First of all I apologise for my diatribe last time - I was having a bad day. To answer Aunty B's intelligent questions:
no, Indian women are not seen in public very much. about 80% of the passing traffic is male. Women are very seldom seen without a male companion.
yes, saris do have a saucy bit of tummy showing, but they don't show ankle, and really the only glimpse you get is of the side (not the tummy). There's no touching in public, no nudity (Indian women bathe in their saris), no kissing allowed on TV or in movies...
Maybe there is an inbuilt need to repress someone - it's often said that in India, the lowest caste of all is woman.
International Womens Day eh? Love Aunty B's list of top chicks and terribly flattered to find self in company of Helen Razer - I love Helen and wish she'd come back to public life. To the list I'd add Joan Kirner and Moira Rayner and Ann Summers. International Women's day in India was marked by the President exhalting women to raise themselves up and inaugurating the Foundation for the Preservation of the Girl Child. The parliament passed legislation banning sex determination of foetuses through ultrasound (too many parents aborting baby girls). And the Chennai police raided and closed down a performance of The Vagina Monologues on the grounds of public obscenity. Sigh.
I've been perusing the Indian women's mags as well. The best of the bunch is Femina - a weird mix of you-go-girl and family life. This month's edition includes articles on:
- Managing your investments (in which I found out that women here still need a man to guarantee a bank loan - either your father or your husband);
- Foreplay (that is, 8 different ways to give a foot massage, nothing more risque than that);
- 10 ways to stay beautiful in winter (interestingly, not one commercial product gets a plug, the tips are all things like "rub yourself with almond oil", "make a face mask from cumin, heem and apples", or "oil your hair with coconut oil")
- Profile of the woman CEO of ICICI Bank (their slogan is "we have more customers than Australia has people");
- Raising happy kids; and
- "We don't want to have kids" - the new phenomenon of the childless couple
long post.... time to stop