of the purpose of armies (protect or conquer), notice that you still do need an army for defense, and sure enough, women have often played an important role in resistance forces throughout history.

    Oh, and if we are talking about women on the warpath, can we please talk about the Amazons and their historic origins:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons

    All these Scythians and Minoans. Hardly the kind of behaviour you would expect from weak, non-aggressive women don’t you think?

    Why not in that third comment? Much easier to, first, agree there; second, come here and draw the fine distinctions that allow apparent agreement here.

    Note to myself: never again.

  171. Hey GreatBong,
    don’t have anything to say, but wanted my comment to be a part of history, as I’m sure this post will break the record for most comments.

    And thanks for a fucking great and amusing debate in your comments section. This stuff is better than a Rajnikant Movie.

  172. @Dilip:
    Give up already. You arguments have already been exposed as illogical by quite a few people. Sometimes the proper response is just to admit a logical fallacy in an argument and move on. This post was decidedly NOT a piece of fine journalism, although Annie herself might potentially have the makings of one. That is your opinion and I respect that. But misandryist and posts like this one and the previous one on reservation make a lot of us think otherwise.

    @Chitrangada:
    You have obviously not really understood the crux of the argument here. The argument is not about feminism and the status of women in society. For those things, you will actually be surprised to know that Arnab, and lot of us are on the same page as you. We are not the troglodytes as you seem to think we are. The post is on Anne’s misandry and Arnab is spot on there when he implies that it is PC run amock that dictates that we stand and accept all the shit people like Annie throw at us.

    Your comment on the fact that a 14 year old who has sex with a teacher will be treated differently by society than a 14 year old girl, I totally agree with that. But legally both are categorised as rape. Perhaps we should make consensuality one of the points to ponder. IN several countries in Europe the legal age if consent is actually 14 or 15, so the issue is probably not as cut and dried as Arnab implies.

    As for your ‘women have to brought up to that level first’ comment, I don’t agree because that smacks too much of a reservation type solution. But to each her own (see I said ‘her’, not ‘his’. Happy?).

    @Arnab:
    This post has really stirred up the extremist liberals hasn’t it? Is waqt aapko kaisa lag raha hai, Arnab jee? Humko to bahut achha lag raha hai. :) The only downside as I can see is that you end up giving Anne Zaidi a lot of free publicity. Or can we slot that under collateral damage? Heh heh…

  173. @Joy forever and @Gusty:

    I suppose we can on and on about these things, but this blog was mainly about someone being a good journalist or not, so I am not going to digress further. Maybe some other day, some other more relevant blog. :)

    Specially for ‘Joy forever’: Do check out the blanknoise project site (http://www.blanknoiseproject.blogspot.com/), maybe it will help you get answers to questions about eve-teasing, % etc…personally I know 100% of my lady friends have faced it, but to those who have not, it is difficult to comprehend.

  174. @Vivek, I would like it to be recorded for posterity that it was Meg Ryan who first called all men bastards in the movie from which the Kajol movie has been “inspired”.

  175. One is a statement of chauvinism and one is a call for mass murder and deserve different degrees of condemnation
    This is where I find inconsistency in your reactions considering how hard you come down on similar instances of bigotry

    Are all bigotry and chauvinism born equal? Would you ever allow a difference in degrees of outrage for different types of chauvinisms? A neo-nazi or a neo-KKK group in my neighborhood, for example, will scare/outrage me more than neo-Rastafarians believing in black supremacy. A female friend saying “all men are insensitive bastards” worries me less than a male friend saying “all women are weak and stupid”. They are all wrong of course, but am I being racist and sexist (in a so-called PC way) respectively if the magnitude of my negative reactions are different? Do institutional power and historical precedence have any relevance?

  176. @GB
    I never said it was good satire(satire was the wrong word) which is why I added “but its not very obvious if youre not a regular follower of her blog”- On second thought- I shud have been more clear . Heres the thing – if someone makes blatantly sexist remarks being totaly aware of their sexist nature – the arguments would loose their sexuality(*joke*) now wudn’t they??? I’m not endorsing ANY of the views in that “response”- what i’m claiming is that she herself would not endrose MOST of them as her own. Of course, her post on “merit” which got its necessary treatment here certainly doesn’t help my case. And I’m most certainly not calling it the show-piece for exemplary journalism.

  177. @///slash\

    “Heres the thing – if someone makes blatantly sexist remarks being totaly aware of their sexist nature – the arguments would loose their sexuality(*joke*) now wudn’t they???”

    So are you saying that AZ knows she is being deliberately chauvinistic when she says those chauvinistic things in the post? And you say that it isn’t obvious to someone who’s not a regular follower…any blogs of hers which I can read that demonstrate your comment?

  178. as an afterthought, and just to ensure that we cross 250, I realised that quite a few feminine feminines that I know in real life – and I admit here that I don’t know much about the degree of feminity of the ladies of the blogosphere – would staunchly oppose the content of the original blog in question.

    like:
    “As a woman and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, women are more fit for the job than men are.”

    Not too sure how many non-Amazons would agree to that …

  179. “As a woman and a citizen, I can say two things with certainty. One, that if an army requires strength, courage or sheer tenacity, women are more fit for the job than men are.”

    i would have said that too. 20 years back.

    schoolgirlish writing never fails to amaze me though.

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  181. I was having fun in reading all this until the last comment which directed me to Dilip’s blog. I hope Arnab doesn’t get carried away and writes a rebuttal on this blog. As much as I disagreed with Dilip’s logic and his ways of defending AZ’s piece, I still liked his presence here for putting forth another pov and admired his persistence on the issue. I wish he had not posted this, it leaves us with a really sore test.

    Needless to say, I dont have time to go trhough AZ’s rants about men. Her gross generalizations about men is simply idiotic, childish and very immature.

  182. @Sanjay: No I have commented on that post. Not a rebuttal. Just a pointer as to how he ascribes motives to Falstaff and me—–that is I am “anxious to be seen agreeing with Falstaff” and that “Falstaff is anxious to be seen agreeing with Greatbong, a popular blogger”. Nowhere in the long comment and counter-comments that I have thrown at DD here, have I ever ascribed any motivation for his blindness to AZ’s chauvinism.

    Not that I cannot hazard a guess but even then I desisted so that it remains a debate and not a personal attack.

    However DDSouza, representing the finest of Indian journalism, shows no such reticence. And he enables comment moderation—just to show how “fair” he really is.

    It was important for me to show for the records, that I consider DD’s assertion that Falstaff and I are “sucking upto each other” a personal attack.

    Incidentally I also appreciated Dilip’s patience in addressing comments and counter-comments—-however the moment he ascribes motives to our intentions, he has crossed the line of debate over to the side of mud-slinging.

  183. Come, come, now.

    Tell me Arnab, do you think there’s nothing out there other than the blog world? Do you see yourself everywhere?

    I am sure that the G and F mentioned in this post are not you and Falstaff, but two ex-colleagues from a company that Dilip worked for in Austin.

    At least that’s what I was told when he launched a personal attack at me and another blogger using his favourite alphabet soup recipe.

    This man has a history of making personal attacks and also wild allegations without the slightest willingness to back them up. Now be prepared for email campaigns, studded with hyperlinks and footnotes, sent to people to show how you are such an evil person.

    Usually one debate with him is enough to realise that he does not stick to the rules of debates that the rest of the world sticks to. It starts with shifting goalposts, introducing red herrings, picking selectively on a few phrases from what you say, and so on, until it ends with a personalised alphabet-soup attack and lots of email campaigns.

    I have learnt it, the hard way, that ignoring him is the best way to ensure mental peace. Never mud-wrestle with a pig. You get muck all over yourself, and the pig enjoys it.

  184. YOURFAN writes:
    @GB:(ABOUT Dilip D) I should congratulate you for not stooping like Dilip D. Dilip D has reached the rock bottom when he ascribed motives in his blog post (dated June 29th) to you and a blogger named F (we all know who he is talking about). Honestly God, I got so agitated to read DD’s insinuation about you and ‘F’ that I wanted to write some filthy comments (mind you not abusive – you can write filthy without using any conventional abuses) to DD on his blog. But then I realized that my comment will add another number to his comments section, which he wants to look like yours. I say this because at least twice he talked about he is supposedly waiting for comment # 245(I think that is the number he talked about) in your comment section. And another important reason why I did not send any comment there is that I did not want to write Yourfan. God!! He might think me to be his fan – that is outrageous insult, offense amounting to lowering my family name or ra..!!!! There, I am happy I got it out of my system. I am usually not so perturbed but this is too much.
    He is entitled to have his view – I have no objection to that. I just want to say that lest others think I am bashing DD. But when he ascribed motives (specially when he can’t defend himself with any yardstick but only says ‘that is my view on fine journalism’) to you and F then I think I am justified to say that he is not fit to be a journalist. If I knew with which organization he is associated with then I certainly would have forwarded his assertion of motives which is a miserable professional fault. His saying sorry is not good enough. He is a clever chap and that is why he says that he will remove the offending part from his blog – doesn’t have the courage to own up to his miserable fault, does not want others to see his professional blunder.

    There are also few commenters who make me sick with their views and I don’t want to comment on their views simply because one DD is too much for me to absorb in a day. I hope DD comes back to your blog and reads my comment.

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  186. YOURFAN writes:
    @Gaurav Sabnis: You wrote: ‘Never mud-wrestle with a pig. You get muck all over yourself, and the pig enjoys it.’ Excellent. This is what I meant when I wrote ‘…wanted to write some filthy comments (mind you not abusive – you can write filthy without using conventional abuses)’ in my comment just after you. Your observation of DD’s personal assault on others using ‘alphabet soup recipe/attack’ is also fantastic.

  187. @YOURFAN and Gaurav:

    After I had commented on his blog, Dilip has removed the “motive attribution” part of his post and apologized.(as yourfan has also noticed)
    And I think that is all that needs to be said. Case closed as to that part.

    It takes guts to apologize and I applaud Dilip for that. We can sit all day long and speculate on the reasons for the post and the retraction but then we would be committing the same mistake.

    In conclusion, he should not have said what he did in the original blogpost but since he has now retracted, let us each form our impressions, and then move on.

  188. Thanks GreatB.

    It occurs to me: You attributed a quote to me that I didn’t make, and apologized. I attributed motives to you (and Falstaff) that you didn’t have, and I apologized. May we call it quits?

  189. dIpAnjan : that is a terrible analogy. Neo-KKK etc. are organized groups, more or less monolithic, with history and consciously proclaiming supremacy. Only those who support those theories will join these organizations. Not so with males. And there is no reason to believe that male chauvinism on the web/cinema has more impact on society ( even considering extent prejudices ) than female chauvinism.

  190. I left a similar comment on Dilip’s blog. I respect Dilip for his opinions, although I find myself disagreeing with them.

    I find myself more in agreement with Falstaff than Dilip here, because in spite of so many comments, I still don’t know where he stands on this issue. Whether he agrees or disagrees with the specific parts of Annie’s post that GB quotes here.

    It doesn’t matter whether one agree or disagree with those statements per se. What perhaps matters is to understand where one stands on Feminism. Dilip perhaps feel Annie’s statements consistent with his idea of feminism; GB perhaps feels Annies comments to be chauvinistic.

    On the other hand, Falstaff might have changed his stance (why that would be a big deal, I don’t know). But one thing consistent was he felt the comment to be chauvinistic. He seemed willing to accept “FCP” initially (rationalizing with patriarchy, etc) and not later.

    Perhaps that is how I read this discussion… and I may be totally off the base here.

  191. Dilip Wrote :-
    “It occurs to me: You attributed a quote to me that I didn’t make, and apologized. I attributed motives to you (and Falstaff) that you didn’t have, and I apologized.”

    You bringing up Arnab’s quoting you by mistake furthur dimishes the respect I had formed about you from reading your articles on Rediff. To make hue and cry over that honest mistake is simply clutching at straws or somehow trying to Justify/coverup your muck.

    The difference here is that – Unlike yours, Arnab’s was an Honest mistake. The way Deep put quotes accross, it did seem like he was quoting you and as soon as it was brought to GB’s attention, he prompmtly apologized even though there was no personal attack involved. Besides IMO (and in Arnab’s opinion) you and Deep were saying same thing.

  192. Wow, what a magnificent discussion this post has genereated..and we are not finished yet….any odds as to what comment number we will stop?

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  194. There are many reasons TTG is a fine journalist. Here’s one more.

    When I link to something, I feel no need at all to say “these XYZ parts of it I like, these PQR parts I don’t like.” I leave you to either like it or not like it for yourself. (I mean, this seems sort of obvious and natural to me). If people didn’t like TTG’s post, I’m completely fine with that.

    You’re welcome to think it’s a flawed definition, but it’s the way I see journalism.To repeat: He makes people think, He does it consistently. I’ve seen the kind of stuff he does, now for several years.

    Please do not ascribe motives behind why TTG wrote this post. That would be a personal attack. And besides, one possible motive could be that he just wanted to increase your comment count….

  195. bravo@Dilip, Greatbong
    Dont know if u are still good journalists yet but i guess u both are gentlemen and thats a good start, if u ask me.

  196. Wow! a nice debate. Isn’t that what makes humans (all species :) ) different? If this is what good journalism aims for (as Dilip defines it), it’s definitely worth it; and one in which both AZ and GB have succeeded well. Sometimes, when everyone seems right, and agree, you never know what’s cooking !!

  197. YOURFAN writes:
    @All: I was reading DD’s blog where I found something really interesting in his comment section. Here is what famous (!!) Akash wrote to DD:
    “On June 30, 2006 8:15 AM, Akash wrote: “I don’t want go into this mockery of a debate because what was going on, on G’s blogspot is nothing but a rant fest and blasting of ad hominem arguments, right from the beginning, which sadly I was following back and forth and essentially was much amused and entertained.
    If one sees G’s post, it does not go unnoticed that it is just full of rants (in fact that is what people tend to do to grab some cheap attention by slinging mud to relatively well-known writers), first against Annie’s, then against the positive reaction by the audience to her post because he was clearly envious of that. I don’t understand what the reason would be other than jealousy that one would complain against the positive audience reaction to Annie’s post……..
    And when G says about comment moderation breaking the pillars of blogdom, I can’t resist smiling secretly. Pot calling the kettle black. In one of his previous posts, he singled me out and debarred me from posting comments because I caught him with his pants down that many of his sycophants commenting on his space are he himself, like yourfan, yourfan2 et al. are just different reincarnations of his (no self-respecting commentators can assume names of such low tastes) ; surprisingly, in this hot debate they disappeared into thin air only to enter at the end, perhaps because G’s too busy writing long posts in his original self and does not have time to take breath. A shameless display of dishonesty, self-indulgence and ego-massaging.”

    But I must also mention here that DD wrote the following to Akash for which I praise him over here (since I don’t want to leave my comments in his blog for reasons mentioned in my previous comment.)
    “On June 30, 2006 9:28 AM, Dilip D’Souza wrote: Akash, please do not use language here like “dishonesty, self-indulgence and ego-massaging”, “caught him with his pants down”, (etc) about GB, or anyone else but me. That kind of attack is unacceptable. Thank you.”

    I leave it up to all of you to draw the conclusion about Akash.

    @ GB: Akash is a true fan of yours although he has some allergy to words ‘fan’ and ‘your’! He reads your blog and keeps a watchful eye on you even though he is not welcome to leave his comments. You are lucky – you have positive fans and negative fans!!
    How pitiable, disgraceful can a person get is astonishing. I think you should reconsider your decision so that we can get the experience of watching how pitiable a person can really get – he is one of a kind!!

  198. @DD: :) Quits. IMO you should have done that a bit earlier. That blog post of yours was also a bit unnecessary. It only served to compound problems. Just roll on DD- and you will gather no moss. To be honest, I like your writings and by whatever logic ANYONE applies you are a great journalist…no offence….but people have studied your traits..”random thank you every fourth comment…drowning in a sea of verbosity” etc :).. .as if its a thesis. It just shows how influencial your voice is in the blogosphere…people can love you , hate you but they can never ignore you.

    @Joy Forever- Dont bother yourself with responding to that foolish Apu’s non sequiturs. Also i have a question for you. Read this.
    You think its a great piece of journalism (pun intended)? ….cuz it really made think real hard :)

    @Bonetallis: “had it not been for emotion you wouldn’t have almost 200 comments on this …” That was a great observation. You know what…id also add that GB’s writings have many layers which are not apparent at first glance. It affects you subconsciously. Hes a bit like Sukumar Ray , with very deep meanings behind even the funniest of his posts. His writing is like Pink Floyd’s music. The more marijuana you smoke , the more layers you discover in Floyd’s music that you hitherto would have believed to be nonexistent. Similarly, GB’s beauty is that you find a different layer each time you come back to a post…even very old ones. Its a bit like stripping a girl with many layers of clothes. The beauty only gets enhanced with the passage of time…and thats what makes his posts…well ….timeless.

  199. I totally agree with TTG that “TTG is a fine journalist”. Attributing any motives to me (including charges of increasing comment count) in this regard would only display your emotional immaturity!
    Lovely!
    Oh BTW, IMHO everyone is entitled to their opinions, as long as they do not try to force me to listen…whether they be GreatBong, Annie, Falstaff, Dilip, or (here i add fuel to fire) Shravan!

  200. Responding to some of this on my own space (frankly, did not have the patience to go through each and every comment).

    Dilip, Apurva, others who stood up for me, thank you. But just let it be… enough said.

  201. >>> Expecting this post to reach near the 300 comments mark

    Nothing much to say. Just contributing for the 300- mark. But its not really possible now, Dilip has scooted off to his own blog. :D

    Yeah really, what a whiner.

  202. @Annie, since you are here …what exactly does it mean by “But just let it be… enough said.” ?

    A bit curious, thats all.

    The point is whether we need to be prejudiced for / against people based on their sex (religion, caste, region, etc.) ?

    Women could make better service woman…..maybe or maybe not, but why would men not make that mark?

  203. I wonder how Ashish looks when he “smiles scretly” …

    and did he get to check out GB’s (blo)gspot after he “caught him with his pants down” …

    just curious …

    @yourfan:

    I see that you’ve given substantial importance to the blog in question and actually equated GB to a girl … ahhhh :)

    I like the analogy – “reading GB is like stripping a girl” … unfortunately, GB and I are of the same sex …

  204. @Apu & Yourfan2: Thanks for the links… that “He-did-not-do-anything-still-I-am -offended” thing really made my day. Who says there aren’t better humour writers than GB? And the comments were equally hilarious! :)
    But it should serve as a warning to all men in the world. If a woman wants to take your photo on the street, DO NOT CONSENT. She might be using this photo for defaming you on the net claiming you to be an eve teaser. I am not saying all the photos posted there are false. I’m only saying that there’s nothing to prove that they are true… It’s one person’s word against another’s. Moreover, here the blogger won’t even say why she was offended. Probably, as someone commented, the guy looks a little lower class and economically challenged, that’s the reason…

  205. @Bonatellis: :-)…..Akash (not Ashish) seems to be obsessed with “taking my pants off”—-and my retort is always the same. Once you take my pants off, you understand the real meaning of the ‘great’ in “Greatbong”.

    Its sad to see how much he hates me PERSONALLY and how he compares Dilip’s policy of moderation with me throwing him off due to his persistent trolling. Of course he thinks yourfan and yourfan2 are me and at least the respective people know its not true.

    @Gautam: The record for most number of comments at RTDM is still my Rang de Basanti post.

  206. Possibilities:
    1. have-to-get-the-last-word-in syndrome affliction
    2. but it must be black and white – don’t understand/want to acknowledge greys
    3. wayyyy-too-much-time

    Interesting post, btw, whether its worth agreeing with or not is not my endeavour. Obviously blogic often misses out on context, multiple facets of the discussion – but thats what forms opinions and makes them interesting to read.

  207. Can’t stand that Dososa character’s articles ….. but as some other guy here has observed, he showed amazing guts with that unconditional apology. No “but that you were saying essentially the same thing” qualifecation, just the appology.

    I have also noticed the gloating here over the admonition that Dososa handed out to Akash on his blog for abusing Great Bong. Gloat away, but isn’t it curious that nopbody here, Great Bong or anyone else, said anything to so many people who abused Dososa here. “Pig”, “inane logic”, “not honest”, “cheap” ….. Great Bong, you never wanted to tell these fellows this was not on?

  208. @Little Dauphin: Just to clarify. Considering all that Akash Sen says about me, I dont think DD refuted each and everything he said. Just like I did not for everything people said about DD. And thanks for telling me that “inane logic” and “dishonest arguements” are insults.

    Now I dont expect you to notice that one of the comments about Annie Zaidi was edited —because the commentor had IMHO crossed the line and made unfounded allegations. The same kind as Akash Sen has done but without editing on DD’s part. Not that I care—it is DD’s space and his policy.

    And how many people do you see gloating over the admonition Akash Sen got at DD?

    And if you look closely Akash comes back (after his so-called admonition) and again indulges in ad-hominem attacks aimed at RTDM and Dilip says nothing in protest and instead says that he agrees with him. Not that I hold it against Dilip in any way.

    Take your blinkers off my friend….

  209. Ok the only reason I am saying this, is because I want to increase your comment count – you can’t edit comments in blogspot, you onl delete or not..that MAY be one reason why DD didn’t modify Akash’s comment.

  210. @TTG: Ahem. Well…I once had my blog on blogspot and I used to edit comments just fine ! It takes a little bit of effort though—copy the original comment, delete the portion objectionable, put in a note that this portion was edited and repost the comment with the name of the original commenter. Just to tell you that the thing can be done—whether it needed to be done in this context is an entirely different story.

  211. LittleDauphin, that’s a great name! Though wouldn’t a dauphin always be little, sort of by definition? I am sorry you don’t care for my writing, but I hope you will keep reading it. The name, of course, is D’Souza.

    GreatBong, I don’t edit others’ comments (by whatever technique). Some, I’ve deleted because I think they’ve been vulgarly abusive about someone or the other. The great majority of comments appear as is. When people say something abusive and I call them on it, I’d much rather both the abuse and what I say are there for all to see. Abuse always speaks for itself. In this case, I called him on what I saw was an attack on a person (you).

    Also, I don’t believe I need to “refute” everything that someone says to make a point. That applies in this case.

  212. Dilip, I totally understand your point. My response was to Little Dauphin’s comment—I also feel that everything need not be refuted. The reason I pointed it out was to show LD that the same thing as I did had been done at Death Ends Fun.

  213. YOURFAN writes:
    @bonatellis: You wrote “I wonder how Ashish looks when he “smiles secretly” …”
    I know you meant Akash. I have an answer for you. When the ‘sky’ smiles we see ‘thunder’! Thunder (rumble, grumble) is the operative word in more senses than one.

    You have also written to me (Yourfan): ‘I see that you’ve given substantial importance to the blog in question and actually equated GB to a girl … ahhhh’. Again I have to write that you meant yourfan2 not me. You have mistakenly addressed the above to me although I liked the fact that I got a comment from you!! Is it too much of ‘something’ while on Net which is the root cause of all these mix ups? According to Akash; yourfan can never be a girl because she/he is nobody but GB is disguise. You read his logical explanation behind his very clever thought.

  214. @Akash Sen- (who despite being banned on this blog reads each and every word of this blog) I dont find the commentspace of other blogs too interesting….but nonetheless I read your comment on ‘Death and Fun’ . Firstly I felt a rage of seething anger reading his comment but slowly it melted away to immense pathos. The sentance ‘pot calling a kettle’ line was largely resposible for that. I felt the kind of pathos you would feel if you slapped hard a small child for creating nuisance and then, he in turn accusing you of being a nuisance person.

    @GB and Yourfan-

    Akash is basically extremely unhappy not being able to comment on RTDM. In fact, on occasions his foolish comments were great tea time entertainment. I miss them. But there are limits and GB got sick of his childish nuisance and banned him. Let me quote a few of Akash’s gems from that blog :

    “If one sees G’s post, it does not go unnoticed that it is just full of rants (in fact that is what people tend to do to grab some cheap attention by slinging mud to relatively well-known writers), first against Annie’s, then against the positive reaction by the audience to her post because he was clearly envious of that.”

    ………………..Unknowingly Akash has made a slip here and expressed exactly why he is ENVIOUS of GB. Yes envy leads to resentment.

    “I don’t understand what the reason would be other than jealousy that one would complain against the positive audience reaction to Annie’s post.”

    …………Yes Akash , we do understand the jealousy part.

    “I find it really ridiculous, regardless of whether I agree with the post or not, that a writer chooses his topic to criticize why someone else wrote so and so and why she got spontaneous positive reaction from others. Writer with such a negative frame of mind. Huh.”

    ……………Yes Akash…its perfectly fine to point to what someone else has written.But notice that not once did GB make a personal attack on AZ. Not once. His thoughts were more of an aside or a soliloquy eg. .”Is that why Im not a good journalist? “. And what about the spontenous and overwhelming (mostly) reaction to his post? Hmm. Negative frame. Yeah and I tell you boy the darker is the negative…the brighter is the photo…so have a close look at yourself.

    “In one of his previous posts, he singled me out and debarred me from posting comments because I caught him with his pants down that many of his sycophants commenting on his space are he himself, like yourfan, yourfan2 et al. are just different reincarnations of his (no self-respecting commentators can assume names of such low tastes) ; surprisingly, in this hot debate they disappeared into thin air only to enter at the end, perhaps because G’s too busy writing long posts in his original self and does not have time to take breath. A shameless display of dishonesty, self-indulgence and ego-massaging.”

    …………………Oh boy that was funny! And Im so relieved that as highbrow and eclectic your tastes are (sic), they dont match mine…otherwise I would have started to hate myself. Also it shows how closely Akash is following this blog and who’s commenting and whos not….obesessed with RTDM aint you Akash :) the very weblog you so claim to hate.

    You can stay away from musterbation for a day
    , but you cant miss a single beat on this blog. IT IS THAT good and appealing to you. Hah ah hah ha ha. Boy Im really feeling sorry for you.

  215. Great Bong, the “haha ha ha” in the last coment, that is not gloating? And what do you mean, “same thing as I did had been done at Death Ends Fun”? I cannot see any admonition by you for rude abuse. But Dososa did it. for “dishonest” and “pants down” ect. you don’t even agree that that is insulting.

    Okay, choose only the “pig”. Leave every other. Did you say anything about this?

    Great Bong, people have an opinion about you for what you do “on your own”. But not for saying “he didnot do it also”.

    Dososa, I applaud your guts here, but I am sorry your articles are bad. Will keep reading, but mostly I don’t agree.

  216. @Little Dauphin: I still maintain that “wrestling with a pig gets you covered with mud” is not tantamount to calling someone a pig—-it just means that if I engage someone in a challenge, I will also be covered with muck. Again as I pointed out. personal attacks and abuse directed at other bloggers continue to be edited out here. And whether the “hahah” in the last comment was gloating—welll LD, is gloating bad too?

    As to why I refer to DSouza is simply because you have done so—-so whats the deal about: “Great Bong, people have an opinion about you for what you do “on your own”. But not for saying “he didnot do it also”.”. It’s you who bring up the comparison and then when I try to answer it I am accused of “comparing” with DoSouza.

    On second thoughts you are right. I should strongly criticize people who use this forum to say “bad words” against others. So let me me start off with you.

    Spell Dilip’s name correctly. One of the most insulting things possible is to intentionally spell someone’s name wrong repeatedly—simply because you are insulting his family by vandalizing his last name. Also just because you do not agree with something doesn’t mean that they are bad.

  217. Guess I am the 250th.. come on guys, lets take this to the record 300.

    Hey dilip, come on now be a sport. come back and comment here. We need to reach 300. Ok, we wont tear apart your logic and thinking (its torn anyway). Somebody invoke the Desi Godwins Laws (just replace hitler with modi).

  218. @Arnab: May I have the honour of taking you past 250! Congratulations! Well deserved and extremely high quality sparring here, engendered completely by your extremely thoughtful writing. May I thank Dilip D’Souza for excellent contributions too. And both your and Dilip’s behaviour have been exemplary. Brown and Stonybrook are different as different can be, yet they complement each other very well.
    @All: At this milestone, I thought it may be a good time to address a heinous, peevish and utterly fraudulent canard that has cropped up on a few blogs regarding Arnab’s. I (with my name not hidden) herewith verify that yourfan, yourfan2 are NOT Arnab, under no circumstances can be Arnab. As evidence, in another post in this blog, on the reservations issue (related umbilically to this post) the references that yourfan2 made in an exchange with me to certain authors cannot come from Arnab, it is so micro and minute that only an insider in a particular field, one in which I am trained, can talk about it. And that field is not the field Arnab is even remotely in. I happen to also think that yourfan is fantastic and on the dot. Again regarding yourfan and yourfan2, both are excellent, but their views are orthogonal to each other. So it beats me how they both could be Arnab. Or maybe, just maybe, somebody observes that the posters here are mostly great, they are mostly Bongs, so they mostly are Greatbongs…. I’m just feebly trying to fit some logic in….
    Regards and All the Best

  219. Dilip, Thanks for the almost-Bond line. I was trying to mimic Dauphin’s spelling of your name…I know perfectly what your name is—after all I have been reading your articles on rediff for almost 7 years now. Again its not that I have always agreed with your POV but I have enjoyed reading them nonetheless, if not for anything else but your writing style.

  220. YOURFAN writes:
    @ALL:I am not sending this comment to increase the number of comments as suggested by someone. That suggestion is an insult to all the readers who take the time and energy to comment. They don’t do it to increase the number of comments and nor does GB need that ‘support’.

    @ Ranjan Chakravarty: Thank you for trying to clear up the impression of a few that yourfan , yourfan2 ,GB are the same person. On several occasions in previous posts I have mentioned that I am not GB. GB and I can never be the same person for two reasons. First I have to go for a sex change and secondly I have to go for a clone (of GB’s) brain transplant- if not for anything but for writing skill. Although I don’t like to go in for a sex change (I am very happy the way I am) I surely want to go for the latter but I don’t have that kind of money.

    As regards to yourfan and yourfan2 we are also not the same person. Although in general I share his views, yet on certain points I differ. My job keeps me so busy that I honestly don’t get the time I need to write to him on that very particular post. And once there is a new post not very many readers go back to the old ones and thus sending comments become futile. May be you won’t read this comment just as there is a new post already.
    You have been very generous in your assessment about my views – thank you.

  221. YOURFAN writes:
    @ Ranjan Chakravarty: Sorry, in the first line it should be “wrong impression” not impression.

  222. >> The name, Great Bong, is D’Souza.

    ===

    You missed out the earlier two Ds. One is for Dilip.

    Hey guys, any guesses what the other D stands for :D

  223. Not giving up on beating the RDB thread’s record yet :).

    @froginthewall – You misread the analogy. I wasn’t comparing neo-KKK with male. I was comparing the difference in magnitude of my personal negative reactions to neo-KKK and neo-Rastafarians to a similar difference in my negative reactions to male-chauvinism and female-chauvinism.

    I think historical precedence as well as the current institutional power structure explains that difference, but I am not at all sure if that justifies it. There is a real possibility that muted reactions can promote an ideology of reverse-racism and reverse-sexism. On the other hand, equally strong negative reactions can at times come across as harsh over-reactions and might ignore historical reality.

    Logically I agree with everything GB has said in his post and the comments. But when I had originally read AZ’s post from desipundit link, the quoted sections did not provoke as strong a negative reaction as what evidently triggered GB to write about it. I mostly ignored those sections and focused on the rest of her article. In my first comment, I was trying to think about why I reacted that way and the questions were not meant to be rhetorical.

  224. @Shadows: Dilip’s political leanings are not relevant to the post and I would appreciate if you left it out of the discussion.

    =====

    Arre GreatBong, they are. :) Indirectly though. Just the fact that he is a commie means – the opposite of his views is the right thing. :D

  225. Great Bong, I will try for last time.

    You said -

    >I still maintain that “wrestling with a pig gets you
    >covered with mud” is not tantamount to calling someone
    >a pig

    That, in other words, is to say that “if it is an insult by somebody I do not want to criticice, I will just not call it an insult.”

    You did not do the same as on Deth Ends Fun. You know it. That’s all from me.

  226. I agree with you that there are double standards for men and women in society. However, the double standards are not created _due_ to feminism; they existed before feminism, and they still exist. The context matters. Men are still more powerful in terms of money, power,etc and have less responsibility for kids. The double standards you mention also work both ways, you know.

    Hopefully with time these double standards would go away. An analogy would be the civil Rights and Hollywood. If you look at pre-civil right movies, almost all black characters were slaves. After the civil rights, it suddenly became very politically incorrect to have a black man as a villian in a movie. But now, it does not matter any more.

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