Aug 23, 2007

Why should girls have all the fun?

At the outset, let me state categorically that I have nothing against women. I adore them. I admire them. When I was younger, I even used to whistle at some of the better looking specimens. And to be very frank, they do make for good eye-candy. I am yet to fall for one (not for any lack of interest or effort from my part though).

But some days, I just hate them for their hypocrisy. From the bottom of my heart. Today was one of those days.

I am standing in the queue for a ‘shared taxi’ with my friend, at Churchgate station. For some reason best known to the taxi union and the RTO, they have deemed that the wonderful ladies should not travel with lowly creatures such as males, while they go to work. So, they have ensured that there are 2 queues, one general, and another ‘ladies only’. (Please note, it is not a ‘gents only’ versus ‘ladies only’; a ‘general queue’ versus ‘ladies only’). I have absolutely no issues with that. Though I would love to travel with some of the lovelier ones, I am willing to allow them their exclusive cabs.

What I do have an issue with is that, while no guy dares to interfere in their queue, lots of them happily come and stand in the ‘general queue’, along with their sundry husbands, boyfriends, brothers and bosses. (Ok, before you start accusing me of implying that only guys are bosses, let me state that I am yet to see a lady boss come and travel with her subordinate; I see lots of lady underlings happily cling to their bosses). I do not appreciate them breaking into our line, but I grin and bear it. (Do I have a choice?).

But what makes me really loath them, is that when the taxis arrive, 5 out of 6 will go for the ladies’ queue. Yes, we get one, they get five. Now, I pay the same fare as she does. I go the same distance as she does. Economically, the taxi driver has no ‘incentive’ to go to the ladies’ queue. He may have his own reasons, but I suspect he is thinking like a typical guy. Why not combine business with pleasure? Why not enjoy some good company (typically fair, slim, smelling nice, all smiles) instead of ferrying sweaty, overweight males? I am ok with the taxi drivers’ mentality. In fact, in his place, I would have probably done the same.

What I have an issue with is the girls' hypocrisy. I look at one, smile appreciatingly and that is called 'eve teasing'. The taxi driver looks at them, smiles appreciatingly, and goes to their queue and that is called 'chivalry'?

When I see a ladies only coach in a Mumbai local going empty while men hang from their fingertips; when I see ‘ladies only’ seats in a bus which are occupied by fully fit (courtesy all those gym sessions) happily seated while some senior citizen guy gets jolted around in the crowd; when I see girls being allowed free entry into discs and clubs; when I see 33% reservation demands in Parliament; when I see an unspoken ‘quota’ in certain colleges; when I see the government giving free education, not on the basis of your economic status, but based on your gender; when I see all these things, I ask myself: Is this what they call ‘equality’?

I mean, either you can call yourselves equal and compete with the rest; or accept that you are inferior, and ask for privileges. You can’t have your cake and hope to remain slim too. First, you proudly proclaim that women are equal, nay superior, to men. That, you have better emotional understanding to actually manage businesses. Then, you turn around and ask for separate queues, separate seats, free entry, concessions and what not? This, dear ladies, is just not done.

That is why I have decide to brand you the ‘unfair’ sex.