"Tell me, do you find Sriprakash Jaiswal's remark about women offensive?"
"I found his remark about cricket offensive. I mean, if we didn't have the 1983 World Cup, what would we have celebrated for 26 years? But I'm not sure why he's being sued by women's groups."
"He said something about how new victories have the masti of a new marriage, and old victories are stale, like old wives."
"Were those his exact words?"
"Something to that effect. He implied that old wives are of no use because you can't, umm, do the nasty with them."
"Hey...has it ever occurred to you that there is no Viagra equivalent for women?"
"I'm sure there isn't. What do women do to keep up their sexual drive?"
"Well, I suppose there's less pressure on them, because there's, you know, no physical evidence of their interest in the issue."
"That isn't the point. This is about feeling an interest in the issue itself."
"I'm not sure how those things work for women."
"But don't you think there's a gap in the market?"
"But I'm not sure how women would react to companies introducing Viagra for them. They tend to take offence."
"Well, you'd think men would be offended by Viagra – clearly, if an elderly man starts thinking of wives and marriages after listening to nubile women recite poetry, the idea that men need a boost is offensive."
"The problem with men is that we don't know how to make the right noises. Look at how women went berserk when all that vagina lightening and tightening stuff entered the market."
"About that, I don't understand why they got pissed. I suppose if you do the salsa every time you give your husband food, you will eventually need the gel. I mean, how is it different from beauty treatments for the rest of the skin?"
"See, that's the point. Men haven't mastered the art of getting offended. We haven't learnt how to assert the principle of the thing, over the pragmatism of the thing."
"I don't think I understand the difference. But I get the feeling you might be offending more women by saying what you're saying."
"You're the one who wants to introduce Viagra for women."
"Well, I think I would brand it as a woman's right to choose."
"When and whether she wants to settle down to celibacy."
"Then, you should market it by convincing feminists that women's carnal needs have been neglected by a patriarchal society – that pharmaceutical companies don't respect the sexual drive of womankind enough to manufacture aids to sustain it."
"That's a good idea. Maybe the National Commission for Women would be open to endorsing it."
"That is a bit of a stretch. You can't predict..."
"No, you can't predict Mamata Sharma. She thinks women should be happy to be eve-teased, and expect to be molested if they don't shroud themselves in clothes. But she's offended at a remark about marriages growing stale with time."
"The logic of it all sounds quite convoluted."
"What I find amusing is the fact that pouty news anchors are arching their eyebrows over the comment."
"I think you may be borderline sexist."
"I think you may strike the right chord with feminists."
"Maybe Sriprakash Jaiswal could use it in his defence – that he was only suggesting that women's needs should not be neglected. You never know what will work. A judge did suggest that domestic abuse is no reason to break up a marriage, no?"
"It's somewhat ironic, though, when someone in charge of the coal ministry is being burnt in effigy."
"Ah, well, since nothing is subsidised anymore, I suppose it's only fair."More by the same author: Money doesn’t grow on trees, Dr. Singh, but food does
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The author is a writer based in Chennai.
She blogs at http://disbursedmeditations.blogspot.com