Day 106: It’s a popular symbol of feminism

I’ve been nose deep in literature to prepare for the upcoming end semester exam. I start off with the subject that brought out the true expertise of the teachers in the department – Sociological foundations of Education. After the high-charged discussions on social justice and socially relevant issues of education over the summer, at Bhor, I was excited when I found out that I had this subject this semester.

And boy! What a disappointment it has been!

A few things I remember being said in class, by the respected sharer of information.

  • I wouldn’t allow my son to find himself a girl friend. It’s against my culture and culture is our God.
  • All these live-in relationships and all must make your parents so sad and disappointed in you.
  • The sole aim or purpose of a family is to give birth to young children.
  • Social stratification is natural and it’s these strata that bring a sense of calm in the society. If we were all in one big societal class, we’d kill each other and die.
  • I don’t know why the syllabus has Economic studies as a part of Sociology. Let’s skip that part.
  • All women in certain families in North India have to wear a ghunghat. They are not allowed to enter the living spaces with men without wearing the ghunghat down to their chests. It’s a popular symbol of feminism.

And a bonus one.

  • Myanmar is the capital of Burma.

I feel cheated at the end of this semester. A Master’s program should not be spending 60 hrs dishing out definitions and meaning of ideas like culture, social classes and Inequality. These should be pre-reading for the students to come prepared to class with. And the discussion should be around matters of social relevance. Nobody will ask you for the definition of gender bias in real-life. It will stare you down your face when a father chooses to pick his teenage girl out of school. And you will be unprepared to handle that situation.

All this studying and you seem to be in pain. Do you need a hug?” Scotch 

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Day 45: Growing up right

I have still not recovered from the drama yesterday. SrA walked into class expecting everything to be normal. Nope, it will never be. When I leave the class, she tells A that she sat till 8PM the previous day (the BIG day), and two of her friends from the B. Ed class did the screenshots for her. “DID” it for her. And that’s exactly what we didn’t do, remember? Because we only ‘told’ her how to do it. She was seen in GD’s cabin till very late last evening, crying her heart out. I can only imagine the flow of conversation there.

Apparently the reason she broke down was because I told her to press “fn + PrtSc” to print her screen, where as in her laptop, she just had to press “Print Screen”. Yes, I am supposed to know every model of laptops out there and their key pads. If she had spent 3 minutes of the time she spent bawling like an imbecile, she would have realized what the right method was. 1 minute to figure out Fn + PrtSc dint work, 1 minute to figure out Win + PrtSc dint work, and 1 more to just hit the Print Screen button. OR, 3 minutes to google how to take a print screen for her laptop. Nope, a more productive way to use every body’s time was to cry like a three year old that did not get candy at the fair.

I am reminded of my dad’s response to my crying when I was in my tens. I invariably burst into tears at the slightest rebuke. Discussion, argument, point of view, were all unknown to me back then. And the minute he saw those tears roll by, he’d say, “I don’t see a reason why you are crying right now. Maybe we should give you a valid reason to cry”. This was, invariably, followed by a quick, tight slap. And I stopped crying. Us girls have abused the tears for too many years to get our way around, and as a feminist, it worries me. I’ve seen a number of women at work tear up because their code did not execute, and have had a team-full of men sit with them through the night to fix their buggy, poorly written code. I’ve been in heated arguments with ex-boy friends that completely became one-sided (to my benefit, of course) when the tears rolled down. I was, in fact, asked to fake-cry recently, when my Uber had an accident with a speeding auto and other women in the auto were up to take all my money.

“I Love You” and “I am Sorry” are the most abused 3-words. I’ve added the “I am crying” to that list as of today.

“I am going to cry now if you don’t fill my dinner bowl already. What do you mean I already ate dinner 1 hour back? I’m still hungry, yo!” Scotch

My bowl is empty! Again!

Day 16: Of minorities and handicap

It is really disheartening to see people use their religion and religious choices as a handicap, a crutch to rest on and derive benefits from. When getting admitted into a Christian university, I anticipated some amount of bias towards those of a similar religious affiliation. Until I walked in, I’d known only sisters and nuns like Mother Teresa and expected them all to be saintly.

The college has change my perceptions on that entirely. I’m all up for waiting for a slow learner in class and ensuring their up to speed. But using their inabilities as an excuse to take away learning experiences from others is just pretty unfair. In a democracy, irrespective of your religious affiliates or minority status everybody deserves an equal vote. And the majority determines the way forward.

Rant, rant, rant. You do realize that it’s the age of the weak? And if you didn’t support the weak, then how would you differentiate yourself from the right wing ideologies? 

Can we go for a walk and get some fresh air,  instead?”  Scotch

Sniff! Can we go now, please?