Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes, all a man needs is a good beating

I wonder how feminists will react to the above headline. Yet, if I were a man and were to write about meting out similar treatment to women, all hell would break loose.
Don't get me wrong... I am not promoting violence of any sort against any person of any sex. But I AM thinking...

I, for one, have slapped at least 4-5 boys/men in my life. It was never because I wanted to hurt them but I had to because they did something to incite me to violence. The first time was aged 9 when this stupid boy kissed me on my cheeks. I clearly remember slapping him to save face. I was not embarrassed by the kiss, but was humiliated when the other kids laughed at me. So I hit him.

The next incident was aged 16, when this fat boy forcefully tried to take my number and follow me. I placed a cracking one on his cheek. I still remember his shocked face. He put a hand on the cheek I had slapped and simply walked away. Other reactions weren't that simple…

The autorickshaw driver I slapped in the face – with a hysterical friend screaming beside me – because I was sure he was trying to peep inside my dress… Aged 20.
A boy in my college who grabbed my hand and was forcefully making me see his point, when even though I was uncomfortable my guy friends said nothing and asked me to ignore the incident. I had fumed, followed the offender, turned him around and slapped him, even as a crowd of My College boys around me whistled and jeered, I was 19.
Another man in city buss, Jaipur, who– tried to catch hold of my breast when I was getting down from the buss even though he was my grandfathers age. I was 21.

And yet when I read reports about violence, it is always assumed that women are incapable of it. In fact women being violent against men takes on sexual tones. Not surprisingly, a Google search of ‘woman beat man’ primarily yielded results that included a fat man being spanked on a sexy woman’s knees and another that had a black man and a white woman sidling up to each other, her hand in his pants. Other image results were mostly toons.

I have never heard of any stories where a woman regularly beat up a man. Actually, no. I have heard one story. This friend’s mother used to regularly beat up –yes, literally beat up, she used a rolling pin I’m told – his father. I didn’t have the temerity to ask for reasons and found it quite hard to digest the story. Still do.

To be honest... After all the stories I've read and all the 'goggle' that i have done somehow it seems that even if a woman was violent, her violence is presumed to be directed more towards herself – self-mutilation etc – than towards other people.
And it makes me wonder. Apart from the difference in physical strength – men being stronger than women – why does violence from a woman surprise people? Is it because the worst is expected of men or is it because women are incapable of violence?

Or is that belief really changing?

PS: I am researching on something and thereby thinking woman and violence.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Opposite Of Love

Have you ever been irrelevant? Have you ever had the other person NOT notice you? Have you ever thought you were amazing, only to find out, they WEREN'T listening?

I’m not sure where I heard this but it seems to fit: “The opposite of love is not hate it’s apathy.”

I’m sure you’ve experienced it; a total lack of connection. In daily life we get it all the time: our friends don’t see us, our prospects don’t notice us, our bosses and colleagues don’t remember if we were there or not.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being irrelevant. So if this is such a common occurrence, why is it so traumatic? Is the opposite of love truly apathy … an unwillingness to connect?

Maybe it’s how we’re wired. Maybe if someone is passionate about you it sparks an engagement, a connection. Maybe that’s what we’re looking for after all: not love, or hate, or something in-between.
Maybe being relevant is what it’s all about, being passionate – being connected, even if that relevance is opposite from the belief system of the other.

We’ve seen it; two people who violently disagree, perhaps even hate each other, eventually have that passionate spark of disagreement turn into engagement. And of course we’ve seen it on the other side; agreeing passionately.

This happened to me the other day. I was irrelevant. The other person wasn’t mad, wasn’t upset, wasn’t frustrated … they weren’t anything. They didn’t answer my email, didn’t return my call, didn’t care to even explore the offer … they just didn’t … and I was irrelevant.

So here’s my question: “When was the last time you were irrelevant?” That’s a tough one to answer because usually it means taking a hard look at ourselves and asking “Why”. Why am I irrelevant? Is it them … maybe. Is it me … probably. Whatever I’m doing they don’t care about. So do you change what you’re doing to become more relevant in their world? Yes, No, Maybe.

You could decide NOT to play in their sandbox. But if you do … if you do decide to play in their sandbox, the only way to get them to love you (or hate you), is to do something important enough to be seen.

So go ahead … do something we’ll notice … be relevant … we dare you … and we’re waiting. :)