My highly-confused take on Sinner Against Gender Stereotypes Tag

IHM tagged me on this subject.

I took my time doing this, because I had both a lot to say and nothing at all on the subject.

Growing up, I was force-fitted into the tomboy stereotype — primarily because I had the shortest hair in class. What I couldn’t get through to the stereotypers was that the style was not out of choice. My folks just found my hair too unwieldy. When I had a choice, I let it grow. But I was NOT a tomboy. I was just loud and crazy.

I grew up in a family of women. Mum, my athai, 3 sisters, Anjalai, a floating group of girl cousins and aunts. I studied in an all girls school and college. I grew up with 3 boy cousins next door, but I always preferred hanging out with the girls.

Most of my friends are women.

And frankly, when I read and hear of stereotypes, it doesn’t click for me (because when we talk about shattering stereotypes, we are creating another stereotype). There are girly-girls, and not so girly girls. In my house the sister who was least lazy helped out at home, and was also the most boisterous. She was both the ‘stereotype’ and the ‘sinner’.

I grew up with strong, independent women, even if they were not women with independent income (I add this because the assumption is that working women are more liberated. But I’ve seen workingwomen with less spine than a creepy-crawly).

So this list that I make is not to prove that I am a stereotype or that I am a sinner.  Frankly, not because I am a damp squib but because I am confused.

Anyone who even has a remote/vague understanding of me will vouch for me being a sinner. Because, I fit a different set of stereotypes in their mind. The stereotype of a feminist or whatever ‘non-doormat’ monicker they wish to choose.

The list that makes up who I am.

1. I will absolutely not do something simply because a woman is supposed to do it. Like say, being the one who gives up a career to care for the child; being the one who makes tea for the guests; being the one who clears up after a party. But I will do all of that, because I WANT to at that moment.

2. I can sew fairly well (used to make a lot of my clothes while at college), can bake delicious cakes from scratch, hate doing the dishes and cleaning the house, love chopping vegetables, will make every excuse not to cook. Go figure — is that being a sinner or a stereotype?

3. I use my periods as an excuse to get away from stuff I don’t want to do. Visit relatives I don’t like? PMS! Go for a film I don’t want to watch? Cramps!

I have no problem asking for sex when I feel like it, and I will say no when I am not in the mood.What does that make me? Shameless, perhaps?

4. I am really good with a screwdriver (the tool, not the drink, silly. I prefer Vodka on the rocks), hammer, plier and drill. I am handy around the house. And I learnt thsse skills because my father was a tyrant who insisted we assist him around the house.

5. I can take apart a CPU, and put it all back together rather quick. My mental maths ability is pretty good. I have a way with technology, and understand computing quite well. Does that make me a sinner? Don’t think so — because my teachers for all this have been women. So you see, there is no stereotype in my mind.

6. And despite the above boast — I don’t like sci-fi books or movies. I look mushy love stories, and a bit of fantasy. I love reading glossies and celebrity gossip. I will go through a Filmfare or O Magazine with as much enthusiasm as I do an Outlook or Economist.

7. I love women-only facilities. I don’t care for equal rights. I like being treated special. I will use women-only billing counters, seats, queues. I want to be treated differently (and well) because I am a woman.

8. I don’t play any sports (unless Scrabble is considered a sport). But I can be a good spectator. Does that make me a female-stereotype? But how? Half the men I know don’t actively participate in sports either, or really suck at it and participate only to fit some stereotype.

9. As a child I loved my dolls, enjoyed playing house-house and even in my early teens collected stuffed toys. Yet, I am not considered a stereotype!

10. I get along quite well with men.  But at the slightest hint of chauvinism I will take the mickey out of them. This is also interpreted (mainly by the guys) as taking offence too easily. Sinner?

11. I can cry at the drop of a hat. I cry to manipulate. I cry when I am angry. I rarely cry when I am upset. And it’s only occasionally that I can’t not control my tears. I think crying is as important and as healthy as laughing.

12. I am pro-choice when it comes to contraception or MTP. But I don’t think breastfeeding is a choice. It’s a must unless there is medical/valid reason not to. Am I an anti-feminist?

13. I love the whole experience of being a woman and procreation — the sex, the pregnancy, the delivery (yes, even that), the breastfeeding. Is this because women are supposed to want this? Is this how our brain is wired? Am I prey to a stereotype?

14. I am not scared of the dark or of being alone. I travel a LOT alone — both within India and abroad. I can defend myself quite well. But I will shit in my pants at the sight of a lizard. And I have no feel for adventure sports — no crazy roller coasters, bungee jumps etc. But if it involves water, I’ll try. Again, stereotype or sinner?

So my long-winded response to the tag is one of confusion.

And I tag everyone who reads this.

PS: And I don’t mind wearing blue pants, because that’s what I wear everyday — my blue jeans. Pink lungis are fine too, I think they’d make a cool sarong.

PPS: There is also a fb group now on SAGS.

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The time of my life? A tag…

Here is a meme from lakhs. She didn’t tag me, but I liked the idea, I’m tagging myself.

This is what she asked herself, and what I asked myself too.

How much of each day (and hence, my life) do I spend on doing
things I love;
things I like;
the ho-hum things;
things I dislike;
things I absolutely detest?

I realise that I almost never do things I detest, and rarely do things I dislike.

The ho-hum things like washing N’s bum or doing monthly budgets at work are either not so bad or done not so often.

By and large, I spend my time and life only on things that I like and love. For all the rest I either employ help, delegate or just neglect/ignore.

Now this must seem like a ‘perfect’ life or scenario, right? WRONG!

What this has resulted in is me being rather inflexible and unbelievably lazy about some things. It has also made me a wee bit unhealthy.

If you are curious about the details, here are a FEW:

  • I hate housework, detest it. I spend about 10 minutes on this in a week.
  • I dislike cooking, once a month is just about all I can live with ‘happily’, if at all.
  • I don’t like to socialise for the heck of it — I will ONLY hang out with people I am totally comfortable with. Which means, I do cut off those that fit the description. I don’t do sangas and associations and women’s clubs — so my social circle is rather limited. I do it probably an hour a month, dropping off and picking up O from a friends or something like that…
  • I don’t network in lieu of actual productivity. I hate being nice because of a person’s title or position. In my line of work that’s difficult. But I can’t stand it. I can’t be nice to people or show ‘respect’ however high up in the corporate ladder they maybe. I NEED to respect them to SHOW it. I just hope my work will see me through. Which means my growth will always be limited. I know I should spend a lot of time on this. I ABSOLUTELY MUST. But don’t.
  • I love my books and my reading, and can lose myself in it. So spend a lot of time on this.
  • I love the internet. Obsessed with it. Use everything it has to offer, including **ahem** 😉 when permitted! I am online at least 2-3 hours a day.
  • I love rolling around with the kids and playing with them. Evenings are for this. But I am ‘ho-hum’ about homework and the likes…
  • I love driving aimlessly. Do it too. About twice or thrice a week.
  • I hate arranging my cupboard. Do it now and then — monthly or bi-monthly.
  • I hate opening the bunches of PR that lands on my table. That amount of paper makes my stomach churn. But I do, albeit at the very last minute.

Bottomline: Need to mature. Need to realise that things that are not liked or loved can still be good for you. Like spending some time on healthy cooking, or working out, or actually keeping my mouth shut even when something bothers me…

Ha, but then I wouldn’t be me!

Come on take on the tag… do it. Couple of you have previous tags pending, still here goes: teesu, shyam, inba, blogeswari, and then a few others, AMbroom, kamini, jestme, wmw, likhati, SN

A-Z, cos I am listless

Sometimes, nothing keeps my attention. So what do I do then? I tag myself.

A

– Available: For What?
– Age: 35
– Annoyance: Slurping beverages and loud chewing of food
– Animal: Am one, only sometimes


B

– Beer: With 7Up
– Birthday/Birthplace: Jan 26/Madras
– Body Part on opposite sex: Eyes
– Best feeling in the world: Hugs, and at the cost of sounding fake and like a weirdo — breastfeeding
– Blind or Deaf: Deaf, definitely
– Best weather: Rain by the beachside
– Been in Love: YES
– Been on stage?: Yes, quite a few times. Different stages
– Believe in yourself?: All the time. Wouldn’t survive otherwise
– Believe in life on other planets: Yes
– Believe in miracles: Yes, but recognise it only in hindsight
– Believe in Magic: A huge Harry Potter fan
– Believe in God: Not in the GOD that shapes religions. But do believe in a personal GOD, known and understood only by me

C

– Car: Civic&Prado
– Candy: Not too fond of it
– Color: Orange&Red.
– Cried in school: Yes. Cried even in college. I draw the line at crying at work
– Chocolate/Vanilla: Butterscotch
– Country to visit: Too many to list
D

– Day or Night: Night
– Danced: OFTEN and love to
– Dance in the rain?: Yes, my favourite kind of dance. In fact, am game for anything in the rain
– Do the splits?: Once upon a time, long, long ago

E

– Eggs: Masala egg and omlettes.
– Eyes: Kind
– Everyone has: to have at least one person who will love them as they are, come what may

F

– First crush: When I was in class 8, on a neighbour
– First thoughts waking up: 10 minutes more pleeeeeaaaaseee
– Food: Filter coffee and idli-chutney
– Greatest Fear: Losing my loved ones… physically and emotionally
– Giver or taker: Giver with friends, taker with family
– Goals: A general one… just to get by without hurting people, even if I can’t help them
– Get along with your parent(s)?: Yes with one, no with the other

H

– Hair Colour: Black and dyed deep brown to cover the greys.
– Height: 157cms
– Happy: When I am not thinking, all the time
– How do you want to die: Doing something exciting, and having done almost all that I wish to
– Health freak?: Healthy freak more like
– Hate: Super-ambitious parents who screw up their children, apart from a 1000 other things

I

– Ice Cream: Kulfi
– Instrument: Of torture or pleasure?

J

– Jewelry: Chunky beads and silver. Delicate gold and pearls
– Job: Love what I do

K

– Kids: Love them, and feel I would be better with mine if I didn’t have to be a parent too
– Kickboxing or karate: Kissing
– Keep a journal?: Yes

L
– Love: Books, rain, my friends, massages…
– Laughed so hard you cried: Oh so often
– Love at first sight: No such luck

M

– Mooned anyone?: Never say never. There is time enough to get senile and have fun
– Marriage: No bed of roses
– Motion sickness?: Give me a windy mountain road, I will give you a bucketful of puke

N

– Number of Siblings: 3
– Number of Piercings: 4

O

– One wish: That money didn’t play such an important role in how people are treated

P

– Place you’d like to live: By the beach in winter and in the hills in summer.
– Perfect Pizza: With baby corn, mushrooms, capsicum and jalapenos
– Pepsi/Coke: Neither

Q

– Questionnaires: Getting obsessed with it really

R

– Reason to cry: When someone lets me down or when I am angry and helpless
– Reality T.V: What’s that?
– Roll your tongue in a circle: Why? Can’t.

S

– Song: On a jet plane, Denver.
– Shoe size: 39
– Slept outside: Yes
– Seen a dead body? Yes
– Smoked?: Yeah. Like it way too much, so am extra careful not to do it often
– Skinny dipped?: Yes
– Shower daily?: Quite water-conscious, so use a bucket and mug OFTEN
– Sing well?: Sadly, no
– In the shower?: No
– Swear?: Not much since kids happened
– Stuffed Animals?: A few
– Single/Group dates: Depends on the company
– Strawberries/Blueberries: Not a very berry person
– Scientists need to invent: Or scientists just need to stop meddling with nature so much

T

– Time for bed: Depends on the kind of day I’ve had
– Thunderstorms: Books, tea and spicy fritters
– TV: FRIENDS, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy.
– Touch your tongue to your nose: No

U

– Unpredictable: I can be at work. Not with friends. Sometimes with family.

V

– Vegetable you hate: Bitter gourd
– Vegetable you love: Potato, okra, brinjal
– Vacation spot: Knysna

W

– Weakness: Food & sleep
– When you grow up: I want to stop growing. Sideways at least.
– Worst feeling: Feeling lonely
– Wanted to be a model?:  🙂
– Where do we go when we die: Hopefully, my organs into another human being, and the rest of me to dust
Worst weather: Muggy and humid or extremely cold

X

-X-Rays: Love them, as it’s proof of bones under the layers of whatever

Y

-Year it is now: 2009
– Yellow: Looks lovely on a very few people

Z

– Zoo animal: Don’t feel too good about zoos
– Zodiac sign: Aquarius

 

 

And I hereby tag teesu, blogeswari, hastobeme, inba, ra, deeps, sindhu, imemyself, solilo assuming everyone has as much time to kill as i seem to have…

The Photo Tag

A man who has a way with money is appealing.

A man who can make you laugh is attractive.

A man who opens the door for you is charming.

A man who brings home the bread is dependable.

A man with kind eyes and a cool bike is sexy.

But a man who can fall in love unconditionally, without hesitation, and carry the trust of his girls with pride… plain HOT!

 

I’ve known R for over 13 years, been married to him for 10.

However, I honestly and irrevocably fell for him when I saw how he was with O.

And as if to remind me, and to warn me against taking things for granted and giving trivialities importance, the scenes are enacted once again.

 

O was the first baby he ever carried or touched… but I guess with loving you don’t need practice. That’s why the second time around too, with N, it comes just as naturally to him.

 

So for this tag from Deeps, where you are supposed to pull out a photo from your picture folder and give the story behind it, I chose the two below. And as they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.

On the left is R with N, and the other with O

Discovery of the Month, June

I was presumptuous enough to call it My Very Own Award. I will call it Discovery of the Month from now on.

So I went blog surfing again. Not even friends’ friends… but absolute strangers. I stumbled upon some fantastic blogs.

I wasn’t quite able to make up mind. Decided on PreciousRock, because she speaks of one of my greatest fears. Extremely candid, funny and informative. Check out her blogroll as well.

Now to the tag business again.

Choose a blog, but let it not be by an Indian or of Indian origin.

Widen your net, surf deeper, find something interesting.

Inbavalli & Shyam, thanks for obliging last month. Hope you will do it again. Teesu & Blogeswari, wake up and indulge me please.

Reflections, Deeps, & IMeMyself, consider yourself tagged.

CoconutChutney(whom Inbavalli chose last month) and ScaryDuck (Shyam’s choice) if you by any freaky chance come across this, pass on the favour.

Both these blogs are VERY funny, and worth a read.

Open tag to everyone, just drop a line giving the details of the blog you’ve discovered.