Saturday, July 14, 2012

Evolution of Gender Discrimination...

Sometime back, I read a post by Preethika about how females are held responsible even for disputes between men and how it is said that it all happened ‘coz of her’

I was still pondering on it when I read this incident about a girl who was traveling in the Delhi Metro.

And then, I saw the news about a group of morons in some village near Baghpat in U.P. (calling themselves some sort of a Panchayat) who announced a diktat according to which all women under the age of 40,

  1. Are to be barred from going to a market alone
  2. Should not be seen in public without covering their heads
  3. Cannot use mobile phones
  4. Cannot have a love-marriage

It is not at all surprising such things actually happening all around us. Ever since our civilization came into being, women have been forced to find satisfaction in being the subordinate gender. Even all the religions, either through their texts or their rituals have made sure that this gender-discrimination not only continues but grows stronger.

Very early in the course of human evolution, males realized the special powers the females of their species were blessed with. The males realized that females were in fact, the stronger sex. So, before the female population could realize this fact, the make up of the society was constructed such that the females should never get to know their strength and would readily accept the superiority of the males.

Being a student of Zoology, I learned how living things evolved and how creatures adapted to retain certain functions and corresponding body parts. Over the passage of millions of years, these characters eventually got incorporated in the very genes of the creatures.

And I think, so has the aspect of male superiority got incorporated in the very DNA of our population. (At least of those in the sub-continent) Just as a baby of a carnivorous animal doesn’t need to be told to be attracted by flesh, similarly, it comes automatically to a man to feel superior to a woman.

I’m not generalizing each and every male in the Indian sub-continent to be the same. And surely they all are not the same. But it usually takes a fairly decent upbringing to make a male different from the above norm of male dominance over females.

To put it bluntly, males cannot tolerate a female to be an equal, let alone be better in any aspect of life. So, they have to be kept in subordination. Either through religion, culture, rituals, emotions, laws or if everything fails, through force.

The above diktat is supposedly to prevent harassment of females of the society. Obviously, the harassment is expected from the males. But strangely, the clever males themselves decide to restrict the freedom of the females in order to escape harassment.

I just wonder…

Why not ban all males from going to the market unless accompanied by a female ?
Why not propose a dress code for the males (who have no qualms in going around a public place even bare-chested) ?
Why not prevent males from using mobile phones ?

And when they put an age limit of 40, is it expected that each female also carries a proof of age along with her ? So, that a goon may come up to her and say…

“Hello Ma’am ! Are you being accompanied by any male ? Can I have a look at your ‘Voter ID’ ? Ohh. So you turned 40 yesterday ? Here’s your ID. Sorry to bother you. Enjoy your shopping.”

Or would he say…

“Hello Ma’am ! Are you being accompanied by any male ? No ? Can I have a look at your ‘Voter ID’ ? Ohh. So you are turning 40 next week ? Hey guys… come on. She asked for it !”

And just how did they get the idea that using a mobile phone jeopardizes the safety of a woman when she goes out ??? Is it so that a goon/molester calls on the mobile phone of a girl and says…

“Hello. Sorry to disturb you. Can you tell me your plans for shopping tonight ? Will you be alone ? Yes ? Good. I’ll be there with my goons. See you !”

And they have banned love-marriages. The order says that anyone resorting to love marriage will be boycotted by the community and anyone found helping them will face a similar fate. In other words, they have a problem with the concept of love marriage. So, even if the girl and guy are well settled in their careers and earning well, they will not be allowed to love and marry.

I now think that the same-religion/same-caste marriage thing is just an excuse to continue the like-minded communion of superiority-complexed males. Something they will lose if love marriages are allowed to take place which allows a girl to get something she likes and chooses.

The people who resort to such moronic rules are actually the males who, during their own lifetime, have passed through an age where they couldn’t achieve what they wanted. That includes the absence of technology (mobile phones to connect to their love interest) and the forceful rejection by the elders to any rare confession of love. So, these frustrated souls would rather die than let the females (who enjoy living in relatively better times) get away with their dreams, aspirations and most importantly, their freedom. 

Often, while driving, I have noticed when a girl zooms past on her two-wheeler, within a matter of seconds, a guy (or a couple of them) on another two-wheeler, speed up past the girl, often swerving into her and making her stop in order to avoid a fall, and driving off after some sneers, glares or even some nasty words. I guess they just cannot stand being overtaken by a girl on the road even if she is in a hurry to reach her work.

Even during my college days, in the very first year, I ended up being second in my batch in the university exams. Ranks 1, 3, 4 and 5 were all taken by girls. I was more bewildered than anything about my result as I was praying to just pass but ended up being second. But, on more than one occasion, boys from my batch came up to me saying, “You should have topped. So, she should have been shown her real place !” Obviously, they didn’t care how they fared, but were visibly hurt because a female had topped.

So, be it at home, at work, at school or college, or even on the road, a man cannot digest a woman being better than him even if she has got nothing to do with him.

And I don’t think any set of rules or laws or even education can make a difference to this inherent gender-discrimination. As I said above, it seems to have been incorporated in our genes now. I only hope, and hope dearly, that the character of quiet acceptance hasn’t yet incorporated into the genes of females.

(Image courtesy : Google Images)


  1. a big thumbs up!!

    rightly said, girls sure need a change of mindset as much as the guys_ :)

    1. dR_MaGuS :

      Thanks !

      I don't know if it's easy to change mindsets once they get incorporated so deep in the minds. The so-called 'elders' in the incident above are the perfect example.

      And yes, girls need to stop accepting to be the victims.

  2. Well meant and well-hoped..!! Seriously, that diktat is certainly rubbish.. crap.. WHY can't the government interfere with such crazy moronic panchayats .. do they even have the rights to be called a panchayat?
    The news item also spoke of a lady who supported this.. isn;t that totally shocking? I mean.. if the women too felt that this is the right thing, then who can save their fraternity in the village??

    1. Punam :

      Exactly ! It's shocking to find some women supporting the rubbish that some men put up. And don't we see a female accomplice, often the mother, of girls who are killed in the name of honor ?

      I think it is the duty of a mother to sensitize her children towards gender equality right from the start. But in cases where the mothers themselves are on the wrong, it should be the duty of the sensible children (if at all they are lucky to become sensible) to sensitize such mothers against discrimination.

      Thanks for reading and adding your valuable thoughts !

  3. You hit the nail.. Kudos for writing such a post! Only you can write such a post. Really! loved the post! :)
    Not just in colleges, I see such discrimination at work too, even though sometimes women are better than men. Most women dont work (I agree), but some do work. People dont acknowledge that easily. I hate working in a male dominated company and team :(

    1. Avada Kedavra :

      Thank you so much for your appreciation !

      But honestly, I was forced to write this post by a level of irritation that had gone beyond the top. It is absolutely amazing how we let such ridiculous things happen around us all the time.

      Don't tell me that your company (and team) there in the US is something similar too... :-/

  4. US teams consist on 99% Indians :D

    1. Avada Kedavra :


      Ohh My God... !!!

  5. Shobhit, your post throws light on the medieval khap diktat followed by Guwahati case.....We have a long way to go. Today I read that a man in Indore tied a chastity belt on his wife and made advances on his own this is a case of mental imbalance....there are many many more which go unreported. Also some women support the khap diktats imposed on them. Education and upbringing can help...but sometimes even education does not help...look at the French diplomat case...

    1. Alka Gurha :

      Yes Ma'am. I've always said that education may affect the way of living, but doesn't affect the mentality of a person. The French diplomat is a perfect example of this. And I've personally known people with the highest education having a preposterous mentality.

      The Indore case is really one of mental imbalance. But I'm aghast how the wife allowed him to go to such extremes. He must have physically assaulted her to scare her from protesting. But it must have started sometime with a slap or something. Why didn't she object at the very beginning so that this wouldn't have gone to such barbarity ? There, I think is how Indian girls are brought up. To silently tolerate everything that the husband does.

      And the case about girls supporting the khap diktat, I saw clips in the news. Those girls have been brought up in an atmosphere of male dominance. Just like my statement above, they are conditioned to not only accept but also support whatever the elders/males say.

      Sometimes I think it has gone beyond hope...

  6. Kudos to you friend. Being a male yourself you were extremely frank about accepting the male dominance and ego prevalent in men folk... I seriously hope for a CHANGE... Change is required in the attitudes of both men and women.For men, they need to change their mindsets and for the women they need to change the attitude of accepting whatever they are told to do by the males as in fathers, husbands, elders... Especially when they don't find happiness and freedom in it!!!

    1. trishadey :

      Yes, change is required. But usually, by the time one is able to make their own decisions or accept decisions made by others for them, they have already been conditioned one or the other way.

      You will find so many females happily accepting whatever their father/brother/son/husband/boy-friend says even if it defies all logic. Females need to understand that they are entitled to have a point of view of their own even if it is opposite to what the men related to them have.

      Thank you for reading and for your valuable comment ! :-)

  7. Your post speaks lucidly of the gender bias wired into our DNAs, but Shobhit, this is not an Indian phenomenon alone, as incidences round the world illustrate. Just look at the French diplomat's case, which is just a drop in the ocean. There is hope yet; I would hate to believe otherwise.

    BTW, your blog doesn't have an email subscription option. I would love to subscribe to yours if you could put it in :)

    1. zephyr :

      Yes, it seems to have gone to the genetic level. But when I talked about the Indian sub-continent, I was referring to the male-dominant society which is oppressive towards the females. Though crimes against women happen almost all around the world. But still gender biasing is not as it is seen in India and around. Females do enjoy their human rights in most parts of the world.

      The case of the French diplomat was more of a crime against a female because of a sick psyche rather than an example of gender discrimination. Though a crime against a woman and male-dominance are usually inter-related, I don't find the status of females in France as being oppressed.

      And don't you see a strange connection how the French diplomat in question is somehow related to India ? It's just a co-incidence and obviously shouldn't be a cause of his sick mentality. But I'm just mentioning the connection.

      I didn't realize there wasn't an email subscription option here. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll try and fix one here. :-)

  8. i agree with your last comment.. the French incident was unique. conversely, we in India are so immune to this debasing of women because of years of seeing it happen.. such idiocy continues even today, 60 years after independence. why are the ministers of that state so scared to comment if they know its wrong ?

    1. Roshan :

      Yes. You are right ! We have seen it happening for so long and so often that we seem to have accepted it as normal.

      Politicians everywhere are scared if anything they say might drive away possible supporters and voters. That's how it works in India. And we as voters, still vote for such spineless politicians. :-/

  9. I just read the mirror of my thoughts Shobhit! I hadn't read you when I was writing my post. I wouldn't have written my post and would have just shared yours had I known it earlier. Kudos to you. It was very warm feeling that being a male u feel so passionately about it.
    And yes, there has to be a big thrust which will make all sit back and take a look, because now, from too many years of practice, male dominance over female is something that looks normal.

    1. Rajrupa Gupta :

      Yes. Though this thing has evolved not just over years, but centuries, I think it will take time to change since it's so deeply embedded in our systems. But it is never too late to start. And females will have to play an equally important role in the process of change. Specially mothers. who are probably the biggest influence on the way a boy grows.

      Thanks for reading and for your valuable comment. :-)

  10. Very nicely penned article. I liked the progress of thoughts here. I agree with you. But its not a fault of male gender of the society solely. Unfortunately some middle/old aged women play a crook role as well in suppressing the female section! Rest you have rightly observed & put forward the incidences like a lady riding a bike and guys following her... Good one!

    1. Shesha Chaturvedi :

      Thank you for reading and liking. :-)

      Yes, there are a lot of women who play a big role in promoting discrimination against females. I see it so often myself. I did mention it in another of my posts. There is a lot of change needed for things to be better.



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