Sunday, May 06, 2007

"married women should not do orkut"

That's a quote. That was left on my Orkut profile by this person. (Sorry, you'll need an account to check him out.)

What could I say? I pointed out that people who wished to stay anonymous really have no place in a networking site. I know a whole bunch of people who use pseudonyms, but they usually identify themselves with a pic, at least in their albums. A networking site is for keeping in touch with your friends, or so I always believed. Maybe make new ones. But I suppose a whole bunch of clowns out there sincerely believe it's a place to find women willing to participate in cybersex. (You'll never convince me that they find women actually willing to sleep with them through such loser profiles.)

But seriously, what kind of person believes he has the right to tell me -- ME! -- what I should and should not be doing? He does not know me, will probably never be lucky enough to do so, and yet he appears out of the blue to tell me what my marriage vows do and do not allow me to do. Excuse me, I do have a husband, and he is perfectly capable of telling me what he does and does not wish me do.

I do object, very strongly, to moral policing. I believe myself to be a competent adult, able to take care of myself and my family and all our morals too. If I fail, I do not need you to point it out, because my parents actually taught me to recognise failure in myself. And they actually went one better than this Orkut chap's parents, I'd say, because they also taught me the humility to acknowledge that my way does not have to be everybody else's way too.

But then I read this article, courtesy Megha. I'm not playing devil's advocate here, nor am I upholding the police harassment these couples faced. I've had my share of similar trouble, as V would testify. (Once, seeing him kiss me goodbye in a taxi, a couple of concerned citizens felt impelled to yell at us that we were in Bengal, not Goa. My old geography teacher would be sorry to hear I'd got the two places mixed up, I think.)

Anyway, my point is this -- mostly a park is for very mixed company. Children come there, as do the elderly. Why then are most of the green spaces I know notorious as makeout points? I know very few courting couples have any privacy at home. I accept that sometimes you need to show some physical affection. But must they cross the line? Speaking as a mother, I really don't need you to educate my child about sex. Really. Hugging your boyfriend and fondling his privates are very different things. The one can be done just about anywhere, but I will object every time you do the other in front of my family or me.

And I also think my elders have earned the right to be able to spend a few quiet moments without having your hormonal urges thrust in their faces.

My point is very simple. Parks are for the public at large. There is nothing wrong in giving your girl a kiss or a hug. But making out in them is just pathetic. And so long as you continue to do so, you keep giving the moral police grounds to continue their harassment of innocent bystanders. That is not brave, simply stupid.


WishfulThinker said...

Ah yes, there is a very fine line between a quick harmless kiss that you desperately hope no one saw and performing an on-the-spot oral tonsillectomy on your partner. You ever been to the beach here at night? You can traverse the entire gamut of PDA. In fact there is even an unofficially designated area for courting couples! :D And no, I am not speaking from personal experience just in case you are wondering! :)

Rohini said...

Yes there is definitely a line one must not cross but decides that is? There are people who believe that even a couple holding hands in public is disrespectful to society at large...

Sue said...

Wishful -- Actually, I have been to both Marina and Elliot at night, so I know precisely what you are talking about!

Rohini -- Therein lies the problem. But a lot of folks making out in public know they are making people uncomfortable. They justify their behaviour by saying that they are standing up for their fundamental rights. What about their duties?

KingSlayer said...

I believe the problem is as much in the restrictive and ultra-conservative outlook (also inherent in your post) as with the "duties" of the offending couples. Who draws the line, as rohini says. In this case, it seems like the police were at least civil about the whole business. More often than not, they arent.

As it is, couples in India do not usually have places where they can cozy up, leading to the frustration which allows them to get too adventurous in public, or in semi-privacy. Now, besides the politically motivated moral police, they also have to contend with other "families" and so-called morally upright citizens, who would probably turn a blind eye to all the other crimes we witness on a daily basis, but raise an uproar when they happen to spot a couple holding hands or smooching in the bushes. But is it really something which needs to be taken so seriously. Its highly unlikely that most of the couples are being completely open even when kids and elders are watching, that would only be a smaller percentage. But the reaction will punish the guilty as well as the innocent. I feel its an over-reaction which only leads to further increasing the importance of this issue, rather than focus on several other issues in this country.

The Mad Momma said...

Really? I got offers from a lesbian group that my husband begged me to take up... :D

and plenty of single men who felt that being married I must realise that sex and love are two different things (sic) and why not as a mature woman, i enjoy the pleasures of the body with them.

Orkut certainly gives me some laughs!!

And I am afraid I must echo rohini and the others. who draws the line?

Hiren Daftari said...

I just came to know about your post by the "Vijaya Times"10 may 2007, Wednesday edition.

I don't wanna put any comments here but I must say "Nice Work" and hats off to you.

I will start reading your entire blog by now.

Keep Blogging.

Hiren Daftari said...

Sorry I was not aware that you are in Calcutta while posting my comments and as you have not given your mail ID I am not able to send you the link.Tomorrow I will scan the article from the News Paper and will send you if you give me your mail id.

BTW paper name is Vijaya Times published here in Bangalore.

Good Night.
Well my mail ID is

Sue said...

Guys -- I understand I haven't been clear enough, so I'll do a follow-up post, ok. Then you can tell me what you think.