Disclaimer: The title of this post is literally taken from Chicks ‘n Chained Males edited by Edith Friesner. I just couldn’t resist using it directly. And no, it’s not about what you’re thinking – bondage/sadomasochism and other fetishist behavior. You really have a filthy mind, on you if you are. But I’m not judging you at all.
And the book has nothing to do with this post whatsoever.
Today started off slow. I took my time waking up, hoping it would be a slow, lazy kind of day. The unbearable heat makes it impossible to move so I decided not to. Considering I have a terrible itch to draw, I decided to be bad and do nothing. It happens to all of us, I’m sure. Procrastination should be a popular sport. It probably is.
However, my hopes were dashed. What could have been an excellent day in my extended summer break was rudely interrupted and I had to procrastinate harder. Some events cannot be ignored.
Anyway, on to chicks and chained males. I should explain:
Chicks = Informal term for a (young) woman. It is also a very flippant term which makes it offensive to self-respecting feminists and some other women. Many people insist it is non-derogatory anyway. Different strokes for different folks.
Chained Males = Men
Now that we have all that sorted out, I should explain further. I believe I haven’t done much justice to the term Chained Male. As you can ascertain, the way the term has been punctuated signifies its importance. This could very well be extremely important. A Chained Male is your average man in Pakistan. I was exaggerating my ignorance when I defined it as all men. Since (comparitively) my experience covers mostly Pakistani men, I should restrict this term to them alone. A Chained Male (besides being Pakistani) is chained in his own notions of greater mental and physical prowess. His delusions of grandeur limits his common sense and makes him behave very badly indeed. When faced with more of his kind, he turns into a gibbering baboon or some other gibbering ape-like creature. He swings his arms around a lot, uses bad language and reminds everyone of his superiority. Alas, the baboons he is faced with (also being hopeless chained in their notions) reciprocate with similar behavior. In the end, one chained baboon wins the battle and walks away pleased with his greatness. Of course, none of these men realize that nobody gives a shit. Really.
From the viewpoint of a mostly self-respecting chick, all of this is utter rubbish. There is no need for this ape-like display. Sometimes all you need is to walk away or even better, to speak your mind clearly. Hitting people and resorting to gibberish in french (no offence to the French) is counter-productive.
Unfortunately, this post is starting to go in the direction of that old men and women are from different planets spiel. I try to avoid generalizations but to err is human. All I’ve heard since I can remember being female (as a child, I don’t think I was too bright and I really didn’t notice the difference. I have a fantastic action figure collection to prove it), is that we live in a male oriented society (Pakistan) and/or a male oriented world (the whole damn world). I think everyone I know has reminded me of that. Men rule, women submit and that’s how it’s supposed to be. However, in real life, this notion is often contradicted by situations and events. Then it took me a long time to get used to the contradiction. It also took me a long time to realize it was bullshit and things never really just are a certain way. Things can go any which way they want. Even then, if women are imprisoned in vanity and idealogies involving guilt and shame, then Pakistani men are chained in delusions of grandeur.
Every other day I notice this strange behavior. The summer has really turned men into more recognizable forms of Chained Males. The heat melts their polite disguises and you can see the chains as they fight everything but their own imprisonment. I could analyze the causes but what’s the point? The damage has been done. Today, for instance, there was a fight involving my (senior citizen) dad and brother with seven large men. It surprised me. Today was just another day. Every day, people (mostly men) squeeze their large sweaty bodies into my apartment building’s elevator. The elevator can clearly carry only a few of these bodies but they try to squeeze in anyway. Usually it breaks down. It also has very bad ventilation and after being stuck in it a few times, I prefer the stairs. It is frightening to be stuck in a tiny elevator with dozens of strange sweaty animals and no ventilation whatsoever. Of course, the men think it’s their right to be stuck in there together so what can I say?
So these men were stuffing themselves into the little elevator and my father (always trying to be a hero) told them its “wrong” to do so. Men being gorillas (and chained in their miserable existence to a notion of superiority) couldn’t handle that coming from another gorilla. All hell broke loose. As a result one of them managed to scratch my brother (another gorilla always trying to be a hero) and some of the men got pushed around. It doesn’t really make sense. Why would all of them get so heated up about the elevator? My dad shouldn’t have bothered and they shouldn’t have reacted. But since they’re imprisoned anyway, it had to happen. Everyone tried to show each other who was boss. In the end, nobody was anything. And nothing came out of it.
But this isn’t a very good example of Chained Males. However, it will have to do for now.
What bothers me is why? Why would they imprison themselves? Why wouldn’t they want to run free? Maybe men and women are different in a big way. I have been in some serious fights myself because I lost my temper. But with these guys its more than just that. They always have something to prove. Maybe if mommy hadn’t spoilt them so much, they’d be more human. Maybe it’s the women who chain them in these delusions.
The book is about women rescuing men. In this case, however, no woman goes to the rescue of the men that they have ruined. Maybe I am generalizing in a big way. Maybe I should quit procrastinating and draw.