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10 Apr 2010

Graffitee - 2

Posted by Oblivion in General | 4:26pm

Among the many captions that make me observe the changing trends in freedom of personal expression, the following two (spotted last week) stand out.

Caption 1
Front: "I am 9. Will you be 6?"
Back: none

Caption 2
Front: "fcuk"
Back: "me"

As regards their right to choose what to wear and what captions to flash, nobody need question. They can go naked if they prefer. None of my business. 

If they think it is a simple exercise of freedom and believe in it so firmly, they should be, to my mind, mature enough to grant the same to the rest as well. And it implies not making a fuss when a few brats pass lewd comments. If they think it's a sign of being bold, why not, then, ask it straight of their guys? Why flash it among crowds? Besides attracting avoidable reactions, it proves futile. If they think it's an ostentatious sign of empowerment (a term in vogue, of late), it's an insult to their own intelligence. 

When you step in the wild, you don't say "it's my Earth, my home, so I can walk in any which way at any time", although nobody need, technically, question your choice. If you choose to, though, you must have it in you to be a potential prey, however little the probability is, for a tiger.

Freedom is a responsibility by itself, not a license to dump all responsibilities.

12 Comments | "Graffitee - 2" »

  1. By W:

    2 Jul 2010, 11:34pm [ Reply ]

    @ Vijay S.: Wonder what you mean by ' they readily buy into the allure of Satan's words but will not trust an Adam who, most of all, means well.' You mean to say women can absolutely not distinguish between a 'Satan' and an 'Adam'?:)

  2. By Vijay S:

    7 Jun 2010, 12:20am [ Reply ]

    Okay, the last paragraph in my previous comment must be read as follows:
    "These days, I don't bat an eyelid before giving such people what they deserve—indifference, ruthless and complete—both when they are 'empowered' and when they are exploited. After all, why should I care for them if they don't care for themselves!"

    Sorry about the oversight! :-/

  3. By Vijay S:

    31 May 2010, 3:00pm [ Reply ]

    Give up, Vijay. It's going to be pointless.

    That people like us are basically talking "for" the exploited (and out of a concern that a particular brand of empowerment merchants lack) itself will not be understood till it's too late. And even then, only some will have the honesty to make an admission.

    This lack of understanding, I figure, is what forces even the most compassionate individual to turn his back on the society. They readily buy into the allure of Satan's words but will not trust an Adam who, most of all, means well. It's sickening, but it's a pattern that I have seen over and over and over again.

    These days, I don't bat an eyelid before giving such people what they deserve—indifference, ruthless and complete—neither when they are 'empowered' not when they are exploited. After all, why should I care for them if they don't care for themselves!

  4. By l:

    27 Apr 2010, 3:04pm [ Reply ]

    hi nonu
    just wondering wer u r...

  5. By luckychinna:

    14 Apr 2010, 8:46pm [ Reply ]

    @ oblivion: we had this same argument about an year ago and we almost fought about this -

    a. i didn't accuse u of justifying people who pass lewd comments or rape women! o' course, point noted about the need for women to be cautious.

    b. however, my point is that no matter what women wear on their tees or don't, or even if clad in burkha, if the men looking at her had to pass comments, they would and if given a chance, would probably even rape. so, "how cautious" can one really get? no matter what, it's not just models (failed or otherwise) alone with bare minimum or revealing clothes that bear the brunt of sexual harassment, ordinary women like us who conservatively dress also get commented by male colleagues at work, men on the road, in the bus, in cabs and trains, everywhere too.

    c. since u mentioned ragging, i was subjected to ragging too - even though i made a point to wear most ordinary looking salwar kameez, i was asked to remove my dupatta for some stupid raggin antics, so how can one explain that? friends wearing jeans, tights and figure hugging tops were ragged same way we were, not harsher than we were...

    d. again, i didn't accuse u of justifying the rapist or lewd commentor - fully understand where you coming from, however, one wonders how cautious can one really get? just to be safe and alive, does one avoid going on the roads? how much does one avoid going out then? do we step out in some kind of accident-preventive armoured vehicles for the fear of dying on the road?

    to avoid the carnivores, do we stop going into the jungle!...

  6. By oblivion:

    14 Apr 2010, 4:38pm [ Reply ]

    @luckychinna: given that exploitation is a fact and that there will always be a small percentage of exploiters (no matter how sound the law becomes by way of incentives of effecting deterrence), i was just wondering how the exploited could be more prudent to avoid affecting incidents. i'm sorry if it sounded i was justifying the deed of rape or the rapists. in an incident of rape, the stakes are quite high for a woman. the man has nothing to lose, and almost always goes untouched by the law. besides the trauma, the stigma that society holds on rape worsens it for the woman. sometimes, for life. and if a woman can avoid such affecting situations by being a tad cautious, i don't feel it undermines her freedom or questions her strength. it's akin to being cautious on road to avoid accidents.

    it's a digression, but let me ask - do these girls flash such captions in college when they are in the ragging term? in all likelihood, they don't. so when they could show caution there, why not elsewhere too (wherever it is prudent to).

    i thought i wasn't justifying anything or anybody in the piece. i thought i was talking "for" the exploited, in fact. wasn't, least of all, justifying those who pass lewd comments. for, if not for any other great reason, i was a subject myself of that (by engg college girls, at nampally bus stand, for flashing "sports" on my tee).

  7. By luckychinna:

    14 Apr 2010, 12:00pm [ Reply ]

    the very stereotypical mode - blame the girl if she is bullied, teased and raped! freedom does come with responsibility, agreed. however, what explains the rape of women who choose to clothe in burkhas, or women at construction sites, women in pallu pardah across the north? it's still a man's world where women are exploited and suffer no matter what they dress in or how, and that's why the relevance of the term "empowerment" (which btw is not just a fad for most women!)

    ps: mine is not a case or an explanation in a "women vs men" debate! there are exploitation on both sides and one has to be foolish to be blind to either...am simply arguing the fact that "freedom" for women - even if in their choice of dressing - is still viewed as a subject of debate shows what kind of a society we live in.

  8. By chandoo:

    13 Apr 2010, 11:43pm [ Reply ]

    anybody can question or nobody can? care to explain?

    might not get a chance to? why?

  9. By oblivion:

    13 Apr 2010, 12:28pm [ Reply ]

    @chandoo: when one hits the road, there are two things - to not meet with an accident, to not cause an accident. and these are connected. and it's expected of sensible chaps to understand the equation (even if the probability of an accident is 0.06%). right?

    intrusion is fundamentally wrong, yes. regardless of whether the other is a dear one or a stranger. so, no justification. if a kid chooses to drive rashly and risk his life, even his parents have, technically, no right to question his choice or caution him. his life, his will. this equation is flawless, logically. but it sucks, doesn't it? when you care, you reach out. you are concerned. you are responsible. simple. one is not questioning his rights, but his interpretation of those. and anyone concerned can question. or nobody can. drawing a line implies prejudice. correct me if i'm wrong.

    am rather writing more, for i might not get a chance to, after a few weeks.

  10. By Vijay:

    11 Apr 2010, 11:55am [ Reply ]

    are you sure these are among the regular girls that hit malls, cinemas or other public places in cities, or some unsuccessful beauty pageant contestants or Playboy models? ;-)

  11. By chandoo:

    11 Apr 2010, 11:30am [ Reply ]

    btw, those questions are just meant for debate. :-) personally, i feel the captions suck. i would hate it if my girl were to flash them.

    the last few posts have come in quick time. suddenly started writing more?

  12. By chandoo:

    11 Apr 2010, 11:20am [ Reply ]

    recommending a few lessons on disaster management for them? by the same measure, shouldn't you be recommending a few sessions in "rational behaviour in public spaces" for the "brats" as well? in an ideal world, one should be able to flash any caption and none should react intrusively, right? the onus should be on both. what say?

    btw, why not comment on the captions that guys flash?

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