The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, August 10, 2003


Generation trap

THIS refers to Aruti Nayar's write-up "Generation trap" (June 22). As somebody who deals with teenaged students, I feel that at that age children are exposed primarily to these two attitudes to sexuality: legitimate repression and illegitimate explicit exposure. The former is witnessed at home where there is a tacit understanding between parents and children that sexuality is not to be spoken of. And the latter is due to the children's attempts to get answers from forbidden quarters, whether it is a porn site or an adult magazine. We have to understand that somewhere along the line the teenagers are deriving their facts from these magazines, irresponsible porn sites, candyfloss romances and they are formulating a fairly unrealistic view on the issue. We have to look for responsible ways in which teenagers can be helped to demystify sexuality from the romantic or sleazy way in which they tend to view it, introduced to sexuality in a factual way, alerted to the dangers that go with irresponsible sexual behaviour, exhorted to develop a more mature and balanced, view on sexuality and provided some counselling in a confidential way to take care of both their curiosity and anxiety.

These roles can be ideally fulfilled partly at home and partly by including the school teachers and a counsellor. However we as a nation first have to cast a critical eye on our adult view on sexuality and then look towards children.

Sakoon K. Chhabra, e-mail

Beauty of English

The article "God, they made a man out you!" by S.K. Chhabra (June 22), has the potential to misguide innumerable users of English. The writer has tried in vain to prove gender bias in English language. As a teacher of English, I was deeply hurt by this insensitive attack on the beauty, subtlety and richness of the English language. I would like to point out that there is no gender bias in English. The article is the result of a faulty perception of English language.

In English, one of the pair of gender nouns and their pronouns is ‘marked’. The marked noun or pronoun can be used for both the genders. The marked noun can be masculine or feminine gender in different cases. Of the pair man and woman, ‘man’ is marked and so is the pronoun ‘he’. Similarly, dog, horse, cow, cat are marked in their respective pairs. When we say that ‘dog’ is a faithful animal it also includes the bitch. Only faulty perception may see otherwise.

The point is that such ‘marking’ is one of the beauties of English language, saving the absurd repetition of the pair of genders just like the pronoun. The marking of ‘man’ is certainly not the result of patriarchy or sexist attitude. Let us not spoil the beauty and subtlety of English language under the influence of pseudo-scholarship or female chauvinism.

S.S. Gill, Sangrur

Parallel cinema

Surinder Malhi’s write-up "Talent transfusion in post-parallel cinema" (June 8) was good. But he has not mentioned two of the most outstanding cases of commercial stars proving their mettle in off-beat cinema also — Dimple Kapadia and Raveena Tandon.

Dimple created a sensation with her very first film Bobby, a commercial potboiler. She married Rajesh Khanna and quit acting. However, a few years later, she staged a comeback with movies like Zakhmi Sher, Manzil Manzil and Saagar and soon became hot property at the box-office. However, with movies like Kaash, Drishti, Lekin, Rudaali and Leela, she showed that she proved that off-beat films too are her forte

Raveena Tandon who embraced commercial cinema with Patthar ke Phool, soon established herself as a star of commercial movies. It indeed came as a surprise when the star of movies like Andaaz Apna Apna and Barood proved her talent in movies like Shool, Daman and Satta. Among her forthcoming ventures is Ek Din Achanak, another off-beat film.

Surendra Miglani, Kaithal

What a woman wants

This refers to "What does a woman want?" by L.H. Naqvi (June 22). The article made a very thoughtful reading. Different men think of women differently. The fact is that if women are given some love and respect they return the same many times over. In today’s world women want to be considered as human beings first and woman afterwards. A marriage can be successful if the couple has love, patience and respect for each other.

Ruby Arora, Ludhiana

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