Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Cosmo chick and the Village woman

(Adapted from that apocryphal tale of a corporate honcho's conversation with a fisherman napping in his hammock)

So the cosmo chick was on a guided weekend tour of the rustic hinterlands. Presently, as their group was roaming around in a village, she came across a woman taking care of her home and cooking a meal.

Disgusted, the chick started querying the village woman.

Chick: "What a life! Why don't you do something else?"
Woman: "Like what, dear visitor from the city?"

"Like get some expensive education!"
"I AM educated, dear lady..."

"No, no. A professional degree. Like a degree in corporate law or an MBA in HR."
"And then what?"

"Then you will be able to get a job in an MNC, and spend ten hours everyday in a cubicle!"
"And then what?"

"Then you will be able to afford all the things and will be able to go to spas and travel to Morocco!"
"I have a lot of useful things and I take a pilgrimage once in a while. What things are you referring to?"

"Look at my manicured nails, my Gucci handbag, my D&G watch, and my Revlon mascara!"
"Aha. And what are these things useful for?"

"Well, look at me, I am glamorous. Men desire me and women envy me!"
"And what does that get you?"

"Stupid! Now I feel empowered and confident. I am confident, more than ever before, of attracting a good man who will want to marry and take care of me!"
"Well, that could happen, theoretically. But what after that?"

"Then I can finally bask in the warmth of a long term relationship, have a few children of my own (if I can, in my late 30s), have a place which I can call home, and be happy forever after."

"Well, I didn't wait till my late 30s. I have all that now."


Anonymous said...

its just other side of the story Harman!! What's the guarantee that getting married in early thirty's would bring happiness and stable life. I am not talking about materialistic stuffs mentioned to define a cosmo chick.

Desire of both is same,though exposure is different.

Himanshu Nautiyal said...

What's the guarantee... there is no guarantee. The search for a non-existent thing is the problem.

Sridhar said...

But isn't the liberation of women from a livestock version of reproduction a tangible success of the Feminist movement? I agree, in that the ultimate objective of women appears to be the same - security, a man by her side, children and so on. In a nation like India, where millions of women (rural and urban) continue to be treated like slaves by their husbands and in-laws, routinely abused, raped and murdered for the silliest of reasons, we could use more cosmo chicks, no? The vacuity of cosmo chicks is a debate we can have in India once women achieve some basic human rights first, I think.

Harmanjit Singh said...


The /general/ situation of human rights, and not just women's rights or men's rights, in India is extremely dismal. Whosoever is in power in India, man or woman, oppresses the weaker without fear of law or consequence.

The vast majority of MEN also in India are living an animal-like existence, surviving from meal to meal, severely oppressed, and focusing on women's sexual and economic "liberation" in such trying, lawless conditions is probably an elitist wish.

It is like a kid doesn't have a school to go to, and we wish his school had sex-education.

I would like to know how a rural, uneducated, woman has it much worse than an AVERAGE rural, uneducated man.

Recently there were statistics that women outnumber men in India beyond a certain age. That is a telling statistic of the economically distressed state of affairs for poor households, that despite the abhorrent female infanticide and low nutritional availability for the female child, males are still statistically under-surviving the females in the longer run.

Anonymous said...


Seems you don’t count women as human as Men is. isnt!! Men been in power for long and most of societal norms are in favor of men if not legal made laws. First let both come on equal ground and then compare who is living how. You can’t compare A lion existence with deer.

Second, on your last paragraph- women has longer life because they have to live in tough conditions, which make them strong over male, both emotionally and physically. How many men have to work out side as well at home?? How many men have to leave their home to settle in unknown family not knowing how would they be treated? How many times have you ever though that late in night it is not safe to be out of home?

I don’t find any one of your logic valid what Sridhar wrote.

Sridhar said...

Harmanjit - Good discussion. You do have a point about the general misery that confronts people in India, man and woman. Despite the mind numbing dehumanization that is pervasive in India, in cities at least we have made some progress in terms of women's rights. We can only hope that some of this trickles down into the rural parts(I know I'm clutching at straws here).

"It is like a kid doesn't have a school to go to, and we wish his school had sex-education."

Agreed. When basic survival is in question, individual freedom and so on becomes irrelevant.

"I would like to know how a rural, uneducated, woman has it much worse than an AVERAGE rural, uneducated man"

I guess apart from the miseries that are shared by rural men and women alike, Men do not walk around in constant fear of rape, don't worry about being married off (sold) to some psychopath, are not looked at as a liability or a curse by parents and relatives etc.

chetna said...

Yes there are debates about the shift from women being a subject of patriarchy to being a subject of capitalism, but that doesn't justify the patriarchy in itself. Also the cosmo chick vs. village woman is not a simple binary. Most women fall in between, with a majority of working women, such as teachers, nurses, secretaries, government employees are still struggling on both the home and work front, and getting that 'additional' paycheck home. We all grew up seeing the struggle of our mothers' generation, of endless domestic labor and no pricey tags. If some women are now in a position to hold the steering of their own life, let them turn towards whichever way they want :consumerism, domesticity, spirituality, glamour, whatsoever!
Moreover, the security that the 'additional' paycheck brings makes most 'cosmo' men choose one of these 'cosmo' chicks for matrimony, and at the same time crib about the lost 'docile village girl'!
If we really have to criticize, lets question the 'cosmo' which is everywhere around us, in men, women, workplaces, politics, education, media etc and spare poor little 'chicks'.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chetna and Sridhar !! Indeed this is good discussion, where original meaning of progress and independence of women has been taken to extreme. Current cosmo development has done nothing good to anyone, Instead brought more pressure for survival and existence. A dual life where one is not sure what to pursue and what is happiness. But this does not justify returning back to same status from where there was need to move ahead.

Anonymous said...

litle older but still relevent

Pankaj said...

ha ha. fun.

though not at all hard to contradict.

cosmo chick - the men of the house don't control me
village belle - i am used to being controlled. i even like it.
cosmo chick - then that's what you deserve

comso chick - and i dont get whacked by my husband every evening
village belle - well...

cosmo chick - and i dont envy the village belle
village belle - i do envy you. not sure why. but i do.

Anonymous said...


According to an UN report on marital violence, not only Indian men, but even adolescents, in the age group of 15-19, feel that wife beating is justified. With many factors contributing to the incidence of domestic violence - child marriage, gender-based power relations, womens low economic status and traditional practices or social norms among others.

Anonymous said...

The contents of this blog and many of the comments only prove one fact "The Indian woman has changed with time for good but the Indian Man has not kept up with the times. All he does is lament, whine like a pussy cat and dream of the past when his grandma brought a cup of lassi for his grandpa, wishing his wife would do the same instead of having to do it himself...."
Truly pathetic.. Wake up man go smell the lassi.....Before you face the lathi....The lathi has changed hands now you know, so stop dreaming/wishing it is still in your hand....