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Denounce the sexist swamy!

10 April 2010
Posted in: Social issues | 10 Comments

“Let your child be adventurous”, says Swamy Sukhabhodhananda in the Deccan Herald. As far as parenting advice goes, there doesn’t seem anything particularly objectionable about that. But then, here’s how he opens his article:

One of the qualities of male energy is creativity. The male energy in us always wants to achieve; always wants to reach some goals.

A man who has more of male energy sees a mountain, wants to climb to the top of the mountain and hoist a flag. If he sees the Himalayas, he wants to go to the top of the Himalaya. He sees the moon; he wants to go to the moon. A woman is not interested in going to the moon. She says there is no shopping on the moon. So, what is the point in going to the moon?

A person who calls himself a “swamy” is usually one people look up to for higher knowledge and advice (that’s a whole different story in itself, but let’s leave that aside for now). Ironically, in the DH, Sukhabhodhananda comes across not just as sexist, but ill-informed and, frankly, ignorant.

His remarks are demeaning to women and reek of unfair generalisations not backed up by any facts. Perhaps it has missed Sukhabhodhananda’s notice that women play — and have always done so — an active and equal function in the world ticking over. These misogynistic observations appear to have no bearing on the rest of the column, unless one stretches the imagination to conclude he is suggesting that the positive male energy equals ambition and creativity, while women are only good for frenzied shopping. This short-sighted notion shows the writer to have little understanding and respect for human beings in general.

Comments such as these also denigrate the efforts and struggle of countless women and men who continue to strive for a fair and equal society. As contemptible and irresponsible the words are, it is every bit so and even more disappointing that a mainline newspaper such as the Deccan Herald could publish it.

~PD

10 Responses

  1. Vinod Khare says:

    Denounced! 🙂 If I may make a generalization of my own: religion and religious leaders are generally sexist.

  2. Nik says:

    I donno much about Suckhy Swamies or Heralding Deccans but they seem very silly, and not only because I changed their names.

    I think there is a statistical correlation between having an Y chromosome and doing traditional boy stuff but it is not direct, unlike ice-cream vanishing near Niklas (I had chocolate and vanilla ice-cream! 😀 ). And therefor achievements shouldn’t be attributed to boys but rather to those who achieve, regardless of sex.

    *Evil* Perhaps someone could point out to Swamie Suckles that feathers have the energy of flight, as proven by birds, and make him go jump off one of his dear mountains wearing a chicken suit.

  3. Payal says:

    @Vinod: To be honest, I agree with you. But I did try not to get down to his level and generalize!

    @Nik: Good idea! Maybe you should leave that comment on his column page.

  4. Nik says:

    I’m much too shy, and anyways, the Decans say: “Disclaimer: Kindly do not post any abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful material or SPAM. Deccan Herald reserves the right to block/ remove without notice any content received from users.”

    And I know I was really subtle but jumping off a mountain wearing a chicken suit could cause bodily harm to the best of Suckies. It could almost be considered discriminatory to Super Shucks.

  5. Katie says:

    I like the idea of him trying out a chicken suit! After all, it follows the same kind of logic he’s using. 😮

  6. Nik says:

    *admits* I was kinda lazy when I wrote the last comment and not really shy at all. And anyways, I did comment there too and now I feel kinda bad because his only comment is a negative one and he probably meant all well and everything.

  7. Proteeti says:

    Seriously, though, do you really expect any better from these self-styled swamis and gurus? A closer investigation will probably reveal the swami having lots of sex with all his disciples, young, old, men, women in an effort to work off all the excess ‘male energy’. Like some other swamis who were in the news recently. Denounce the whole lot, I say.

  8. Payal says:

    This reminds me of those Iranian clerics who say earthquakes are caused by women showing “too much” skin!

  9. Swapna says:

    As a complete aside – Somehow I can’t picture you spelling it as a ‘Swamy’ (as opposed to ‘swami’) 😛

  10. Payal says:

    😛 I don’t see the difference! And I guess I picked up the spelling as in the DH.

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