Sexual abuse, then and now

One in three women will experience sexual abuse or rape in her lifetime, statistics say. A large fraction of this will be abuse by somebody known to the victim. And the woman will be blamed for it. We can do better. We must do better.


I wrote the last time about sexual abuse and how what people in the public eye say about these things is only reflective of the society they are part of; that vilifying them without attempting to reform society is likely to do nothing. I have a couple of for-instances to show about what I mean.

The first video below is a movie review of what seems like a horrendously bad movie called Jaani Dushman. I’d call this the Gunda of the noughties, but I probably don’t know enough. The bit of interest to me is from 0:43 to 2:30. (But go ahead and watch the rest of the video too. They’re good, the reviewers.)

The last thing the reviewers say about the  attempted rape is significant: “this was in 2002.” And here we are, a decade later. Should we be pleased that at least some people find what is said in the movie about rape obviously idiotic? Should we be distressed that a decade later, leading politicians seem to be saying the same thing that the movie did?

The second video below is a short film called Bol, by a filmmaker called Pooja Batura Pathak. The short film portrays graphically what I suggest above about how we don’t, as a society, seem to have changed at all in how we deal with sexual abuse. (fn1)

One in three women will experience sexual abuse or rape in her lifetime, statistics say. A large fraction of this will be abuse by somebody known to the victim. And the woman will be blamed for it. We can do better. We must do better.

HT: Sharmila pointed me to the review of Jaani Dushman. I can’t remember where I found the short film.

fn1: I do have some quibbles about the short film. Is it important to show the girl in the short shorts doing a silent prayer as she passes a temple? What does religious belief have to do with what the girl goes through later? But, like I said, these are quibbles.

Abdul Kalam, a true… something.

A bunch of people I know have shared this snippet of a speech APJ Abdul Kalam delivered to the European Parliament at Strasbourg, France in April 2007. Kalam is, for all purposes, India’s Francis Collins – a decent administrator and manager of massive projects, but completely inane in every other respect.

[fatuousness overload]

The speech in question had something to do with enlightened citizens for World peace. The part of the speech that has people fawning all over this video is a quote from a Tamil poet, which the former President of India says (repeatedly) is from ‘in 3000 years back’. It’s ‘ago’! The stupid word you are looking for, Mr. President, is ‘ago’.

The earliest literature in Tamil – Sangam literature – dates from ‘around the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE’ [Wikipedia]. That I quote from Wikipedia isn’t to say that Wikipedia is infallible, of course – here’s Britannica’s page, which says that Tamil literature proper dates earliest from around the 1st century CE – but it does tell me that Abdul Kalam is less concerned with facts than with attempts at profundity. Attempts like this:

Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character.
Where there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the Nation.
When there is order in the Nation, there is peace in the World.
[\end stupid poetry]

Does that sound profound to you? Yoda-ish, perhaps? Compare that to this, from The Phantom Menace, (by when George Lucas had divested himself of all cranial matter): ‘Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.’


The problem with independent things, you see, is that any ordering of them seems to make sense: Fear leads to suffering, suffering leads to anger, anger leads to hate. And so forth.

And so it is with the profundity of Adbul Kalam: Can’t peace in the heart lead to peace in the World, which leads to order in every nation, which leads to harmony in every home? My point, then, is this: What the heck does any of this mean? If we all think beautiful, noble thoughts, the World will become all right? This was the President of India, for crying out loud. Should he not have an ounce of gravitas?

The worst part of it is that he seems to earnestly think that he’s being profound, and that people like listening to this fatuous drivel. Okay, he may not have been too far off on that last count.

I wasn’t going to bother with the senile old fellow and his (well-meaning) senility, but the paper I was reading about facultative ammonotely in certain hummingbirds is taking a bit longer to finish than I expected.

Edit (August 2016): If what I’ve said has angered you, has made you want to tell me to fuck off to hell, as it has several people who’ve commented below, see this.

Notes from a Beautiful City

Srinivas showed me this video from YouTube. The story itself isn’t news to me, but I hadn’t seen the video. It’s quite depressing. The Chief Minister of Delhi thinks that when people from the nations of the commonwealth visit us, our capital should look nice. She compares this beautification of Delhi to lighting up our homes for Diwali. Nobody thinks that’s wasteful expenditure, or thinks that it is trying to hide poverty, right?

The problem with that argument is that it’s crap. Would you decorate your hut by selling your brother off? It’s important your house looks nice at Diwali, right? The callousness! And this is the Chief Minister of Delhi!

Here’s the video. The makes deserve pats on the back, for being showing more compassion in ten minutes than the people running the commonwealth games have managed in their tenures.

Take Epic Stupidity. Inbreed. This is inbred epic stupidity.

Over the weekend, somebody showed me this video from some Indian version of Fear Factor. Except, the only way the idiots here know how to make Fear Factor is to shout at each other a lot, and humiliate contestants who fail to complete some task. They have all this done by a female, with which I see nothing wrong (she looks like some run-of-the-mill model with a potty mouth, but that aside…), but then this happens:

You really have to watch it to believe that this kind of stupidity exists. There are two dozen men in the video who want to beat up one little-ish guy who’s dressed in what looks to me like a dress. Real macho.

[End. Fini. Kaputski. Fucking Gits!]

Taking Epic FAIL to a new level!

If you know who Sam Anderson is, chances are that you’ve seen part of, or if you are especially brave of heart, the whole of his movie on YouTube.

There’s apparently another such fellow. Only, this one does documentaries and not ‘commercial’ cinema. He’s the Michael Moore of… of… well, you decide for yourself:

Warning: Not Safe For Work. Also not safe if you are squeamish, sensitive, or ever so slightly uppity.


I have plenty of people I admire and people whose opinions I value. I don’t, therefore, subscribe to the mealy-mouthed inanity that is today’s self-help genre of literature, nor to the ever so many and ever-growing number of people willing and eager to dish out advice to any and all takers, through any medium that will tolerate them. Like this dumb-ass:

I’d like to ask the stupid git – couldn’t you have picked something made of, you know, steel?

From Greg Laden