Mutually exclusive?

A few days ago I was talking to this annoyingly loud woman who insisted on dominating every conversation and flatly telling people to shut up or pretty much over ruling what they said. One of the things she said that really annoyed me, was that she some day wanted to start a magazine which was something between the Economist and a leading women’s magazine, you know, an Economist for women.

Err… an Economist, specially for women? Only for women? The only economist I met, I married! Awright, bad joke.

But it’s the only way to deal with my annoyance. What is one to imagine? That The Economist needs to be dumbed down or chick-ified in some way to be suitable for women? That women don’t read it? And most annoying to find a woman saying something so ridiculous. Would be so much easier to deal with the annoyance if it were a man. You just blame it on his chauvinism. What do you say to a woman who comes up with something like that?!

I recently saw some magazine called IT for Women or something similar. What do they imagine? That women interested in IT won’t pick up a regular IT magazine? And what does it talk about? How to programme your hair dryer? Well maybe I’d find out if I picked up a copy – but it’s the kind of patronising bullshit that is sure to piss me off and ensure I don’t touch it with a barge pole.

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40 thoughts on “Mutually exclusive?

  1. Dammit she stole my idea. Well, woman or man it’s still called chauvinism. We hardly need to remind ourselves of how often women themselves do other women and feminist causes a disservice. So just add this to the list.
    I wouldn’t be too opposed to a Women’s Business magazine or IT or something if it spoke to women about breaking the glass ceiling and provided inspiration for women trying to break gender barriers. But none of that is as effective as a mainstream popular magazine doing just that so I agree – instead of finding alternatives, effort better spent in making the alternative, mainstream.

  2. This is seriously offending coz the Economist is the magazine we get at home and it has led us to have some good discussions and I love the breadth of perspective.

    Maybe all this woman was grumpy about was that she couldn’t get her hands on her monthly Woman’s Eve from the local paperwallah.

  3. Wow….just wow…especially when you consider that economics and IT are some of the few fields women do get into in fairly large numbers!

    Gah!

    M

  4. Wow! Please tell me that you made us proud and said what you think on her face. No?
    You know her, right?
    Give me her info.
    I want to mail her.
    Or at least lets to 1000 blog posts about her so that every time she Google her name, she knows what we think.
    I really have no hope MM.

    Me: No yaar. foolishly held my tongue and came back here to rant.!

  5. Hahaha! or maybe they do have special women friendly banking, IT, and such. We just don’t know, coz we haven’t picked up such magazines, nah? What a load of bullcrap!

  6. Somehow I don’t find the idea as revolting as you. The mainstream is just that, mainstream. It caters to “people”, not just men or just women. There might be a lot of things that may appeal to a woman economist that might not appeal to a guy, so on and so forth. So I don’t really see anything demeaning here.

    Me: you dont really mean that do you?

    *faints*

  7. Why not just go the whole freakin’ hog and call it the Economist for Dummies?

    Oh wait! Vaginomics.

    Me: ROFL

    That could work. Clearly possessing one will alter one’s understanding of economics in inexplicable ways.

    Where do you pick up these lovely specimens of humanity?

  8. yup, its the pink laptop of magazines..it reminds me of an episode from a couple of years ago when an engineer friend told me condescendingly that a particular erricsson phone i had was particularly designed by them for women “they found it cute” this was the grey t20 which i fail to see as cute…nooo siree, i liked it as it fit my budget and had the functions i wanted. idjjuts all of them.

  9. There was as ad running here on the local radio for a new consumer electronics outlet, Kroma I think it was. A girl was asked was she wanted to do when she was grown up. She said she had only one ambition – when she was grown up and that unlike her mother and her grandmother she wanted to be able to decide about what electronic gadgets to buy on her own. My reaction on listening to this ad was the same as above. Why is it assumed that women do not understand electronics? To be realistic may be a lot of women do not, but that is probably because they are not exposed to all of. Of course I am sure there are as many men who do not too. They can just hide it better than the women.

  10. i was similarly annoyed and amused when a famous radio channel “especially for women” was launched two years back. i avoided tuning that until one day figured out that it plays some of the best hindi film songs. and that’s it, i sometimes tune in solely for the music, nothing to do with the woman factor.

    Me: I dont have a problem with that. Because its like having just another magazine for either of the sexes. but the dividing up of something gender neutral like science or economics, specially as women are joining both fields in droves today.. is simply patronising.

    maybe a magazine dedicated to women entrepreneurs or successful women isn’t that a bad idea, as it will encourage and guide many more.. but an Economist for women.. funny ideas people have sometimes.

  11. I love the amount of revenue women seem capable of generating everywhere: TV channels have exclusive programming for women, there are enough fashion mags for women already, newspapers come with special women supplements… Of course, the beauty industry is driven by women. There are special two-wheelers for women. Some time back a certain auto company positioned one of their cars as a woman’s car.

    You can’t really blame someone for thinking an exclusive IT or finance magazine for women wouldn’t work?!

  12. Actually more than half the time it’s women who do the greatest disservice to our own cause, as girlonthebridge rightly said. The Economist is anyway too partisan a magazine for her to think of extending its market like this. If she does go through with this, I’m sure she’ll earn shitloads of money because of advertising, which is usually the reason behind magazines like the IT one you saw. Check out its regular edition, there’ll be a world of difference in the ads. You can still call such women chauvinists though, only change it to FCP instead of MCP.

  13. Disgusting !! I would love to have a conversation or two with this woman.
    Reminds me of this ad they used to air on radio some months back about a mom telling her daughter about a new electronics showroom ‘especially for women’… “kyonki auraton ko gadgets samajhne mein takleef hoti hain”

    And I’m totally with you on the fact that it’s much more difficult to digest when it comes from a woman

  14. being an economist myself, i seriously wonder whether i wud ever pick up such a copy….sumwhere it humiliates your self esteem…

  15. I get what you mean, but I think that an “Economist for women” could be quite an interesting thing. Not dumbed down, but a feminist Economist that exposes the discrimination against women in the workplace. Quite a tangent, but… it’s an idea, innit?


    Me: well see if that were the case – I’d want the men to read it too. But if it were aimed only at women – that wouldnt be achieved na?

    And heh. Me mum was an economist.

    Total LMAO @ “Vaginomics”. You rock, MGM!

  16. Reminds me of B School days… when the guys who chose an HR specialisation, were mocked by the more ‘manly’ morons in Marketing. Isn’t HR, what women from good arts colleges, study, when they cant make up their minds on what next? It doesnt matter if the girl has better CAT scores than the sum product of all theirs!!
    And i still get condescending smiles when i tell them i am an HR person – ‘oh, so u do the fancy stuff? Must be easy – u only need to look good and speak good english!’ – No, sirree, i sit here and decide compensation for the entire frigging company, doing so called manly ‘number crunching’ bullshit, discussing revenues and gross margins, and throwing numbers at you faster than you can count!! Aaarrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhh… i’ve met so many of these types, they get me so mad!!

  17. Oh, and all this has been from an equal, if not more number of women! Why do we find it so easy to dismiss ourselves??

  18. Ok, I’m probably going to really tick off some people in here, but here’s my experience with women and technology. In my office, the majority of women seem to be technophobes. There are women, who after using a computer for over a decade, ask things like “how do you drag and drop?”. Now, of the 40 men who work here, only one seems to be unsure about computers. I remember another colleague who wanted to buy a smartphone, and ended up picking one which had not much more than looks going for it, and told me, “yeah, that other phone had more features, but this one looks better, and I think that’s more important to a female”. One of the few women who I know, who really knows her way around a comp is my younger sister. Our company’s website administrator is also a woman, and she’s a wizard, but people like her really seem to be in the minority. What really bothers me is that there seems to be this huge number of women, who never learn anything related to technology, never want to learn, have no curiosity, and depend forever on other people to do stuff for them. Now as long as said women go around expressing themselves, this whole thing about “tech magazines for women” will continue. Men of course, are helping to perpetuate this stereotype.

    Of course there are technologies which are specifically targeted at women. My friend’s wife has an iPhone which has a software called iWoman installed on it. Apparently it’s used to keep a count of menstrual cycles etc etc. But a tech magazine targetted at women seems a weird idea, I mean your comp will respond the same way irrespective of your sex, won’t it?

    Me: ooohh…. you’re so dead. So would you prefer you ashes to be scattered in the hills or kept in an urn?

    Alright. On a more serious note. Yes – there are PLENTY of women who arent into IT or economics. and plenty of men too. which just says that those who are interested, will pick up the mags if they’re interested. As a woman who isnt into technology I know I wouldnt pick up an IT mag whether it was aimed at women in particular or general junta. If anything it would just annoy me because it treats me as a a dumb woman who needs technology to be dumbed down – not as an individual who has different interests.

  19. To the lady who does not find the idea revolting:

    The mainstream truly is the mainstream and hence gender neutral. Anything out of the mainstream has to be classifed as men vs. women because err? Women think with the their hormones and men with their testosterone?

    What Economist A believes in Economist B may completely disagree with. Fair enough. But what Woman Economist A thinks about the economics of the current crisis is going to be different from Man Economist B because?

    I would actually love to know more on the subject of the gender wiring of economists!

  20. OH great! Just what we needed! I’m sure she plans on adding a gossip and agony aunt section to her ‘dream’ magazine. And she will explain economics in terms of aloo pyaaz ke bhaav (oh wait, regular econ already does that!)
    What a dumbass!

  21. Deep,

    Ur comment is so true .. most of the things that u mentioned – i have seen them a lot ( in some cases, i have done that too ..) but never realised that in this light wrt mad mommas post ….
    i was in IT for a long time, but if something like formatting or reconfig came up .. i used to rely on the sys adm rather than doing myself – somehow i felt i shouldnt screw that up .. and it continues till date…
    laptop shopping, formatting, reconfig everything is done by hubby dear …
    as u mentioned i never show an interest to learn …
    guess i have to work towards it especially if my no-interest can contribute towards the women and technology dumbness factor in general …
    thanks MM and Deep

  22. I’m with kashmira and D and think it is a viable business idea. Why, as a business person, would not one take it of it sells?

    Just yesterday, I was listening to real time with Bill Maher and the panel was talking about how Fox’s boss Murdoch would immediately change the channel’s agenda from conservatism to liberalism if he figures that would make him more cash. There is no authenticity or real belief in what these guys say. Just as long as it sells. You being in media know that already. They are all salespeople foremost. If femme-nomics sells, more props to the lady. Nothing offensive in the world of capitalism.

    Me: I dont think the point is whether it sells or not. The point of my point, is merely to say I find the idea of chick-ifying something gender neutral rather offensive. More power to her if she sets it up – as well as to the idiots who buy it.

  23. Well, maybe she doesn’t get the Economist and wants a special version she can understand?

    Me: DAMN! Why didnt I think of that? Poor thing… I should have tried to look at it from her POV na? 😀

  24. Why don’t you post more often on weekends? I don’t get to read on weekdays and by the time I want to comment, the post’s old. 😦

    Me: oh come on. a post’s never old. I read every comment. even if I dont reply. and the point really is my interaction with you – so that is achieved by my reading it. and as for not blogging on weekends – I try to get a life so that i have something to write about during the week 😉

  25. yeh … but u should be offended with the fact that ‘the idea of chick-ifying something gender neutral’ sells!! 🙂

    not at the person who thinks of the idea.

    the fact that it sells is worth a thought. 🙂

  26. I agree with you MM! Stupid woman! IT for women? thats crap squared too.
    But Deep (& others) are right too. Thankfully I find the younger generation much better at this and they participate quite enthusiastically in tech things.
    & Regarding Unmana at 27, hey then it should be called ‘Economist for those with low IQ’, why further sully our good name? 🙂

  27. Moi, I think it’s just a marketing idea now that women have proven to be interested in economics and not just home eco 🙂 Just a way to make another buck.

  28. I just read Roop’s comment and want to clarify that my comment was meant to be totally tongue-in-cheek. I mean, even if it is a viable business proposition, it’s still silly!

  29. Crazy!

    I read The Economist every morning! (online) And I never once thought that I would want a female version!

    And shocking that there exists a IT women’s magazine! In fact… very hilarious! I wonder who felt the need for it.

  30. Full page Louis Vuitton and Ferragamo ads probably contribute in a big way keeping The International Herald Tribune afloat, but that’s another subject 🙂
    If your friend’s looking to start a mag that has an article on how to do recession chic, right after a six page essay on quantitative easing to create liquidity, she has my support- although a businesswoman with a degree in economics who sells technology to other hi-tech firms, may not be the target audience she had in mind.
    Still if she’s going to call it Fashion-Freakonomist, tell her am buying!

  31. What I don’t understand is why chickifying is equivalent to dumbing down? That’s not how I would interpret Women’s anything.

    Me: It isnt. Its what she said. That she’d chickify it and make it easier. Its certainly not my interpretation!! Also I dont like the idea of chickifying gender neutral fields. some people might consider it okay because they’re looking at a new viable audience to grab – to me its just ridiculous to be told that unless something is told to me in terms of 1 LV bag = 1 Indian auto driver’s annual income, I wont get it.

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  33. Well, I don’t know. On one level, obviously an “Economist for women” offends me. On the other hand, I do sometimes long for a less high-falutin’ Economist (though being a woman has not much to do with that). I can see scads of women (and often men, though they’d be caught dead before admitting it) who seem to think that they wouldn’t understand the Economist or that its too heavy reading – and yet they might want to know more about how economics/finance/business/society works – esp in light of the latest financial meltdown – maybe she means to target this group?

    n!

    Me: Well then it would just be a lighter Economist, right? Not solely for women… Argh. Well I guess you had to be there and hear her words and see her face to get what I mean

  34. Came here after reading a post in response to this post of yours.

    I had to see how many thought women required special magazines to teach them technology or economics 🙂

    I agree with you that if I am interested in something I would be able to, and will prefer to, learn from the regular gender-less magazine. And I know many men who will take offense if they are told they should use special lessons from ‘Cookery for men’.

  35. (cpy+psting for your atten.)I usually comment when I can relate/connect with a line of thought. And I could relate with what Roo has tried to say, much better than I would have myself – that feeling victimized is another form of defeat.

    From your post I know that the woman was talkative and lacked social etiquettes but there is little detail about how she defended/did not defend her business idea…or how she proposed that idea, or why she thought her idea should be implemented. you talked about how YOU felt about her suggestion. well…what can I say about that? I disagree ‘coz I simply look at it as another business idea?

    Books with such titles exist because someone, idiot or not, is reading them.

    Also, who decides what is gender neutral and what is not? Economics/cooking/raising kids? Will leave it for you to decide.

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