Archive for April, 2008

April 27, 2008

Interesting things to do with hair

I really like what the woman in this ad (the pilot) has done with her hair. The PL, tragically, disagrees. Still, I’d quite like to do it myself. But what exactly is it? It’s up, so a bun of some sort…and plaits are involved. I am confused. Instruct me.

April 25, 2008

Americans, Zebras and What I Learned From Sweet Valley High

I was going to write a flippant (hopefully funny) post about the IPL’s imported cheerleaders, and about cheerleading in general. But I’ve read far too many Funny Posts (and articles) about them now, and pretty much everyone who wrote one has come off sounding like an asshat.

U. Roy illustrates this in a Hindustan Times column about how cheerleaders should expect lewd remarks from crowds because of what they do (of course, he’s not “going down that dodgy route of ‘If you wear a mini-skirt in a dark alley expect the worst’ logic. He’s said he isn’t, so obviously he isn’t), how if the lewd remarks were in English the cheerleaders would feel complimented, and how amazing it is that a woman from Uzbekistan has actually been able to communicate her discomfort with said remarks.


As a youngling, one of my first moments-of-great-realization was had while reading Sweet Valley High # 70, Ms. Quarterback. In which Claire, who aspires to be on the football team, offers her opinion of cheerleading (unasked) to a cheerleader.

The disdain on Claire’s face was obvious. “Don’t you think being a cheerleader
is just a little bit sexist?” she blurted out. “After all, it’s just a bunch of
girls prancing around in cute little costumes….I think you’d do yourselves and
everyone else a lot more good if you played a sport instead of jumping around
and screaming.”

As awful as it is to base ones politics on bad teenage literature, this actually brought a lot of things together for me. I’ve always been a sports fan, and while this has meant occasionally being patronized by males who kindly attempted to educate me about sports (since I couldn’t possibly be as informed as them), it’s also meant that I’ve been taken more seriously for being interested in Important, Serious things. You know, sweaty men chasing a ball. Not frivolous things. Why does Claire wish the cheerleaders to play sports? Is it because sports will give them a better workout and be good for their health? I doubt this. My cultural references for what cheerleaders do are limited, but I’ve always had the impression fitness and decent gymnastic skills were a part of it. No, sports is serious business because it’s associated with boys. Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about this, and it’s why Project:Objectify exists. Men’s sports need to be taken less seriously and knocked off that pedestal, and I say this as someone who cries at great moments in sport.

(It amuses me that men’s sports tend to have far more frivolous, spectator-friendly add ons than women’s sports, simply because there are more spectators. Women’s sport is thus closer to pure sport than men’s.)

But. Cheerleaders are basically supposed to up the enthusiasm of the crowd, yes? Why on earth do we need them then? This is India and cricket – our problem isn’t a lack of crowd interest, it’s an excess of it. If any sport needed cheerleaders it was our national football league. A couple of years ago they obtained a troupe of Shiamak Davar trained cheerleaders called the ZeBras. Sadly, even the addition of scantily clad women couldn’t raise interest in the league, and the ZeBras don’t even merit a mention in the numerous articles about this new! American! feature in Indian sports.

And as a connoisseur of all that is Shiny in sport, and a caster of stern glances upon the patriarchy, all I can really do is demand glittery-thonged male cheerleaders for women’s cricket. It’s the least we can do.

(People who watch televised US sports, answer this because I don’t know – when cheerleaders are televised are there usually this many up-skirt/crotch shots? They’re all I seem to be seeing on a lot of the sports and news channels.)

April 24, 2008

Some words

I’ve been vegetating since I came home. I have a couple of posts lined up (one of them Sporadic Blogger keeps nagging me about) but am nowhere close to actually writing them.

So until I can return to SRS BLOGGER mode, here are some pictures from Calcutta. As is probably obvious, I like taking pictures of things with words on them. I miss Calcutta. It never failed to entertain.

April 17, 2008

On what sorts of voices get heard (Some links)

First, BFP’s wonderful, elegant response to last week’s eruption in Feminist blogtopia (that post, by Holly, is also excellent. The comments thread is a disaster, though a very educational disaster.)

Also, this week, Renegade Evolution was invited to speak at a forum on sex work and feminism. Now it seems she may be uninvited because another panelist isn’t comfortable with her presence. Of course it makes perfect sense to exclude sex workers from a conversation about sex work. What would they know about it anyway?

April 9, 2008

I cannot title this without resorting to bad punnage

In beauty parlours/salons across the country, one can obtain things called Gold and Pearl facials. With the Gold Facial, the stuff put on your face apparently contains tiny particles of gold. The Pearl Facial, of course, has tiny bits of pearl. I’ve never been able to understand this, myself. I cannot see what possible difference bits of gold could make to your complexion. But anyway.

Via Ryan (who is excellent), pretty much the ultimate in useless (and tasteless) consumer products. The Gold Pill. A capsule dipped in gold and filled with gold leaf. Why? It increases your self worth and…makes your crap all sparkly.

(The P.L suggests that this be made a mandatory part of dogs’ diets. He feels that this measure would lead to Malabar hill becoming a clean and generally paradisal place. I suspect shocking regionalism lies behind this comment.)

On a related note (sparkly poo, not regionalism) I found this video on the site some months ago. A greater body of sparkly poo related work needs to be developed. I’m holding out for pink, myself.