He was sitting there in one of THOSE seats.

Not my own writing! Found on “Storypick”, an Indian fb site and the story was asking to be shared 😉

Humanity over Feminity

He was sitting there in one of THOSE seats.

I don’t know what had come onto me when I brazenly went, tapped on the man’s shoulders, pointed him towards the “LADIES SEATS” sign and asked him to vacate the seat for me. I struggled into my seat and started staring out of the window of the bus.

It was after 5 minutes that I felt the familiar pricking of somebody staring at me and saw it was him. With one agonized look at me he turned away his face. I sat stunned unable to come up with an apt explanation for this exchange and just when I decided to return that hateful staring, did I get the chance to look him up and down. And then I realized what I had done.

His clothes were in a bad state – torn, tattered and patched up at all places. They were splayed with some kind of dirt and there was a faint obnoxious smell to it. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out he was a daily wage labourer. By the tired look on his face, it seemed like he would keel over and faint any minute, if not for the people around him and his male ego keeping him standing straight. He needed that seat more than I did and I took it from him just because I am a woman and deserved to sit in that seat more than he did?

My travel everyday involves transport by a bus and it’s something that I see on regular basis- young, able bodied girls and women making old men to get up from their seats just because they are sitting in the ladies seats. What sort of feminism is this where claiming your rights becomes more important that helping out people who actually need it? I am a hardcore feminist. But my take on feminism does not involve the suppression of the male species. We as women are entitled to equality, not supremacy and definitely not cruelty. Feminism is best served with a hint of compassion.

By Surabhi Sinha

2 thoughts on “He was sitting there in one of THOSE seats.

  1. When the “I need Feminism Because…..” Meme went to India, this issue of equality was never raised. While Dowrys and rape are very real issues, gender equality can’t be achieved by addressing only issues that benefit women. So for addressing this I say thank you. I am now significantly less anti-feminist because of you.

    • Hi, thanks for the positive feedback. I have myself been wanting to write about India for a long time because the one sidedness of looking at the issues there does not seem quite right. I absolutely condone what is happening to the women but I do not think that it will get any better for them if only their concerns are addressed. Warren Farrell says it perfectly: “If one sex wons, both sexes lose.” Only because I have never been to India myself did I hesitate to write about it, so I was quite happy when I found that piece by an Indian woman. However, I almost didn’t share it because of that line about ‘that’s how Feminism should be’ because that is not how Feminism is. Individual people identifying as Feminists can surely be like that. But the ideology is completely one sidded and fights only for one gender, which means following it’s principles results in both sexes losing. That is why I don’t support Feminism. I support women’s rights and I support men’s rights, because men and women are each disadvantaged in different areas and they all need addressing. Feminism looks at the world from the perspective that women have been oppressed by men and now need to be freed. The result of this world view can be seen in the unfair laws that exist in countries where Feminism has been influential. They are unjust towards men and towards women who want equality. x

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