Day 115: And yet we never support our girls

Any trouble in married-land and we are already ready with our guns pointed at the girl. H and her married life has proved to me that marriage is invariably a union of two dysfunctional families, one that makes your own weirdeties seem like the better of the lot. It’s also a union where one party invariably makes more sacrifices than the other and they spend the rest of their lives either making up for it or being morose about it.

What is critical for them to realize is that sacrifices are expected, and are justified as long as they are balanced out. I’d like to see the man live in Bangalore for a month, working from here, while building his social circle here. He would understand exactly what H is going through after moving to KL to start her life with him.

Invariably, the woman is expected to make the grand sacrifices, of her economic, emotional and social stability, and is expected to fit in seamlessly into the newfound circles. Any inability or trouble in doing that is automatically deduced as the girl’s disability and poor upbringing. Any leniency or support from the man’s side is seen as him being a pussy or wife-whipped. He himself walks with the superiority of having done a favor, while a relationship is equal work from both ends.

What got me thinking on these lines today was the conversation with dad, when he almost seemed apologetic for his daughter’s temper and the trouble in the marriage. It’s funny how little they had made an effort to see what might be causing the ill mood, the trigger from the other end. I dared him to tell me one instance where the mother of that son would have accepted his flaws openly. To her, he is the unspoilt unpolished diamond from the lines of South Africa. And on the other side, we let our daughter take the stab for everything, even something like marriage that takes a village to run the show right.

The patriarchy was evident when he justified himself by saying, ‘How can I say that the guy is at fault when I’m sitting in his house and eating his food?’ What happened to the part of the meal that his daughter had paid for? I thought the house automatically became ‘their’ house because what is his is hers. No?

That’s why I say the girls should stay home with their mummies all their lives, S. Then you have the comfort of the same bed all along. Aaah those pleasures.” Scotch

Day 93: Don’t call that gender bias now

A foot into Switzerland

The morning was spent on the streets in front of the visa processing center. We paid for premium services, meaning we did not have to stand in the infamous queues for a visa application. But that also meant we had nothing to do. So we stood around on the road, chatting with PGS.

The agents got us some fancy deal and we did not pay most of the visa fee. We’ll know soon what major games were at play. Overall, between herding the women around the office and collecting their money for the processing, I got a sense that I was their chaperoning teacher while PGS was just another student. Strange strange feeling being the responsible one.

Things got whacky when all the women wanted a ride back and we decided to stuff into the Red Beast. So that’s a record 9 passengers, with 4 upfront utilizing the baby seat to the fullest. It was a really stupid thing to do and I should learn to say no to such things soon.

Col Fr Dr TCM Sir

The Student Council had its first meeting with the big bosses today. So we were armed with all our suggestions and queries to make every student’s life better. Ha, where we stupid!

Here are the highlights:

  • A fist fight that broke out in the elevators because students were riding the wrong direction is a petty issue.
  • Faculty evaluation during the mid semesters is a matter of utmost interest: specially since nothing is done about the end-term evaluation itself. Faculty who have been consistently rated poorly are still enjoying free will.
  • A class cannot have 40 students, instead of the current 60, because who would compensate for the lakhs lost from those 20 students?
  • Libraries cannot be open on Sundays because we’re not getting enough footfalls on weekdays itself. And that’s how the value of a mall is calculated.
  • Students cannot understand anything that the teacher from Korea teaches. Too bad, we pay her a lot; so, have your students listen harder.
  • We cannot ask the food vendors to reduce plastic and stop selling plastic bottles on campus. Because, have you listened to Trump? Climate change is a farce and nobody is truly environmentally conscious now, are they?
  • Girls cannot wear leggings under their salwars because there are boys, and fathers, on campus. The leggings unleash the beast within them, I presume.
  • Easy access to sanitary napkins is something the Fr Col Dr VC doesn’t concern himself with. Because, he is a Father, you know, and let women bleed out of their vaginas; not like a Father is ever seeing one. Right?
  • Girl hostelites pay for their laundry while the boys don’t. And the girls are in their cages 30 minutes before the boys. Why? It is a needed precautions and don’t ask us why. And that is not gender discrimination now, Cmon!

2 hours, one vada and a coffee, later, it was very evident how powerful the Student Council in this University really was. It was evidently a facade of student representation, where all that was expected was for us to look pretty, hold umbrellas for cultural events and herd a crowd when needed.

Maybe what you told GardenMan is true, S. You guys are leading the #IndianCynics band, and looking at it all with dark shades.

Don’t mind me. I’m just sharing my doggie wisdom. That’s all!” Scotch

Day 24: Of stereotypes and men

Spent a good few hours with Mr. Pk today, interviewing students for the student council. The gentleman heads the media studies department in the college and has a certain calming charisma to him. A has a big school girl on him, but that’s no major news. Who wouldn’t fall for the salt and pepper hair, a smile to die for and those teenage boy-like eye lashes? My previous conversations with him made me realize that he was different, very different, from the head of my department. The head of my department reacted to the Bangalore New Year molestation news by mocking the girl’s clothes and blaming it all on the way she dressed. Enough information to judge his character.

PK was very sober throughout our interviews. Not uppity enough to be tight lipped, cracked a joke or two, drank water from our bottles and shared sandwiches with the students. He was definitely reachable, unlike a lot of professors that walk two feet above the ground, on their own little pedestal.

What impressed me about the man was not his buying us food or cracking jokes. The first was when he was visibly hurt when this student brought us all snacks and drinks in a plastic poly bag. He reprimanded himself for not reminding the student to not bring plastic, and for not giving him his bag to bring back food. I have seen few in mainstream academia from PK’s generation who are really worried about saving the planet.

The second thing that left a much deeper impression was his chiding a student for stereotyping men. She was presenting her case about some bad teachers in her department and kept referring to the unnamed offender in the contexts of the masculine gender. Pk gently asked her if the particular teacher was a male teacher, and the student clarified that it was a general observation. He immediately asked her to switch to the neutral gender or the dual reference to both. He clarified his stand by stating how stereotypes are formed and how we should be conscious to not further it.

It got me thinking about stereotypes that are forced on men and how the education sector is always abundant with its own bag full. In a profession that’s largely dominated by women, the few men would seem marginalized. Most staff room conversations would center around the meals to be cooked and the fevers to be handled. While men should worry about the above aspects too, there would rarely be cricket and football talk in a staff room, would there? Men are automatically rejected by some schools, and for some age groups, because of their insensitivity. Images of male teachers always seem complete only when a large cane and a frown are added in. Did I just stereotype men again?

Enough talk about men and women and stereotypes. Can we go out now, please?” Scotch