Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
Interesting question. I must admit that in Kerala, we don’t get to hear sexist remarks much. Most of what I’ve heard is from outside Kerala. Here are a few instances…1 – Junior School days – Abu Dhabi, UAEI did my junior school in Abu Dhabi. One day, we had to go someplace and my dad’s car was in the workshop. So we caught a taxi. The driver was dressed in traditional Pakistani attire…so he was presumably a Pathan. So he peers at me in the mirror and asks dad…’Toomara bitti hai?‘ (Is she your daughter?) And dad says yes. ‘Kiya kerr rhi hai?‘ (What is she doing?) Dad said ‘Grade 6 mein paddh rahi hai‘ (She’s in Grade 6). He appeared surprised and looked me again. ‘Iskool mein hai? Kiyoon?‘ (She’s in school? Why?). My dad just smiled to which the driver went on to elaborate that God has created women to cook, clean, make her man happy and to bear his children. Education is meant for men to look after their families. What’s the need to waste money on education for girls’ was his argument.2 – University days – Coimbatore, Tamil NaduA male classmate openly said that he doesn’t understand why so many girls join for engineering. ‘Y’all are going to sit at home and look after the kids anyway. Why did you join here and deprive so many boys of an engineering seat?‘3 – Meeting new people“How many siblings are you?”Me….”We’re two of us- my sister and I.”“Oh…no brothers?”“No”“Oh….” (face turns into one expressing heartfelt condolences) -_-4 – Job search daysI called up a prominent international Engineering and Project Management company based on an advert on their website. The HR guy told me that they have a company policy of hiring only men. I was left speechless. I asked him why and he said that women generally take a lot of leaves – sick leaves, maternity leaves, etc.- and that their company cannot afford to have such lapses.5- While travelingI have a certain ego issue with letting anyone carry my baggage for me. Maybe they are only trying to be chivalrous, but I absolutely hate it when men go out of their way to haul my luggage onto overhead cabins on airplanes or on trains. Ditto when taking my boxes off the airport baggage belts. Some men don’t even wait for me to request for help. They literally grab the suitcase off the belt and then look at me expecting a gush of thanks. D-oh! No! Did I even ask them for help? I hate to think that they think I am weak. I have politely refused their help many times…much to their surprise. Some of them even take offense and mutter “Who does she think she is? Bhimsen?” LOL 😀 (I think the Pandava prince Bhima must have looked very cute then)Edit:A lot of people seem to have gotten grossly offended by Point#5. So here’s a disclaimer. I do not have the habit of speaking on behalf of womankind. My views and my thoughts are my own based on my own experiences. I do not generalize. I never make statements like ‘women don’t like….women like….women detest….women adore….‘ NO! I have absolutely no authority to be the universal spokesperson for all women. We are all unique with our own ideologies. What may seem right to me may seem wrong to another. And all my statements reflect the person that I am. Unique. Independent. Just like everyone else.