THE LADIES FINGER gives the finger to politicians and their charming attitudes towards women.
Yesterday in Parliament, Sharad Yadav, head of the Janata Dal (United) and member of the Rajya Sabha, tried to prove he was cool. During a debate on the Insurance Bill, he broke off to talk about south Indian women. What this had to do with the matter at hand is questionable, but here’s what the Indian Express reported from Parliament:
The women of the south are dark but they are… their bodies…”
At this point members sitting around him tried to bring him back to the topic at hand with cries of “Sharadji Bill”. But, Yadav was not finished yet and talked about the “dancing skills” of south India women.
Soon, Trinamool Congress’s Derek O’Brien frantically waved at Yadav to stop.
Want to bet that when he spoke of “dancing skills”, this is what he had in mind?
But it didn’t end there.
Read the rest of this devastating take down at The Ladies Finger.
Guest post by NIKITHA SURYADEVARA
Bhopal: Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav today stunned many at a press conference in Bhopal when he called a woman reporter “beautiful.”
The journalist asked him whether he prefers Madhya Pradesh or Bihar – he has represented both in Parliament.
The chief of the Janata Dal (United) dodged a bullet by saying, “The whole country is beautiful.”
Then came the unexpected remark – “Even you are very beautiful,” he said.
Read the complete article here at NDTV
So I figuratively raised an eyebrow when I first read this (raising just one eyebrow is much harder than it looks, trust me I’ve tried). The reporter asked him a question designed to make the man fumble, but Mr Sharad Yadav is just too suave. When asked to pick between one of his two constituencies, he swiftly pointed to the reporters beauty instead. Well that seems like a logical conclusion. Continue reading Even you are very beautiful: Nikitha Suryadevara
[I am posting here the chapter from my book – Recovering Subversion. Feminist Politics Beyond the Law – that I referred to in response to demands for references on my previous post on the WRB. I do apologize to those (including fellow-kafilaites!) who may rightly feel I have said enough on the topic.
The title of this chapter is a tribute to Denise Riley’s question “Am I that name?” referring to the label “Woman.” Am I That Name? Feminism and the Category of ‘Women’ in History Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1988].
When the Women’s Reservation Bill (WRB) first appeared as the 81st Amendment Bill in 1996, proposing to reserve 33% of seats in Parliament for women, it burst into public discourse full-blown as a “women’s” (indeed, a feminist) issue, and continues to be debated largely in terms of women’s rights. It is becoming increasingly clear however, that the questions thrown up by the timing of the Bill and the responses to it cannot be understood solely within the framework of women’s rights. This chapter attempts to relocate these questions in a complex matrix of political identities in order to realize their full significance. I also argue that the debates around the Bill reveal a more fundamental set of questions about the issues of citizenship, representation, and the subject of feminist politics.
Continue reading Reservations for Women: ‘Am I That Name?’
The career of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament since it first appeared in 1996 as the 81st Amendment Bill, has been striking for the high drama and rhetoric of women’s rights that has accompanied it, the passionate opposition to the proposed 33% reservation for women in Parliament, generally being characterised by its supporters as anti-women and patriarchal. However, if we try to organize the welter of arguments that have been flying around for 13 years, we would find that while the proponents of the measure certainly base their claims on the idea of gender justice, the opposition to the Bill does not come from an anti-women position. Rather, the latter arguments stem from either
1) a generally anti-reservation position (which I am not interested in here) or
2) a claim that reservations for women should take into account other disempowered identities within this group – that is, the “quotas within quotas” position, which says that there should be reservation within the 33% for OBC and Muslim women. (The 22.7% reservation for SC/ST women would come into operation automatically.)
In other words, the sharp opposition to the Bill cannot simply be dismissed as anti-women. Continue reading And aren’t OBC women “women”? Loud thinking on the Women’s Reservation Bill
Respected Sharad Ji,
I read with great interest your statement, as reported in the print media, on your likely future course of action in case the parliament was to go ahead with reserving 33% seats for women in the legislature.
One has been following your arguments against this proposed legislation over the past decade and more and has come to develop grudging admiration for your stand. Continue reading To Sharad Yadav