Story of a lost journalist

March 21, 2010

Feminism, lies, artificiality

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 17:54

I want to write about random things. Having a lot in mind.

One, feminism. My editor says I am a feminist. The mere word woman seems to bring my spirits up. I didn’t realize I was so proud to be one. Any issue concerning a woman comes and I stand and fight for her justice – well at least in words. But recently there came occasions that made me wonder. On woman’s day a friend called me to volunteer for a rally. I went happily until I heard that they are a group called Feminists Kerala Network. Which meant that I too will be identified as a feminist. Somehow I found myself not wanting that. The word feminist is one of the most misunderstood or confusing words in any language. Nobody knows exactly what it means but most people seem to hate it. They twitch, they wince, they frown, they scorn. I was in 2 minds. Was my problem that I did not know if I was a feminist or that I was unhappy about the typical image people would associate a feminist with. If it is the latter, then shame on me. Since when do I go by what impressions people make of me?

But somehow, at least by way of self-defence, my argument is that feminism is not something to proclaim or demonstrate. I somehow am not in favour of demonstrations. Yes I have faith in women’s powers and talents. And yes I cant stand any kind of injustice or even a small bit of differential treatment that she has to go through because she is a woman. I hate the line ‘you do it cause you are a woman’. But what I do about it is where I differ from the ways chosen by my rally friends. I don’t go out and make a speech about it. I just don’t take what I cant stand. I act, I react. I don’t bother to convince or persuade or insist or prove.

Leaving feminism incomplete since I will probably never reach anywhere. I probably am a feminist. But I don’t know when will come the day when I accept it and not flinch on being identified as one, when I would realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of being what you are.

Second thing. Lies. I already did a post on this long back. But I am increasingly feeling the pressure of keeping to truth and tolerating lies. If my obsession for truth is a disease, then I am getting sicker everyday. Not only that I refuse to lie for anyone’s sake, I cant stand it when people around me lie so easily. I don’t react but each time it happens, it puts this huge distance between those people and me. I can never be close with them. I can never talk to them personally. If you cant own your acts, then you do not have any kind of character. If you did wrong, accept it and then face the consequences. What do you get by some temporary lies – save your neck for a while – by? By tricking others. Making them believe a lie is true. And you are happy. You have escaped. I hate the pretence. I hate the cheap thrill of getting away with a lie. End of the day, a lie is a lie and the one that lied, a liar.

My dad and I used to argue over the importance of truth. He would tell an example: if a girl is chased by some rowdies and you see where she went and hid, would you tell the rowdies the truth? What will you tell them if they ask you did you see the girl. Well if its rowdies I am going to be beaten up whatever I say. So I could tell the truth: “yeah I saw but there is no way you are getting it out of me” – bam bam bam. Or I could tell: “no I didn’t see her” – bam bam bam – worse they may decide here is another girl to steal from and attack me.

Dad’s example is not the kind I argue about. Where my blood boils is when people make mistakes and cover it up with lies to save their little skin, and when people have absolutely no hesitation about telling a hundred little lies just to have things their way.

My friend Deepak would laugh sometimes.

“I want a leave” say I. “Tell you have some stomach trouble”, says he. “Oh I forgot you cant lie”, says he again.

Another abrupt stop. Cause its again another topic I could write pages about. Going to my third topic hence – artificiality. This is more or less related to lies in fact. It is just as bad. Artificiality is not always pretence. People do it not even thinking about it sometimes cause they are so used to it. They show “extra” concern, “extra” care. Some poor devils mistake it for real. One shiny day they realize all those extras meant nothing more than the boss’s sweet grin and polished talk before he tells you your salary is not here yet. The extras are to get something done. Or else just to please. Whatever it is for, it is just not real. And my problem is I have become mature enough to know all its symptoms. And I just cant stand one artificial word, or gesture or even a smile. Do it only if you mean it. Otherwise please don’t bother!

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14 Comments »

  1. Err… about lies, there can be another perspective. That day i lost my cam and ipod, i dint tell amma, i just dint. Why? Because i knew she would be hurt and feel all low that i lost something that new and costly. And i dont feel i did any wrong, i dint steal or cheat. I brought these things from my own money, i just dint want her to feel sad. Thats because of love. So you can’t reach a conclusion on a such a topic. This is the first time i’m kinda arguing at your post. I hate lies myself, but like your dad was hinting, its all about the situation. You are like, ‘i stick to this principle whether it brings smiles or tears.’ Err… (Dont take this comment personally)

    Comment by Akshaya — March 21, 2010 @ 21:00 | Reply

    • @Akshaya: I too have to disagree with you on this one. For me it is easier to tell the truth to the ones I love. I cant support your theory that you should lie to keep your Mom happy. For instance, if I fail a test there is no point in telling my Mom I passed so she will be happy. Failing is my fault and even if it makes her unhappy I have to own my action.

      It is not about principle. It is something I cant do – consider it my weak point. I would rather have my Mom know that I lost something rather than have her happy by lying to her I didnt. Cos then I’d feel I trick her. Love is so much deeper than material losses.

      But dont worry I am never going to advice you or anyone for that matter. I said I stand by truth – I didnt say I am right.

      In the case of my dad’s example, I would never tell the rogues where the woman is. So yes, Akshaya I do value human life more. And returning your note, dont take any of this personally – the post was on a general note. Cheers.

      Comment by Cris — March 22, 2010 @ 00:23 | Reply

    • @Akshaya,

      When you talk about how how u kept that matter away from ur parents, in a publicly accessible archive like this, you probably assume that they dont have web presence. that may not hold, you never know, this is the 21st century!! 🙂

      Deepak

      Comment by Deepak — March 23, 2010 @ 12:03 | Reply

  2. And about artidiciality that is something i need to learn. I just dont understand which is fake… Each and every person i meet… I feel he/she is a pavam. Something terribly wrong with me, maybe as days pass by, i’ll learn too.

    Comment by Akshaya — March 21, 2010 @ 21:01 | Reply

    • @Akshaya: it is hard. I wrote I know all the symptoms. I wrote that thinking of some of the artificial expressions I have seen. But then believing in the goodness of people is different. I still do. Whenever I feel someone is not as good as I thought, I should look at myself. Quoting JC, those who did no mistakes may throw stones.. and no one threw.

      Comment by Cris — March 22, 2010 @ 01:09 | Reply

  3. Cris,
    It is conceivable to reckon you as a Feminist!
    As confessed here,If you are proud to belong to the feminine gender,
    and you
    “stand up ‘n fight” (really??)for ‘her justice’ whenever ‘any issue’ concerning a woman pops up,
    then I guess, you are a True feminist, by design and default!
    you just don’t have to indulge in ‘in-your-face’ antics such as burning your bra or braying in a rally with a ringed middle finger pointed heavenwards, with a miserably contorted mouth at the contours, to be Feminist! Unless of course, you want to be an exhibitionist and by extension, want to be branded as a holy cow of the perceived ilk! Feminism is a state of mind and a way of life too, for anyone who acknowledge the gender based inequalities and malpractices which subject the fair sex to feel like ‘children of a lesser God’,someone whose skin crawls at the mere mention of the ironic term ‘weaker sex’!
    your musings about Lies ‘n Liars is bordering on being a Purist!
    “sathyam brooyaal
    priyam brooyaal,
    Na brooyaal
    sathyam apriyam” 😉
    you have all the makings of an iconoclast!
    keep on musing/writing!
    have a beautifully questionable day !

    Comment by muralee maadhav — March 22, 2010 @ 09:32 | Reply

    • >>“stand up ‘n fight” (really??)for ‘her justice’ whenever ‘any issue’ concerning a woman pops up

      Arent there many people who do that? Regardless of gender. Going by that, many people whom I know, and of course, me too, would be a feminist. And you can replace “her” and “woman” by “their” and “them” for any non-oppressive class of people – and those people whom I know would be that __ist, whatever it may be. Am sure most people in Kerala do consider unequal societies as unjust and cruel – we dont need to give them any labels, do we?

      Comment by Deepak — March 22, 2010 @ 19:15 | Reply

      • @Deepak: I wasnt saying only I do that. I too do that is what I meant. And what is wrong in identifying that quality with a label? If we can have adjectives for every other quality, why not? But I completely disagree with you about your statement that most people in Kerala do consider unequal societies as unjust. If they had, then there wouldnt be the need of a word called feminism. No they dont. Am not sure how many people you have met and taken opinion from, but I have a pretty good idea, a lot stand against the very idea. Not because they want to be unjust – no. My idea is that they consider the matter too trivial to receive any attention at all. Many like my father just brush it off with a line that irks every cell in me: “Ahh what are they making all this noise for? When will they accept they are the weaker sex and just deal with it?”

        Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 01:55

    • @Muralee, I had to look up what iconoclast meant. I am not sure if I am one but I guess I do go against most long-held beliefs. Not sure if it is a good thing though 🙂

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 01:50 | Reply

  4. whoa!some randomness, that is! 😀

    Feminism is generally perceived to be some kind of ‘extremism’.. n i guess that perception has been around for a while, which makes us cringe at times, because we are not extremists, are we?
    and about public rallies, I’m not sure.. I’ve never been on one. For some reason,I feel most of them are all about propoganda and some kind of a passive activism for some other group, like say a political group, or something.. basically some people with vested interests. They always seem to have hidden agendas. But having said that, I dont want to sound judgemental about people who do that, because may be they have a conviction about it which I’m not able to see.

    on Lies, Im not anymore sure whether white lies of the kind your Dad was talking about is all that bad?
    and if we are talking about ‘people’ who lie, then mebbe we shouldn’t be complaining. We always have the option of walking away from them and not subjecting ourselves to it.
    In the longer run, it’s going to affect them worse than any of the people they have lied to. because, they know that when they lie, they start believing in their lies too.. like those kids from primary school who get habituated to saying pompous things about themselves.. they grow up to become people who get hung up on lies. And the worst part is: they won’t be able to trust anyone else, because they know how easy it is to lie. So, I guess we should just leave them to their plight!

    Comment by usha — March 23, 2010 @ 14:11 | Reply

    • @usha, I guess you are right. About liers. It is just that most people juse see it as a taken for granted affair that when they come to you and say “hey tell this *lie* for me and cover for me ok?” and you say “Sorry I cant lie”, they raise their brow like they didnt understand what you just said. Like there is something wrong with you. Like you just cracked a joke. I dont like that part!

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 01:59 | Reply

  5. When I read the title, I thought what’s so new and unusual to write on this topic – feminism, lies, artificiality. We all know very well how each one describes the other so well. But then I realized you are going to be describing them as unrelated concepts, so I read …. 😉 hehe

    Artificiality can be annoying. But I have felt, the experiences of life often turn us into actors. We have to, on occasion, pretend, mask some of our likes and dislikes, and say things that we truly do not mean. Sometimes I feel why not, if it makes life easier for someone ? But extreme levels of pretension, I agree with you, is evil.

    Comment by Anand — March 26, 2010 @ 19:25 | Reply

    • @Anand: I dont understand how being artificial can make life easy for anyone. And am not saying just about the occasional little pretence you make to please someone. I mean the way it has become so much a part of people that sometimes you think it is natural that they are artificial! Only, most often, it is too evident. I mean the small things especially – a smile, or a word, a pat or a nod that you really dont mean. What is the use of that?

      Comment by Cris — April 23, 2010 @ 02:08 | Reply

  6. I don’t want to comment against or for Feminism as i have always been a person who dislike inequality and ill practices towards woman.

    About Lies…The only lie I told my mother or rather the only truth I hid from her is something I fear could make me lose her for ever and ever. I don’t know what you have done being in my place, I have pretended at times,ignored some questions as if I didn’t hear or I am too busy to answer..

    I always try to be honest to my loved ones, I wont say I have never lied. I have, many times in life. For which I have always regretted afterwards..
    I once hide a truth from my father that a printer he gave me was inoperative after its first use.. I feared the pain it could bring him… but last time I bought a much better printer for him and when I gave it to him, i told him the truth.. I knew that the old printer was inoperative since long.

    It is one of the qualities I respect you for… the disease, obsession for truth, I hope it will develop to be contagious and also infect me , making me feel obsessed to truth..

    Comment by Javed Miandad — November 23, 2010 @ 01:12 | Reply


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