Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

August 10, 2007

Gender Equality, is it?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:43 AM

A couple of days ago I was driving back home and I saw this big advertisement at the side of the road that said “Meow Radio, xxx Mhz (Can’t remember the frequency) A radio station just for Women”. and everyone is ok with this. But, If there had been a radio station that said “Just for men” there would be a lot of females complaining how the men are discriminating against women by having an exclusive channel for themselves and blah blah blah.

My question to all the ladies out there is, “Why do you want to have your cake and eat it too?” On one side you want equal treatment with men (and I am fine with) and on the other you want special privileges because you are a woman. Equal means equal. It doesn’t mean that you claim to be equal on one side and then demand special privileges on the other.

One big example that I saw a couple of years ago while traveling in a bus. First a brief bit of information for those of you who haven’t traveled in India via buses. (Yes its relevant to the story) In Indian buses there are a couple of seats that are marked “Ladies” which are meant for use by women only. The idea was that women should be allowed to sit even when there are no seats available. So on with the story. I was coming back from classes and it was standing room only in the bus. Now a few college age girls got on the bus at one of the stops and seeing that the bus was full walked up to the ladies seat and told the guys over there to get up because it was a “ladies seat”. The best part was that the guys they took the seats from were old enough to be their father.

Now I have a problem with that. On one side these same girls ask for equal treatment but when its to their advantage they want special treatment. If it had been an old lady or even an old man I wouldn’t hesitate to vacate a seat for them and have done so on many occasions but for college age girls, sorry. You want equal treatment then you get equal treatment, if there are no seats available then stand just like the guys do. It will be good for you.

The other extreme is the girls who react very badly to any courtesy action, like holding a door open for them. If I am opening a door and there is someone with me or directly behind me, I will hold the door open for them instead of letting it close on their face. It doesn’t matter if they are a guy or a girl. For me thats basic courtesy. I wouldn’t like the door to slam shut on my face so I avoid doing it to others. But some girls don’t like that.

In college I had attended a weekend trip for all Student club leaders (I was the president of ACM @NJIT at the time) where we talked about equality (both gender and ethnic) and over there I got into an argument with this one girl about the issue of holding doors open. She was really upset that people hold doors open for her because she was a girl and it had to stop because boys and girls are equal and so on. We ended the argument by me telling her that I wouldn’t hold the door open for her from now on. So when we were walking out of the place she was right behind me and I slammed the door shut on her face as soon as I went through. She was very upset that I did that and asked me why I slammed the door on her face. My reply was simple, “You only asked me never to hold the door for you, so I slammed it shut”. That was the end of the argument.

You see; when a guy opens a door for you it doesn’t mean that he is doing it because you can’t do it yourself, its because he is just being polite (At least in my case). I will open a door for you if I am in the front but if you are in the front I expect you to open the door yourself and keep it open for me also.

But the one thing I never do is pull out a chair to seat a girl. I expect you you pull out a chair yourself as its not that heavy. I am sure that sometime in your lives a girl it taught how to pull out a chair and sit on it. If not… are you sure you are allowed to be out in public alone?

Bottom line. I will treat you as I would treat any guy so don’t get on a high horse and start lecturing me. You can’t expect equal treatment one minute and then special treatment another.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

PS: I love to have a good debate on this topic or any other for that matter as long as you keep the matter civil. So if you have any opinions that are contrary to mine (or agreeing with me) do post a comment and I will respond as long as you make a constructive argument. Name calling and being rude will get you nowhere, any posts to the effect that I am an idiot or a chauvinistic pig or just plain rude will be ignored or made fun of (depending on my mood). You have been warned.

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