21 December, 2016 is a day I shall never forget. Not because my friend met with a funny accident (he tripped from an activa) but because I, being a sane man was harassed in a red bus, in a government transportation in wide daylight. Who harassed me, you might wonder. Was it an old grumpy man who wanted to get me out of his way while he was trying to get down? Or the ticket collector who pestered me because I paid him 1 rupee less?
No. The answer to the above questions is a shameful No. I, 20 year old XYZ was harassed by a 20-something lady for I was sitting on a “keval mahilansathi (women only)” seat, the seat which she claimed was rightfully “HERS.” I declined to get up and offer her “her” seat because I was tired and weary, my shoulders were weighed down with a heavy bag pack and I needed to relax. To my sincere eyes, she looked young and healthy. She could stand.
Women are given more concessions, more reservations, more quotas so that there would be equality when in fact, it becomes the cause of widening the gap between both genders.
As I was expecting, she argued with me, cursed me, mocked me and used all sorts of tricks to make me get up. She was traveling empty handed and she could see the huge bag tilting on my lap yet she continued. Some ladies joined in her nagging, some more poured in, their voices a mix of abuses and accuses, each with a united aim of pushing me out. The situation became so wild that the driver pulled down the bus, said would not drive it if I didn’t get up and leave. People who were silently entertaining themselves now raised their voice.
I did not hang my head in shame. With all my dignity and pride, I got up, slid my bag on my shoulders and walked down the bus with a firm resolution of getting on equal footing, not with the woman, who wasn’t wrong when she claimed it was “her” seat but with the society, in general.
Why, or rather how are we living in a place which is one thing at the surface and something else beneath? Why isn’t any body talking about Maleism when feminism has become the word of mouth? Don’t men get harassed, tortured, depressed? Why are we not vocal about our needs and emotions?
I’m not anti-feminist but a pro-masculist. Reservation for women and senior citizens in buses is fine. Reservation for women in government organisations, jobs and education is fine, women-only trains, women-only compartments are also fine but theoretically and practically NOTHING for men is absolutely NOT fine!! There should be equality not only in caste and class but also in gender. The society is more benevolent towards women. Women are given more concessions, more reservations, more quotas so there would be equality when in fact it becomes the cause of widening the gap between both genders.
Gentlemanliness is but a reason for supressing our sentiments. Wondered why we have gentle men but not gentle women? We should campaign for reservations, for equality so that the next time we board a bus and take a “keval purushsathi (men only)” seat, no body looks at us with contempt.