Metro Rail, with its definitive ergonomics, classical commuting ease of going about with regular everyday travel is here and it’s been quite some time since its induction. It has literally changed the dynamics of travel in today’s busy and bustling cosmopolitan cities. Yet, there is a refreshing slice of life that it offers from its basic conventional need of commuting; the chance to observe and to generally get a feeler of life from the socio-cultural India, as found in its rush and everyday concerns.
I noticed some anomalies in the insides of a metro rail that are purely concerned with behavioral and observational instances of its regular commuters and this lead me to ask a question- Is the Metro biased to Women?
‘Hell yeah!’ Most guys would already be saying this out loud.
“My word, I tell you what one whole coach in the metro is reserved for them and they ask for gender equality,” said a friend, “Equality is when we all travel together in the same coach. It will be so much fun,” and he bit his lower lip before giving a villainous grin. He made a valid point about biasness and countered his own point with that crooked smile in a span of just three sentences.
I’ve a friend, a very dear friend and she doesn’t travel in the general compartment. Even when she is travelling with me, she prefers the ladies coach and since men aren’t allowed in the ladies compartment, I’m left smelling another mans armpit when I could have been smelling the sweet smell of her hair (Why do girls smell so good? They may not shower for weeks but still smell like roses. Body odor is surely biased to women).
She has a simple reason to not travel in the general compartment. She doesn’t want more than fifty pairs of eyes ogling her. “Why would they look at you, you are not even that pretty.” I said jokingly and she punched me in the arms. And the very next day, I knew what she meant! I somehow convinced her to travel with me in the general compartment, as we just had to travel for two stations. She agreed and we entered one that was semi-packed. In those four minutes of travel, I wanted to punch almost every guy in that coach, even the ones with grey hair on their scalp.
I’m a young and uncomplicated guy. I seldom shy away from spilling out my guts. Adoring a person of the opposite sex comes, somewhat, naturally to me. If there is any girl around- I look at her and then I look away. That’s how simple it is for us men. You look and you look away. You look for a microsecond and then you turn away. But those people in the compartment didn’t believe in the concept of looking away. Nope. Solemnly committed to doing the irrational, they weren’t going to stop brandishing the contempt one has developed for weird onlookers. They kept on ogling.
Thankfully they didn’t pounce but instead helped me understand why my friend doesn’t want to travel in the general compartment.
From that day on I’ve started taking notice and what I’ve noticed is that if you want to know where the pretty girl is sitting in your compartment, look at where all the guys are staring. Their gaze will lead you straight to her. So yeah! A coach is reserved for all the ladies, not because they willingly asked for it but because we forced it upon them with our actions.
Guys, remember that moment when you are waiting for the metro and it goes right past you. You see the first coach (the women’s coach) and it’s almost empty, like the theater during a Sajid Khan release. A ray of hope strikes the chords of your pessimism and it starts humming a positive beat. ‘I think I can get a seat today,’ and we start dreaming, teary-eyed.
Cometh the second coach and it’s crowded like the star cast of a Sajid Khan movie. Doesn’t your blood boil? Don’t you wish to raise your voice against this disparity? They get to travel in an almost empty coach while you are left guessing which hair- oil your co-passenger applied in his hair this morning.
I think that it’s the time to end this disparity. We should act today to end this inequality. We men should unite and form a fist that can blow away this biasness in one single punch. How can we do it? It’s simple.
Let’s start by respecting women.
What are you laughing about? I am serious. I know it sounds difficult and almost unachievable but we are the people who threw away the English from our country. I think we can throw out the animal from inside us. Well, we could try a step at a time…a small step for man, a giant leap for humanity. Like the next time you see a woman, try looking away. Try not to stare past the obvious with your eyes. As it is, there are scanning machines everywhere and the Big Brother is watching out all the time.
Try to not judge her character on the basis of her skirts length. Try not to drool.
Be swayed by magnanimity of character. Not by the shallowness one has associated with immediate physical beauty.
Maybe if we follow these simple steps, she wouldn’t feel awkward in a general compartment. Maybe the next day she wouldn’t feel the need to go to the women’s coach. There may come a day when she would sit in a coach surrounded by guys and feel safe. And there may come a day when they wouldn’t need a women’s compartment at all.
So, is metro biased to women?
Do we want it to be unbiased?
Can we work on making it unbiased?
Can we start to do so by respecting women?