Friday, 8 March 2013

Women's Day...I Just Don't Buy It!

Call me a cynic, but I am just not comfortable with all this Women’s Day stuff. “Let’s celebrate Women!” Yeah, let’s celebrate cats while we are at it. Do we need celebrating? Would the men folk like to be celebrated too? Or might they find it a bit demeaning?
Giving the li’l’ ladies their very own special day, I feel, undermines the struggle for equality. I expect Emeline Pankhurst will be spinning in her grave.

The HR woman at my husband’s office thought it would be a lovely idea for all the women to go home at lunchtime. You can just imagine their male colleagues thinking: ‘Hang on a minute, you want equal pay but you also expect special treatment because you’re a woman?’ You can’t have it both ways. This sort of thing breeds resentment between the sexes. And see how the whole Women’s Day thing (like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day) has been totally hijacked by the very businesses that seek to exploit women. Today’s papers are full of adverts peddling bullshit to women who feel inadequate about themselves.  

“Saluting the spirit of Womanhood!” says the ad for ‘Nurture Health Care’ which invites women to lose weight without exercise or diet. There is a photo of a gorgeous, slim woman and absolutely no mention of how this can be achieved but whatever it is, it’s 10 per cent off because it’s Women’s Day!
And then we have ‘Desire’ (strap line: ‘Women of 21st Century are Fat Free’ - really, is this true?) which is advertising a special ‘Women’s Day’ package where, for a little under 11,000 rupees, you can have your fat melted away by massage. Now, I’m no scientist, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is utter bull. And now I see that politicians are jumping on the bandwagon. "Women vote now, yeah? OK, let’s run on that ticket!"
I was at a festival of Music and Arts on Saturday night as my daughter was performing with her dance troupe. The festival had been organized by some political bigwig who used it as a platform to promote himself under the guise of promoting the arts in my neighbourhood.  Most of the seats were empty when we arrived so we plonked ourselves down in the second row, behind the politician and his family.
Eventually the sound system erupted with some ear-splitting jingle on a loop (which didn’t seem to bother anyone but me) This went on for a good 15 minutes until a disjointed voice announced our hostess for the evening: “And welcome on stage, the face of Whirlpool for the past six years, Miss………!”
The face of Whirlpool was certainly a looker but her presenting skills needed a fine tune. She had a wonderful gift of undermining everyone who came up on stage.
“Hey, has anyone here ever seen a funny female comedian? I certainly haven’t, so let’s give it up for……”
Turns out the comedienne was very funny and would have made a much better hostess than Whirlpool Face. Shame she wasn’t considered for the job. (I wonder why?)
The highlight of the evening was an appearance by  'heartthrob actor Varun Dhawan who delivered an emotional speech about two friends of his who were killed in a fight as they tried to defend their girlfriends. Whirlpool Face was so busy swooning and choosing who would be allowed up on stage to touch Varun that she didn’t hear him and asked him to repeat what he had just said. The poor guy looked mortified at having to deliver the same heartfelt speech twice. Then it was the turn of the politician to stand up and proclaim his great respect for females as the screens showed a film of women around the world being raped, attacked and felt up by their horrible bosses. Emotions running high, the politician pontificated about how everyone should be given equal respect. Perhaps he was not aware that his mother, a rather hard-faced and porcine lady in an expensive sari, was all the while ordering security to eject people who were sitting in the front seats as her relatives had now turned up. I guess everyone is equal but some are indeed more equal than others.