Man Woman Divide

538px-man-and-woman-iconsvgThe world may move in an astronomical speed. But the gender equality may go only in snail’s pace. Despite women becoming presidents and prime ministers there is less equality among men and women. Unfortunately some women are misusing the law for personal scores. In this paradoxical situation it is the society which can create judicious climate for good gender relationship.

Anushree Lakshminarayanan writes in The Times of India (22 July 2009)

I was filling a morbid declaration form and realised that this really is a man’s world. The form offered me two compelling options to declare my
identity, ‘wife of’ or ‘daughter of’.

With one tick mark my escape was prohibited. I was securely consigned to my man’s world, once again. Whether at the workplace or otherwise, the glass ceiling manifests itself in new and interesting ways. Ever wondered why a board on a road under construction always reads ‘Men At Work, Drive Slow’, never mind the fact that women too might be slogging it out in the sun? Or why a manager’s output continues to be measured in terms of man-hours or man-days when there are hundreds of working women around? Now one can argue that most of these unwritten rules are man-made but that only further reinforces the fact it is, after all, a man’s world.

One knows this sexism is here to stay when one doesn’t even know it exists, which usually happens when one comes to live with it right since one’s formative years. I never questioned, for example, as a child, why, when provoked, a tiger could turn into a man-eater and never into a woman-eater or why, in the moral science class, God was always addressed as he and never as she.

I never questioned why the child is the father of man when my English teacher first used the phrase. I didn’t wonder if a child could be a mother to a woman. Later, one grew up to accept the word ‘craftsmanship’ to describe skills and ‘sportsmanship’ to elucidate the admirable spirit in our, well, sportsmen and rarely or never women, not to forget our age-old mankind that probably epitomises chauvinism while condescendingly agreeing to take us women in its folds.

When it comes to this gender bigotry, Bollywood is not far behind. Remember the sobriquet angry young man, so lovingly bestowed upon mankind’s biggest hero that no woman, old or young, worth her anger has come anywhere close to earning such memorable titles? “Man! Isn’t that’s a lot of bias to deal with!?” quipped my husband. The only consolation prize, if at all there is one, is that the mother of all inventions is just that: a mother.


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