Dichotomies, double standards and everything else in between.

Bite me, I’m a slut. No really, I am. By popular standards anyway (including desi), I would probably be the empress of slutopia or at least a high priestess of sorts. Well.

So what constitutes slut-like behavior? Lots of sex? Being promiscuous? Tight clothes? Polyamory? Pre-marital sex? Talking to a guy? Merely acknowledging a man’s existence? First base? Second?

What is it?

What does one have to do in order to be identified as a bona fide slut?

Based solely on the benchmark in the yoo yess, I would surmise that a woman who is comfortable with her sexuality and really enjoys sex and has sex regularly on her own terms would probably fit the slut descriptive.

When you bring in the desi angle for the arbitration of whoriness/ slutiness however, this opens a whole new can of muculent worms. The desi yardstick for whoriness can range from being woefully feudal (a girl who talks to anything or anyone without a vagina = whore) to putting up an outward appearance of flighty non-prejudice but are quite the opposite (a woman dressing in western clothes = fine, but drinking/smoking/male-friends/social-life = whore) to being grudgingly accepting of certain behaviors (drinking/smoking = fine, pre-marital sex =no-no or vice versa) or even to being generally accepting but subscribing to the popular western points of reference for slutiness.

Of course I am not denying that there are desi’s out there who transcend these sort-of-microcosms and don’t really care and do their thing (myself included, yay sluts!), but I think that I am not inaccurate in stating that such desi’s belong to a pitifully minuscule and underrepresented minority and it also stands to reason as to how many desi’s belonging to this minority are truly liberal and non-judgmental when it comes to female sexuality and sexual behavior as a whole be it heterosexual or homosexual or both.

Almost inevitably, this brings me to the virulently noxious and all pervasive slut/stud (or whore/player, oy) double standard.

The omnipresence of this double standard astounds me. Which is a bit silly really, as discrimination and double standards being actively promulgated with respect to women is a given, but I can’t help but balk at it. It is possibly the oldest stereotype in the world and yet, it is also the most insidious and deceptively oppressive, in part due to its sheer prevalence.

The slut label also ties in with the Madonna/whore dichotomy which is a masterstroke of patriarchal genius, I have to add. This dichotomy adroitly dooms women to fail, irrespective of the mantle they choose to don: the chaste, immaculate virgin or a woman who dares to have sex outside of marriage. It is an ingenious ruse, a set up, designed to make women feel insecure, guilty and shameful about themselves, no matter what extreme they try to portray. For, the Madonna/whore dichotomy is nothing but two extremes, its brilliance lies in the fact that there is no middle ground. Think about this the next time you ask someone ‘are you a virgin’ or talk about ‘losing your/her/his virginity’. All you need to do is to have sex once*. And for that, within this repressive dichotomy, you will be pushed off the precipice of purity so to speak and land squarely in whore territory. The cycle is never-ending.

[I also have to add that dismissing the Madonna/whore complex as non-existent or as a rabid by-product of some crazy fundies, is utterly inaccurate. It exists everywhere, in every medium, in every society; the difference being that it manifests itself in varying degrees in different cultures.]

Indeed, all a woman has to do is to have a social life and the slut/whore tag faithfully and parasitically attaches itself onto her and gnaws at her self-worth, like a cancer.

The judgment of men however, based on sexual activity, is diametrically opposite to the wringer which women are put through. Men are actively encouraged to pursue as many women as possible, ‘scoring’ women becomes a fun pastime. Even in seemingly conservative households, a boy who sleeps around might be reprimanded, but not severely chastised. The more women a man sleeps with, the more he is praised, his peers look up to him and his actions set the standard for other men/boys to follow and emulate. There is no question of him being sullied, he hasn’t fallen off his precipice of purity (there is no precipice of purity in his case), and even the thought of him being called a ‘whore’ or ‘skank’ or ‘slut’ seems laughable.

But why? Why does it seem laughable? Why don’t we judge men with the same stifling standards with which we judge women?

I think there are a number of reasons, many of them if not all, quite incredible in their fallaciousness but are dangerous in their pervasiveness all the same. For instance,

- Men are presumed to be the possessors of an irrepressible sexuality and sexual instinct. Therefore, women are automatically pushed into gate-keeping the sexuality of men.

- Tied in with the earlier point is the notion that women are almost asexual in their sexual preferences, and yet it is curious to note that women have very little control over their sex or sexuality, it is the society which imposes rules and regulations on restraining and ostracizing women for their sexual activities. If women are so uninterested in sexual activities as a whole, why are their actions and sexual preferences judged? Why are their actions open for intense scrutiny?

This brings us to another paradox, a miasmic spawn of the Madonna/whore dichotomy which expects women to not only be pure and virginal, but also sexy and approachable at the same time. This is what we come to, after years and years of sorting out women as either virgins or whores, we fuse both the identities together and expect one woman to embody both, as an example of a balanced personality. Am I the only one who sees the odious absurdity of this?

As for judging women, I too am not blameless. I’ve called a fair share of women sluts either in anger or for their perceived ‘slutty’ behavior, which is contemptible and wrong, I know. And I am not without regret. It is that regret which hovers over me and makes me check myself before I brand any woman with the slut tag. After all, my actions make me a slut too. And you know what? I’ve learnt to accept it. Hell, I was called a slut in 9th grade because, are you ready - I was taller than the other girls. I kid you not. I even yelled at one of the boys who called me a whore, and his reasoning unearthed such gems like:

Oh, because you wear shorts under your skirt.

You have short hair, and you are taller.

You are not shy or quiet.

You are friends with so-and-so.

You girls wear makeup (makeup = chapstick).

You talk a lot/go to tuition/ live next to a group of boys from our class.

Thinking back to that confrontation, I can’t help but shrug with acceptance at the fact that being a virgin is no safety net for being called a slut. Lack of interest or experience does not automatically cast a protective shield around us.

And the sooner we learn to accept that, and move on and live our lives the way we want to, without gleefully judging women and conferring titles on the men for the exact same actions, the better it is for all of us.

But what do I know. I am a card carrying member of the sluts-for-evah! party after all.

* Pre-marital.

A note to trolls and their ilk: This post is not a free pass for you to call me whore, slut, bitch, cunt or any derivative of the above mentioned words. And this post is not a green signal for your 'will you have sex with me slut, I asked nicely har har' type propositioning. Such comments will promptly be ignored and/or not published.


Planethalder said...

Viva slutdom - both within a relationship and outside of one! Screw those who pass judgment on sluttiness - life is hard enough as it is - we need our pleasures!

Veo Claramente said...

What about thongs hanging four inches out of jeans :)? that is my personal slut-barrier :)

Jokes apart, the expectations of men and women are subject to an unpardonable double standard, and it SUCKS. I do think though that the enlightened desi minority has grown in size since my teens, and hopefully (crosses fingers, toes,) will soon become more prevalent and vocal. Till then screw em all and more power to individual self-determination of slut quotient. (Minus thongs)

Anonymous said...

You know what bothers me the most about the system, is that doing it with a total stranger is ok as long as you are married to him (the so-called wedding night after an arranged marriage), but with someone you love is a no-no (pre-marital)! I remember this girl - some relative, whose stranger husband had his wedding night arranged on the day of their wedding (there are at least 4 things wrong with that sentence, as you can obviously see - "stranger", "wedding night", "arranged" and so on). It disgusts me.. oh you touched a nerve with this post, I'm gonna be so mad for a few days now again! Choosing whether or not to sleep with someone is entirely a matter of choice, and anyone who judges anyone else's lifestyle doesn't have a life of their own to live. I'm married, but will gladly carry a card, if you will let me!


Drunken Master said...

I remember meeting this one (desi) girl when I was doing my master's and one of the first things she asked me was, "Do you think I'm a slut?"
And I said "No" because I didn't know her, to which she replied, "But almost every other Indian guy thinks so..."

I met her again very randomly when I visited NYC a year and a half after that incident and she asked me the same question again, and again a year after that when she was hanging out with me and a couple of common friends.

Another time, a couple of friends came to visit NYC with a few of their other friends, one of whom was a girl. As we walked around the city, I realized all the guys were having their own conversation leaving the girl to herself, so I started a conversation with her. Seeing that one of the guys got really pissed, but didn't say anything to me because he didn't want to make a scene (I found out later through someone else that he though I was hitting on her and she wasn't "that kind of girl" but she seemed to be enjoying talking to someone). These guys also openly stared when the girl bent over to pick something up and her crack showed out of her jeans causing some other girls nearby to shout "Not Cool" to them.

Some seem to want to live vicariously through others - one friend makes it a point to ask me how many white girls I've slept with recently every time we talk. And then he wonders why I'm so hard to catch on the phone.

It's hard enough dealing with ignorance from people here, so dealing with ignorant countryfolk is even more frustrating. It's a no-win situation really , but I don't care, I'm comfortable with the way I am and thankfully so are you, slut!

Anonymous said...

Actually desi definition of slutdom goes something like this: "Any girl who spurns a guy, makes him feel inadequate, is not attainable, or is worthy of envy = SLUT" There's no escaping it. why care?

Anonymous said...

By Western standards I have fairly conservative sexual standards because I am suspicious of people who have, on average, had sex with more than one (1) separate individual per decade of their lives. Yes, completely arbitrary and nonsensical formula, but there it is. In my defense, I apply it equally to both sexes.

By Indian standards I passed into slut-dom at the age of 13 when I began to notice the hunkier members of my karate class. I suppose as a woman I was supposed to resist the temptation all around me because I am frigid/intrinsically "modest"?

So my reputation remained in such tatters that when, at age 18, some guy on the streets of Bangalore ran up to me and BIT MY BREAST, my mother's only response was to lament that I'd worn a moderately well-fitting t-shirt despite her numerous warnings. "You'll never learn," she said. I don't think I can forgive her for that.


Pri said...

oh of course, you wear anything that doesn't hang on u like a paper bag - slut
coloured hair - slut
short hair - slut
high heels - slut
make eye contact - slut
no dupatta - big slut
show skin above your ankles - slut
show arms - slut
look generally smiley - slut

Meera said...

what you have used the three letter word, s e x in writing. shiva shiva shiva ,, you must be what you claim you are. i cant even bring myself to utter that four letter word, such is my pavitrata.

seriously, wait till they see you interacting with white/black/other race guys. then you will be depraved beyond belief and would have lost all your 'culture'

good blog

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Planethalder: Hello! And viva slutdom, it is. :D

@ Veo Claramente: Whaa-at? You don't dig the ventilatory coolness of the thong prominently sticking out of a pair of skin-tight jeans which makes your legs look like sausages in denim casing? Really, you don't? ;)

@ Mockingbird: And you have just given me an idea for a post. I have cursed long and hard at the arranged marriage system, and mostly in part due to this horrific first night business. Hello, you've known this dude for like a few weeks or whatever and thats a free pass for having sex on the first night? Really?

It horrifies me, it really does. And of course you can carry a card! Heck I'll give you a banner!

@ Drunken: Because talking to a girl politely and carrying on a conversation = flirting according to the more rabid strain of desi's.

If you are a good desi boy you must act like a rude prick when it comes to girls. Or ignore them, only then are you morally superior. Barf.

I seriously don't know where some of these chaddiwallas come from. God.

@ Anon: Ohh, true. A girl who rejects a guy or dares to turn him down - boy oh boy does she have it coming. Gah, its maddening really.

@ Wendelin: You got bitten on your breast?


I am so sorry to hear about that. It must have been painful and terrifying. Ow, it hurts to even think about it. And your mum blamed you? Not surprising, really. My parents subscribe to the same 'if something happens to your kid, blame her first' school of thought. So join the club.

And why the hell should you forgive her? I don't forgive my parents for certain incidents either, they need it sometimes, you know?

@ Pri: Glorious list. And I cant help but nod my head vigorously to every single one of them especially the last one. I was called a slut because I was cheerful.

So lets look morose, wear paper baggish type clothes and be generally pissed off. But then you'll be called a bitch. Gah, you cant win.

@ Meera: Hello! Oh oh, I didn't think about the 'interacting with the guys from other races' angle! Good point.

The Bride said...

I totally agree with Mockingbird. I've always found the arranged thing slightly weird - though there are various forms of it and most of the people I know who opted for it do end up dating the person for some time (generally no sex involved I think). But the most conservative practitioners of the arranged thing (just see the girl once and then wham bang thank you ma'am) tend also to be vociferous condemners of prostitutions - and I find both strangely similar; sleeping with a stranger for their money.

@anonymous - I think the universal term for a woman who has spurned a guy has now become 'lesbian'. I remember our English Lit prof sarcastically referring to this when we were reading the bit where Lizzie spurns Mr Collins - was lovely to see the guys at the back of the class squirm.

siva said...

Whew..You are one angry young woman.

Well Heeled said...

oh what a fun read! each to their own me thinks!

Anurag said...

Man, what fun I am missing not studying / working in the US! Not done. Why do you get to have all the fun, TP?

Also, thanks for coining the ultimate term -- chaddiwallas. :) I think most people are just frustrated at not having a girlfriend and jealous of guys whom these girls date, hence the derogatory terms. Easier said than done, but it's probably best to ignore such people. Another option is to start bitching about how Indian guys are ugly / have smaller and/or fewer penises / smelly, just in order to get their collective goat, so to speak. That will really soar your popularity ratings in the Indian community.

OK, now I wait for the arranged marriage post (thanks MockingBird). Hurry up, OK, while I drink my boffee?

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ The bride: I know. The people who opt for the more traditional "I see you once that is enough before we roll in the hay" type arranged marriage, are also curiously the people who take up a moral umbrage to prostitution etc. I guess its internalized conditioning at play, though. And they obviously never bothered to examine *why* they do the things they're told to do (as the norm).

And OMG? The term has changed to lesbian? Really? How ludicrous! Wow, I must have missed the memo on that one.

@ Siva: Right. And?

@ Well heeled: Hello! And thanks!

@ Anurag: Ha ha, you noticed my 'chaddiwalla' term, eh? But in all honesty, its perfect for such morons no? Tee-hee.

Random Vignettes said...

Have been called slutty when I was in the 10th std because I was shockingly brave enough to ask a guy friend for a lift home instead of choosing to be like the other demure shy girls who preferred to wait on the side of a desolate road waiting for someone to pick them up...can u beat that megha?
Kinda scarred me back then man...

Nithya said...

Wannabe Punkster, my first or second time on your blog, and I love it. Awesome awesome post. Much has been said about the hypocritical subject of women's sexuality but i really like your observation of the 21st century man's demand of "I-want-you-to-be-modest but also give me a hard-on." One thing you touched upon but didn't elaborate - I also abhor the perpetual Darwinian theories of "Women are not sexual, look at their biological structure. Nature did not intend them to have sex." DO NOT make me say the C word!
I learned I was a slut when I dated white men. Then I married one. Funnily enough that doesn't vindicate me, it just makes me MORE of a slut. And now I am scared to hold my legitimate white man's hand around desis.
What to do - I am paying for my perpetual sluttiness.

anonymouse said...

I wonder how much of our cultural standards are actually influenced by genetics and the way we have evolved?

Alpha males, who had kids by lots of different women, thus keeping their genetic lineage alive were better off. Women who managed to keep their men loyal and rear kids were better off.

Two conflicting forces.

Renovatio said...

I didn't bother reading all the comments, so I may be repeating what someone else said, but my take on this is that these fellows are too frustrated about the fact that their balls haven't dropped, so they haven't been able to 'score' a date as of yet, so they take on the sour grapes attitude towards women.
In my own life, I've met(dated) plenty of women who fit the 'slut' tag as you've described it, one which, in some cases, could be pushed forward a bit to be of 'loose' character', which I'd like to put my own tag on, that tag would be 'strong'.
Now strong woman are certainly forward, and know exactly what they want, and aren't afraid to ask for it. Hell I love strong women. They're the only kind of woman that I let ruin my life. Someone who can put my god damn vain machismo in place and yet baby me at the same time by bringing the straw up to my mouth when I'm half asleep on the couch in Kylin and insisting on ordering just one Red Bull which is all the three of us sitting there can afford with the bloody two hundred and thirty-something not including the ten bucks for parking we've got between us, just so that I can get a little energy pumped into me, I see nothing wrong with that kind of woman if she's good comfortable enough to ask for some lip service when the two of us get back to her place at night.

But fuck, that's just me, these sour grapes bastards kill it for all of us, and that's the strong-my life-ruining-and-enjoying-it-too women too.


PS. I think I lost track of this comment somewhere, but I'm too tired to go back and check. Bleah.

Drunken Master said...

Reading this just reminded me of the opening scenes from "Coming To America" where Akeem's parents pick a bride for him and he, not happy about the arrangement, decides to interview her.

There, the woman does exactly as Akeem says (hopping on one leg while barking like a dog etc.) and whenever he asks her about her choices and preferences, she goes, "whatever you like my Lord" or something along those lines. Akeem rejects her, but if anyone took an informal survey of desis, I wonder how many would be down for someone like that.

Irbaz said...

Im not a blogger nor a person who normally reads other blogs nor a woman and definately not a slut! This is the 1st time im reading ur post, and i must say, IT WAS AWESOME. im a regular at pri's blog and only coz its fun, thats where i saw her post linked to ur's which said "Must Read". According to me the title was extremely apt!

This is the 1st serious post i've ever read, and Everything u'v mentioned here is so true. Moreover, the comments are even more true. Its sad to know that public molestation still exists in a metro (well, almost) like bangalore. i feel sad for the girl who got bit. not coz she got bit, but coz she got blamed. but hey, thats the desis. even if they see little skin, they think its an invitation for them. i feel its coz of (1) their illetracy and (2) tv/media/entertainment/etc, which portrays women as objects. in the west, if a girl is wearing close to nothing, nobody really gives a damn, but here, even if she wears a sleeveless top, she is stared from top to bottom, or rather visualled naked in the mind. to top that, moral police ends up taking charge like the taliban. no holding hands in public, no touching, no walking together, and definately no kissing. but still, we are the 2nd largest population in the world. so much for hypocrasy.

You can definatly add me to ur fanlist, coz im coming back again for sure.

Keep up the good work! You are amazing!


Indianoguy said...

Nice Post!, came here from Pri's world. Unfortunately, "we are like that only" (kinda sad to say)
Are you aware of Blank Noise Project?
Its about Eve teasing in Indian Metros.. here is the link

silbil said...

It seems what you wear is a BIG part of how you are viewed. Decent, itel girl or a slut.
i am UNFORTUNATELY not been considered a slut though i have slept around, say the most politically incorrect things, have been accused of or complimented on 'THINKING LIKE A MAN' (neither reaction impresses me!) all those things should make me a SLUT. Right?
but i am spared. why?
because i am ALWAYS dressed in a salwar kameez and don't put make up.
which is part a result of laziness and part influence of Naomi Wolfe etc (Woolfe? ignore the spelling okay)
anyway so though in spirit i am A SLUT people think i am a pseudo intellectual bitch who might be a lesbian but not a slut.
i'd RATHER be a SLUT than be a good indian girl (plis help!)


crumbs said...

ah well.
Why is there a term for a woman who can even think of sleeping with/talking to/dating/acknowledging the existence of any man other than the one to whom she has been legally, with her parents (and the world's) blessings, married but NOT for a man who can do the same? It's the same logic ain't it? A prostitute is hopelessly immoral scum of the society, but a man who goes to her, is still just a man.

crumbs said...

ah well.
Why is there a term for a woman who can even think of sleeping with/talking to/dating/acknowledging the existence of any man other than the one to whom she has been legally, with her parents (and the world's) blessings, married but NOT for a man who can do the same? It's the same logic ain't it? A prostitute is hopelessly immoral scum of the society, but a man who goes to her, is still just a man.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Random vignettes: Whoa, really? I am sorry to hear that. That sounds like another inanity used to brand someone needlessly. I had it a little better, I was good friends with my best friend's older brother (in school), and he would just bum a ride with me (almost everyday) because his tuition was right next to my house. I guess nobody cared. BUT I had already earned the slut tag, so I guess it didn't matter as to what I did after that. :D

@ Nithya: First of all hello! And gee, thanks!

Dating men of another race (why dating, platonic interaction is enough) automatically garners you the slut tag, no ifs or buts.

I know exactly what you mean, Ive dated my fair share of men from other races, and my so called name was dragged into the mud so to speak, although I guess I never did have a 'name' to speak of, to begin with. Heh.

Argh and don't get me started on gender essentialism and its odious sibling, biological determinism. I've dedicated a whole post to this crock, its probably somewhere in my may archives.

@ A'mouse: Hm. I have a little theory. I think slut-branding stems from a need to validate oneself and ones actions as good or decent. This I think, stems from an unconscious fear of female sexuality as a whole.

By branding one woman or a tiny group of women with the slut tag, the branders externalize and project their feelings on her/them. And that makes them feel (strangely) good about themselves, because their branding is a sort-of-reassurance to themselves that their actions are 'decent' while the brandee's actions are bad, or indecent or whatever (scarlet-letting her, in other words). And the brandee could be anyone, her actions (or the lack thereof) don't matter.

This also ties in with the point I made in the post about societies gleefully policing women's sexuality, because, I think that slut branding is another insidious way of policing.

Why do you think there is no male counterpart for the slut label?

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Renovatio: Heh, us women are strong eh? I can totally get used to that, and speaking of which 'headstrong' and 'decisive' was actually thrown around as reasons for branding me a whore. Can you believe that? But if there can be a Z grade hindi movie called 'Bold' (lame-ish example, I know) where the female protagonist sleeps around to get what she wants, it gives you a good enough idea as to what these chaddiwallas associate with the word 'bold'.

I feel your pain, I really do. And you drink red bull? Really? Eugh, it tastes like cough syrup. If you can find this energy drink called Hype MFP, drink it. At least it tastes way better than red bull (and way more effective, um).

And with this I'll stop being an energy drink snob. :D

@ Drunken: Thats actually a great example, extreme to an extent, but good nevertheless.

And I've actually wondered about that too. Especially the guys who say "I'll sleep with her, but I cant marry her". That bothers me a lot. Then what kind of woman do you want to marry douches? Docile, calm and 'pure'?

It grates on my nerves, it really does.

@ Irbaz: Hello and thank you so much! I dont think my posts warrant such extravagant praise, but thank you all the same, it really does mean a lot.

@ Indianoguy: Thanks and yes I am aware of BNP, and I think the work they do is excellent (to put it mildly). And pray, do explain this statement:

Unfortunately, "we are like that only" (kinda sad to say)

@ Silbil: I think what you wear is relative to the type of people around you, at least with respect to them calling you a slut.

If you want to come over to the dark side, start paying attention to your appearance (makeup), and stop wearing salwars altogether (since the people around you seem to be particularly receptive to what you wear). You will be booted out of pavitra territory before you can count to ten. :D

Try it and tell me if it works out. Hee!

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Crumbs: Yup. The johns who go to the prostitutes don't count because see, male sexuality is perceived to be inherently uncontrollable and irrepressible. So by the same dodgy essentialist logic, them going to prostitutes is fine, because the poor mens cant control themselves! They need a receptacle for their overwhelming sexuality when their urges become somehow uncontrollable by human standards.

Anyway, this is more or less the ludicrous presumption (firmly rooted in rubbish gender essentialism), behind the point you raised. Its quite depressing, really.

Vincent said...

what Dave Chappelle said in the cop's uniform routine makes sense for the most part but when you factor in how people vary when it comes to the blips in their slut radar, it's back to square one.

Pri said...

@silbil: you want to be called a slut and you're only comfortable in salwar kurtas? try wearing only the kurta.

i kid i kid but seriously i saw this one lady try to pass off her kurta as a dress. it was the funniest thing ive ever seen.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Vince: Yep. Like I said, inactivity and disinterest can also garner you the slut tag. The tag itself has little to do with the persons actions in as much as it has to do with the branders' perceptions of the brand-ee. Which really brings us back to square one, as you said.

@ Pri: Have you seen the kurta + thick belt = trying to pass as a dress hybrid? Its erm interesting, to say the least.

La vida Loca said...

Well written.
I was considered a huge slut in college coz I never wore a dupatta.
And oh I am quite curvy.

Renovatio said...

I never said I drank red bull, it tastes like liquid fox's candy. I was merely forced to have it, since I was falling asleep on the couch, and I suppose she didn't want me falling asleep too soon. Hell she waited around for me to let go of the last relationship and didn't hit on me while I was in it, something I can appreciate. Again, love the strong women, especially the ones who don't mind asking a guy(me in particular) out.

raindrop said...

So weird. I guess it's just places with a large desi population. There's only a small desi population where I live, and I've done some fairly outrageous stuff while drunk and in public, and everyone still seems nice to me. If they secretly think I'm a slut, that's their problem and not mine. I'd stay the fuck away from judgemental people like that. Tell them you're mexican if they get all moral desi on you.

rj said...

I totally agree with the double standards part man... had a discussion over some daru with these colleagues of mine..

apparently one girl in our office is a slut because
1.) She shows off a little skin
2.) She hangs out with us and has a smoke...

I almost hit the bottle on his head when he used the words that were a little nasty

This from a guy who takes pleasure in taking women out for lunches..The same guy that calls girls innumerable derogative terms was all worked up because someone sent his cousin a message saying that she looked hot in a dress that day.. yeah.. sad

its a sad state in this country i tell you...

nevermind said...

Random thoughts.

1. What's the male of a 'slut'? Obviously not a 'stud', because the social-linguistic connotations are diametrically opposite. The fact that there is no clear male equivalent itself is a clear marker of how chauvinistic everyday linguistics is.

2. There IS a very approximate (Indian) male equivalent of a slut; which perversely refers to a man who is sensibly sexually liberated, but does not conform to the stereotype of someone who is 'liberated' solely for purposes of sex without responsibilities. That is, someone who is NOT a 'shock and awe' inspiring 'scoring' 'stud'. Such men inhabit a strange nether region that is viewed with discomfort and disapproval by other men (and women), by virtue of the fact that to the (usually) sexually stunted South Asian mind, this is behaviour that defies easy categorization e.g. sleeping with a non-Indian woman is okay (a sign of admirable studdishness)as long as the sex is all that you're interested in. The moment that this is otherwise, the disapproval and social distancing sets in. How's that for social perversity?

3. And of course, in typically hypocritical Indian fashion, the disapproval related to ANY liberated social or sexual behaviour goes through the roof when the social or sexual partner is Black.

4. I think conservative, illiberal societies need their people to fall into neat catgories so as to conserve the status quo; so that they can be labelled and put in a familiar social box. Any ambiguity or deviation from the norm leads to discomfort, suspicion, disapproval and ultimately a newly conjured negative label. And presto, you've got a new category. Easy.

And Raindrop, Jagshemash. I completely agree with you. Are these losers and what they think important? No. Indifferent contempt, methinks, is about the most that they deserve. But I suspect, as a man, I can do that a lot more easily. Now please blog:)

Indianoguy said...

And pray, do explain this statement:
Unfortunately, "we are like that only" (kinda sad to say)

Oh, I was taking a dig at my fellow Indian menfolk and trying to compensate their lack of guilt.

rebel said...

Seriously I just need one clarification -- what is this virginity crap? I mean, so basically as long as you stay a virgin till the conjugal night, you are pure and a bharatiya nari, but if you have sex before you marry, you are doomed? Well, I just do not understand..

And why should a guy who sleeps ard be called a stud and a woman who sleeps ard be called a slut? Well, I wanna be called a stud too!

LiFeBoAt said...

what is going on here?if u want to have bfs then fine nebody is holding ur neck and sayin u must not and that is against our culture. but there is a way to behave na? jus becos we let u have bfs , u don’t start behaving indecently. What will ppl think, will they respect u? even americans have a sense of modest and decency. Jus becos ur parents r liberal that does not mean that u go and remove clothes and smoke on 100 cigs. u should maintain some class. everytime I come here ppl r blindly supporting u but nobody gives u advise on how to to do things with proper decency.first get good friends who give u good advise. then u can shrilly scream all u want.anyways this is my last time here.am not comin back.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ La Vida Loca: It's funny how one piece of seemingly innocuous clothing holds so much sway over a persons 'character'. It never fails to baffle me.

@ Renovatio: Lord, I wasn't being serious with the red bull crack! I was only having a little bit of fun at your expense. :P

And yay you, for liking strong women! Now all we need is for people like you to conduct mass chaddiwalla to sane men conversions. I'm serious! I'll sponsor if you'd like. Tee hee.

@ Raindrop: Unfortunately where I live has a substantial desi population, but as I said I still do my thing and I'm supremely indifferent (drunkeness and singing Toni Braxton songs abysmally out of tune [on the street] while being terrifically inebriated, included and much worse sluttery, oh much MUCH worse :D). But its annoying, like a persistent fly, than anything else. But yeah I totally agree with you.

Now will you please get back to blogging?

And I've set a personal record. I just used brackets within brackets. Yay me.

@ Rj: Hello! I think your guy friend has some alarmingly innate hate and insecurity issues. Tsk.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Nevermind: Excellent comment! Now I don’t disagree with you at all, I actually agree with you wholeheartedly, but I just wanted to expand (sort of) on a few points. :)

1. What's the male of a 'slut'? Obviously not a 'stud', because the social-linguistic connotations are diametrically opposite. The fact that there is no clear male equivalent itself is a clear marker of how chauvinistic everyday linguistics is.

As long as societies continue to buy into hackneyed essentialistic socio-biological humdrum like men are innately aggressive and women are sexually inactive or close to inactive, then our linguistics will only reflect that assumption.

2. There IS a very approximate (Indian) male equivalent of a slut; which perversely refers to a man who is sensibly sexually liberated, but does not conform to the stereotype of someone who is 'liberated' solely for purposes of sex without responsibilities. That is, someone who is NOT a 'shock and awe' inspiring 'scoring' 'stud'. Such men inhabit a strange nether region that is viewed with discomfort.....

Oh yes. I guess this ties into an insidious racist reflex which such people have, which allows a man to sleep with a non-Indian (because non-Indians are all randis and harlots by this strain of thought) without wanting to, say, have a relationship with her. But any mention of a man being interested in or wanting to pursue something further with her will result in vehement disapproval. Now this escalates if the person in question is Black. Then all hell breaks loose and the racist reflex clicks into place and becomes all the more ugly and repugnant in its prominence, irrespective of whether the person is just interested in the sex or more. I totally agree with you.

4. I think conservative, illiberal societies need their people to fall into neat catgories so as to conserve the status quo......

I will go out on a limb and say that this compartmentalization is not exclusive of conservative societies alone. It is however, more deep-rooted and done more significantly in illiberal societies, I agree. But seemingly liberal societies do categorize as well. One look at the prevalence of the slut/stud double standard in the yoo yess will tell you. Of course, the window of allowance for ‘slut’ like behavior may be much larger, but the tag is still there.

@ Indianoguy: Ah, thanks for the clarification. :D

@ Rebel: Refer to nevermind's comment, and my reply to his comment. I also think I've touched upon your questions in the post.

And I have to say that I do understand your frustration, heh.

@ Lifeboat: Oh, fuck off.

Renovatio said...

Dude, lifeboat, 'just becos we let u have bfs'?!? What is up your ass man, hell if you want to squat on the roadsides smoking bidis be my guest, but have the freaking stones to provide a link to your own over-conservative blog so we get to comment on how 'correct' your life is. Grow up pal!

And her prod-iness, I was thinking of going down the Mozart route, perhaps a 'Herr Prod-iness' from hereon, you know, the way Austrians refer to each other, it strikes more true as a title this way.

I do try, most men can't take a woman that knows how to set them in their place unfortunately, and as far as sponsoring goes, will you be sponsoring us with (liquefied fox's candy) red bull? :D

The Bride said...

@the punkster...Um is lifeboat a real person? Or is he (i assume he) someone invented for the sole purpose of stirring up the discussion? If it's the latter - in some kind of post-modern avatar-way it could be considered cool. If these are the real opinions of a real person, tis very funny.

~FLIRT~~~ said...

@ Lifeboat.... HA HA HA HA.. sema kovama irukinga pola...
@megha ..adipaavi ..now i regret bein a flirt once.

Drunken Master said...

Looks like the Lifeboat sank...

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Renovatio: I wonder if lifeboat has a blog, it'll be fun to pick apart. But thats the reality on this blog, lifeboat type critters abound here (most of which I filter out, woo moderation). I am a woman and an outspoken one at that, so I guess these lifeboat types cant stomach that. Oh well.

And sponsor you with liquefied fox candy? The energy drink purist in me balks at this idea, but you're doing the conversions so I guess its your call. *grudgingly concedes* :P

@ The Bride: Unfortunately I think he is. He is a slightly more coherent troll (shocking I know) than what Ive seen before on this blog. So you can imagine, the type of people that have trolled here. :)

@ Drunken: Ha ha, another chaddiwalla bites the dust.

scarface said...

someone above pointed out..a guy who sleeps around is a stud and a female who sleeps around is a slut...i wud like to go by this definition...so slut is just a female version of a stud..u shud wear that on ur collar instead of complaining!!

Nithya said...

Hi there, thanks for your zestful commenting on my not-so-eventful blog. As you can see, you are in the minority (I am not prolific AND don't have many blogger buddies which is instant death in the blogosphere). Want to make friendship? heehee. Sorry, couldn't resist.

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Nithya: Ha ha you don't have to thank me, I like what you post and thats why I comment on your blog!

And shouldn't it be "wan 2 mak friaendship wid me?"

lol, I couldn't resist that either.

BottingNet said...

WOW! My first time here and I ended up reading pages from Archive. I must give full credits to you for the way you write and the issues you bring up...Keep it up and who knows you might be changing some random guy in being more sensitive to women issues. You're on my list of recommended sites.

Szerelem said...

The slut label also ties in with the Madonna/whore dichotomy which is a masterstroke of patriarchal genius, I have to add.
I SO agree.

I think the worst is the need to slot people in either-or categories. Ok honestly I don't open up very easily with people and stick to a close group of friends, so a lot of people don't really know me. But if some random acquaitance sees me drinking or smoking it's always the shocked "I didn't know you drank/smoked" line.

oh and basically it often comes down to this "you are a behenji" or "you are a slut" crap.

Renovatio said...

You're not paying attention prod-dy, I said I detest the stuff myself... Hell the only time I've been near stoned in my life was when I took a paracetamol and went to hookah, and had a red bull there. The freaking curtains had me so infatuated I have no less than twelve pictures of them in my phone.

Though I must admit. I wouldn't be a good convert-er at the moment, I'm in one of those 'I hate all the women I've ever loved and will love too' moods.

Rohini said...

Oooh. Are memberships still open? Can I join? Please?! ;)

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Bottingnet: Thank you!

@ Szerelem: I know! Its always a bunch of extremes. As women, we are not allowed to populate the middle ground. The categories we are slotted into are almost always at different poles. So until this form of blinkered categorization persists, I'm firmly established in slut territory. :)

@ Renovatio: lol! But curtains can have their own ethereal qualities, I guess. :P

@ Rohini: Oh of course! *Hands Rohini a rhinestone encrusted badge*

raindrop said...

People, stop giving lifeboat a hard time. I agree with him wholeheartedly. We need to get back to our roots, to Indian culture.

To start with, let's abandon colonial Western prudery and get back to the glorious days of the Kamasutra and Khajuraho. That needs to be brought back into mainstream Indian culture.

Like the Shiv Sena, I disapprove of Valentines day. Too much pink for my taste. I'm going to write to them to ask them to support Kamasutra day. Balls Thackerey would totally lap that up. As would you, lifeboat.

Yeah, um, my blog. It's more fun reading all of your blogs, I'll tell you that!

Kamasutra Day! Let's DO it!!

Mint Chutney said...

Nice post Megha.

My cousin was considered "easy" because she developed at a younger age than most of her friends and neighbors.

When I lived in India I was a "slut" because I wore jeans and was friends with a boy who had a motorcycle. The girls at the hostel would give me the evil eye when he would drop by so we could exchange music. Can I have a card too?

the wannabe indian punkster said...

@ Mint: Thank you minty! And here you go, *hands another rhinestone encrusted membership card to minty*

anonymouse said...

Ok, another take on this:

When NO genetic/biological relationship is involved
A whore is someone who does things for money (or equivalent).
A slut is someone who does things for free.

Note that this is gender and task agnostic. The whores hate competition from the sluts (you can't compete with free in a free market). Hence, the term slut has become an insult (damn good branding by the whores).

On the other hand, the guy who successfully impregnates many women has a greater chance of being a genetic success. Hence the guys who are sluts tend to achieve a higher social ranking than women (fewer kids who reproduce).

LiFeBoAt said...

I did not want to comment here again but ur frends forced me.
raindrop saab, what u say mebbe true for ppl who lived 5000 years before. but just like man came from monkeys, ppl improved in lifestyle. just because ppl were reading kamasutra in school some 1000 janams before does it mean its right? so using ur logic, not mine, if man came from monkeys should he go back and jump on tree and eat fruits.is tht good and better?same way our culture is not bad or backward. it has also improved like man who evolved from monkeys.when it is bio u will accpet and say it is good. but when it is our history and culture u will say it is bad.culture is there to make sure ppl act properly. not fer anybody to go mad and crazy.why dont u understand this simple thing.it is for keeping decorum and order.but none of you saw this or relised ths. anyway pls dont make me come back and answer na.I have no time for silly posts like this.

Rohini said...

I think it's my turn to return the prod...

Vivek said...

here in india, premarital sex is a grave offense. but the author has a point. a woman who enjoys sex is labelled as a slut even though she may be doing it with one guy !

there is probably another term for this - nymphomaniac...

expressing ones sexuality or sensuality without crossing the borderlines of society (what the heck some people even cross it) should be a normal thing to do.

wish our chaps learnt to mind their own business. no one cares how many women a man sleeps with. what do you call him? SULT ;)