Of Malayalees and Gender

Sruthi JS February 15, 2011

The Malayalee Manga can be Wonder Woman by day, but no matter how high a post she holds, by evening she is still supposed to be ‘poomukha vaathilkal sneham vidarthunna poothingal’ ; the ironic remnant of cultural and economic renaissance that failed to eliminate the chauvinistic roots of an enlightened society. Image: Vaigandhi Blog


I was twelve when I was flashed in public for the first time. I was asking for some directions to a well mannered ‘uncle’ and while giving me directions, he lifted up his mundu and gave me my very first view of an erect penis. I remember looking at it, wondering what was wrong with it. As years passed, I would get more glimpses such perverse exhibitionism. Then the gropes began, from light touches to my posterior getting completely grabbed. Traveling alone at night in train even the short distance of Cochin to Trivandrum always ensured stares, questioning glances as to why a girl is out alone at midnight.

My friends from North India used to stare at me in amazement when I would recount such stories, wondering how we could just let it be. The truth is, there is not a woman in urban Kerala, who if not groped by a man or been the object of lewd comments (most often uttered as softly as a whisper loud enough only for you to hear) does not know another woman who has undergone such travesties on her person. Kerala, which has 1058:1000 sex ratio and more than 90% literacy, lags behind when it comes to gender equity.

I have often wondered from where this phenomenon originates. Education is supposed to liberate man from primeval, barbaric power equations and demand civilization that modernity assures through social evolution. But somehow, the Kerala Model of Development, with all its achievements, failed to provide basic attitudinal change in men. A woman is still the second sex. The perfect example for this attitude is something that may seem very trivial, but holds much relevance today- restroom facilities for women who commute or journey long distance. A huge portion of the working force comprises of women in Kerala and yet you cannot find decent amenities for women as often as you need them. We can say offhand that there are amenities at bus stands and railway stations, but the question arises on how healthy they are. Use public restrooms for a week and you are in the high risk category for urinary infections. There is a lack of public and official interest when it comes to providing even the basic infrastructure to the ever growing number of females who join the work force or commute to study. There seems to be a wide gap between the theoretical need for gender parity in economic development and the real disparity in their practical implementation in the state which has development indices comparable to developed nations.

Even in the field of education, it is quite visible. Girls are expected to study till they have a college degree or perhaps a Master’s degree. Beyond that, they are discouraged to study because they might fail to get suitable alliances in the marriage market because they could appear to be over qualified for the prospective groom. A PhD is rarely considered to be a door for further research, but as a further qualification for a permanent teaching job or more salary. For all the social concreteness that we impart to women, the nuances are startlingly different. A girl is supposed to take care of the home. Intellectual or academic work is seldom considered to be input worthy of mention by itself. She has to be a ‘good, well bred girl’ for her intellectual capacity to be acknowledged.

There have been instances where people have told me that my passion for cooking is something that will come in handy when I ‘go to another house’. They don’t view it as a part of my creativity which extends to other fields, but rather as the sole criterion for my capacity to be a potential homemaker. But whenever my brother cooks (which he does admirably well when it comes to certain dishes. Also he is capable of everyday cooking more than me.), there are often amazed or bewildered admiration and adoration heaped on him for being a boy and yet enjoying cooking. On the other hand, when it comes to restaurants and the business which is associated with feeding people, we seldom see women chefs or cooks. The public arena is gender customized to maximize the gains for one sex. These same men, who are employed in restaurants go home expecting their wives to have hot food prepared for them from within the four walls.

Think of accidents involving women drivers. Every time there is a mishap, the woman is blamed, no matter how good a driver she might be or whose fault it could be. Even though the number of Malayalee women driving or riding has increased exponentially over recent times, every time a woman displays a lack of good judgment on the road, there are irritated glances which say, ‘oh she is a woman, it is inevitable’. I believe that a woman in Kerala has very high standards set for her when it comes to the public sphere, which was traditionally men’s. She cannot fail or falter in what she does because that is attributed to her gender and not her as an individual or to the social framework which nurtured her upbringing as part of the collective and as the shadow to her male counterpart. Even though an average Malayalee woman enjoys more financial freedom than the average Indian woman, she is still expected to put all that money into her family and not herself, while a man might have more financial liberties on how he spend his income. This translates to a kind of bondage through all the phases of her life. She might be a working woman, but her life should be at home. Her friends must be few and she must cook, clean and make sure the children get good grades in school.

The question before a person, especially the youth of globalised Kerala, is whether he/she should recognise that Kerala is still a man’s land and not every individual’s and clad him/herself in the archetypal Malayalee identity of hypocrisy pertaining to gender roles or not. The Malayalee Manga can be Wonder Woman by day, but no matter how high a post she holds, by evening she is still supposed to be ‘poomukha vaathilkal sneham vidarthunna poothingal’; the ironic remnant of cultural and economic renaissance that failed to eliminate the chauvinistic roots of an enlightened society.


Author blogs at http://sruthi-reflections.blogspot.com/

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No No No.

The question before a person, especially the youth of globalised Kerala, is whether he/she should recognise that Kerala is still a man’s land and not every individual’s and clad him/herself in the archetypal Malayalee identity of hypocrisy pertaining to gender roles or not.

No No No.

Never should we accept this state of things in Kerala as an immutable fact. Let us shout, campaign, kick and burn those who try to violate the freedom of our women.

Is it about shouting, kicking

Is it about shouting, kicking or burning alone? That whole series of second wave feminism has come and gone. What remains is the root of chauvinism.

@Sruthi 2nd wave feminism in

@Sruthi

2nd wave feminism in India/Kerala? When did that happen? I believe that what you've captured in your commentary - in such chilling words - are crimes of the worst kind against women. More importantly they are the manifestations of an unjust system that not only condones these acts, actively enables it in structural and incidental forms. As in any other case of oppression and injustice, what is required is that the voiceless organize themselves, form a wider solidarity with people's movements and fight at multiple levels using appropriate tools/forms. Of course, it's not about protests alone - rights education, campaigns to combat chauvinism, legal action, etc all have a role to play. However, let's not kid ourselves that anyone will handover the reigns of control without facing serious consequences.

Reclaim our lives

Well written one!

Groping, perversions, questioning glances as to why a girl is out alone at midnight - faced those many a times and fought with close ones for judging someone else' morality based on what time of the day they come back home.

At schools boys and girls are segregated from the time we really know about gender differences. And nowadays I think that segregation continues until we are 22 or so. So definitely, our education system in not going to help.

Imho, change requires action from women (and men). Those of us who raise our voices/agitate will not be very popular. We may be scoffed off as rebels or being immature, others expecting us to change or 'mature' over time. But the point is, waiting for others to change their attitude doesn't really help. Man is not an enemy here, it is just convenient for him to maintain the status quo. Except for grope/rape/eve-teasing/perversions, men and women are equally responsible. Women conditions her daughter to cook/take care of home in addition to excelling in academics and career, and son to expect his wife to cook and clean and maintain the home while bringing a good-enough pay check - the justification being 'this is how the world works'. And 'I don't have time for social life, I spend most of my time at work or home' is a badge displayed proudly among many a women. Women advise other women not to react if something happens, just be careful next time. So it is up to us to raise our voices loud enough, remind women they have equal rights as men, remind men not to take things for granted.

The Issue is also Segregation of Sexes

Perhaps, this talk by Sheryl Sandberg captures a lot of your points and it does hint at some anecdotal "solutions".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18uDutylDa4

I still remember the looks of my relatives when I asked my fiancee to sit in the front of the car, while I took the back seat with her parents (which actually would have helped me to explain things about my home town for their interest, avoiding the uncomfortable turning back from the front)... But surprisingly, during our courting time neither I nor she bothered if one sat in the front seat (beside the driver) or the back seat of a crowded "auto-rickshaw" in Kolkata. People in the south India, especially the middle class, still live in the dark ages where "chivalry" is considered as a virtue. Much worse than that, IMO, it is a vice in the present society that breeds more injustice- both towards men and women.

Having said that, I do feel that our mothers have played a huge role in moulding these stereotypes (that is not to say fathers and "men" at large are not to be blamed).

The most important reason why perverts appear with their "kartoos" in buses an public spaces is because we have such a huge segregation of sexes in Kerala. I thought that it was "not gentlemanly" to sit beside a strange woman in a bus. All the women I met during my 22 years of existence made me believe so. And despite these strict "untouchability" Kerala buses are the most notorious as far as pervert activities are concerned. Once been to Bangalore and later to Kolkata, I am entirely convinced that it is this "untouchability" that breeds perversion. There is nothing wrong in a man or woman sitting next to an opposite sex. In fact in my experience, women are far safer in public transport systems where they share seats with men and even provisions such as reservations too are absent (whether that is needed or not is another debate).

Very good points. Reminds us

Very good points. Reminds us that the matrix of the problems is very complex. I am particularly pointing to the class of problems very hard to tackle is the plight of women, who legitimize the discrimination and injustice towards themselves and accept them as their "fate" or "the need to be obedient" to their husband's and all male dominations. It is the classic "bird in a cage not flying out of the cage even when the door is open" problem. It's out of a complex cultural and social attitude, which needs more serious work than just good cliched education and a stable job. This starts right from our mythologies where women are conditioned to be the second sex and the greatest virtue she should have is her obedience to man's command. For example one of my friends, has been undergoing physical torture by her husband over a long time, and she is still not able to come out of the relationship, because of complex way of psychological subservience to her husband's domination. Here the woman herself chooses for undergoing the torture, in spite of her having all the options in front of her to escape the torture and seek support from her well wishers and legal advice. Such a situation is very challenging and a straight forward generic solution is hard to come up with. And I have seen several other instances (as Renuka points out) within educated class of women , in which women themselves encourage the suffering woman to bear with her suffering as it is still regarded a taboo to be vocal about discrimination and torture. So it's not only about controlling torture/discrimination/injustice/violence against females by males, but also about creating some sort of psychological revolution in woman's mindset to realize herself, her potentials, her sexuality and the possibilities of a better life.

I completely agree. From not

I completely agree. From not helping fellow women in assualt situations to perpetuating sex selective abortion, women have learnt to be indifferent and hedonistic.

A good reflection on the

A good reflection on the status and dilemma of a Malayali Woman. However, the situation is pretty much the same across this country. It captures well my woeful thoughts for women there, which time to time I have been discussing with my Malayali friends.

why

I grew up in Kerala, am a male and have never done these things. Neither have my friends. Such generalization is useless to say the least. I don't know a single person in my family or friend circle who would ask a girl to not study because being 'over-qualified' may not bring about qualified grooms. We also do not encourage a girl or guy to say no to a marriage proposal based on educational qualification alone!

Yes, we live in a society where gender roles are specified and breaking that mold will take some effort but Kerala has always accepted people who are courageous enough to break it. Some of the gender roles are only an issue between couples if you make it an issue. Each relationship has their own way of defining roles. I see wives cooking for husbands and husbands taking excellent care of wives. So stop complaining about Kerala and just go about doing your business.

Perhaps you live in the

Perhaps you live in the remotest of the area of Kerala which can be considered as paradise, where media reports carry goody goody stories to tell, where per capita happiness index is maximum. You are good, your family members have got good value system and as innocent are your friends. Wow!! thats the world for you. Obviously, you need not to leap out of it and that generalized picture of a micro habitat you finally pasted on the face of Kerala too.

The portrait of Kerala vis-a-vis gender sensitivity is not about bashing males but a comment upon an oppressive system. And if the system is oppressive, responsibility to reform, change or catapult it, lies with all those who form part of that system irrespective of gendered roles they play. Further, discrimination is a subjective understanding. What one may find offending, other may not. Discrimination does not end when wife cooks and husband takes care of her etc.... but when there is willingness to accept equal footing/space for expression, living of an individual from different gender and lens of gender be dropped to carry out any work.

Excellent reply Seema....

Excellent reply Seema.... There are always people who live in their picture perfect world, just don't accept the other side. They want pleasing news, faces and these kind of hard facts pisses them off. Pity not the fact they just don't grow up, but boo at the one who speaks so...

Anonymous, Suppose you were

Anonymous,

Suppose you were away from home one day, and when you come back you see your house broken in, and things missing. You complain to police who suggest you stay at home all the time awake to avoid further break-in because these happen everywhere and it is quite natural for thieves to break in. You talk about the incident in the neighbourhood, and your neighbour says 'I didn't break in, nor did anyone in my family. And when I was away from home, nobody broke in either. We live in a society where all these happen once in a while everywhere. Stop complaining, mind your own business, accept the other side and move on.' Men and women in your neighbourhood also tell you that you are to be blamed for the incident because this incident shows your incapability in properly taking care of your family. They also give examples of other men whose houses were not broken in when they were away from home, and ask you to be careful next time because after all it is easier for you to be careful than change the minds of all those bad guys in the world. You spend some time, effort and money, get better locks and burglar alarms, keep things in a locker and next time the break-in happens again - in a better sophisticated manner. Does all these sound normal? Do you at least wish there were some kind of justice? Given a chance, will you talk about this somewhere? Or just accept it as the 'other side' and stay at home awake all the time, as advised?

" Perhaps you live in the

" Perhaps you live in the remotest of the area of Kerala which can be considered as paradise, where media reports carry goody goody stories to tell, where per capita happiness index is maximum. You are good, your family members have got good value system and as innocent are your friends. Wow!! thats the world for you. Obviously, you need not to leap out of it and that generalized picture of a micro habitat you finally pasted on the face of Kerala too."

generalising things..isn't it what you have done too? How can you say that the majority of men in kerala are perverts based on a few bad experiences?

I think now you had

I think now you had generalized things.Where was that said in that article majority of men in Kerala are perverts? Majority of women might have undergone such experiences does necessarily mean that majority of men are culprits? How do that two relate?

Majority of men and for that

Majority of men and for that matter women will stand co-accused in the crimes against women. To keep mum is also a crime.

In one ernakulam-trivandrum super fast, a middle aged man was busy leaning over a middle aged lady. She asked him to stand properly. He suddenly showed his motherly love saying that she is like his mother, quite old, what can he do to her. Again he was adamant in claiming his "right" to lean over her. When she again persisted, he asked what she will do if he did not (stand properly). Only 2-3 men protested at this even when the bus was full of men and women. The general ostrich's approach - why to get involved as it is not my wife/mother/daughter who is being harassed - is an encouragement to these perverts. Deal with them the way they deserve. The silent malayalee is a co-accused in the crime.

If the women are ready to

If the women are ready to react when any one tries to "take advantage" of them,such things will not happen.I find your above cited example hard to believe because,I have seen men being "handled" very well on such instances so that they won't dare to do that again.Now,don't tell me that I'm from some remotest of remotes paradise in Kerala.

Again,a commonly heard complaint is that if women wear some modern dress and walk through the streets of Kerala,they are greeted with stares and comments.If the same people(women) upload their photos in a modern dress in some social networking site such as FB and if someone add a comment for that photo saying something like "you are looking sexxxy",they would take that comment with pride and would reply "thanks dude".They find no problem in hearing/accepting these "glorified comments" and they don't find any uneasiness in "showing off them" to the whole world.Why is it so?

If the women are ready to

If the women are ready to react when any one tries to "take advantage" of them,such things will not happen.

I mean what do you mean by such things will not happen? There are incidents reported in newspapers wherein, women, girls thrash their offenders and have taken them to police. Never let anyone violate an individual; nobody have the right to do so, not even ones husband.

I find your above cited example hard to believe because,I have seen men being "handled" very well on such instances so that they won't dare to do that again.

Well, what did you do when this incident occurred. Did you keep mum? That matters. Only when people respond, things can change. Only when people protest things can change. (Where did this incident occurred?)

Now,don't tell me that I'm from some remotest of remotes paradise in Kerala. Well, it doesn't really matter to me whether you believe it or not. Does it?.

In Italy when Berlusconi made demeaning statements about women, women marched on streets, declaring that enough is enough. Why are not women in kerala not ready for such a show of solidarity? Nobody can help you unless you claim your right to live in equal footing.

Don't fall in the usual evasive reasons like the cause is systemic and that socialism is the cure to all such immoral acts (With people like P Sasi or WRVaradarajan leading the struggles for a just system ;)). In all the developed capitalist countries women are treated much more courteously.

P E Usha case was one of the earliest case which evoked lot of attention. CPM affiliated employees union supported the offender, prakashan, openly rather than standing by P E Usha, the victim. AIDWA who is said to be fighting for women's right and all did not dare to open its mouth against the dirty act of employees union. Bodies like AIDWA is over politicised bodies which will not take a stand against these perverts if the boss(CPM for instance) thinks the opposite. So where is the progressiveness in the matters of gender in the so called progressive parties like CPM?

Why should only women react

Why should only women react when anyone try to 'take advantage' of them? If someone starts thrashing, lets say college students, for some reason, do we not want anyone else to react? Civil society should react, and it will. Same with the case of women. The only difference here is, most women are conditioned from childhood not to react to such incidents, are told that some men are always like that, and even that 'these things won't happen if girls behave and dress properly'. And they are in general physically less aggressive than men. Just look at the comments above - 'just go about doing your business', 'accept the other side', 'you just don't grow up' are examples for some of the reasoning used to discourage women who do in fact react. In the virtual world, there are more men and women who understand and speak up supporting the cause. Where as in real world, we don't see many people who speak up supporting the victim even if they are not supporting the perpetrator. Just like there are more people sympathizing with a news about road accidents than those who would really rescue them. I have seen many incidents where other men and women (including bus driver and conductor) keep quiet until the affected woman just tries to ignore the comments or desperately gets down the bus to escape.

And about social networking/FB (although I find it a generalized statement again) - if you laughed when a friend threw 'virtual pillow' at you on FB, does it mean some stranger on the street has right to throw banana peels at you?

I have seen many incidents

I have seen many incidents where other men and women (including bus driver and conductor) keep quiet until the affected woman just tries to ignore the comments or desperately gets down the bus to escape.

Use chappals. It is high time that girls, women get bolder.

What is worrying is that none of the articles are not going to help change the situation. Unless women plan various ways of protests, just like the one occurred in italy, nothing can help. This should be taken forward by organisations like DYFI (before Solidarity takes it up). I am appalled at the indifference of DYFI, AIDWA in taking up this issue.

This is a leftist blog. Look

This is a leftist blog. Look at the comments which have come from the so called leftists. They are giving credence to the fact that not all the leftists are progressive, and that they are living with the mindset of haryanvi villagers, who see women as just objects to use.

They find no problem in hearing/accepting these "glorified comments" and they don't find any uneasiness in "showing off them" to the whole world.Why is it so?

Lonely is in a dilemma of how to treat women:) What the heck? If the world calls a girl sexy, then according to Lonely she should stand naked for all perverts (like Lonely?) to see and enjoy? I am assuming him to be leftist? I am equally sad to see such a leftist with a perverted mind. Dude, come to karnataka, where the left is weak. Where women are better treated. Where women are more assertive. Learn that you cannot have a woman by force. You will not get any trace of love in a relationship that is merely physical. Parties like CPM should throw out perverts like P Sasi with immediate effect to send across a strong message to all perverts wearing progressive overcoats.

Shame on AIDWA, DYFI for their shameful silence even at a time when a girl payed with her life. They hype that they represent women, the youth etc.? Weren't Saumya a youth, a woman? Why the heck are these eunuch organisations silent?

Lonely wrote "I find your above cited example hard to believe because,I have seen men being "handled" very well on such instances so that they won't dare to do that again." -> What was lonely doing? Who appointed him to give the running commentary? He is typically glorifying an act which is wrong. And he is not even shameful of that. Bhagalpur in Bihar have shown us the way how people will react when they are forced to the wall. They came out with acid and poured it to the criminals who were having a free run. Wait for that moment to happen. When perverts like Lonely will be paraded naked, blinded with acid. This is what history teaches.

Leftists like Lonely with feudal hariyanvi villager mindset is the reason why women are scarce even in the so called progressive political parties and the so called youth organisations like DYFI.

Prejudices do not have gender too!

"Look at the comments which have come from the so called leftists. They are giving credence to the fact that not all the leftists are progressive, and that they are living with the mindset of haryanvi villagers, who see women as just objects to use. "

I wonder how could one reach a conclusion about leftists (for that matter even rightists) keeping a certain mindset from the extremely narrow sample of one person's comment. If there can be a classic example of vomiting one's own prejudice, I should rather attribute it to this usage.......

The person in question never claimed to be a leftist. He may or may not be one and that is beside the point. Left, right or centre, liberal conservative or even fanatical depends on an individual's own socio-political attributes....

So who are you? Rightist, centrist, libertarian .... ? And whoever you are, how come you came to this blog to comment, while you do not give that benefit of doubt to another commentator?

I do not agree with the commentator in question (not a bit), but I certainly find your prejudiced proclamation worse.. At least, they were putting their views and not debating what kind of person or group X, Y or Z were!

act that not all the

act that not all the leftists

I have used "not all leftists". It is not a generalised statement but very specific!. In the not all leftists category I would love to include, "P Sasi, W R Varadarajan, that ernakulam mayor/councilor(forgot his name), PE Usha's harasser, the CPM affiliated employees assoc who sided with PE Ushas harasser, AIDWA who did not open its mouth against the CPM affiliated employees assoc, etc. etc. These are ample enough to believe that there are perverts in the so called progressive left(I repeat, not all).

I found Lonely's reply so demeaning, so repulsive, so I replied. I do believe that he deserves that reply. But I am thankful that you found time to reply to my post, which you found fit for your reply. Anyway, if Lonely have any issues, he is free to open up his mind, come with retraction that he is a rightist or may be a sangh parivari or so.

My point is this, the progressiveness of the mainstream left, namely CPM and its group of buddies is a sham. That is it. May be we can discuss about that, rather than dissecting why Lonely is neither a leftist nor a rightist or a cross breed, or whether I am a rightist or a leftist.

"My point is this, the

"My point is this, the progressiveness of the mainstream left, namely CPM and its group of buddies is a sham. That is it. May be we can discuss about that, rather than dissecting why Lonely is neither a leftist nor a rightist or a cross breed, or whether I am a rightist or a leftist."

May be we can discuss the topic in hand - gender justice and not about you or leftists or feudal hariyanvi villagers.

Appreciate your spirit on being bold and acting against injustice, but not at the expense of calling names. Lets not fool ourselves, Karnataka where in your opinion women are treated better, has witnessed beating up women going to pubs or wearning modern outfits. Wonder what exactly is your point. Women should be bolder, or leftists should be blamed for everything in Kerala. Or just derail the whole discussion?

Wonder what exactly is your

Wonder what exactly is your point. Women should be bolder, or leftists should be blamed for everything in Kerala. Or just derail the whole discussion?

My point is left should stop doing their usual theoretical assessment of the situation and do something on the ground against the growing incidents of harassments. Nothing more, nothing less. I mean what is the use of all these discussions. DYFI once used to try the corrupt in people courts, right. Where is its valiance now? My concern is just that. Nothing more, nothing less. Adios.

One of your comments on what

One of your comments on what happened in Karnataka - "They dared to go to the pubs at-least. They did not succumb to the threats of a thug like ramasena. They took them on." If 'they' can do that, why should women in Kerala wait for DYFI or AIDWA or CPM to 'save' women? Isn't this one of the real problems? Instead of doing something on our own, we find fault with someone else, blame them for things that go wrong. Whether or not DYFI try corrupt at people's courts now, why should Malayalees wait for DYFI to act upon this issue?

Because they claim to be

Because they claim to be progressive. When DYFI and AIDWA claim to be progressive, and yet they are not so in real life, one gets angry. It also makes clear that the existing leftist organizations in Kerala cannot do much in this regard.

Niveditha... have you heard

Niveditha... have you heard of the universal set? consider... {white, black, male, female, left, right, developed country, developing, underdeveloped, religion subsets, caste subsets, class, regional, etc etc}. put all the factors in a universal set. there is a hierarchy which is dollowed depending on the situations. but be sure that left or right or whaever other subsets are prevalent, of the lowest of the lowest hierarchal levels will be the females of that level after males of that level. progressiveness just doesnt count. you cant expect someone who is pro choice to be a feminist or a athiest to be feminist. doesnt work that way. gender is the most complicated of subsets.

@Ayyappadas Well said. It's

@Ayyappadas

Well said. It's funny to see Niveditha argue that she had only said that "not all the leftists are progressive" (perhaps we should all rejoice for such deeds of condescension!). If I am not mistaken, wasnt she earlier calling DYFI and AIDWA "enunch organizations"? It's clear that she had intended that phrase to to be insulting or demeaning. I suppose in her brand of politics - enunchs are individuals who are not worthy of representation, rights or solidarity. And she's the one talking about gender justice and calling "progressiveness of the mainstream left a sham". Ha! To paraphrase Niveditha, I find her comments "so demeaning, so repulsive" that it's impossible to have a civil discussion with her.

Haha.. Escapism. You did not

Haha.. Escapism. You did not see the specific instances(partial blindness?) that i quoted as to why i called those organisations eunuchs. If you refute my charges with proper reasons, I would definitely take it back. Were the incidents that I quoted wrong or fabricated lies?. I used the word Eunuchs with an intention to call these organisations "randumkettathungal" not to defame or belittle Eunuchs (although it is wrong to use. RB Sreekumar had in an earlier occasion, said that those police officers who compromised their integrity during the gujarat riots are eunichs - kairala interview. I used Eunuch in the same sense). Btw, Eunuchs are one of the most oppressed section of the people? How many eunuchs are there in DYFI, AIDWA, CPM, CPI etc? Do they have revolutionary character?

Lets not fool ourselves, Karnataka where in your opinion women are treated better, has witnessed beating up women going to pubs or wearing modern outfits.

They dared to go to the pubs at-least. They did not succumb to the threats of a thug like ramasena. They took them on. It is not a little thing in a state ruled by sangh parivar. There are other examples of women in karnataka quoted earlier by other people. Come to bangalore, travel by a BMTC bus, feel for yourself that there are no one there to harass. May be a study about the confidence level of a lady conductor in banagalore versus even a male or female conductor in KSRTC?

I very well know what irritated ayyapadas and you are the specific incidents and persons that I quoted. Let us end this here. But the questions I raised are still relevant. Friends, there is no use in getting insulted when being criticized. I criticize because I vote for the left, that's it. Adios!

Barking at the Wrong Tree!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I very well know what irritated ayyapadas and you are the specific incidents and persons that I quoted."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Well, I wouldn't wonder even if you claim that you know exactly the solution to the Big Bang singularity or a mathematical proof to P=NP(!) .. So let me just wish you good luck with your super advanced intuition...

I wonder if you have ever heard about some ideas like "logic", "speaking in the context" etc. If you are at least barely familiar with those, let us check your 'prophetic realizations' at a non-personal level (I doubt, whether you could even imagine that).

A discussion was on between persons L and S (their gender or political inclinations are irrelevant for now). 'L' presumably made some awkward remarks about an "issue" to which 'R1', S and/or others responded. Now you, "N", comes up with an out-of-the-world statement about some S2, W, X, Y or Z which had nothing to do with the issues L, S, R1 or others were discussing - or did it?

When "A" points out that you are simply vomiting your prejudices and not contributing, you give a slippery "I didn't mean ALL" kind of response. When "R1" and "R2" just repeated the same thing ("R2" in a more sarcastic way), you have come up with a novel argument that ALL OTHERS were irritated because you made some revolutionary and valid points(!!!). I should say, height of self belief and appreciate it, but pray, read what you wrote and what was the discussion in question.

Now dear Nivedhita, first of all let me challenge your (implicit) assumption that we are fools, ideologically blind or street rowdies. We aren't any of these to the best of our beliefs and believe me, none of the members in Bodhi ever support harassing women whether they be Neelan, Joseph, Kunjalikutty, Sasi, Waradarajan, Sree Vanara Sena, the Islamists or anybody.

Regarding the stand of AIDWA or DYFI, it would be better if you could consult them and comment... And as far as I have read from newspapers, DYFI did make a lot of protest after the Saumya incident.. Yet, that was not our question.

You were essentially barking at the wrong tree!!! And pray, why do you expect us to answer to an unrelated issue? No.. We do not believe that our standards (in a discussion) are that low... Soon behalf of Bodhi, let us apologize to you for not stooping to your level.

The question under discussion had nothing to do with what politics the people who harass women hold. If it were, there should have been a lot of "famous" names that we should have been debating. It was you who brought it in from no where.. Nobody claimed that there cannot be chauvinists among left. People could be chauvinists, racists or even pedophiles to serial killers and yet be inclined to one or other political ideology. You can blame a political organization only if it sanctions it (directly or indirectly). It goes with CPM, INC, BJP, AIDWA, DYFI or ABVP.

Most of our points were on critical lines to the "Kerala's cultural perception" about women. If you were so amazed by the morale of women conductors in Bangalore, you have never seen the determination of the women working with "kudumbashree" units in Kerala. I bet, you have neither seen men and women sitting next to each other without any complaints or even thinking about anything apart from next day's labour in a jam-packed train starting from Sealdah or Howrah station in Kolkata (or VT in Mumbai).. Well, some of us have and therefore without any doubt see what the underlying thoughts in those words were....

If you get time, read your own statements against the context of discussion and get back.

@Ayyappadas I finally agree

@Ayyappadas

I finally agree that my first comment was a knee jerk response to a demeaning, repulsive comment from Lonely whom I assumed to be a leftist. That was wrong. I accept. This particular article might have gone out to more wider audience, evident from the hits. Second mistake was that I assumed that this group had an affiliation to some political party. I accept that I was wrong. apologies.

I really appreciate the members of the website for putting up this website, and Sruthi for writing this article. Please continue writing more articles on such issues.

I have a humble suggestion : please provide an option in the website for the contents to be read in either english or malayalam. That way the content will reach wider masses. Please give it a thought. For example a malayalam version of this article can definitely attract a wider section.

Are you kidding

...Dude, come to karnataka, where the left is weak. Where women are better treated. Where women are more assertive. ............

This is real joke. The other day I was shocked to hear a news from a friend whose wife is molested in day light in Bangalore. The molester came in a bike and hit the women from back. The women was in a shock and the guy came back ten times and every time he came back abused her sexually. And all the spineless onlookers just watched. I do not think a guy will not dare to that in Kerala in broad daylight. This is not a stray incident. every other day you could hear this kind of news.

Just look at Delhi. Every other day you read a news items about a women being raped or molested.

Lonely when a woman puts up

Lonely

when a woman puts up a photo on her fb profile in a sexy dress, she is opening it up to whom she chooses. she has the right to consider those comments as compliments or insults as she chooses. but when she walks down a street in a mini skirt, as long as she doesnt go to a guy and shake her hips at him and invite him to comment, no matter how sexy she looks, he simply is not entitled to say anything that she hears. he can look, comment to his friends, but not to her. it is a question of simple manners and not any greater chivalrous philosophy. i hope i answered your question.

oh trust me, men are handled well. but only by some. often we get stunned. and by the time we recover our presence of mind, they are gone.

re

I had a desire to start my own business, nevertheless I didn't earn enough of money to do that. Thank God my dude recommended to use the loan. Thence I received the credit loan and made real my old dream.

Narayan Rane's remarks yesterday.

You would have read Narayan Rane's remarks yesterday.

‘Take care of the house and the children first. That is our sanskriti’

Though Rane is now with Congress party, he was a Shiv Sainik for some 40 years (till 2005). Hence I'm not surprised at the language.

Hoping to see street protests in Mumbai. Revolutionary greeting in advance.

education in kerala is a farce. it is not having any core...

Education should be inculcating values into the next generation to make tomorrow better than today. The education is biased. There is no respect for woman taught in schools.. and the child learns from society is worse lessons of showing respect for woman. ours is a hell conservative society keeping girls in the house. both mother and father are of the same opinion . it shud start from homes.

Although eve-teasing is

Although eve-teasing is unavoidable, the concept of 'Maa-Behen-Beti' still prevails in the northern states. That's women aren't ogled at here. Education has nothing to do with eve-teasing, it's the moral values instilled in one.

Although eve-teasing is

Although eve-teasing is unavoidable, the concept of 'Maa-Behen-Beti' still prevails in the northern states. That's women aren't ogled at here. Education has nothing to do with eve-teasing, it's the moral values instilled in one.

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