We all know in today’s world women are being treated with more dignity, respect and they themselves are more aware and determined to be treated equally. But every now and then, we can easily see for ourselves certain instances that make us wonder, aren’t some(very little minority) of the women taking unfair advantage of this new-age phenomena of Feminism – Women equality or equal treatment for their own personal benefits?
Let me make this very clear that I am personally very much in favor of women empowerment and equality with respect to all – social, economical and educational backgrounds, because their recent achievements clearly highlight the importance of equal treatment in their well-being, but what feels like a crisp slap to the face is the reality of situations when, unjust treatment is given to men, by quoting the ‘women’ factor.
Everybody has traveled by train and we all know, the normal routine of buttering up the TTE and negotiations, if we have a Waitlisted ticket. So, here’s a brief account of what happened with us 3 friends recently, during a train journey.
We were travelling from Mumbai to Nagpur on waitlisted tickets and somehow managed to get an upper berth for 3 of us, because the person with reservation didn’t board the train until then. We kept asking the TTE continuously about any available berth, but every time he gave us the same response that,this being a rush season, no berth is available. And thus we kept sitting on the berth, we got earlier. So, 2-3 hours passed and the person didn’t show up, so we asked the TTE again to allot us his berth, by taking whatever charges(rishwat) required. But he said to keep sitting until someone with ticket shows up and we did, and here’s where it gets interesting.
Suddenly after, half an hour he shows up with this one girl( who was 5-6 years senior to us) and tells us to get off and give the seat to her. We were shocked, he had actually allotted that same seat to her, even though she had a general ticket. So, naturally we protested, we said why couldn’t he allot the same seat to us when we asked, and then he started giving us this long speech about – if this was your sister, what you would’ve done and all that stuff that she is all alone and what not. He was not telling that he had taken nice amount of money doing that, but was bringing the ‘woman’ factor into it, he was actually trying to make us look bad and naturally everybody around us supported the decision to give the girl a seat. Everybody thought, they were doing good for society by supporting the girl, but nobody considered that the 3 of us were also students, we had waiting tickets, we also offered money to that TTE, but just because, that girl started crying and making a scene we were forced to vacate the seats. It was not about the seat, which we gave to that girl anyways, but about the way in which everything proceeded. If that TTE was so eager to help the girl, he shouldn’t have taken the money from her, he should’ve given her seat form his quota, everybody kept saying the same thing she’s a girl, give that seat to her, are you mad, be a man, like what they couldn’t see was their own hypocrisy and in the end to make 3 people stand and allot the seat to 1 person made more sense to them. She was an adult, and if adult, educated girls take to such steps to play the ‘women’ card to make a scene, all hope is lost. Is this how we expect an adult girl to react in normal situations, to make a scene, to cry and gain sympathy to get work done? Ridiculous!
Such a blind, sheep like behavior is what is doing our society harm, having a soft spot for such kind of behaviors from some girls, only encourages this kind of behavior. Being an Engineering student, I have seen Girls getting favors, getting marks in Viva, simply by smiling or doing some coy behavior. I know most of us can qoute innumerable such instances. If we ourselves do not take the initiative to treat girls equally, give them the freedom and rights they deserve, how do we expect them to be of really a competition to the men in the industries, if they are not at all evaluated by the same standards, what’s the use of blindly taking in more and more women, if their are not of required standards. What happened with us was not a big deal, and happens too often, but what it did was highlight the hollow mentality of the society in general to us.
Many men with old kind of thinking still do not respect women, even if they achieve higher, respectable post in various sectors, simply because they know that the evaluating committee has not judged them in the same manner as them, they have given them the benefit of gender. And thus such hard-headed people justify their misogynistic behavior by quoting that women have it easy and even if they are on higher posts, they are less qualified.
I think it is time for us to not go over the top to help women, we should only help them, when and where required, so that they themselves take it upon themselves to be more independent. And we should make sure that in doing so, we do not act unjustly towards men, who might be more qualified or more deserving. There are a lot of inspiring stories of women getting success against all odds, but I don’t think such stories will come up more often if we keep playing the ‘women’ card over and over again. The right behavior starts from small things and on small scale when opinion changes everything is changed.