When I was younger, I was taught that deception came in the form of lecherous men offering chocolates. Took me a while to realise that it can also be the pretty aunts in the family who ask you to get involved with other men.
I don’t see how the world,so easily,moulds us into this stereotypical divide of right and wrong and how easily we swear by the divide as if it were written in stone. It took me a while to realise that the lines between right and wrong are heavily blurred. It’s not because we don’t know what’s right. It’s because we fear to stand for what’s right. It’s true that the most common form of discrimination comes from men.It was only yesterday when I was walking back from the departmental store in the campus when these two guys on a bike zipped past me and threw a bottle full of water on me.I had to walk back to the hostel totally drenched in God knows what water.It could have been acid,it could have been water from the gutter and the people on the street were snickering to themselves when they saw those two boys. I had never felt more humiliated in life.I really can’t even tell my family about it because they’d obviously say’exactly why we don’t want you going out alone’.That’s when I realised how pre-Holi pranks are so gender-specific and what was more appalling was that the other men on the street found it hilarious. Truly,why do stand up comedians put in so much of effort?They should go about unloading trucks full of water on mankind. That’d be so amusing,isn’t it? I was enraged. But I realised that it won’t make a great difference.This isn’t all of it.Try stepping into a Debate tournament to look at the cultural cliches that the circuit comes up with. They call them-“LEGENDS.” Oh,and guess what? Most of them are tall,heavy-voiced men who apparently have carved a niche for themselves in the temple of fame. Funny how the women are seen as tiny little specks of dust there. It doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad,the first thing that most men in the circuit feel when they go up against a woman is,”okay,she’s pretty. So dressed up for a debate? It’ll be an easy win for us then.” These kids are so delusional. “a) you’re just sitting in an ivory tower and romanticising on novel ideas. You’re not really making tangible policy decisions. What’s the deal with getting so worked up in the process of it all?b) belittling girls colleges? Really? Is that really a fun thing to do? You’d be surprised to see what the girls think about your disgusting body odour and your pre-historic sense of clothing.”So,you see, these men need to take a chill pill. I don’t even care if they had to role play SRK in KKKG to learn it. Since clearly,our society tells us that men can learn better only from other men. If you’re confusing the articulation of my ideas as ‘male bashing’,I’ll get more lucid about it.Women can sometimes be the most tirelessly manipulative creatures. I’ve seen women tear families apart, drive their spouses to the limits of irretrievable mental trauma,I’ve heard of women involved in murders,women who’ve aided rapes,women who’ve once been teachers to me and yet were biased and hurtful to a 10 year old. I’ve seen all shades of women and I’m still disturbed to see more tones and hues to these women.It’s not a Man vs Woman world anymore. It’s a Reason vs Established Realities world.It’s a very unequal world that we live in.In a world sharply divided by rules and sexist norms,it’s sad that we as women have to embrace a reality that’s ordained for us. It’s ridiculous that universities across India,where essentially you should inculcate the right values in students,on the contrary,we see them further deepening these cleavages in society. When you fill students with the wrong values and then let them walk into the mainstream world, they purge these values into the already unequal world,thus making for a case of irrecoverable damage. The only way we can overcome these stark differences is if we teach the men and women to see beyond the smokescreen and thus identify with each other as equals. We ought to be bound together as equals in an unequal world. My only submission to this reality where women are subjected to discriminatory rules and norms is that, if you seek to create a safe world,you must first allow women to engage with the world. When you stop this engagement,people don’t even evaluate the option of addressing equality,for the very framework of the university and largely,society which dictates us,provides for more differences rather than outlets for discourse and accommodation.Even otherwise,women face issues everywhere.Job interviews are one of the worst places for this, with female candidates quizzed about their personal lives and plans for a family.Women are often asked if they want kids and then what they would do if the kids fell sick? As if men are divorced from familial affairs.Men on the other hand,also bear the brunt of sexism.If a man wants to be a nurse or look after children, for example, he is seen as less masculine and should do something more suitable for a man.Advertising also treats men in a sexist fashion – it’s not just women that experience this.Men are shown as helpless creatures and often ridiculed.They make a mess of the house and need a woman to rescue them.Our society has somehow never created a fair divide. Is it right, for example, that men are named when falsely accused of rape, yet the woman remains anonymous?It hurts me to see how divisive politics has become and how our society,encompassing our familial and other human relationships constantly perpetuate these differences.We’ve been waging this war for way too long now.It’s almost as if it were a dream. We deploy soldiers,build armies,take down unjust empires… all in our dream. The instant that you wake up,you see how it all escapes you like damp sand from under your feet. Everyday there are little boys and girls who are abused,pranks at the onset of festivals,eve teasers walking around like it’s their natural right to hurt other’s sentiments:it’ll not be an easy win for the world.We need to each turn witnesses to each other’s strife in order to win this one.We need to step out of our eco-chambers and start knocking these walls down with reason and prudence.
Dear Diary,I’ve been writing you for way too long. I think it’s time that I set fire to the paper and took my ideas beyond these pages.
A woman,a student and above all,a human.