by Apurva Sapra
Have you ever heard a woman talk of gender discrimination? They get all fired up and heated as they narrate their sorrowful tales of prejudice.
They’re hypocrites. They may be victims, but not the only ones. I am a male, and have been victim of such discrimination many a time. Women will never understand the pressure on boys like me to find a decent college of the social sciences. I refused to succumb to social norms, and I fought for my right to an education at LSR, as a woman fights for shoes on sale. So here I am, in Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Now, not just for women.
The first day was nice enough, with everyone as lost as me. In fact, with all that was going on, I don’t really think they noticed I was different. Then it began. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I felt that even the cats in the café treated me differently, passing by me with an air of arrogance! As for the equally feline women, I was singled out, and ogled at, as if I was a pretty dress on display. Hopefully, one they wanted to wear. Not that I’m complaining, but the stares could do with some toning down.
Was being an Adam in a world of Eves so bad? But I took everything in my stride; from the endless gawking to the school-like discipline. I had to. I’m supposed to be stronger than the fairer sex, right? And strength, I had heard, impresses the ladies. A note to aspiring male-LSR students, don’t bank on it. These ladies are not what a stereotypical woman is like. Not coy, not weak, and definitely not real-life Barbie dolls with nothing better to do than wait for their Prince Charming. They are women of substance, a real pleasure to talk to when they get over the initial shock of having a boy in a class full of girls. Oh and, I’ve found out the secret to thin college girls. Apparently lunch break isn’t meant for lunch. It’s meant for meetings. If you pass by a board, you have to turn back and double read everything, just in case you miss a notice about some activity, seminar, or conference. No wonder women’s concentration is considered to be better than ours. They even have a “women’s” development cell, once again neglecting the problems in a man’s life. But then again, the college wasn’t designed to accommodate the masculine gender as pupils. I’m beginning to feel as if I am an alien, as foreign to LSR as Father Christmas is to diwali; or maybe a spy from the distant land of men, in this college to gain trade secrets. If I could, I would definitely want to learn the secret of what makes my classmates go on. Everyone is involved in so many societies, and I wonder how they can cope with the never ending assignments as well as their obligation to extracurricular activities. I’m not like that. I don’t have so much enthusiasm when I visit my NGO. For me, it’s all about the hours. I just can’t handle the sensitivity around me anymore.
Whatever the case, at least I tried to be the one guy amongst a group of beautiful minds. Maybe I’ll be better off with people as less of a woman as me. The world was right. If men are from mars, women are from LSR. And LSR is way out of my league.