A Conversation on Chivalry

Opening Speaker: Chivalry is over rated and convenient.

Participant 1: For whom is it convenient? Chivalry is a choice. The choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times. If not, then it’s not chivalry; it’s probably a superficial act to impress!

OS: To not practice it is also a choice. The choice to believe in equality. Chivalry isn’t right. The choice to like or hate it is right.

P1: What else does choice mean, OS? Obviously, it’s one’s choice not to practice it or otherwise.
Btw, i really would like to know if YOU believe in the very concept of being chivalrous?

OS: You used the word ‘right’ so many times with regards to things or reasons. Anyway I don’t believe in chivalry 🙂

Participant 2: I don’t get chivalry, we should be respectful and mindful of everyone. I mean if some guy bumps into u we say sala BC… its just not nice… lets just have good manners and leave chivalry to the Downtown Abbey guys

OS: Chivalry should not be confused with courtesy. Yes we should respect and be mindful of everyone we interact with but I don’t think it’s fair to go beyond our means or way for someone especially if external factors aren’t compromising safety.

P2: yea m not ruining my jacket so someone shouldnt step over a puddle… side se jao 😛

Participant 3: Weird. Being as chivalrous as possible is my high. I wish the whole world, both men and women, would be more chivalrous. As long as you protect those weaker than you, in kindness and not out of some weird sense of duty, chivalry is what you are practicing. It’s about courage and honor, courtesy and justice. It isn’t something you can or cannot believe in. It is something that either comes naturally to you, you aspire towards, or you avoid. I think it’s noble.
And it’s anything but convenient. lol.

OS: P3, Thank you for that. As far as courtesy, courage and justice are concerned I agree. However, I do feel the modern interpretation of it is sometimes unfair. I think I practice chivalry in the traditional sense but i’d rather avoid it’s modern interpretation. If equality exists among two individuals I fail to understand why one of them is ‘duty bound’ or expected to be taking care of the other person especially when external factors like safety etc aren’t a concern. I’d rather have equality in my personal equations and I really wouldn’t want to be a guardian to someone who clearly doesn’t need it.

P3: In life, everyone is going to be weaker or stronger than you at some level. It depends on what level your interaction is happening, I believe. Of course its application (chivalry’s i.e.) would be different today than at the time of its inception, but that’s because the social set up at the time of origin was a violent and dangerous one, where knights were one of the strongest and women, amongst the weakest. But today, this is not necessarily true. Yes, if it’s late at night, and you’re in India, you are at a position of strength compared to any female friends you might have with you and chivalry might be expected of you, only on the basis of your being male, but to assume that is the be all and end all of chivalry is wrong. There may be times when you come across a lost child, or an injured dog or even a male colleague who is utterly lost. Or when you’re dealing with the help, or a waiter at a restaurant, or a confused elderly gentleman on the subway. 

I think Chivalry, in fact, is all about strength. If you know you are stronger than those around you, then as long as you do everything in your power to protect them, without expecting rewards or favors in return, you are being chivalrous. Those that say that it’s unfair because women always receive the benefit are buying into the notion that a woman is always weaker than a man, regardless of surroundings or circumstance, and as dismaying as it may be, the solution is not to shun chivalry, but to practice it properly, so that even those who denounce it come to receive its favors, and more importantly, because that is the burden of humanity on its path to civilization.

OS: *sips on water*…Okay!
I have a problem with it due to it’s very gendered connotations. Now, I’m not going to get into specifics of what I do which actually does resonate with your comment. However I wouldn’t compromise on equality specifically when the circumstances do not put me in a position of strength. ..courtesy would mean opening the door for someone regardless of their gender or vacating a seat for someone who clearly looks tired, with a child .. paying the bill, again without bringing gender into the equation, because I might absolutely adore the person, maybe in a position of more financial strength However I wouldn’t want to pay for someone just because according to gender stereotypes, I am supposed to or rush to open the car door for someone perfectly healthy because I’m supposed to. Assuming there is no position of strength involved in a particular situation, I do not believe in doing something just because that is what some gentleman did for his lady at the next table. In other words, I’d rather not be a position of strength and I’d love to be with someone who’s independent and doesn’t need me to pull off stupid stunts to amuse her yet if there’s ever a situation where I find myself in a position of strength, my belief system, how so ever flawed, will be doing everything that’s expected out of a decent human being.

P3: Yeah, so it is all about your own perception of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of the people you are with. I frequently open doors for people I am with, male or female, because if I can do something that makes life easier for the person I am with, and it costs me less than nothing to do it, then why not? Does it mean I consider myself stronger than them in some way? Why, yes, it does. Often it does anyway. And for the few times where I am certain that I am at a disadvantaged position in terms of strength or capability, then what better opportunity to repay them for the chivalry I believe their advantageous position will inspire them to than by doing something as simple as opening a door, or fetching a glass of water, etc..

Closing Arguments: #NoMo Please!

S1: The real reason Anti-Modi people don’t like him is because Modi epitomises what the other Idea of India could look like..

S2: S1, you have a large fighting capacity. No wonder you’re lawyer. I can tell you this already. You will be a good lawyer. Well, you never stop fighting. And BTW, I don’t support BJP, I support Modi. I support leaders, not parties.

S1: Actually, S2, I don’t. Have a large fighting capacity, i.e. I’m like this uncaring, apathetic, really extremely chilled out person. But, there’s only one thing that makes me angry, like the Hulk kinda angry, and that is the Cruelty of Cowardice.

When a bunch of humans tie up kittens and throw them in water to drown, or set fire to a dog’s tail, or stalk and rape a toddler, that’s nothing but the Cruel nature of Cowardly humans. This is also why I despise mobs. Because they get together and fuck over individuals who otherwise might have been able to kick their asses. The two things that enrage me the most, therefore, are gang-rapists, and rioting fanatics..

Sigh. What this means is, I cannot just stop when I know people have died for something really senseless and there’s even an iota of a chance that they will, again.

Like I said somewhere in the middle of all this. Do I really believe Modi cares so deeply about eliminating the Muslim threat as he projects himself to be? I don’t know. But, when voting for someone, especially when it comes to politics, I do sincerely believe that it is necessary to look at the party behind the man. After all, this is not some Indian idol/American idol/some other reality TV popularity contest. This voting will affect real people’s lives. And, I just find it very hard to accept that there are educated people who treat this exactly like some “max smses for ur favorite bollywood hero” kinda contest.

It is not. Parties matter. Ideologies matter. Followers matter. And the lengths they are willing to go to matter too.

The ends do NOT justify the means. And, all Indians are my brothers and sisters, S. Especially the dead ones. Because they seem to be forgotten too easily in our country.

But, thank you for your faith. With every passing day in this country, I’m not even certain I want to be a lawyer in the first place. I don’t really enjoy this level of arguing and debating. But, those people suffered. And they died. And if that happened to me, I’d want someone to fight for me too.. That’s all.

Perhaps you should re-look at your civics/social studies text books? Or read some wikipedia links on how politics work and the actual role of a PM and his relationship with the ruling party? Or, perhaps it is foolish of me to expect that from everyone.. maybe it *is* just a popularity contest, and cheap PR and raving fanatics shall win it. But that makes me horribly sad. And I feel like we’ve betrayed not just the murdered, but also our forefathers who fought for, and achieved, independence. But, like I said.. Maybe that’s just my foolishness.

The Last of the Anti-Orange Rant [Or why you will never convert me, Modi-ites!]

The problem is this, S. The reasons why we don’t support Modi have been listed out a hundred times above. As others have mentioned, your scary blind devotion to the man is disappointing and frightening.  What we will get into is this: A lot of Muslims were horribly tortured, and died, under his reign. When you […]

Delhi victim should have meekly submitted to gang rape: Woman scientist

Link to News Report: Here

I was actually expecting her to have said something along the lines of how human life is too precious to be lost while protecting one’s dignity, or something even remotely graceful, but instead, this is what she has to say:

why was the victim out of her house after 10 pm” and “if a girl will wander late at night with her boyfriend; such situations are bound to happen.

Such situations are bound to happen? Such situations are bound to fucking happen?! What hope does our country have when educated women themselves are stuck in mindsets that seem to be unable to comprehend that we live in a lawful society, let alone expect that the law actually be enforced? What the hell is the point of being a citizen of a country that is supposed to have a civilized society, madam?

Jesus Christ.

Why should she have been a bit careful? Are we not living in such a so-called “civilized society”? Was she not a human being, with all the rights guaranteed to her under the constitution, including especially the right to life, which those sick individuals had NO right to violate, regardless of where she was, who she was with, or what time it was?

This is the problem with our country. And this is very the definition of VICTIM BLAMING, brothers and sisters. Why was she out so late? Who was she with? What was she doing? What was she wearing? Who the hell cares? Even if she was running around on the streets naked, she is still NOT asking to be raped. In fact, if you or I are to walk around in bikinis on the road, and someone whistles at us, it is still HARASSMENT.

Why don’t you ask “Why did those men rape her?” Or why is Delhi “a city like Delhi” in the first place? I’ll tell you why! It’s because all the people “hide” their women in their houses, as if they were precious objects that could get snatched and violated and “destroyed”. If you’re a boy, you can do as you please, but if you are a girl, what business do you have going anywhere from school/college? What kind of women do that?

Well, what kind of life is this, I ask? I want to step out at any time I please. I want to wear whatever makes me feel good. I want to LIVE my life. I don’t want to hide from sick, perverted creeps that are supposed to be kept off our streets!

There’s this thing called the social contract. It says that at the time of forming governments, it is as if the individuals give up some of their basic rights such as the pre-emptive right to protect their own lives, or seek justice for wrongs done to them, and hand over these rights to the government, who then swears to undertake the duty of protecting them. It’s a freaking contract. It’s their DUTY to protect every citizen. So, why should she have been more careful? How much more effing careful?! First midnight is too late, then 11, now it’s 9:30. When does this psychotic behavior end?? And, when will you all see that the answer doesn’t lie in hiding; the answer lies in occupying the streets! The streets of Delhi will only be safer when it’s full of free confident, sexy women, and non-sexually-starved young men; not when we promote and encourage criminals by telling girls that they “should be a bit careful” if they don’t want to “get raped”. Get raped. Like it’s some sort of disease you can avoid by “taking care”.

No. I refuse. What is unsafe about entering a bus at 09:30 pm at night? What is careless about it?! The problem with placing any amount of responsibility on the victims/survivors is that it is a very slippery slope. Today, you say that women must be escorted at night for their own safety, tomorrow you regulate their working hours to day-times, and the day after you suggest that they be married off at 16 to prevent them from being raped. 

The answer lies in dispelling these notions, and the only way that can be done is by STRONGLY and clearly always expressing the clearest intolerance for the perpetrators of such crime and placing ZERO responsibility or duty on the victim. 

There is nothing about our society that excuses such criminal behavior. If we can’t handle it, then we should stop claiming to be a blooming fucking super-power and admit that we’re a bunch of barbarians. If we’re going to pretend otherwise, and have fancy hotels, and tons of billionaires, and a thriving film industry, the least we can do is EXPECT some lawfulness in our country. Don’t you think?

The Rage MUST be Relentless. And we must not forget that our sister in Singapore is only one amongst the hundreds who are brutally abused on a daily basis. For all of them, and the ones who might be spared such a fate, we have to present a strong united front, where the only guilty ones are the ones who commit the crimes, and it is them alone who are responsible!

I believe that every time one of us says that “Well, it is very bad what happened to her, but she should have been a bit more careful”, we’re directly encouraging every potential and existing rapist out there. These people feel safe enough to commit their crimes, because they know that at least some of the responsibility is transferable. And, I am asking you to help us change that notion.

Challenge every misogynist statement you hear. Convince your near and dear ones, and those not so near or dear, about where the responsibility for every crime lies. Argue for your right to go out at night, but don’t forget to arm yourself. And, remember, the only thing that can save this country is its own enlightenment. It has to start now.

No one is meekly submitting to anything!

Friends, Indians, Countrymen

Neither the government, nor the police, nor any other paid force is ever going to wake up and go “aww, lets protect our citizens better”. It’s like this, 

Example 1: This guy comes to you and gives you thousands of dollars. Says that he gambles, but doesn’t trust himself to not lose the money or get robbed, so he just wants to stash it in one of your unused cupboards. You say okay, and everything is fine at first, until you notice that he never really bothers counting the money, and is forever throwing in bundles, and pulling them out. How tempted will you be to take that money? Now, suppose there are three of you in that house. If one guy says “Fuck it, man. He’s never gonna notice, lemme take some.”, how long will it be before the others follow suit?

Example 2: You’ve employed a lady to cook your food and clean your kitchen. At first, she’s amazingly efficient, and tidy. The food tastes great, and the kitchen is all sparkly. But, suppose you never ask her to do anything, never insist that she dust something or cleans something else, are you really going to be surprised when it all comes to a bare essentials kind of set-up?

What I’m trying to say is, don’t you think it’s kinda crazy to hand over all those individual rights and liberties (which we do, by the way, in exchange for certain securities while being citizens of the State) to an unrelated, external oligarchic system, and just expect them to always do what’s best for us? Even if we’ve shown ourselves to be a sentimental, easily swayed, fanatical mob with no interest or need of long term solutions to any of our problems?

Why do you think the concept of these “Apartment complexes” is so popular in India?? With their own security guards, and their own little pools, and gardens for the children, and gyms for the women? Why, why, why? It’s because, instinctively, everyone knows, everyone is aware that India is in a state of acute lawlessness. Your only hope is private defense. Our only defense is to hole ourselves up in forts and behind barricades to protect ourselves, never once insisting that the State to whom we gave that responsibility live up to it. Never once even bothering to engage in any sort of intelligent debate, because “how does it matter?”, right?

Well, it *does* matter. It matters because unless this country, or any country for that matter, has a responsive, educated and aware civil society, the atrocities will continue.

And we shall have nothing to blame but our own apathy.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Rapers and Sexual Harassment: Fight the Law, Fuck the Norm

Wow, look at all the lovely comments on this post. They swear, they abuse, they complain and they whine… but since they’ve also been telling us that certain kinds of clothes will keep a girl safer, as will always carrying a guy around with her, as will not stepping out after dark, along with a thousand other utterly un-helpful suggestions, pardon me if I ignore the primitive dim-wits and speak with the neutrals.

Because, tada, feast upon your Indian society now, dear brothers and sisters! Read these comments, and the thousand others, and cease to wonder why India loves Rape. Look at this case for instance: One botched up sexual harassment, one training-to-be-rapist goes awry, one time a woman decides to take matters into her own hands, she is a “bitch” and a “frustrated whore” and an “indecent person” for swearing at the unlucky Nine-thousandth man who made her mad? 

Oh, even better, she’s over-reacting.

Let me explain. A man is not born a rapist. (Usually) It is a lifetime of encouraged “eve-teasing”, where helpless vulnerable women, usually girls at first, flee from his harmless comments. He is thus emboldened, and moves up to groping and fondling, only to delightedly discover that most women would rather try and escape than try to get him caught or arrested. Some people stop here, the sicker few escalate to Rape. Something like 9,000 molestation ‘adventures’ lead to one rape.

Maybe Nine-thousand is *the* number. In that case, Men in India should stay indoors after 9 pm. Because, every single Indian lady making it to their mid-twenties today is hitting that 9,000 mark.

This? This was only a matter of time. An inevitability. You see, women are like that, what can we do? They much more easily adapt to the division of labor. Okay, so it’s someone else’s job to keep the people, including her and her sisters safe? Cool. Except, things aren’t working out with the Police and all. And, you know us women, totally irrational.

And we’re very very pissed off.

Do any of you dislike it? Good. Excellent. The ones that should be squirming in their chairs, well, they’ll be squirming after this for sure. Does it make you uncomfortable? Well, rape makes the sisters uncomfortable.

And, though slow to anger, hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.

For too long, the worst of you have watered the Earth with the blood of our sisters. You know the scariest part? I wish she’d ripped his fuckin’ head off. Even if it’s totally illegal and completely excessive. Because, it isn’t excessive for the girl who has seen a thousand like him, and will unfortunately suffer a 1000 more, and it isn’t excessive for a boy who walks around invading personal space and groping women just because our society is so messed up that it starves young men and women from attention from the opposite sex.

So, yes, this video shows that our society’s going to the dogs, and we have a serious law-and-order problem. Glad to have your attention, gentlemen. Too bad you didn’t realize this 50,000 rapes ago, or you may have saved us a few years, and a few lives.

But, they were only women, right?

*maniacal laugh*

I hope it gets worse. I hope it gets so much worse.