I refer to the discussion on gender issues in the Open Page of August 29. Gender differences, supposedly, do not matter much for the younger generation. Movies and television serials show girls and boys learning and working together in harmony. But life on college campusus, at least in Kerala, is a far cry from these “cheese” movie frames. Boys do not like girls assuming leadership. Of course, they include girls in team work. But when a girl shows some promise, comments and jeers follow.
Some boys consider it their fundamental right to pass comments on girls. If a girl reacts — what is called Jhansi ki Rani banne ki koshish — all hell breaks loose. “They are guys na …” she is told.
As for the stigma surrounding the friendship between a girl and boy, the less said the better. People watch them with raised eyebrows and ask the routine question: “can a boy and girl be friends?” So, my dear elder sisters and aunties, things are quite bad for us, students, too.
I do not understand why standards of decency are specified for women alone. I recently learnt that a strict dress code is implemented for women alone in a temple. The reason? Women do not dress ‘decently' and the rest of the devotees are not able to concentrate on praying.
Why should devotees who come to pray look at women and lose their concentration? Men should start accepting the liberation women are enjoying. Even if a man is half naked, no woman gets distracted.
This refers to the letter which said women should resort to acts of self-defence when they are teased on the roads (Sept. 3). But the suggestions are impractical. Imagine a group of men passing a comment on a girl — something very common. Can she sprinkle chilli powder on each one of them? Even if she makes a call to the police station, do you think they will arrive in time? And do you really think anything good will happen if they come? Again, the sufferer will be the girl who gives the complaint.
Keywords: gender bias