This is the 24079th column being written on this subject. And I’m still determined to flog the dead horse because no matter how much our society evolves, somehow the punch never goes out of a guy vs gal debate. No? The seed of this week’s column is a Facebook message from a reader, Aseem, who recalled an example of how differently we react to the two genders. It says that a boy once put up a Facebook status that said, “Going to commit suicide”. He got 0 likes (thank God!), and 1 comment from a friend that said, “Bike kiske paas rahegi?” On the contrary, when a girl posted: ‘Got a new dress, loving it’, 100 people liked it and she got another 100 comments, that too mostly from guys.
‘Does it reflect the desperation of Gen-X?’ asks Aseem.
Well, desperation ka toh pata nahi, but, exaggerated as anecdotes may be, I confess it does reflect a little bit of reality.
Why, why, why do girls have it so easy in life… is a question every guy asks, though I suspect they anyway have their own theory for an answer. And although it would seem that girls would take offence to this hypothesis, I was pretty surprised to see that six out of eight female colleagues who I discussed this topic with, tend to agree that girls indeed have an advantage.
Of course, I must make it clear that I’m not talking about serious issues related to gender discrimination. Because sadly, in parts of our country, being able to be born as a girl itself involves a struggle, right from the foetal stage.
I’m instead referring to day-to-day situations in an equal-opportunity urban setting. In the space and times that we live in, most parents spend as much time, attention and money in raising a girl as they do, on a guy.
There’s equal competition at school, for college admissions, for jobs, for promotions and so on. And then comes an evening when there’s a mad rush for tickets to a new blockbuster in the theatre.
While the guy, waiting in a long queue, curses everyone in sight, the girl breezes past, straight to the counter. Of course, it’s another thing that had there been a single queue, some lechers would have got busier in ogling than bothering about the tickets. But not every guy is like that and it’s not his fault that some are.
Anyhow, you get the point, don’t you?
Guys feel that girls are cake-walking through life.
To understand it better, I asked some of my male cousins and friends to elaborate on what frustrates them the most. 19-year-old Reliance (not his real name, he just suffers from too much gas!) said girls don’t have to struggle at all, in life.
“They just have to sit there, look pretty and wait for some guy to wander along and spend all his hard earned money on them,” he said. I slapped him. Horribly sexist, wasn’t that?
Then came 22-year old Tush (Yeah, I know. Sorry that I have people with such names in my life. That explains all the weirdness!), who gave these three gems.
1 Less expectations: ‘Although girls claim to be equal to guys in all respects, there are certain things that they are just not expected to even attempt,’ says Tush.
He recalled an incident when he had to go to a friend’s birthday party and was waiting for his sister, who had taken the car, to get back. She called to say that the car had a flat tyre, and that she’s standing on the roadside not sure what to do.
‘Change the damn tyre,’ I wanted to say but I knew she wouldn’t bother, because she’s never expected to,” he says.
Eventually, he had to go, change the tyre, fetch the car… and his sister, thus missing the party.
‘And still when we entered home, mom fussed all over my sister because she had such a hard time,’ he cries.
2 They know when to play the feminine card: ‘The same girls who are forever ready to pick up the morcha for equal rights don’t blink an eyelid before entering the pink coach (reserved for women) on the Metro, with a look that says they own the bloody train,’ says Reliance.
I didn’t slap him for this one. It’s true that girls enjoy the benefits of reservation.
Sometimes it seems justified, sometimes it doesn’t.
When it comes to arguing with parents over going out with friends, they are equal to guys.
When it suits them to cry ‘cramps’ and wriggle out of a tricky presentation in college, they are not. Point toh hai.
3 And of course, as Tush points out, girls have the most potent, invincible, unconquerable, trump card of all — tears. It works — in all situations, at all times. For whatever complexes of their own, guys can’t use this weapon. In fact, the poor guys are not allowed to get senti at all. Girls have all the right to hold each others’ hands and chirpily skip around. If a girl hugs her girlfriend and says I love you, we go all awww. A guy tries it, and we all secretly look for opportunities to call his dad and say he’s gay. And this, when he may anyway under be tremendous stress to flaunt a girlfriend. Tsk tsk.
Poor XY chromosomes. By now I’m sure some enraged girls would’ve already begun making hate groups on Facebook, targetting me. But wait yaar, the heat will be on the guys next week, if I get responses from girls countering today’s piece.
Bring it on, Venus. Sonal Kalra suddenly feels she’s thinking like a guy. Oh sisters of the world, drag her back to the reality of your life!