News Karnataka
Sunday, November 27 2022

Back off old man! That’s my ladies’ seat!

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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.

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