The Brown Girl

Snippets from a Restroom Conversation.
She: So, whats cool for a greeting…….wassup, my macaca?
Me: I am a spic too…
She: Hmm..what does that make you then?
Me: *pretend thinking*….Spacaca??


As a corporate cog, I very rarely participate in intellectual discourses of any sort. Feminism and its segments are dreadfully uncared for in these corridors. Yet, in a sweet reversal of fortunes, all of our Assistant Managers are women and the upcoming promotions will simply add to that number and gender’s victory.
Day before the last was spent witnessing a rather embarrassing debate between two ethnocentric erudite swing monkeys who discussed and dissected the onset and growth of feminism in India. I was a mute spectator for most part- partially due to ennui and also because their respective accents were so dense, my mind was mereniguing between syllables and syllogisms for most part.
What about feminism?
Yes, that’s a brilliant question.
In India the definition would change just a tad because saving ducks and mollusks in favor of militant vegan feminism isn’t our immediate priority. Stressing on immediate. I like ducks. Way more than I like Anothony Bourdain and his egomaniacal ways. However, my order of prioritizing feminist issues might be slightly clichéd and questionable and insignificant for most significant brown feminists to consider. Then again, one generation’s discovery often serves as the next one’s cliché.
My ire is roused when my mother is often shot the “I pity your burden, you son-less woman” look in elite tea-drinking sessions. It doubles up when my washerwoman doesn’t show up for 2 weeks only to re-emerge with a head-scar the size of Grand Canyon, caused by her husband’s assault with a 2 feet iron rod because the dal wasn’t hot enough. It shots through the roof when an overgrown street urchin all of 6 or 7 years in actuality and in tattered clothing, is shot a lascivious glance by the tobacco spitting driver of a vomit-colored Maruti Zen.
And then they talk about white women and their contribution to the “movement”.
Yes, I too have read Sterling’s Myths of Gender and weltered about Alice Echol’s gumption to pen what was penned and yet I haven’t entirely found my personal Weltanschauung but I am trying. Though, I don’t make attempts to judge every woman’s credo as a feminist.
Academics irk me, they always have, they irked me so bad that on a frosty December evening, 19 year old me and my 2 year old tote bag with scraps of a rejected article on the demise of brown female linguists, walked out of the Journalism school vowing to never return to its stifling confines.
Bad mistake, I should have completed the course and added the degree to my scraps of rejected paper/s. It would have made the task of venting spleen a lot easier and profitable.
At a seminar in a women’s college, the orator gloated about brown feminism till someone prompted her to name a few. Women feminists, that is. Her face turned indigo. She couldn’t remember any. We decided to go easy, name some Asian or African feminists. Err. Yes, she suddenly morphed into a side character on Degrassi, hemming and hawing and her eloquent whine was soon littered with innumerable fillers and foghorns.
Air-conditioned debates about what is wrong and how patriarchy pisses you off are fantastic. How bout you switched off the air cons and stepped into the bylanes of Lower parel or Opera House to action some of your critiques. Amidst the prostitutes and the battered slum-wives. The other half lives like that. Nah, that’s just too darn scary. Those streets could eat you up and spit you out in less than 15 seconds. You wouldn’t dare venture.
If that’s your fear, then shut up about your wikipedied knowledge of feminism and its impact. Else, understand the country you live in and make those adjustments to your colonial-inspired feminist radar and realign your legions to the real requirements of the


~ by iconoplastic on October 15, 2006.

3 Responses to “The Brown Girl”

  1. Hi Schezi……
    You rant so eloquently and I have always envied that about you. I completely agree with the sudden sprouting of new age, radarless feminists. One encounters them so frequently, its bothersome and sometimes even scary.
    “shut up about your wikipedied knowledge of feminism” – that just encapsulates the whole bizzare phenomenon.

    Mail me
    … will ya??

  2. […] Sanchita rants against people who debate about feminism from the comforts of their air conditioners and tells them to go look into the lives of “the other half” or else to shut up. […]

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