I am highly perturbed. This post was due about a month back.
Two weeks A month and two weeks back, I joined a group of acquaintances, for dinner and to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was a nice gathering considering none of us had any time to relax the last 3 months what with the crazy schedules we had swung into. As much as I loved the company and those people are true sweethearts, I left having lost my appetite as well as feel very disillusioned. This might be a small issue and some might even think I’m really making a mountain out a molehill but at that moment I really did feel pretty crappy.
I’ve always been blessed to have wonderful male companions. They might not open doors for me all the time or offer to pull out my seat but they are generally very courteous and protective over me as a whole. As much as I am up for the entire emancipation deal, I do feel that women and men owe it to each other to behave and accord certain respects towards each other in public.
I do not yell and scream disrespectfully at my male friends, call them derogatory names nor say anything that might hurt their egos especially in the presence of girlfriends or lady friends or even other men for that matter. It’s all for the simple fact that I’ve always felt that a man’s ego is important to him and whatever you take a swipe outta a man, you don’t mess with his ego.
Similarly I’ve always felt safe when my male friends check on me, make sure I am feeling alright, help me order my food or at least signal to the Auntie in the shop so that I can make an order. Hell they don’t even need to go that far, simply inquire if I have ordered and I’d feel okay enough.
However, during this particular incident, I was shocked. Firstly the guys chose to sit in the middle tables leaving the girls on either corners of this long table. Now, there’s really little wrong with that and it could have been overlooked. However, if one notices Newton Circus well enough, they’d know that all the persistent tissue uncles/shop uncles and everyone else bugs the people in the corners. Furthermore, it really looks quite terrible when you see an entire chunk of boys sitting in the centre with girls bordering them.
So forget it. Maybe I am trivial. Let that pass. So then, one of the girls turns to the guys and goes, “Eh I want stingray!” and she gets a reply, “We order already! You call the Auntie and order for your table.” I wasn’t asking to have my entire order taken for me, but perhaps even to call the Auntie on our behalf would have been nice.
But I’m going to give these guys a break. Probably not their fault and they truly are nice and well-meaning chaps.
But imagine my shock. Maybe I’ve grown up amidst uncles, fatherly figures, teachers and male friends and brotherly figures who often shelter me or I’ve been used to having such treatment around the men who surround me. Make no mistake, I am no brat and I am no bimbo who needs a man to determine and define her existence. Nope.
I only feel that it is nice to have someone treat you like a lady. To have someone check on you and make sure you’re doing fine. Don’t need to hold open any doors or pull out our chairs. Be courteous, civil and a little protective. Treat a lady like a lady and she will behave like one. In turn, she will not yell at you in public. She will not bruise your ego by asking too many forthright questions.
I don’t think this is a matter of equality though many a time, guys when it comes to this topic claim we women are hypocritical. Standard argument is “Aiyah! You all want equality then take it all the way la. Go get public caning also. Capital punishment. And don’t ask us to open doors all!” People who push for such an equality, at least on a feminist stand i.e: equality in all sectors and aspects of life are radicals.
But for most of us, we are content with equal respect. Equality is not about being able to do the same things. We are biologically limited in certain aspects. So we don’t of course expect of us to be equal in every aspect. But don’t take us to be opportunistic because of that, wanting only the positive aspects of equality and pushing aside the negative. Because if we wanted radical equality, we’d demand you guys find a way to bleed monthly too.
What equality in a more generally accepted sense is, is about understanding either role in society, realising that gender is socially constructed, that either gender is capable of many things, not putting down anyone under the name of bias. That’s all its about. Similarly, its about according respect to either gender and trans gendered people as well. So give a little respect, get a little respect! Not very difficult to follow I presume.
I know that I might have analysed the incident above a tad more than I should have and I reiterate that I do know these chaps are well meaning. But I have come to realise that men as a whole are getting a lot less chivalrous and women a lot more scathing in nature. I think its incredibly scary when a relationship can work with a guy getting punched in the nose by the girl for calling her something derogatory. And yes, they claim to love each other. Similarly I always find it very repulsive when men refer to women very frivolously and of late, I’ve come to realise scarily that some women do it too.
It’s all about love. As much as I believe gender is a social construct, I believe that a larger group of us were made the way we are for a reason (once again, do take into account transgendered people who are alternative). So why not fit like a puzzle, the way we were supposed to instead of breaking the entire puzzle and hurting yourself while at it?
Parts of this entry may not make sense since they were written over a few occasions and I am largely tired thanks to terrible school days and have forced myself to complete this entry.