Women’s day, superwomen and some subversive linkage

When the Indian edition of Good Housekeeping came out it was promoted on TV with an ad featuring an attractive young urban mother who had no difficulty in balancing working from home, spending quality time with her child, doing domestic duties (shopping, cooking, etc) and still being pretty and put together and so on.

And I remember an awful episode of The Big Fight (the one with Dia Mirza and Rakhi Sawant on it?) when the editor of one of the big women’s magazines said happily that today’s woman wanted the face of Aishwarya Rai, the heart of Mother Teresa and the brains of (I forget who, but I think it was) Indira Nooyi. And apart from the obvious eyerolliness at the cliché, I was thinking wait, what? This is supposed to be a good thing?

And when I see how the media celebrates International Women’s Day (which is today, by the way ) it seems that a lot of the time that is the image of women that we’re supposed to be celebrating. So there’ll be the occasional news story about a woman in rural India who has done something special, and perhaps an interview with an elderly woman who has had an interesting life, and the rest of it is all directed at that attractive young multitasker who is superwoman. Isheeta tells be she has seen coupons for free facials being given out to celebrate this day. And I’m thinking maybe setting even higher and more impossible standards for women is not a great way to ‘celebrate’ them. I’d far rather people read Octo’s excellent Strategic Incompetence post and worked at not doing everything perfectly for once.

Also, I’ve been meaning to link to The Seam of Skin and Scales for a while now and this seems as good a time as any. I suspect the people who made the billboard above would disapprove quite strongly.

Or you could read the Blank noise project blog, where something useful is usually done on women’s day.

I myself celebrated the day by buying books with friends. This too is a good course to follow.

2 Comments to “Women’s day, superwomen and some subversive linkage”

  1. I did not know it was women’s day, and I spent it flying back home,and dozing on the way.

    Anyway, we need to celebrate real women, not those media-generated superwomen!

    http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com

  2. “…when the editor of one of the big women’s magazines said happily that today’s woman wanted the face of Aishwarya Rai, the heart of Mother Teresa and the brains of (I forget who, but I think it was) Indira Nooyi.”

    Don’t forget that this above cliched image of a modern, Indian woman is suspiciously similar to cliched male fantasy.

    “…an attractive young urban mother who had no difficulty in balancing working from home, spending quality time with her child, doing domestic duties (shopping, cooking, etc) and still being pretty and put together and so on…”

    My husband is the working-from-home individual in our home (while I work full-time outside of home) and I can tell you that neither he nor I can pull off such a super(wo)man image. Our living room is a mess 5 minutes after we clean up, our laundry unfolded and in a heap, the kids’ paints find their way onto our new couch, our dinner sometimes is the tastiest peanut butter sandwich you ever had, “pretty” may only be a relative word in our home–yet we are content and happy with the way we live. You know why? — voracious readers though we are, we never, ever bring in a copy of Good Housekeeping into our home.

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