Monday, March 20, 2006

Us Versus Them

I have spent the last month reading a whole many number of Blogs. I knew that they existed, but never knew how big they were. Especially the women bloggers is a huge mass. And as a disclaimer I must state that, I am not The Hawk. I don’t subscribe to his/her brand of hate.

I created a handle only because I thought that amidst this, will-pander-to-your-ego commenters a reality-check (no matter how feeble a voice) was in order.

Yes I am doing so anonymously, because most of these Bloggers are anonymous (though little nuggets are always revealed) themselves. Some do Blog under their real names too, which makes them just as attractive I suppose (they are more real and eventually men like them better)

Now I don’t “resent” the women for anything. [I have a reasonable sort of life. I did go to reasonably good colleges and work in a decent firm. I am not apologetic of my middle class roots and I do hold onto them and the associated values.] I think they can write well, they do have a sense of humor and they can sound intelligent. Some of them also sound silly and girlie, but those types don’t bother me. I mean they are having fun with a natural born advantage, so why not?

The types that bother me are the ones with a naturally superior air about them. You know, the ones who studied in elitist colleges (which double up as finishing schools) and were born with the proverbial silver spoon – the Old Money sorts. It is not the money that is the problem – it is the associated values (or the lack of them) that it begins them to have. The arrogance, which is a natural fall-out of it. You can see that in the tone of everything they write, the way they react to unsavory comments and the way they socialize with the people who leave them comments. And most importantly it is the way they interact with their male readers.

Let me illustrate this to you. I have picked up four women Bloggers (even if that makes me Hawk like) with differing degrees of popularity and obviously different attitudes and explain what I mean:

1. The Compulsive Confessor
A self absorbed Blogger. A carefully constructed shallow persona, with an occasional peak into a vulnerable side. She is intelligent, and the way that she shows of how clever she is is to play that down completely. Any man who reads her Blog will probably think that she is easy game (I have often thought that), and she is a regular material-girl.

Now her elitism as it were is under-played. Which is why she is so popular. And while one might not really care much for her voyeuristic peep into my life (which from what I know is a figment of healthy imagination), she is by and large harmless.

2. Ideasmith
A girl with many Blogs and most are similar in terms of their content. But her Blog and time, so whom am I to say anything. What makes her an interesting subject is her tone. Not cloying sweet, not irritatingly superior. However this tone neutrality never makes her in contention for the eM like popularity. It also doesn’t make her as pseud like the other two women I shall talk about.
However she takes the cake when it comes to being self-absorbed. I mean, who else will put up as many Blogs in public space. And hers is a carefully cultivated girl-next-door image. No elitism here, and while I find her naïve and silly, but she is probably the kind of girl that men must marry.

3. Neha Vishwanathan
Now this one is a far more intelligent blogger than an eM and therefore far less popular. But if you must know what arrogance is – read her. So she went to good colleges, lives in a first-world country, is from Southern India (as are many others as well) and all the other seeming symbols of pedigree in her favour. But her writing has a very, us versus them flavour to it. She in many ways represents the new breed of women in India – who by virtue of their “natural advantage” combined with an equal opportunity world don’t have the right perspective on femininity.

4. Primalsoup
A bit similar to Neha, but far less visible is Primalsoup. An average popular Blog (with a large loyal readership though, given that she does get as many comments as any well read Blog) this one is as elitist as they come. And she loves playing that part, over and over again. Co-incidentally another South Indian with North Indian roots (a similar pattern) she has had an obviously privileged upbringing. All the readers of this Blog also have an air of condescending tone about them (is it a coincidence that this Blogger attracts a large number of woman readers) And the occasional reader who reaches this Blog by mistake is made to feel like an idiot.

It is interesting to note how the first two and the latter two women react to their readers. eM will at least ignore you, if not be nice. Ideasmith will always be nice. Neha will be nice selectively and nasty otherwise. Primalsoup will be especially nasty if you are a male reader.

I am sure there will be a lot of arguments that would be along the lines of:
a) It’s a free world (ditto)
b) I am just being “jealous” of their “popularity” (mind you besides eM, none of these women are that popular)
c) I shouldn’t read their Blogs if I don’t like it (I don’t see why, I can read and let them know what I think of it)

My point is, why should I as a reader have to listen to the superior sotto voices of girls who went to pseudo places like JNU, DU, TISS, Xavier’s, whatever and think that is a big deal. It is a sad reflection on the state of the nation and the way these women represent a generation of ‘wasted women’.


Blogger neha vish said...

Uhm.. Err... Not that I mean to be arrogant or use my (uh) pedigree to any advantage - but please at least get the spelling of my name right! :)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Pesky but honest said...

As long as you know that is you, it should suffice. Besides South Indian names are complex.

10:01 AM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

This post amused me and annoyed me in turns. I just had to stop to say I didn't go to any of those top-notch places. I don't know if that is being nice...I think of it as being factually correct. You are entitled to your opinion of course.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Bad Hair Day said...

What is even remotely elitist like about DU. If anything, it is one big melting point that takes in everybody. I am not even sure you understand what you say?

12:20 AM  
Blogger nevermind said...

hello there, my little grammatically and sexually challenged cowbelt hero! where are you from? jhumritalaiya:-)? (due apologies to the good citizens of J, no offence meant, truly)

pomposity, to paraphrase an old saw, is the last refuge of the mediocre. and boyo, are you the real article, hey? not full of it, wallowing and preening in it is more like it. you are a riot dude, like the best of them. you've got real talent there, kiddo. fame beckons, bunty boy!

apart from doing a grammar check next time you leave a comment, i have a few humble (truly, since i am in the presence of such insightful erudition) suggestions-

that chick from the liberal arts course who dumped you, she wasn't worth it. so get a life and get some sex. trust me, it'll make you feel a bit more potent (since that appears to be a significant problem) and a little less insecure when faced with intelligent, attractive women.

secondly, those values you mentioned, ahem....well, that may be an obstacle to the above soultion, right? so get your parivar-types (i believe that's what they call it in the cowbelt. forgive me if i'm wrong. ignorant old southern indian elitist me!)to find you a nice obedient female geek, whom you can then proceed to introduce into the intricacies of the missionary position (when she's not cooking for you, that is).

since other solutions require some imagination from your part, they're not practical.

and one last hint; i treat people like you for a living, so it may be worthwhile. next time you feel some castration anxiety, try not to scream about it from the rooftops, hey. turns people off, really. good luck, bunty, or is it jhumri?


10:58 AM  
Blogger Primalsoup said...

Baby, why no updates?

5:41 AM  
Blogger Pesky but honest said...

Ideasmith - thanks for the clarification.

Primalsoup - baby is some kind of elitist metaphor?

8:47 AM  
Blogger nevermind said...

hey jhumri-boy, good to see your tail's up and that your grammar is intact.

since you haven't had the privilege of an elitist education, lets undertake to provide you some-

that comment should read- is baby some kind of elitist metaphor? not eissssss, is.

12:17 PM  
Blogger that girl in pink said...

"It is a sad reflection on the state of the nation and the way these women represent a generation of ‘wasted women’."

Are you serious with this judgement of yours? How are these women wasted? Have you met them? Do you have any idea what they do? How can you make such a bizarre statement?

10:48 PM  
Blogger Deets said...

you seem to have something against well-educated women who can think for themselves. jealous? or plain insecure?

1:05 AM  

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