No. This is not a deep, well-researched post that will explain to you scientifically how a woman’s brain functions better so as to perform better in the media industry. As always, it’s just my thoughts jumping out at you arbitrarily.
In my office, we’re a team of six women on the features desk (plus Arka, who is a Bengali guy and his name is pronounced Orco). Our chief editor is a woman and most of the people on the main desk are women. Some people ask me, “Gosh how do you
guys girls function? Don’t you get into quarrels all the time?” Well, no, we don’t. We function very efficiently, except for some times when some people squabble over something completely irrelevant. Now don’t blame that on the woman factor. It’s ridiculous! Just because we’re women, you’ll pick on us for it, and when guys do the same thing, it goes completely unnoticed.
It’s like how a girl is always accused for driving badly. That’s fucking ridiculous. (Sorry about the f word but this calls for it). Obviously it would seem like a woman is a bad driver because there are so few women who drive! It’s like, say, there are ten rotten apples among a hundred whereas there are also hundred rotten bananas out of a thousand. Although it’s the same number the ten would seem like it’s more. It’s simple logic. When I’m riding, it’s always idiotic guys who mess about on the road. You see them zig-zagging on the roads, auto and bus drivers drive stop and go as and when they please, without so much of a glance into their rear view mirror, I can go on. But this will turn into a post where I’m condemning woman-put-downers. So I’ll stop right there.
So as I was saying, there has always been this age-old idea that engineering is for men and the humanities are for women. That’s just bull shit. It’s more like women are better at the arts than men. They can be as good at engineering if they want to – I broke my laptop plug, bought a new one, unscrewed the whole thing, undid the wiring, redid the wiring, screwed it and fixed it. (Ha!) It’s not rocket science. (I’ll bet a woman could also be as good a rocket scientist as man, but, again, that’s not what we’re discussing. Damn! I’m straying away too much! Control yourselves fingers!)
Yes, my office, my editors. Coming from a background where men have always been dominant-ish, I find it curious to see men being ordered around by women in my office. And women are not too kind when they don’t like something they see and they’re working on a dead line. And I find young women issuing orders to older men, and it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know if my discomfort is justified. As for why women rule the media, there is one answer. They articulate themselves better.
When I was at ACJ, we’d have elaborate three hour lectures, where some extremely intellectual professor would come and use big words and leave me blinking stupidly at the end of the completely wasted three hours. Later, in my hostel room, my friend Fishy (perhaps one of the most articulate woman I know) would explain it to me in her own words. She has explained crazy topics like Media laws, Communism, Marxism and (bloody hell!) she even managed to teach me a bit of economics! Sana and I would just gape at her in awe, fascinated by all the knowledge she was imparting in such simple words and we’d wonder if the professor was telling us the same thing in the lecture hall. Of course we did have some women professors who were really good as well. Our Dean, Nalini Rajan, gave us a lecture on Mahatma Gandhi, although she made him seem not so Mahatma. It was one of the best lectures I’ve sat through.
Oh also, for twelve years + three years (in Mount Carmel College), I’ve had ONLY women teachers. I went to an all girls school until tenth. If I’m so intelligent now, I owe to my school teachers as well, don’t I? :P They ought to have been good, but I can’t quite remember a thing. At MCC, we had some strong and bold women as teachers. Mary Matthews, our English Literature teacher was one. But I never listened to her. Poetry and Charlotte Bronte were the last things was interested in. I guess that was the only time I liked a man’s coaching, and that was football coaching. And of course! How could I forget! We had this journalism teacher called CK Meena, who was a journalist at The Hindu back then. She was so lively and had such an enthusiastic approach towards life and journalism in general. I don’t think she even knows of my existence, but if not for her, I would have never taken up writing and journalism with so much fervour. She happens to be the Chief Editor of the India Foundation of Arts (IFA) in-house magazine right now and what a brilliant job she’s done with that magazine!
Of late, I have met and spoken so many enterprising women- Ratna Pathak (actor and theatre artiste), Pretti Shenoy, Chita Devakaruni, Anita Nair (authors), Roohi and Ziba (film makers), Nilanjana Roy (fiction author), Roopa Pai (child-lit author). God! It’s difficult to remember all of them, but every time I call them up for something, even if it’s just for a tiny quote, I have such insightful conversations with them; I always have something to learn. There is always at least one line from such conversations that always sticks in my head. It’s great to be able to interact with such inspiring women!
And by saying all this, I don’t mean to say that men suck at journalism. There are a few, who really have the ability to convey their message in a straightforward manner. But most of the times, men never know what to say and if they do, they don’t know how to say it. Either they go on and on and on or they say it too abruptly, neither of which is acceptable in the media. And that is why, people, we women, are the face of the media.
(Strange, that when I typed “face of the media” it was Arnab Goswami‘s face that popped up in my mind. That’s just disturbing now. It defies everything that I just said. But that’s just a sad state of affairs in our country. That is not what journalism is supposed to be like. It answers no questions.)
Sigh. Anyway, good night/day/evening to you all!
PS: I hope I don’t come across as a feminist. I’m not. Feminists push things a bit too far. I like to maintain a balance.
Men = Women. Well, most of the times.