National radio. WTF?

31 07 2010

A man gets into bed and taps his wife on the shoulder incessantly, wanting sex. His wife says no, she has to see the gynecologist the next morning and would like to be fresh and clean for the appointment. The man turns over grumpily but a while later is back tapping her shoulder again.

But you’re not going for your dental checkup tomorrow morning are you? he says.

End of joke. Ha ha ha.

Anyone would imagine that I overheard this joke at the rugby club or walking past one of those groups of balding, middle aged men holding onto their black label and chuckling at some Colombo party. But I didn’t. I heard that joke on national radio.

This is not the first time or the most obnoxious thing I’ve heard on the radio either, by far. And it’s not a characteristic of any one station. I hear the same insensitive, ignorant, racist patronising bullshit every time I turn the radio on…morning, noon and night.

So as if it’s not hard enough dealing with the inane chatter and slapstick humor that seem to be all one gets these days on every station, now you may also tune in to your sexist joke of the day. It seems to be standard material on many local radio shows. If you’re lucky, you will also get to hear the dj doing really funny Indian voices with lots of loud shouting in exaggerated accents. Ha ha ha.

What the fuck?

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Can the newspapers take a stand on the homos, please?

29 07 2010

If we had ever thought the media in Sri Lanka was showing some signs – SOME – of turning around and being supportive of lgbt rights, today’s ‘Editorial’  in the Daily Mirror puts that to rest. Seriously. By sounding like the rant of a disappointed misogynistic male who has it in for not only the lesbians but also the women’s organisations.

In case the recent blitz of pride photos in the newspaper made you think otherwise, no, this is NOT the first time that lgbt organisations worked with the media. Many years ago, a regular FAQ column was run in a Sinhala tabloid which discussed issues of sexuality. Several years ago during pre-election times, national dailies ran advertisements that asked voters to think whether the chosen candidates stood up for rights of lgbt people and people living with HIV/AIDS. That was before newspapers stopped printing such paid advertisements for fear of ‘problems from above’. So yes, we have regressed. This is how it is – you take two steps, slide three back, but you keep walking forward.

Now, the problem for me is not so much newspapers refusing to publish anything on lgbt or sexuality rights issues. The problem is that they are inconsistent. What’s with putting out publicity articles on pride celebrations, pseudo-celebrity interviews, surprise comments by state representatives, and then writing an editorial like this?

Is it too much to ask that

1. an editorial actually reads like a piece of sound content written by the most senior journalist in the newspaper?

2. the newspaper takes a fucking stand on an issue?





Lesbian or straight, here are your permutations

26 07 2010

I sat down once and listed the different kinds of relationships I see around me and was surprised at the size of this list. My surprise is probably because we are brought up with blinkers on to look at the first and last models here (preferably leading from first to last with no digressions in between).

relationship with person one is in love with = generally the stuff that films are made out of and expected to lead to a monogamous long term relationship.

casual relationship = this is when someone tells you “oh we are seeing each other but we are not serious about it”.

casual sex with one person without emotional attachment = you meet this person only for sex – no hanging out – which makes it different from the above.

friends with benefits = primarily friends and not in a romantic relationship with each other, but sex and other ‘benefits’ can be thrown in, i.e. shoulder to cry on, etc.

open relationship with a set number of other partners = other than your primary partner, you have decided who to see and where and there are limitations on this.

open relationship without limitations on partners or encounters = the primary partner is the only constant.

relationship with person you love but not in love with = you may not be in love with this person but there is much deep affection and sexual chemistry.

more than one relationship without consent of all parties = aka ‘having an affaire’. The primary partner either doesn’t know or doesn’t approve.

more than one relationship with consent of all parties = both primary partner and other partner/s know of each other. aka polyamorous relationships.

emotional intensity without relationship = intense emotional attachment but sex is not part of it.

committed monogamous relationship = the two of you and only the two of you and never the twain shall part.





Why it’s never too late to be a lesbian

23 07 2010

More and more women are discovering after years of marriage to men, and having had children, that they are lesbians.

Were they always – or is sexuality more fluid?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/22/late-blooming-lesbians-women-sexuality





“…a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron.”

20 07 2010

“If you are a lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron, give me your money…”

Recently, as we have posted below, there has been a flurry of activity by various organizations to clean up the city, and purify youthful souls, while certain discussions such as this one have also been raging idiotically across the local blog world… (although the latter has more to do with local homophobia than issues of morality.)

All this emphasis on virtue and morality is beginning to get me down. Why are we as a nation so defensive about all things sexual? And why is there a special panic button reserved for women and their virtue in particular? Do we need to be policed more than men? (One of the lovelier comments on the indecent hoardings story ran as follows: “Very good suggestion. Rape will drop quite a bit if women do not invite people to rape them by dressing indecently…”)

Now even I, with my limited understanding of feminism, know that the issues surrounding the sexual objectification of women are important in feminist theory. And most feminists would strongly object to sexist or exploitative advertising in any form. Now however I wonder – where does the feminist agenda on this issue cross with that of the moral police who are, as we speak, tearing down every hoarding or billboard in Colombo and its suburbs that has an image of a woman on it, (barring the ones portraying women wearing saris and being traditional housewives that is).

Are the feminists cheering? Or do they mourn another step towards conservatism, censorship and state control? Who decides what is indecent and who decides when it is exploitative and are the agendas simply one and the same? If not, where lies the difference?

Dharshini Seneviratne puts it much better than I could in her article ‘When media mould women’. She says:

‘Fortunately or unfortunately, cultural puritanism has meant that the local media hardly objectify the woman’s body. So even for the wrong reasons, the right thing is getting done. Unlike in the western film and television circles, where women are filmed in a particularly sexist way that focuses on parts of their body, Sri Lankan films largely avoid these portrayals (except in sex scenes) mostly for cultural reasons. Because it is ‘bad’ to do so. Not, mind you, because of feminist arguments that object to the same thing because it demeans the female through the objectification of the body. But beauty queen contests and highly ‘sophisticated’ advertising in Sri Lanka continue to ape the West in this sense.”

So is there then, such a great difference between someone vaguely claiming that advertisements portraying women are ‘bad’ (or ‘against our culture’) and another stating clearly that ‘they demean the female through the objectification of the body’?

When the end result is censorship, it all seems to conspire towards reducing women’s freedom and power, not increasing it.

Maybe the problem is with an unsophisticated and uneducated consumer and people simply need to grow up and learn to view advertising as something generally manipulative and devious; not to be taken seriously and never to be considered as anything more than an appeal to the “lousy, smelly, idle, underprivileged and over sexed, status-seeking neurotic moron” in all of us.





Why I’m not a real lesbian.

17 07 2010

L Word irritated me and I can’t remember the bits I watched

I don’t keep track of lesbian singers and K.D.Lang’s music is just ok

Ellen de Generes is not always funny just because she’s a lesbian

Sometimes I would rather spend time with my straight friends than fellow lizzies

I never had a crush on my female teachers and classmates

I don’t think all girl on girl action in movies is hot

I don’t recommend stupid movies just because there is a lesbian in it

I won’t like you just because you are another lesbian

I like wearing my nails long





What a woman can be and cannot be

8 07 2010

https://aappathachchiya.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/gender-test/

For the last year I have been intently following the story of Caster Semenya. (For those of you who don’t know who she is,see earlier blog post linked above).

Well at last the South African world 800 metres champion was cleared to compete in athletics – as a woman.  The IAAF have concluded medical tests to ‘prove that Semenya is a woman and she is now being allowed to compete in the sport she loved. Thankfully as well, the medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter! Three cheers for confidentiality and dignity.

To Caster Semenya – you are an inspiration to more people than you realize. Thanks for turning on its head everyone’s ideas of what a woman can be and cannot be.