On sports and the gender divide

March 8th, 2010

Yesterday, a couple of unrelated activities brought out the difference between men and women in the world of sports, even today.

In the morning, I turned on the television to see if could catch the highlights of India’s defeat to England in the Hockey World Cup. (As an aside, I wish that India would not spend all it’s efforts to beat only Pakistan – there are other countries in the arena.) After the highlights were over, I idly flipped to the Australian LPGA ANZ Ladies Masters golf tournament.

Over the course of the tournament, which was incidentally won by Karrie Webb, I found that there were a few differences between the women’s game and the one infamously made unpopular again by Tiger Woods. The most obvious difference is that the course is shorter for the women than the men – expected, I suppose, considering that women are apparently unable to hit a golf ball as far as a man (I reserve judgement on this).

The second obvious difference is the clothing.

Here is Tiger Woods on one of his better days:

Tiger Woods in Swing

And here is one of the new golfer’s on the women’s circuit, Maria Verchenova, a top 10 finisher in the European Tour LPGA championship in Wales:

Maria Verchenova

Do I really need to say more?

And the third point that struck me was the commentary.

Here’s so and so on the 13th tee. She’s 7 under for the day and is sure of making the cut. And she’s wearing such a cute top and it matches so well with her earrings.

I’ve never ever seen a man dress sexy on the golf course and I’ve never never ever heard the commentators discuss his clothing before his tee shot.

But, moving on… in the evening I was invited by friends to join them at a karting zone near my house.

I like karting and it’s fun. Of course, yesterday was a Sunday and everyone and their uncle and their uncle’s three-year old kiddies were at the track, but that’s not what I wanted to point out. I don’t know if it was sheer coincidence, or whether it was something more common, but all the women who went out on track yesterday were almost always the slowest. Most of them were overtaken at least once by other drivers on track during the course of their six laps.

The men on the other hand were raring at the bit. One driver was so intent on being faster than anyone else on track, that he literally shoved another driver off track with his kart while squeezing in a non-existent gap.

Personally, I like the slower women to the over-rash men, but I prefer the fast-but-steady men to the blocking-up-the-track-slow women. Is that a gender bias or is that just common sense?

Is it wrong for women to dress sexy and talk about accessories as long as they play the game well?

What do you think? Considering today is International Women’s Day, I thought it may be an appropriate question.

Categories: gender, personal, sports, television | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments

Jimmy Carter talks about how religion subjugates women

July 17th, 2009

Recently on the Guardian, former American President Jimmy Carter has written an article “The words of God do not justify cruelty to women.” He talks about why he left his church, the Southern Baptist, because the leaders ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands.

He goes on to say: It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and out-dated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

Way to go Jimmy!

Jimmy Carter is now a part of the community of Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Categories: personal, politics, religion | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments

Women and a whole lot of Vaginas

April 9th, 2008

Last Friday, the Times of India, Bangalore brought down from Bombay, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal’s production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. For those who don’t know, The Vagina Monologues is an Obie Award-winning episodic play written by Eve Ensler which ran at the off-Broadway Westside Theatre after a limited run at HERE Arts Center in 1996. It is made up of a varying number of monologues read by a varying number of women. These monologues were written by Ensler after interviewing more than 200 women worldwide. Each year she adds a new monologue to the collection.

If you haven’t seen a production, I recommend you do or at least read the script if you can get hold of it. If you’re in India, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal’s is the best (and best-known) rendition with over 75 shows around the country so far.

Of course, in Times Of India’s inimitable style, we were only told that there would be a showing of the play on Wednesday, with no mention of who was performing it! Even at the show, there were no brochures or handouts – highly cheap considering the pots of money that they make.

Still the performance was worth the ToI bullsh*t. While Dolly Thakore seems to be getting a little past her prime, the other three actors were really really good. While the monologues ranged from stories of rape and genital mutilation to body image and sexuality, what I liked best was the fact that these women were being completely unapologetic about their needs and wants and desires. It was an extremely positive way of looking at women and their vaginas, rather than the usual “why bother about what women want” kind of attitude that tends to prevail in India.

Watching the play made me think of an oddity in the human condition. Women have the only organ solely existing for pleasure – the clitoris. In fact, the clitoris has 8000 nerve fibres, more than double the number in the penis. So women can have better (more powerful) orgasms than men. They also can have vaginal orgasms (and vaginal+clitoral orgasms). Some women have been known to have orgasms just by clenching their vaginal muscles!! And of course, there is the multiple-orgasm.

Us poor men have nothing compared to this. And still we want sex more. We want it so much more that we are willing to rape, to molest, to coerce, to visit prostitutes, to watch porn and masturbate – anything to have an orgasm. And it isn’t even nearly as great as what women can have.

And yet, 19% of women have never experienced orgasm.

I bet that men are just trying to have that elusive five-minute-long mind-blowing-vaginal-clitoral-multiple orgasm. They are desperate cause they know it’ll never happen.

And women? Well, hell – at least masturbate!! You’re wasting something incredible. Don’t let us men take it away from you. Follow the example of the woman who became a prostitute to women just to hear them moan.

Moan and come. It’s apparently one of the most satisfying things out there.

And we will bemoan our lack of vaginas.

Categories: theatre | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments