Posted: 16 September 2011 at 11:31pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by woman11
Watching today's episode made me think of an issue we had been debating in our Feminism class the other day. I really want to hear your views on this:
1. A few days back there was a hospital scene and Jagya had shouted at Gauri for not cooking proper food. Gauri had packed some sandwiches for their night duty and Jagya was majorly disappointed for the lack of Gauri's housekeeping skills. We all hated Jagya for shouting at Gauri and called him an MCP.
2. Yesterday, Jagya got some nice breakfast for Gauri and Gauri rejected it promptly, hurting Jagya's feelings. Incidentally, Jagya had done the same thing with Anandi and hurt her feelings. We had found that behavior of his inexcusable and hated him for hurting Anandi like that. However, did we find Gauri's behavior equally offensive?
I have some things to say, but right now will limit my thread to 1 and 2.
1. In terms of your point no 1 -- yes jagya shouted at gauri-- but it wasnt because of her housekeeping skills because he told her that if she was not able to do it, then he would clearly have brought two thalis from the canteen when the canteen was still open. Here, I believe that jagya's shouting is justified and it is gauri's fault for not giving him a heads up earlier
He likes a good thali of food (and she knows that or atleast by now should know what her husbands eating tastes are) and he could only be labelled an MCP if he insisted that she be the one to cook a five course meal every day and refused to eat outside at all.
His anger was more to the fact that she did not tell him knowing fully well that he does not like tomato sandwiches. He was very clear that he would have got something from outside.
If my husband tells me in the morning -- "I feel a craving for tandoori chicken tonight -- and if you cant make it at home, let me know and I will pick up tandoori at a restaurant" -- then clearly he is not an MCP if he arrives home and finds that neither have I made it at home, nor did I call him and let him know before the restaurants closed so he could pick it up from outside.
He can only be called an MCP if he badgers me to make tandoori chicken for me and says that he will eat only tandoori made from my hands... and then gets angry with me for not making it. But if he gives me a choice, then very clearly, I have a responsibility to indicate to him that I will not be making it and give him the option of picking it up.
Did I hate Jagya in the scene ? -- yes. but not because he shouted at gauri, but because once again he remembered anandi's food later.
2) In terms of point # 2 -- the similarity between jagya shouting at anandi for the oily breakfast, and gauri shouting at jagya for oily breakfast -- I dont think the two incidents are comparable. You ask if we found gauri's behaviour equally offensive for shouting at jagya -- and if we let her off the hook because she was a woman.
My answer is that I let gauri off the hook for her behaviour towards jagya not because she is a woman, but because her intentions were not evil. In Jagya's behaviour towards anandi, he was cruel with intention of hurting her, and this is what I found offensive, which is why I judge him more harshly.
When jagya shouted at anandi for heavy ghee food, he had an agenda of insulting anandi -- so the attack on the food was a 'proxy war' on anandi herself. At the time, jagya was going through the turmoil of being married to anandi and not wanting to continue being married to her -- he is a spineless coward and knowing fully well that he had no genuine reasons to dislike anandi, he began manufacturing reasons in his mind to rationalize that she was not his laayak -- and to justify (to himself, and later to others) why he need not be faithful in his marriage by belittling her gawar ways to her gawar ghee-laden food etc.
A man with courage would have simply said "I dont love anandi anymore" and there would be no reasons/justification required in integrity.
Not only at that time, but I find myself hating Jagya more now, because of retroactive hatred. I mean if he had these principles of eating a light breakfast, he could be standing true to his words and eating light just now - BUT HE HIMSELF GOES SHOPPING FOR OILY PARATHAS FOR BREAKFAST? I hate him for being a hypocrite as well as cruel.
As I said, the reason I hate Jagya is because his attack on the food was not an attack on the food, it was a proxy attack on anandi herself...and done knowing fully well that this is the way that food is cooked in jayetsar, and that ghee in food = a measure of love -- and not a way that a wife poisons her husband into heart disease and cholesterol.
However, gauri rejecting jagat's oily parathas had no other agenda to hurt jagat. She simply did not like oily food... the rejection of the food was not done with the intention of hurting or rejecting jagat...In addition, she is aware that Jagat knows the dangers of oily ghee laden food (which anandi did not in the reverse situation), so she is puzzled as to why he is so 'petu'. And she said she prefers fruit. It was not done with the intention of belittling jagat to make him feel small or to humiliate him.
And Gauri has clarity in her stand -- she will eat fruits or something light for breakfast. I doubt she will change her eating habits if she ends up with another man -- so no hypocrisy there.
Therefore, I dont think that this is a gender issue at all -- and not about feminism -- it is really about the broader framework of intention and cruelty -- more than the cooking of breakfast or gender roles in breakfast-making.
I dont find gauri's behaviour offensive in this situation because her intentions were not cruel when she said no to the oily food. And there was genuine surprise that jagat being a doctor had no commonsense about eating well.
I do find jagat's behaviour offensive because his intentions were cruel and designed to humiliate anandi when he said no to the oily food... particularly when anandi had no background/orientation to 'western' health issues. In her mind, she was genuinely being loving by pouring extra ghee on to everything because in her own jayetsarian context -- ghee = health. He knew the context and was still mean to her.
Thanks for starting this topic.