Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stop being so butch!

I am sure, you have by now, aligned yourself to the realities of the Susan chronicles. If not, after you have read this post, do please stop by and read. (See below).

There is absolutely no reason why anyone, worth their salt in terms of wanting to break out and form their own social group, should study Sociology in India. You may want to know the reason why.

After spending a lifetime fighting the system and trying to set sail on her own, our protagonist, Susan, highly empowered by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and her well endowed Sociology teacher at college, she decided that if Dagny Taggart of Atlas Shrugged could do it, so could she. She broke all rules including the biggest one called family, and formed a single unit, all by herself, only to get lost in the maze of the family once again. When she went back to her teacher many years after, because she could not forget the impact her bosom made on her, and many of her friends lurking around in dark and dingy corridors, her teacher could not place her in her mind.

“But I was your favourite student, wasn’t I whom you pursued to do my Masters?” Susan interrogated feeling rather annoyed to have lost her place in her teacher’s mind.

“Oh of course,” her teacher quipped, ‘I have a favourite in every batch. Besides you went on to do your Masters in real life. That is real Sociology.’ Susan was dashed!

Imagine, dear reader, having come a long way, all Susan heard was a list of students who had married, had children and were one big family just like her teachers. Her teacher confessed she could not relate to the one Susan had been telling her about – the life of a single woman, singled out in society, living in a maze of other families, all going along as life should be, going with the flow! There was Sunita, getting married one day, and Krutika having a baby the next and Mala becoming a grandmother on yet another occasion, it was evident from the scene around her, that Susan had got it all wrong, in the first place. What made it worse is that the family of ‘singletons’ coming together to make one big family, all single, but not ‘paired and cohabitating’ in the real sense of the term, had also taken a nose dive somewhere and got all mixed up, in butch and femme talk and landed in the bed with dramatic consequences – Who is going to be the man? And if one was a ‘man’, was ‘he’ going to read the papers all day and not participate in household chores? The argument can go on and on, but in a nutshell, getting out of one accepted structure and evolving another often undergoes a ‘me too’ first, which is exactly where, Susan’s problem was. Clearly she had not got out of one, only to walk into the other, where the figures dominating the unit, were clearly butch and femme, with defined roles which sometimes went out of hand.

“Are you not supposed to be that docile doormat, lady in waiting? But you are showing me a side of yourself, you never displayed while we were courting? You are like a man!”

“I am not a man! You are the man, but you behave like a woman!”

Let us not go into the philosophical angle of such discussions. Suffice it to say that gender is fluid and what you might be and feel this moment, may not be the same the next. There is no argument on this. Did we not hear about this highly philosophical adage, change is the only reality and this too shall pass?

Susan is in a mess. The more she has tried to get out of the system, the more it has followed her. Breaking out has not been easy, but what is harder for her to accept is that the brand new ‘family’ she was planning to make, consisting of singles only, has eluded her so far and again and again, she is at crossroads, which one to negotiate is always a tough choice. Most often one that makes her bounce back to where she started from.


Needless to say, there is going to be much hullabaloo on the 24th in India’s capital New Delhi and many are going to walk the streets demanding, their place under the sun and rejoicing in it. Susan is contemplating joining them, but she is wary and wants to know, whether they have really broken the cast, really, or are they all going to scream and shout in broken voices like adolescent boys, the winter having caught their throats nicely.

There is a plus, in all this though, Susan has concluded. While the rest of Delhi is busy getting married, having children, grandchildren, and going with the flow, the Delhi Pride March may let out a big sneeze, and many of its traditional junta might catch the cold!

Even then, there is a disturbing voice nagging behind her.

“Don’t be so cock-sure and stop being so butch!”



Stop by to read: The Susan Chronicle I



  Video credit: Queer Ink
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