i chanced upon an edition of that gem of a magazine, India Today.

"smart and sassy" said the cover page, showing a young woman. the story was ostensibly about how women are making it big in the corporate world. india today is india's largest-selling english magazine, so i think it's a fairly representative visage for that fuzzy beast called mass media. i want to dissect the representation made by them now.

first, have a look at a couple of recent editions which have featured men on the cover page.



(from indiatoday.com)

and then, the current issue:


(from indiatoday.com)

let's see, famous actor... think of the face.

a cricket coach who was murdered ... how do we recall the person? face.

representation of powerful women ... strike a pose, display that groin. obviously a woman's intelligence, power or drive to succeed all lies centered in her crotch. therefore it's completely relevant if not absolutely vital to include a splay-legged display of it when discussing her abilities.

it makes you freeze to realise that it's easier for the media to portray a dead man as a person, than portray a woman as something more than a "body".

i don't know about you folks, but i'm yet to see a woman posture like that in a board-meeting, or even in a team meeting. wow, how realistic a pose. so that's what women do at work - stand like they're about to launch into a quick tea-break version of moulin rouge.


(from allposters.com)

using a chair in a cabaret act is almost cliched now. in 1972, liza minelli made a movie called "cabaret". the poster of the movie less blatantly highlights the woman's groin than this supposedly non-sexualised depiction!

also, how many women have you seen waltz into office dressed in the finely embroidered ensemble that this one has on? can you imagine getting any work done dressed like that? is it even remotely practical? the only thing you could comfortably do with an outfit like that, would be to sit in an air-conditioned glass case. someone's been suffering an acute attack of woman-are-decorative-elements.

finally, the most obvious idiocy. "sassy"?

sassy

adjective (sassier, sassiest) informal, chiefly N. Amer. bold and spirited; impudent.


impudent of the little girls to walk into an office and get noticed? ooh, they're being spirited in the presence of the Big Male In Charge, huh? the word drips condescension. so that's a really bad choice of words, mr editor, even if the reader didn't know that "sassy" is an americanised corruption of the word "saucy" which happens to have certain specific connotations.

saucy

adjective (saucier, sauciest) informal 1 chiefly Brit. sexually suggestive in a light-hearted way. 2 chiefly N. Amer. bold, lively, and spirited.


"sexually suggestive"? well, knock me down with a feather.