Coming out of hibernation for a few moments to note that the 13th Carnival of Feminists is online, and it is utterly fabulous.

The previous Carnivals are available here.
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 10:52 AM
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This is to announce that there will be no new posts on this blog till the 9th of May.

My exams, which begin on Wednesday, will last till the 6th of May. The three days after that will be spent in one (or more) of the following three ways:

1) Two days of reading every blog-related thing I will have missed, followed by one day of nursing a headache.

2) Two days of reading any and every sort of book I can get my hands on, accompanied by very loud music, and once again followed by one day of nursing a headache.

3) Two days spent in some sort of externally actuated consciousness-altering haze, followed by two days of nursing a headache, in which case, I will see you on the 10th.

Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 11:46 AM
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Always Remember ...

Click on the image for a larger version.

Okay, now that I have your attention (and completely unrelated to the image), do visit the 12th Carnival of Feminists, hosted by Ragnell Star Sapphire. It’s got loads of great links (including one of mine), and I found it especially interesting because it has many comics-related links.

The previous Carnivals are available here.

PS: Always Remember #1.
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 12:20 PM
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This is an interesting meme – quote your favourite line from the first 20 songs in your playlist. The ones I really love are in italics.

See if you can identify the songs from the lines. (Enter your answers in the comments.) I don’t expect more than five right answers (the first person I quized got none). Take that as a challenge.
  1. I still believe she was my twin, but I lost the ring/She was born in spring, but I was born too late
  2. I don’t want the world to change/I like the way it is/Just give me one more wish/I can’t get enough of this
  3. I’ll come running to tie your shoe/I’ll come running to tie your shoe
  4. So you write him a letter and say, “Her eyes are blue.”/He sends you a poem and she’s lost to you
  5. Yes we feel bad in winter/We act a little bit strange/The dark sky threatens me daily/Makes me alter and change
  6. You are a force of nature, dear/And your breath curls from your lips/And the trees bend down their branches/Touch you with their fingertips
  7. You got to fight everyday/And keep mediocrity at bay (Sound familiar? Check out my tagline.)
  8. I know I’m bad/To jump on you like this/Some things don’t change/My middle name’s still ‘Risk’
  9. My face beneath the streetlamp/It reveals what it is lonely people seek
  10. I’m not trying to cause a fuss/I just wanna make my own fuck-ups
  11. I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution/Take a bow for the new revolution/Smile and grin at the change all around/Pick up my guitar and play ...
  12. If you still feel like today/And tomorrow’s the same way/Then I know it will be right tomorrow night
  13. I whisper all your names/I know not where you are/But somewhere, somewhere, somewhere here/Upon this wild abandoned star ... (I was sorely tempted to include the whole song here)
  14. I really don’t know what “I love you” means/I think it means “Don’t leave me here alone”
  15. Just when I think I’m winning/When I’ve broken every door/The ghosts of my life blow wilder than before
  16. She picked me up and sat me on her knee/Said, “Dear boy, won’t you come home with me?”
  17. ’Cause you know and I know/In the morning I’ll be dead/You can sit around and you can watch/All the clean white sheets stained red
  18. Close the door, put out the light/No, they won’t be home tonight
  19. Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion,/But their words of derision meant they hardly knew me
  20. The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face (c’mon, I couldn’t not have this)
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 11:52 AM
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A commentor at Ginmar’s blog links to an opinion article in the Times. The basic point of the article is that the way to stop sexism and related problems in India is to allow female foeticide.

The writer begins by pointing out the fact that, while abortion is legal in India, sex determination isn’t. Now it is true that in an ideal world, you should be able to abort a foetus for whatever reason you like, but the fact is that that would be a problem in India. Aishwarya talks about it here.

The first part of the article presents a fairly sensible opinion in favour of abortion rights. And then it starts to go somewhat off.
I think the best way to raise the status of women in India would be to legalise sex-selection abortion, and allow as many of them as are requested. Without wanting to be all Margaret Thatcher about it ... market forces can be the resolution of many cultural problems.
So the solution to sexism and commodification of women is to ... er ... commodify them.

Then she presents a scenario of there being fewer women than men.
Consider, now, if there were a two-year waiting list for Indian women. Those 1000 men would soon be duking it out for those 793 ladies.
Now consider the words ‘duking it out’. The writer hasn’t thought it through. Consider there are fewer women than men, they are living in a situation where women aren’t considered important enough to be born, and consider the manner in which men would ‘duke it out’ for women.

Put simply, there would be an extraordinarily high increase in the abuse of the women who live. Market strategies are obviously not equipped enough to consider this. And of course, sexism would definitely not decrease. There would, if anything, be an increase in the treatment of women as property, which the writer vaguely acknowledges:
On finally getting his $80,000 woman, the man would then be doing the marital equivalent of polishing his wife every night with protective dubbin, and putting her on a special peg in the hallway.
The only difference between the situation now and then is that it would be the woman’s family who earns money from selling her, rather than the man’s family, as happens today.

Theoretically, the men would be much more respectful towards women, but there is no real basis for this.

The fact that this article even exists is an example of not thinking things through. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, even if you know how to write, it’s no use if you don’t know how to think.

PS: Also perhaps relevant is Matrubhoomi, a dystopic movie on the subject. I haven’t watched it, but I will link to Jai Arjun Singh’s review here.

Cross-posted on sthreeling. Comments are enabled there.
Posted by Aditya Bidikar | 12:49 PM