Sexed up discourse


The transition of the prudish Indian youth to the post-prudish pseudo-sexual western wannabe has become flagrant. It’s obvious, but I’ll state it anyway: people no longer seem to feel “proud” about being virgins. I don’t know about women, but men don’t seem to. What appeared to be ironic when we watched English movies – virgins being despised and ridiculed – is gratuitously embraced as the norm among many urban English-speaking youth. It’s gratuitous because it’s a little too soon even for such a vile practice1. Losing your virginity before marriage isn’t all that feasible for most Indians, not yet. There could be several reasons for it: failed attempts, lack of opportunities, confused morality, anxiety, disinterest and/or plain physical inability are some.

What’s shocking, though, is the way all of this is oversimplified and quantified as symptoms of depression, anger, frustration and even idiocy. It’s done by the “urbanized” youth without much introspection and sexist middle aged men seem to have caught up with this reductionist fad too2. It’s something that permeates intellectual and political leanings. It’s evident from the ‘blogosphere’. From the condescending “dude you need to get laid” to the patronizing “all this is irrelevant.”

This happened on New Year’s night. I was at a friend’s place and the “God” topic got into our conversation. I was putting down all claims about the necessity of an external purpose to live and so forth. I was practically vomiting what I’ve been saying here and elsewhere lately. In that ‘group’ was an Indian from Delhi – rich, second year electrical engineering. He was by then slightly drunk (at least that’s what I learnt from what he said).
He said “do you have a girl friend?” – “No” – “what are you doing man? you’re so smart, you should be having, like, five girlfriends, banging them every week night.” I felt so outraged that I didn’t know what to start with3.
It was extremely judgmental and riddled with sexist notions – commodification of women; permissibility for men to have multiple partners; subversion of “smartness” as a sexual panacea and devaluation of one’s life on sexual basis to list a few.

I’ve been hearing this for so long from so many people that I’m not able to “let it slide” anymore. My retorts are even antithetical at times because I’m driven to be offensive4. Maybe that’s what they are asking for. Most recent being this comment I got for my previous post. I’ll quote the most relevant parts and my reply.
He said,
You are like that Sri Priya in Aval Appidithaan…Sri Priya will spend the rest of her life doing podcasts about the evil male species, while Saritha will happily sleep with Kamal & have great sex. You tell me what matters more - Sex or Podcast ?
I replied5,
“Sex or podcast”? He is asexual; he was born without sexual organs or sexual feelings. He doesn’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. For him sex does not mean anything: for a blind man does not care if his walls are painted red or blue. So there, he just gave a big “fuck you” to you.
Being an ass as you are, you are now welcome to make fun of the blind man for not having eyes - I mean, Suresh, for not having testicles.


-----------------------------------
1I think it’s inappropriate to associate moral or social value to consensual sex (pre-marital or whatever). Besides, there’s a lot of hypocrisy involved in this ‘norm’. Most of who try to ridicule virgins probably are virgins themselves.

2Once again, I’m not sure about how women perceive and reflect on these things. But I would assume it’s more or less the same, at least in the industrialized world.

3His being an Indian is not particularly relevant to the point - it's just to reason why he felt comfortable enough to say something like that. I admit, there have been times when I would be flattered by such a comment. But in retrospect, I’m ashamed at my silence filled smirk in those times.

4This is no excuse for my rude and offensive reply. I therefore apologize to Babu for being, in a strange way, what I was attacking. Having said that, I also want to say “fuck you” to those who’re going to say “dude you need to get laid” in ‘comments’.

5 The question was addressed to my imaginary self hence the reply from him.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

dude! you need to get laid! hahaha
ok ok.. just kidding. it's a very passionate post, suresh. I'll try to read the whole comment.

Gasquet Fan said...

Suresh,

You probably shouldn't let others get you so easily. It's hard for people to be sexistically, politically correct while talking casually.

And even correctness is only relative. For example, by commodification of women I assume you meant treating women as sexual dolls. Now, I don't understand why it is wrong. Especially when it is consensual. Some people do show preference to bodily assets than grey cells. Each to his own. His damning you is almost similar to you damning him for having his own personal preferences.

Suresh said...

GF,

It's not so much about political correctness. PC has a lot to with the terminology and then its connotations. I mostly use 'blacks' instead of 'African American'. Because, 'blacks' signifies a people who have empowered themselves with that identity (especially with the advent of black feminism et al). People don't have to politically correct in casual conversations but the issue here has to do with dehumanization. What he said comes from what he has internalized.

You're right, I meant that and his easy, unhesitating insinuation that women will just fall for "smart" men - stripping their agency. Sure, there is a lot of "consensus" for this kind of language. So much that even women use it occasionally. That's the whole problem: carrying on with problematic notions because the carriers don't seem to be bothered - neither with the usage nor the social meaning it conveys (that it's ok to be a "man-whore" but the reverse is blasphemy).
Of course, correctness is relative because everything is relative. But don't we have any absolutes? Not even at an abstract level? (After all, all laws function on an abstract yet absolute level)

True, there is not much difference between his measuring my life based on his preferences and I reversing it. It's the same relation drawn between atheists and "people of faith". But whose preferences are rationally grounded?

I want to quote a few lines from the comment I had quoted in the post.
--quote--
I don’t care if you don’t change. But I’ll embarrass you by exposing your false conceptions. I’ll make your racist life hard to defend.
--unquote--

That's all I'll do. If his preferences are rational (thanks to the human mind that inherently bases its judgments' value on rationality) he won't be embarrassed, if they are not he will be. “Of course, rationality is not essential for our enchanted existence” (my comment in youtbe).

It's interesting that I had also said:
“Relative scheme of things” – this is such a useful tool for all wiring all kinds of logically flawed statements.

Thanks.

The Individualist said...

I can cite innumerable occasions when that dialogue has popped up, right in the middle of an interesting conversation.
One's ability to argue... the other deducing the smartness of the person from his ability to argue... and some other trying to relate the smartness with girl friends and more notably, sexual activity -
Some people just tend to force the purposes of their lives down other's throats and imagine them to have similar purposes and preferences too. Some examples of the above are sentences that I often encounter in everyday situations... "Why study so many books? So you can impress a girl and get laid?"... "Why be so 'correct' in language? So, you can get women?".. and yeah, you read it right. Not 'woman' but 'women'. Despicable.
It gets extremely EXTREMELY annoying when the other person assumes that I have similar purposes for what I do and what's more.. passes remarks on the 'futility' of my actions.
And yeah, such sentences, even though said casually, have, am sure, arrived as a result of innumerable prejudices and the message these 'casual' statements indirectly convey, offends and insults me, so very often.

Suresh said...

@ Sudhir

You got it just the way it is man. I mean, you got it so damn right.

Gasquet Fan said...

rationalizing everything is fine. But why do you want to take up a cause? It is easy to understand that not all people with who you are talking to are rational. I believe that you are giving others too much respect, even those who post stupid comments by responding to them.

Except the people you like and the people who you work with, the rest of the world is a lab and the people in it are lab rats. You observe them, learn how to exploit them, but dont interact with them. It's a waste of time and you end up making them your equal.

By the way, do you watch tennis. If you do, watch Gasquet play. He is simply the most brilliant young player. Forgive the troll.

Suresh said...

GF,

I agree with you. I don't have to take everyone seriously or elevate their "shallow" comments by giving them lengthy replies. But because some of the comments made here are relatively new to the blog and also failry representative (I think) of what a lot of people might think, I use it as a platform to establish my stance in my replies.

I know, I do come close to sounding like "I have a cause". May be I do (I don't really intend to). But I do want make "my circle", the limited area of influence I have in people's environments, to display a certain characteristic - something that favours and opposes a few values. Something that, though in a very minute way, encourages the growth of few ideas and discourages few others.

I watch all major tournaments. At least after the 4th round. Is Gasquet good enough to make it there? :p

Gasquet Fan said...

If things go well, Gasquet will face Baghdatis (last year finalist) in the 4th round, and if he wins, face Federer in the Quarters.

If you remember he was among the three that beat Federer in 2005, other two being Nadal and Nalbandian. That was in Monte Carlo 2005, with Federer playing really well (not like with losses to Nadal). He is got the most awesome backhand in tennis right now. But he is young and learning. He might realise his potential and become better than Federer. But like so many others, he might not. But its a sheer pleasure to watch him.

Gasquet Fan said...

The complete match in ten parts is available on youtube. The first part is here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rql9N7X0TE

notice the raw shot making ability from the backhand side. He also came close to beating Federer in Rogers cup 2006, but then many of them did and didnt quite manage to beat him. Gasquet, however, seems special.

Suresh said...

Yeah I like this shots too. I don't know how I missed him (especially because he has defeated Fed). His movement is somewhat unusual, though. It's the left-right weight shift controlled movement - like a boxer. He deos not seem swift like Federer (perhaps that's what works to his detriment in clay).
But I don't see Gasquet beating Fed in hardcourt (or grasscourt for that matter). His movement is likely to tire him out after 3 sets. But as you say, let's see.

A vetti link

Gasquet Fan said...

Honestly, I don't see anyone else defeating Federer consistently. Roddick just beat him in AAMI classic today, but its an exhibition tournament and Federer lost it last year too to Tommy Haas.

And yeah, Gasquet's movement is strange, but it compliments for his racquet movement. You must some of his rather spectacular shots off the backhand. Example, an inside out shot from the backhand side. Have you seen anyone hit it in your tennis watching life? All he lacks is power and a good mind like Federer. But I hope he gets there. Tennis will be much better watching two geniuses at their peak. Right now, Nadal is too predictable. Even Federer knows that he doesn't have to change too much of his own game to beat him.

I said...

dude, you need to get laid.

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