Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Race Issues != Gender Issues

Ladies and Gents, I've been wanting to post an opinion on this for a long time.

This is due to a slew of comments of the form "You're a person of color, so you understand white privilege and race issues well, but being a male you do not understand how you benefit from male privilege"

So lets start at the beginning. The gender issue and race issue are not completely synonymous, they have certain overlaps I agree, but to simply graft over points that I make on the race debate and say, "see it's just the same as gender" is lazy and incorrect.

Here are the differences:

Race is completely, unequivocally concocted and socially defined. Numerous efforts were there to "scientifically" prove that certain races were genetically inferior to other races, all of this evidence however is racially motivated, to keeping (what was at that time) the status quo of white superiority.

Any study during that time cannot be extricated from the social temperament extant. Secondly, in the US in particular, race has a very specific history. Blacks were herded like animals on ships for the sole purpose of forced labor. They weren't allowed to learn, read, write, or advance intellectually in anyway. This reality is entirely, 100% socially concocted. Whites and blacks have no reason to be together or interact other than societally motivated causes (ie. we brought you here on ships)

Men did not go to Oprah-land to bring women to serve as their laborers, to bolster the "male" economy. Men and women also have that little thing called "evolutionary impulse" that keeps us together. This trait, if it was really detrimental would not pass on from generation to generation, rather it would die out because it doesn't serve survivability & replication of the human race. In fact, exactly the opposite: men and women interacting is what DEFINES survivability of the human race.

Now, one might imagine a reality that men and women don't actually interact, rather live in separate societies and only engage in replication via in-vitro fertalization. If male privilege were really as absolute as females would like to think, why haven't we seen a push in this direction? Because our evolutionaray impulses exist as they did 1000's of years ago, where technology & economics couldn't support a separate male and female society. I believe these impulses are keeping us together.

The female separatist movement does exist, but I'm a bit unclear as to their end goal. are they suggesting a society of just women? or are they just lesbos that don't want to be around men?

Now, is there male privilege? Yes. of course there is, but there's female privilege as well. I could go through the laundry list of cases and categories, but I'll save that for another time. The biggest example of female privilege is in dating/relationship situations - seemingly trivial, but upon further inspection, a cornerstone for the very relationships that sustain our society.

If one supports the removal of male privilege, then one should support the removal of female privilege as well.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Indian Independent Cinema - checklist

I've caught a lot of Indian Independent Cinema of late, as almost everything else, there's a formula behind it all. Even chaos, rebellion and movement against the status quo has a formula behind it.

For an Indian indep (really, a non-Bollywood) film to be successful or even exist, it usually has one or
more of the following components:

1. One character must have a relationship with a non-Indian. Usually it's an Indian female hooking
up with a white male.

2. One character will invariably be gay.

3. One character must whack off (no matter how irrelevent to the story line it is)

(Icing on the top is jabs and criticism on the caste system, but this isn't always included)

Let's do a quick rundown.

Fire - points 2 & 3
Bend it like Bekham - points 1 & 2
Bride and Prejudice - points 1
Dharm - points 1 & caste system
Bavandar - points 3
East is East - points 1
Loins of Punjab - points 1

I'm open for any more additions to the mix.