The sheer imbecility of women’s clothing.

‘The Danish Girl’ is a movie inspired by the life of Einar Wegener, one of the first transgender persons to undergo a sex-change surgery. In the movie, Einar discovers his feminine side after his wife Gerda asks him to pose in a woman’s dress (very velvety, lacey stuff) for a painting.

Though the actors were brilliant, I wasn’t impressed by the scene. After all, what sane person would enjoy wearing women’s clothes? I’m definitely a cisgender female, and even I can’t stand the nasty uncomfortable things. Men’s clothing is made for people who have to go about their work with ease. Women’s clothing is mostly designed for people who just need to sit around looking fabulous. (Eddie Redmayne looks so fabulous in the movie, I just had to sketch him.)

 

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The most annoying thing about women’s clothing is the lack of useful pockets. Most women’s jackets and shirts have fake pockets and the jeans pockets are too small to fit anything. I suppose they have to make such clothes to support the handbag industry.

Skirts are the reason for what is known as ‘feminine behavior’. Wearing a slim fitting skirt forces you to sit primly and walk with small steps, even if you’re running late for work.

Sarees are nine yards of impending disaster tradionally worn by Indian women. Many of them manage to carry it with grace, but there’s always a possibility tripping over the skirts or getting the end snagged somewhere. Still, it’s worth wearing a saree just to imitate the ‘Bad Girls’ in this popular comic.

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The Indian salwar suit may have been a perfectly comfortable attire if it wasn’t for the dupatta that comes with it. I don’t see why it has to be worn like a noose around the neck (or for that matter, why men wear ties). I suppose you can use it to strangle any attacker, unless they catch hold of it first.
All my life, I have relied on the availability of  nice pairs of jeans. Nowadays, the only jeans I can find in stores are so tight that I’m afraid they may stop the blood circulation in my legs. I think I’ll have to give up on jeans and switch to cotton trousers.

Thankfully, they still make wearable shoes for women. I don’t feel the need to wear heels though I’m a midget. It’s painful enough to imagine the plight of those who do.

On what really makes us human.

Imagine a beautiful young woman standing on a beach, alone except for a couple with their baby and a dog, who are a long way off. As she is looking at them, the dog swims far out into the sea. As the mother tries to bring him back, she is swept along by the waves. The father goes to rescue her, but he himself is unable to swim against the strong current. The young woman watches with perfect indifference as the parents drown, and the baby is left alone, crying.

This is a scene from the movie ‘Under the Skin’, and the ‘young woman’, an alien sent to our planet to hunt humans. I think the scene was crafted just to show that she isn’t one of us, as she’s incapable of compassion.

In the movie, the alien chats up her (male) victims, takes them to ‘her place’ and lures them into a black void, where their skins are stripped off.

In the beginning, she seems to consider her job as routine as farming, but after a few victims, she starts to empathize with her victims. The last victim is a man with elephantiasis, who’s never been with a woman before. The alien actually tries to make him better about himself, and after he dies, she can no longer bear to kill anyone.  It was as if her own skin was being stripped off, making her more vulnerable and human.

Another film that explores this theme is ‘Ex- Machina’ , which is about artificial intelligence. Caleb is invited by an inventor, Nathan, to perform the’Turing test’ on his latest AI. The AI is named Ava and has the appearance of a young woman. Caleb is won over by Ava’s looks and personality and even develops feelings for her. Ava seems to reciprocate his feelings and warns him that Nathan can’t be trusted.

But of course, the real test is whether the AI is merely manipulating the human, or actually capable of returning his affection.

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It’s interesting to note that in both these films, the Other is a beautiful female who can take advantage of a male’s weakness for her.  Of course, empathy has traditionally been considered a ‘feminine’ quality, and women are supposed to show it more than men. Hopefully, it’s more mainstream now, thanks to Will Graham on ‘Hannibal’.

Why India should decriminalize homosexuality.

In 2013, the Supreme Court of India decided to uphold an archaic law that criminalises homosexuality, considering it “unnatural” and “against Indian culture”. All the religious groups in the country came together in an unusual show of solidarity to support this decision.

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Ironically, the British, who gave us that law, have now made gay marriages legal in their own country.

As far as “unnatural” goes, homosexuality seems to be a perfectly normal phenomenon that has evolved to keep the population under control. A study has shown that female relatives of homosexual men(on the maternal side) are more fertile than those of heterosexual men. So there must be a factor on the X-chromosome that promotes both male homosexuality and female fecundity, to keep a check on the growth of that family.

Since only a small fraction of the population is homosexual, our species is unlikely to die out because of this. A lot of other species also show homosexual behaviour and continue to thrive.

So, it’s important to allow same- sex couples to marry and adopt children in an overpopulated country like ours.  Simply because we won’t have the resources to sustain all our people if the population keeps growing at the same rate. (Here, gay people are usually forced to marry someone of the opposite sex because of societal pressure.)

Besides, the sex ratio in India is about 940 females per 1000 males, mainly thanks to sex- selective abortions and female infanticide. So we don’t even have enough women to go around, if only heterosexual couples are allowed.

And who’s to decide what constitutes Indian culture? A lot of ancient Indian scriptures seem to refer to homosexuality, showing that it was not unheard of, even in those times. Thankfully, ‘Indian culture’ is not a fixed entity, or we’d still be burning women on their husbands’ pyres.

It’s absurd that I’m even having to write this post. Surely, the Indian Constitution gives people the freedom to make their own choices, as long as they don’t harm other people?

 

The fault in their ideas.

A few weeks ago, I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and liked it.  The book is quite funny and not overtly sentimental for a story about two teenagers suffering from cancer. The teenagers, Hazel Grace and Augustus, were actually portrayed as smart and witty people (in most novels, teenagers come across as imbeciles.)  The most touching part of it was the courage and strength of the parents faced with the possibility of their kids dying at a young age.

But  I didn’t like this  idea on life and death presented in the novel-

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”

My first reaction to this was, “How does any of that matter?!” Who cares if there’s no one left to remember us after we die? I don’t think a dead person would bother about such things, being dead.

Even if the human race dies out after a million years, the contributions we make will still have made a difference to the lives  of some people, even if it’s only during our lifetimes, or for a few years after.  Just because our everything we did will be forgotten someday, it will not have been for naught, because we will die knowing that we have accomplished something of value.

Maybe, in this story, it’s just a case of sour grapes. These kids are faced with death at a young age, with no chance to achieve whatever childhood ambitions they may have had. So they’re probably trying to console themselves with the idea that no dream is worth struggling for and nothing is worth achieving, because humans will not survive forever. But I don’t think  the lives of Hazel and Augustus can be considered futile, as they made each other’s lives worth living.

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