Gender biased etiquette..

Open and hold your car door for ladies, during lunch or dinner pull out the chair for them before you sit, offer your seat to them in crowded city bus or train, these are few tips offered to men who wish to behave like a true gentlemen (?). It is also said that true gentlemen treat women as a woman, I guess this means give them very special treatment for sure but definitely doesn’t mean treat them as equal. While these etiquettes might make women feel special, privileged or even happy on these occasions, but according to me these etiquettes are gender biased.They are examples of positive gender discrimination (where women are getting special or preferred treatment just because of their gender). Superficially there doesn’t seem anything wrong in it, they all look so well mannered, good intentioned and very respectful also but such minor incidents slowly sow the seed of discrimination in people’s mind.  Because of some of these things some men get impression that women are different (or special or weak who always need help) and they should be treated somewhat differently (that is like woman). But then these people also expect that women should behave like woman, because they are special andImagedifferent than men (inferior, weaker, less capable, etc.). These are the men who get surprised or even feel shocked when women demand equality.
Gender discrimination like any other discrimination can be either positive (where some person is offered special treatment just because of their gender) or negative (where person is discriminated just because of their gender). Men and women both are victims of this type of discrimination. But whenever men or women face positive discrimination, that is when they get any special treatment just because of their gender normally they don’t complain. I see most men and women enjoy this type of special treatment offered to them but when it becomes negative discrimination they start complaining. Any type of discrimination (positive or negative) should be questioned, because if you tolerate one type (positive) then people expect you to tolerate other type of discrimination (negative) also. Some families treat boys differently than girls, boys are allowed to go out more frequently, they can stay out late, drink or even smoke after certain age but similar things are not allowed for girls. Boys often don’t see anything wrong in this preferred treatment, they don’t complain for this special treatment but then same families expect boys to outperform girls in every competition, he is expected to work and earn living for his entire family (bread earner), he needs to be strong under all circumstances, after all he is the man of family…the savior, the protector, bread earner, etc. All these expectations put tremendous pressure on them, they are expected to perform and succeed not to fail or show any weakness. In any sexual crime men are considered as obvious offenders (statistically they are in most of cases, but the problem is it is assumed even before any investigation), and without realizing some men suffer because of their gender. Some males who don’t fit in this mold struggle, feel guilty or even get ridiculed by society (for not being real man). I have written about discrimination and bias against women in some posts before so I won’t go into details about that. The truth is both genders get special treatment and then also get discriminated just because of their gender. I think both these things are wrong, once we accept one thing (special treatment or positive discrimination) then the other thing (negative discrimination) comes along with it.
Why women need to be treated any differently than men under any normal circumstances? What couple does during their date is their personal matter but to make these gender biased etiquettes a general thing is wrong. Women can open car doors themselves, pull their own chair and they can also stand like any other normal passenger in train or bus. I have seen many ladies politely rejecting seat offered to them just because they are women (by saying that they are fine and don’t mind standing). There are reserved seats for ladies in trains and buses in India but there is altogether different reason for that, I think everyone who has traveled in crowded buses and trains in India know why ladies are offered reserved seats or reserved compartments. But I think we don’t need any reserved seats just for ladies anywhere, in special cases like pregnant women people (both men and women) should be courteous enough to offer them their seats. Women are capable of taking care of themselves they don’t need others (men) support specially in a way that makes them feel that they are weaker sex. I hope that more and more women reject this type of special treatment offered to them just because of their gender. Equality comes with some price, it’s not a free thing. Equality also comes with some responsibility and struggle, if women want to claim that they are equal to men they need to behave like one. They need to reject all special treatment offered to them just because of their gender. They need to say that they don’t need special treatment but need equality. They need to fight for their rights, it might com with loss of all this special treatment but I am sure equality is far better than any special treatment which comes at the cost of equality.

 

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.
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Diet for Soul

In order to take care of the physical body, we give importance to diet, exercise and to proper rest or sleep.

In order to take care of the non-physical self or soul, we need to make sure that we feed our intellect with positive thoughts. Attention needs to be kept on the diet of the intellect. If we keep feeding it with positive thoughts, then automatically it will make us free from any heaviness and we will feel the lightness of our own mind.

The regular practice of meditation for 5-10 minutes every morning is the exercise for the soul. Meditation will help us master our sense organs, think more peacefully and powerfully, maintain our focus of inner attention and therefore remain undisturbed by external events (at the workplace or at home).

The third important thing is to give enough rest to the soul. We sleep to energize the body. We need to give rest to the soul in the form of silence in the mind. Refuse to do anything in this one minute. Just one minute of silence and calmness every hour gives rest to our mind and will empower (strengthen) us for the rest of the hour. So we are able to do our work more efficiently and effectively.

Blame Game

 

A very common negative habit that some of us possess is blaming others when required, either in the family or at the workplace, to save face and gain temporary respect, even if it is at the expense of someone loosing face and being disrespected. It is a very common occurrence in offices when an issue arises between people, before the issue is taken up with the head of the particular department or the office, one of the two people involved in the conflict, who is more at fault, will present his case to the head in such a way so as to blame the other and to acquit (free) himself and maintain his reputation in the office and find favour with the head.

We explain this phenomenon on a spiritual level. The person who blames is attached to an image of himself being as being extremely efficient and well-respected at the workplace, who never does anything wrong or incorrectly. He identifies with this image completely and because of that is very attached to it. In the above scenario, if he lets his mistake come out in the open, this internal image, which he carries, would get tarnished (harmed), something which he is in love with. So there is attachment and because of that there is fear of loss or harm to the object to which there is attachment, the image in this case. This image, which is so defined in spiritual language, is called reputation in common language. Also, there is attachment with an internal image of being more successful by getting a possible promotion and progressing at the workplace in the future. This image is also about to get damaged since the job might be lost or a promotion might be stopped. So there is attachment to this second image and fear of harm to this image also. To protect these two images, the person plays the blame game. The Law of Karma, though, does catch up sooner or later with such a person and with such behaviour. Being honest may cause temporary harm to these two internal images or reputation as defined above, but one remains safe according to karmic principles in the long run and the temporary harm, if any, is undone and respect regained.

Male chauvinism…

It seems there is some sort of competition among some Indian political leaders about who makes more derogatory comments about sexual violence against women. This blatant display of male chauvinism is sickening and disgusting but this is not a new or recent phenomena. Apart from Samajwadi Party leaders like Mr.Mulayam Singh, who said that young boys do these type of mistakes (rapes) inyouth rage and should not be punished very harshly for this or Mr. Abu Azmi,who said that women who have sex outside marriage should be punished. There aresome who are suggesting that Mr. Modi’s wife must be happy that finally heaccepted her publicly. These are not some isolated incidents, there are manypeople across the party lines who share similar views. And please remember thatthese leaders are not some new entrants in politics they are experienced andseasoned politicians who very well know meaning of these statements and alsoknow political benefits associated with them. Such statements not only reflectmale chauvinist nature of society but also show pathetic attempt to trivializeof such incidents.  

 

Rape is a heinous crime, it brutally hurts the victim not onlyphysically but also emotionally, it leaves permanent scar on their mind, andthere cannot be any doubt about seriousness of this crime. Only insane orinsensitive people can trivialize it. Offenders who commit this crime must begiven harsh punishment by law; at the same time awareness should be spreadamong youths which can help to minimize these incidents. Strong and effectivelaw along with aggressive awareness campaign is the only way to tackle these typesof problems. These politicians are not helping the cause at all by making thesetypes of statements. Actually they all can go to any extent to gain politicalbenefit, they can justify riots, rapes or any other heinous crimes, and thereare examples of these from very recent past. 

 

What prompts these people to make these types of statements? Whypeople allow such politicians to win the elections even after making suchridiculous statements? The reason is believe or not there is large section ofsociety which still believes in this type for things, they still believe inmale superiority and support male chauvinism. These people don’t come from somebackward areas or belong to uneducated class but there are highly educatedfolks also who believe in all this. These are people who cite examples frommythology or from history to justify Mr. Modi’s action of leaving his homewhich resulted in abandoning his wife. No matter for what purpose Mr. Modi lefthis house and what he achieved I wonders how people can justify his action ofabandoning his wife and not bothering about her for so many years. I also feeldismay over these people now telling that woman that she should feel honoredand lucky that person of Modi’s stature finally accepted officially her as hiswife. No doubt whatever happens between husband and wife is their personalmatter but when anyone is running for public office then their all past andpresent actions can be scrutinized by media and public, it’s very commonpractice all over the world. Any such act by prominent public figure can send awrong signal to people. Same people who get influenced by such actions then tryto justify rape as some trivial mistake committed in youth rage. These peoplemight even expect victim to pardon the offender if for whatever reason heoffers to marry the victim after brutal rape and might even expect her to feellucky that the guy is doing this huge favor to her. 

 

This type of mindset is not only disgusting but also very dangerous;it not only tries to trivialize the crime but also encourages it. If peoplecannot stop these incidents at least they can try it not to encourage themdirectly or indirectly. There is no doubt that sometimes some of these laws aremisused to settle some personal scores or for some selfish gains, this shouldnot be encouraged and all such cases should be dealt with equal seriousness andsincerity. Sometimes people misuse certain laws but that does not diminish theneed to have strict laws, we just need a more efficient, sensitive andtransparent system to deal with such cases so that these laws are effectivelyimplemented. Women’s issues are important in any society but they are moreimportant in societies where male chauvinism is so predominant. If people likeus don’t oppose such actions then these people won’t stop from making suchstatements, supporting such actions and demeaning women. Women need all thesupport and help to deal with these problems. No doubtthat women need to empower themselves to fight this battle on their own but thesupport from all sections of society is equally important and crucial. We all can help to deal with these types of problems at least bystrongly raising our objection to such statements and questioning such actions.These politicians also should not get away easily after making such mistakes orstatements, at least people won’t get a wrong message and get misguided. Display of male chauvinism is always shameless but now it’sbecoming so blatant and widespread that we cannot ignore it, rather we cannotafford to ignore it.

 

Thanks for reading andplease share your views on this topic.