Every once in a while we are introduced to a new species of male. It gives us women something to look forward to, at least theoretically. In practical terms it is the same old caveman in different togs.
So, when I read about how the Alpha male is turning into the Omega man, it sounded Greek to me. But it crosses cultures. This character sleeps in late, lives with his parents, does not bring home the moolah every month, but is happy. Happiness means:
On a typical day, he wears tatty clothes, plays computer games and “works on his music”. He does his washing and cooks his meals, and is usually single.
Why this obsession with types of men? Earlier we had the metrosexual guy who shaved every part of his body that had hair; for some weird reason that also made him sensitive. I guess it’s because of the razor.
Then we have nice guys who are not rakes; they help with cooking, cleaning and occasionally even making love. Nice.
Between the Bad and the Good, there is a wide range and women are left wondering at the amazing array that is on offer. Sometimes, we get so lucky that we can even take one ‘on approval’ basis, test a sampling and then return to the shelf.
Why am I pissed off, then? Because it is all about men. I am an Omega woman – I lounge in tatty clothes, I don’t play computer games, but I potter around trying to create designs, I sing into the microphone and have been ‘working on music’ by creating tunes for my cell phone, I don’t even cook, but for the occasional tossing and turning of things in the pan; I do a bit of cleaning; I am single.
I am mostly happy – with myself. That is darn Omega. Here comes a small problem. I also am focused about what comes after the doodle; the times I write I am committed to deadlines that I love meeting; I have an opinion and it comes on strong; I have a keen sense of dress that I put to use when I want to; I like to get the best for myself. That makes me Alpha.
There must be many women who have qualities of both but no one discusses us. No one is interested in whether we shave or not, whether we are working on music or creating noise, and if we are not dressed up it is assumed to be because we are supposed to be wearing aprons, even if nothing else to go with it.
I am not getting into a gender war simply because there is a bunch of guys out there trying so hard to give us a choice when we know already that beneath the ho-hum of variety all we hope to find is a man who can light a fire and watch candle-wax melt. And he can do it in Greek if he wants to.
- - -
I have no problem with football. Men need something to kick around. However, this silly obsession of the Indian media and therefore the public is unfathomable. We are not playing in the World Cup. Do you hear me?
No! I know that football is played in this country but, except for Kolkatans and their Mohan Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting, no one gives a damn about these teams. Yet, when some Messi starts messing and Ronaldo goes rolling, you hear the same old screams. The build-up started early and everyone from Bollywood actors to other sports stars to industrialists was asked about their favourites.
It is quite amusing to see some of them plan parties or decide to gather at a bar or coffee shop at a fancy hotel where large screens show the men in action. It has become a huge business. I once had the horrible experience of going out with some people visiting from overseas; we got a table quite close to this mammoth television. No conversation was possible and even worse we had to watch the idiotic women in the ‘fan’ groups letting out little screeches of delight holding their glasses of strawberry daiquiris. They were not there for the sport; they were there to hang on to the men they accompanied or who happened to be around.
All of these men come dressed in Friday clothes, and that becomes occasion for the Page 3 photographers to capture them at their casual best, never mind that they are very carefully casual.
I am rooting for the little boys who will be kicking a large rubber ball in the puddles of my city now that monsoon is here.
- - -
Did this blog not talk about ads using bushmen? So, today on the Ideas page in a slot called Snap Judgement, we had this picture and writeup:
In Poor TasteYes, of course. But the Times of India did not take names. Because if it did, then how will their Response Departments go soliciting ads, how will their TV channel air those ads and how will stories connected to such ads be woven around the consumer ideal?
It is disgraceful that some TV commercials with racist undertones have recently surfaced. The advertisements in question poke fun at African people, who are depicted as backward. Humour cannot be a defence for racism. Our ad-makers would do well to steer clear of such politically incorrect commentary and give vent to their creativity in a more responsible manner.
This is not restricted to one media group, I might add.