In the light of many people sharing their stories of sexist college rules, I’d like to share mine too.
I study in a highly credited private engineering college in Tamil Nadu. The academics and infrastructure is great, but the hostel rules are a nightmare.
The dress code for girls is salwar kameez with a compulsory dupatta. The curfew for girls is 6:30 pm and we aren’t even allowed to be within the campus after this curfew. So if you skip the horrible mess dinner, you’re done for. And, girls are never allowed to step out of the campus, except the two or three times when we’re allowed to go home for festivals and study leaves. It feels like we’re on parole when we step outside. Inside the hostel, they expect us to wear ‘modest’ clothes, even though it is a women’s hostel.
Out in the campus too, around 6 pm, all the security guards start shooing girls away into the hostel. They even have staff put in place just for moral policing, who don’t seem to respect anyone and CCTVs installed in the canteens to keep a check on us.
I could go on and on about the extreme sexism, discrimination and misogyny that prevails in this place. It has left me mentally drained because I am locked up either within the four walls of my hostel room, classroom or campus. And it’s not just me.
Apart from this, we miss out on so many opportunities waiting for us outside such as volunteering in NGOs, coaching classes, etc. It feels like my wings have been cut off and I don’t deserve any freedom. I’ve cried myself to sleep so many nights, longing for a breath of fresh air. I’m just glad I’m in the final year of college and I will finally be set free soon.
And why do I have to go through all this torture? Just because I am a girl.