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Archive for the ‘sexual harrasment’ Category

French maid fantasies, Om?

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Via Indiequill, apparently Om Puri slept with two of his maids a while ago. I’ve seen this in Hindi movies from the 80’s and in books about pre-Civil War America when slave owners raped their slaves, but never realized this was such a wide-ranging phenomenon. Who knew an essential rite of passage for so many of our ‘gritty, realistic’ Indian male actors was to have sex with – or rape – a woman from a different economic class who was clearly their dependent? Who’s next, now – Nana Patekar?

In Om Puri’s case, of course, it’s a little more complicated. In the first incident, apparently he was only 14, and they haven’t spoken about the age of the maid then. Does that count as statutory rape on the part of the maid? Was she exploiting her adult privilege, or was he cruelly leveraging his economic and male privileges? In cases such as these, if the sex is consensual, is it still ‘improper yet natural’, like workplace sex, or exploitative, like boss-subordinate sex, or is it a whole different class altogether?

After watching Vanaja’s nuanced portrayal last year, it’s hard for me to be sympathetic to men who make out with maids/servants/nannies. And especially in the Indian context, where class and caste and English language privilege are still often insurmountable barriers, how can these people not see that what they’re doing or did – or had – was not clear consensual sex but murky coercion, often based on economic dependency? These are the very same people who’ll rant and rail against the Catholic Church donating money to poor untouchables to convert them.

But what truly sent chills running down my spine were not the incidents, but Om Puri’s furious-ness at his wife:

“I don’t care if she’s my wife. I won’t let her get away with it

When Nandita expressed a desire to write about me I couldn’t stop her because she’s my wife but she has forgotten who she is,” added Om.

She has forgotten who she is? Erm, dude, I’m guessing you don’t mean the journalism part of her. She’s forgotten she’s your WIFE, you mean. Or rather, YOUR wife. Who shouldn’t be doing things without your permission. Maybe you should meet Mr. and Mrs. Sanjay Dutt sometime soon – I have a feeling you’ll like them.

And seriously, ‘I won’t let her get away with it‘?!!????@##@$#$%

Class superiority much? Male privilege much? Of, maybe that will turn you on, knowing now what we do about you – you get off on that superiority thing, don’t you, you sick ba****d.

*breathing deeply to calm myself down*

Hrumph. I wonder if French maid costumes are really disproportionately popular in Indian role plays. Maid (truly desi, subordinate, available) + white woman (loose, unattainable but ‘available’). Business idea # 562, indeedy.

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Rape? Eh. Slavery? Oh, GOD!

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Apparently Michelle Obama’s great-great-mother was a slave whose child was born to her when she was 15.

In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

Melvinia Shields, the enslaved and illiterate young girl, and the unknown white man who impregnated her are the great-great-great-grandparents of Michelle Obama, the first lady.

Funny how they never note that Michelle Obama’s ancestors, like countless others, was the product of a rape. A forced sexual encounter, i.e. rape, of a 14-year old girl child. Who was also a slave – her body was bought and paid for. And then used.

It’s almost like that part doesn’t even count – oh, of course there was rape. What’s the big deal? Oh, but look, one side of her family was black.

Sheesh, maybe that’s why discrimination of one sort (e.g. rape) still happens today, and the other is a historical fact they needed to have experts dig for.

Shattering Glass ceilings? First woman ever to…

July 13, 2009 Leave a comment

…be court martialed by the Indian Army?

Army court-martials its first woman officer
For the first time in the Indian Army’s history, a military court on Saturday ordered the court martial of a woman officer for disobeying orders, levelling false allegations against her superiors and communicating service matters to the media.

Captain Poonam Kaur had accused three officers, including her commanding officer and second-in-command, of sexually harassing her last year. She was then serving with an ASC (Army Service Corps Battalion) at Kalka near Chandigarh.

….

A court of inquiry conducted before the court martial had slapped 21 charges on Captain Kaur — whose father is a retired army havaldar —of which 11 were dropped, as there was no evidence to substantiate them.

The charges levelled against her included wrongfully getting married accommodation allotted and having an improper relationship with her driver.

I’m not defending either Captain Kaur or the Indian Army – I don’t have enough information, and I’m not interested in fighting that battle. A charge of physical abuse, sexual harassment and/or rape is a career stopper (not very often, of course: Phaneesh Murty, K P S Gill, Sanjay Khan, Virendra Kumar Dohare) – but a false charge is not just unfair, it also reduces the credibility of many, many true charges and causes plenty of harm to everyone involved. And I’m of the school of thought that true gender or racial or communal equality is not just equal opportunity to success, but also equal leeway to be bad, to fail, to irritate, to upset those around them. We’ll know women are equal to men not just when the # of women CEOs are equal to the # of male CEOs, but when the average woman is as much at ease to go against the grain as the average man is, when the punishment is commensurate with the crime and not with the gender.

It’s just unfortunate that the first woman to have broken this glass ceiling, to be court martialed and sacked from the Indian army was done so regarding a complaint of sexual harassment by her Commanding Officer. It’s very, very hard as it is for women anywhere in the world to speak up about sexual harassment (when the perpetrators are friends or acquaintances, the rapes go unreported 61 percent of the time – this is in the US), even harder for Indian women, and those in and around Punjab have to deal with the additional Punju male ‘pride & ego’ (a survey done in the state of Punjab a few years ago found that for every rape reported, a humongous SIXTY-EIGHT go unreported), and for anyone in a job, especially in the army to speak up against their own boss, even in a trivial case, is so difficult as to be impossible (example in case: yours truly!). When the victims get the courage and resources and huge support system required to fight such cases and go public, invariably there are plenty other issues – e.g. media silencing, a media trial on the woman’s character, and sometimes, incredibly stupid, out-of-touch judges (“a judge summoned a nurse who was raped, her one eye gouged out, in Shanti Mukund Hospital in the heart of Delhi by a hospital employee. The judge wanted the woman to answer a strange request by the rapist: would she marry him, as now, presumably, nobody else would“).

The second issue here is the problem inherent in all military, jingoistic groups. Armies around the world demand absolute control over their employees. Military personnel and processes are used to expected to give absolute, unquestioning obedience. This is understandable at some level, because they do want their soldiers to die for a cause, and you can’t have last-minute thoughts and backtracking and discussions and challenges in a battlefield. However, this sets up everyone inside for abuse and isolation of the worst kind (e.g. Lavena Johnson, tons of other cover ups of rapes and murders, and why soldiers rape) . Add to that the whole culture of ‘looking out for each other’, and ‘having your brother officer’s back’, which somehow translates to defending the brother that did the raping & the harassment rather than protecting the sister that was raped and/or harassed (if you have the stomach for it, read this story about Houston firewomen targeted in a hate campaign – major trigger warnings). And top it all with the weird defensive argument that if you complain about something the army or your President is doing, you’re somehow unpatriotic and don’t care for your country (see: Dixie Chicks). That last one is seriously f***ed up, because by making sure the army is functioning as it should, you’re actually strengthening it.

Given such a context, it’s really really sad that Captain Poonam Kaur’s case has been resolved so badly. It only further stops other women from speaking out when in bad, dire need, and closes out the options of half of the world’s population from living and working productively.

Kambakkht @#!@$#@$#

July 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Mr. Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, Hon’ble Smt Pratibha Patil called. She wants the Padma Shri back.

Is Akshay Kumar gunning to be India’s Judd Apatow? In which case, why is India’s Angelina Jolie wannabe (*cough* Posh Spice wannabe *cough*) acting in his movies again?

And who’s going to break it to either of them – and to the rest of bollywood – that feminist != man hater and/or frigid? (Please, even Hollywood’s gone beyond. Not!)

Of course, they’d’ve happily gone onto feminist = ugly, hairy, old, etc…but arre, phir piktchar kaun dekhega yaar? Hence.

Yes, Kambakkht Ishq sounds like one sick, stupid, and (worse) utterly boring flick (No, I haven’t seen it. No, I don’t intend to. Yes, I review films I haven’t seen). The first weekend after a three month movie strike in Bollywood (except for New York, which was released a couple weeks ago) is probably the only time it would’ve got the opening it’s got. Also kudos to the people marketing the movie because they made what I thought was an utterly boring trailer, but one apparently not nearly as offensive as the actual movie (unlike some other trailers which picked the worst parts of the movie to showcase).

The saddest part? Apparently Kareena’s character goes from blaming her dad for her parents’ divorce to realizing that it’s all her mom’s fault. I just hope to the Good Lord that she doesn’t subject her own mother to this appalling movie and its sleazy sub-text.

UPDATE: Apparently great minds do think alike.

Google endorses sexism

July 7, 2009 1 comment

If you haven’t already read Dr Violet Socks’ amazing new post, go read here. It’s got 300+ comments last I checked, and seems to be an online clearing house for everyone, on the left or right, Dem or Republican, male or female, who’s disgusted by the stupidity of the reactions ‘provoked by’ Sarah Palin for some reason.

And then if your stomach can still take it, go here. What, you say – it’s a Google blog, for Chrissakes. The Official Google Blog. Pretty neutral, considering Google rules the Internet and, by extension, the world. What may that have to do with the topic on hand?

Well, to the right of the main post is a section of ‘what’s hot’ – not necessarily the most popular sites on the Intertubez, but the ‘kewlest‘ ones that Google recommends. At the moment, the third one there is this: Deadspin’s Diagramming Sarah Palin’s “Full-Court Press” Metaphor…with comments such as –

TimCouchFanatic Where exactly on that diagram does Eminem nail her?

Matt Sussman
2:15 PM Sarah passes the ball to Trig, open for three … YES! From Down’s town!

NordoftheBlings
2:16 PM Calipari coached Levi on how to use Dribble Drive Penetration to beat the Palin Press.

TTZop Shouldn’t Trig Palin be bigger since he has an extra…

Chuck Knoblockhead 2:35 PM I think we should be more concerned with diaphragming Bristol Palin.

Brando 3:57 PM Those thigh-high boots of hers are really going to scuff up the court.

What is it about the woman that encourages utterly demented behavior? Why do people think they can get away with incessantly insulting her, her sexuality, her very existence? What insecurities in these idiots compel them to forget humanity, forget civilization, forget brains – if they had any in the first place?

Either way, good to see that Google, that which Does No Evil, endorses violence against women, sexual harassment and violence against special needs’ children, not to mention endorses sheer stupidity.

Welcome to our new overlords.

Lern 2 Logik

June 4, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s your fault, bitch!

Salman, Katrina stopped talking**
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif’s relationship have finally ended and it was bound to happen because the couple was never consistent in their love. They were in news more for their fight than for their love. If Salman’s over possessive nature sometimes irritates Katrina then Kat’s frequent turning down Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen their relationship. If minutely judged then both were responsible for the breaking relationship.

(emphasis mine)

It’s “her fault equally” too, apparently. So what if Salman was overpossessive, overbearing, jealous and manipulative? So what if he physically assaulted her*, and brazenly in a crowded Bandra Barista at that? So what if he’s had a history of beating his girlfriends, publicly humiliating them, stalking them and harassing them and their families – to the extent that the most silent, private Bollywood actress alive spoke out? So what if Salman Khan hunts protected animals in a fucking wildlife sanctuary? So what if Salman Khan is a murderer?

If Salman’s over possessive nature sometimes irritates Katrina then Kat’s frequent turning down Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen their relationship.

Per the brain-dead author, the first part of that sentence has no causal link to the second part of the same fucking sentence. They’re independent faults of each party. The “breaking relationship” [sic] was Katrina’s fault. Her ‘frequent turning down [of] Sallu’s marriage proposal worsen [sic] their relationship’. If only she accepted his many proposals, then the relationship would still be okay.

Seriously, monkeys on keyboards, lern 2 logik. We’re
all “minutely judging”, too.

________
** This is by no means the only apologist article/comment ever written – Salman apologists are a large demographic, sometimes giving you the impression they’re omnipotent and omniscent. Some of the gems I found include: “Salman Khan’s career was going steady but in 2002, Aishwarya Rai broke up with the actor which caused him a lot of grief.” (http://www.bollywoodblog.com/tags/Salman-Khan/). I just had to write about this one today.
* Trigger warning: Comments at the source linked are atrocious

In which the Sena believes itself to be an army

April 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Ram Sena, Shiv Sena, same difference. What they love to do is to attack anyone vulnerable. And of course, physically attacking women is what they live for:

Sena mob attacks Ajmal counsel

MUMBAI: In a midnight attack on Anjali Waghmare, the newly appointed defence lawyer for gunman Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’, a Shiv Sena mob pressured her into writing a statement that she would withdraw herself from the Mumbai 26/11 terror attack case.

The group, which went to her residence at Worli here at 0015 hours on Tuesday, hurled abuses at her and made obscene gestures. The police said 12 people were booked on charges of rioting and outraging the modesty of a woman.

The party’s supremo, Bal Thackeray, even demanded that Ajmal be hanged publicly at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the scenes of the terror strike.

I feel the same pain that these people do, and so do ~1 billion people. But the idea that I can use that pain, that anger, to deny the accused terrorist legal counsel is abhorrent, and frankly, so very counterintiutive.

The whole point of this attack that we believe this guy perpetrated, was to destory “India”, hurt our nation and make it more like Pakistan or Aghanistan or whatever his overlords believe is the best role model (no accounting for taste, really).

By hanging a human being in public or by not following proper Indian constitutional processes the Sena is themselves, voluntarily, moving our nation into Pakistan/Afghanistan/tribal/lawless land. By attacking a woman for following the law, while she’s in her house and has asked for police protection – the Sena is no different from the Taleb. By not allowing this guy what is due to him in a court of law, they’re delaying the punishment due to him and the justice that my nation can serve to a murderer – they’re delaying Dharma. By ripping clothes off women whom they believe to be indecently attired, they literally further the indecency of the womens’ attire and expose the depravity of their own souls. Their actions have no place in modern-day India, and no place in my country. And there is no place in any Sanskrit or Indian or Hindu (independent variables) literature or cultural reference where a nation that was unsafe for women was lauded for being great or well-ruled – but there are plenty of references to wonderful lands with great rulers who ensured that “even a lady peasant could take a walk at midnight, unmolested and unafraid”.

I bet they’re not even sure what kind of a Ram Rajya they want, but the fucking Sena idiots need to get a brain first.