Thursday, May 15, 2008

Because She is a Woman

I notice a certain shifting of position, a re-ordering of values and criteria when men talk about women in high position. I am not talking of that common breed of the male species branded mcp. It’s those liberal, fair-minded and intellectually poised men that I have in mind. Recently, while I was in the company of half a dozen men whom I would place in the latter category, Jayalalitha and Hillary Clinton figured in the conversation. Jayalalitha was corrupt to the core, they stated emphatically. Her style of functioning provided a major role for goondaism. The tone and tenor of the conversation became venomous in a controlled, suave manner – but the appearance of objectivity/impartiality was maintained by a careful use of diction. I pointed out that corruption and goondaism aren’t Jayalalitha’s forte alone. Most stalwarts in regional politics specialize in this. But in unison, they proved me wrong. They tabled a list of Jayalalitha’s real estate acquisition across the globe. The information came from dependable sources. Sources were quoted. Did these sources do a research into, say Karunanidhi’s wealth, or Deve Gowda’s for that matter? The question was dismissed with a casualness which suggested they hadn’t – and the listing out of the malpractices of the ‘film star turned politician with a dubious background’ continued with controlled heat bordering on the danger zones that threatened to rip off that mask of objectivity and poise. The long and short of it is this: it doesn’t matter if Gowda and K’ nidhi are corrupt - after all they are MEN. No. They don’t believe in condoning corruption. But they shrug off corruption as inevitable when the practitioner is a male politician. Corrupt men create much much less shock waves than corrupt women. That is the unwritten, unspoken truth.

Hillary Clinton too sufered the same fate in the hands of these men. It is not that they were anxious about uncle sam succumbing to the embraces of Cleopatra. What I could sense was a deep seated but unspoken resentment that she did not have the weaknesses associated with a woman, and she was smart, and stable in time of crisis, and she dared to aspire for the most powerful seat in the world!. Their list of her fatal flaws included vanity, arrogance, overconfidence and of course, corruption – all of which would be soft peddled in a male leader . And they wont give her a chance.

Strange, how men have an extra antenna up when it comes to a woman achiever. It is specially programmed to pick up flaws which would be highlighted in red when they are detected in the female species, but would have an ‘ignore all’ command given in default when picked up in the male species.

my take: A sin is a sin whether a man or woman commits it. Not only ceaser’s wife, ceaser too must be above blame. Corruption in public servants is detestable. A fraudulent practice is no more heinous because a woman commits it, or any less scandalous when a man commits it. No separate standards for the sexes, please!

Remember what the great teacher once(and for all) said without mincing words? Whoever has not sinned can cast the first stone.

PS. Strangely enough, Indira Gandhi did not suffer the same fate as Jayalalaitha or Hillary Clinton did in the hands of these men. When she surfaced in the conversation, it was I who protested against the tributes given to her in turns. I don’t understand how the lady managed to unsex herself in the eyes of these gentlemen. Or are Indian men incurable dynastic rule advocates?


  1. "What I could sense was a deep seated but unspoken resentment that she did not have the weaknesses associated with a woman"

    I will vouch for this statement as I face this almost daily. Men, I have realized like their women to shut up, up there and open up, down there on demand, which is the only use they have for a woman. And this is the reason why men like dumb blondes...or in the case of Indian men...dumb brunettes!

  2. I think I agree with you. Men are just not comfortable with woman achievers :-) I'm sad to say most of the males I know (including me, perhaps) think of women achievers as show offs, bitchy or "using her features to full advantage".

    And I don't think it's just Indian males. It is males !! American's were caught between a tough choice. A black President or a woman president? And ultimately the former did win!!

    I don't know why Obama won. But I'm sure chauvinism is a world wide phenomenon. India is a developing country and hence the views/ opinions of it's males might be less liberal compared to the views/opinions of a male from, say US. As time progresses, you will find us becoming more sensitive and sensible.

    Hopefully you will remove the Indian tag from chauvinism (eg; Indian men) next time onwards :-)


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