Today was not a good day.
I opened the Times of India, and on the front page I read an article about how a Hindi textbook in Rajasthan compared a donkey to a housewife.
This Class 9 textbook says ‘a donkey is like a housewife. It has to toil all day, and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may complain and walk off to her parents’ home, you’ll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master.’
Activists have asked the state Government to ban or delete this objectionable reference, or face agitation. The most ironic part of this whole story is that a woman Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, runs the state. The late Gopalprasad Vyas, an eminent satirist and winner of the Padma Shri award, wrote this reference.
All newspapers carried the story of the 12 years’ rigorous imprisonment sentence given to the 35-year-old constable Sunil More, who raped a college girl in a police chowky on Marine Drive. As I read these articles, a particular statement made by the defense caught my eye. The defense said that the relationship between the victim and the boy she was with, witness no.2, had not been completely investigated. This is yet another example of how narrow-minded our society can be. Once again, the victim’s character was questioned, and the defense tried to pin some, if not all of the blame on her.
Just as I had come out of my reflective mood, my friends and I went to the Inorbit Mall in Malad, where we decided to have a cup of coffee at the Coffee World outlet. I was stunned when I lifted my cup of coffee, to read a quotation by Groucho Marx on the coaster, which read: ‘
Women should be obscene, not heard.’
I don’t understand what connection this quotation has with a coffee shop, its coffee, or the eatables that it offers. Moreover, if the management was so keen to print quotations regarding women on their coasters, there are hundreds of people more qualified than Groucho Marx whose sayings regarding women have been immortalized. The most important thing is that these hundreds of people have actually said NICE things about women.
I was faced with 3 hard-hitting examples of the attitude towards women today, from Rajasthan, to a high-profile court case, ending at a popular coffee shop in am upmarket mall.
I think this deserves to be thought about.

~ by cranialrumblings on February 3, 2009.

6 Responses to “DNA-2004.”

  1. this is an awesome article… a strong point hammered in so eloquently… you made your mark without drawing blood… lovely stuff…

  2. Surely, the reference in the textbook is objectionable. But come on, Groucho Marx? You should be knowing by now that the man took life with a pinch of salt. And I personally feel that his take on life, through his quotes, however objectionable they might appear, are some of the most funny ones I’ve come across.

    But yeah, what the hell. Women don’t get the respect they deserve. They are often the butt of many a jokes among men – before marriage, it’s the girlfriend who’s at the firing line and later on, it’s the wife.

    And then there are a million other quotes in the lines of, “The product of beauty and brains is always a constant that approximately equals zero.”

    How many people would you fight as long as there are people who come up with stuff like these?

  3. I agree with ‘Fart’ above me.(no offence)

    The article is killer but Groucho Marx probably meant it as a joke. Not to be taken seriously. You come across quotes like that all the time.
    And Man-Woman comparison jokes are as immortal as Santa Banta. My personal favourite is:


    Woman 1: Oh! You got a haircut! That’s so cute!

    Woman 2: Do you think so? I wasn’t sure when she gave me the mirror. I
    mean, you don’t think it’s too fluffy looking?

    Woman 1: No, it’s perfect. I’d love to get my hair cut like that, but I think my face is too wide. I’m pretty much stuck with this stuff I think.

    Woman 2: Are you serious? I think your face is adorable. And you could easily get one of those layer cuts – that would look so cute I think. I was actually going to do that except that I was afraid it would accent my long neck.

    Woman 1: Oh – that’s funny! I would love to have your neck! Anything to
    take attention away from these football player shoulders of mine.

    Woman 2: Are you kidding? I know girls that would love to have your shoulders. Everything drapes so well on you. I mean, look at my arms, see how short they are? If I had your shoulders I could get clothes to fit me so much easier.



    Man 1: Haircut?
    Man 2: Yeah.

  4. amazing article!!!!…
    people need to realise that they cant put women down with every small excuse they get!

  5. Apart from the Groucho Marx thing, which is a joke, albeit in a bad taste, the other two examples are shocking and disgusting. A housewife and a donkey??!! And there’s this new serial which is pissing me off big time, Balika Vadhu!!! Argh!!

  6. no, seriously about the textbook?
    I am enraged. also, this is a brilliant article, and i hope it helped prove your point.
    the point being……….nothing will change, because, to put in in the paraphrased words of Jug Suraiya “men are too scared of anything leading to woman empowerment”. because when we get that power……………………..we will rule. better than you y-chromosomes have.

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