In the battle of which poster is the best, some of us have forgotten the purpose behind them. Our approach is extremely flawed when it comes to dealing with an issue like gender. We are a part of a community where our administration, faculty and staff have internalised inherently sexist practises and notions.
In the display of intolerance against the Anti Sexual Harassment Committee, some of us have forgotten the fact that a bunch of students crying foul at every sexist sentence uttered is of no use. Only when we as a community realise that our damning acceptance of anything that could be discriminatory to any gender is problematic.
Through this article, I shall try to mention a few reasons why a gender sensitisation campaign should not be “preached” by a few, but should be adopted by all:
We are young:
18-24 years is the age gap in which we can truly change as people. Many of us enter college, still living in our privileged bubbles which are waiting to be popped. The changes we make in ourselves in this period, define who we become further in our lives.
Home sweet home:
No matter how much we want to deny it, this campus is our home. Once classes our over, we leave our “professional” environment and go to our humble abodes.
We should be able to enjoy the freedom provided by a home and not be subject to discriminatory remarks by teachers on how girls (as far as I’ve heard) behave after classes. We should be able to wear shorts in the evening and lie on the grass when we want to.
Do you want to live in a place where some people feel a certain entitlement to some ideal of beauty? # First years girls are so ugly. What a disappointment.
It’s National LAW University Delhi:
No matter what you want to do once you leave this place, as long as you’re here, you cannot ignore issues like gender, sexism, homophobia and so on.
We as law students need not proactively engage in every initiative, but awareness about these issues is a must.
We as law students should express some amount of tolerance regarding all issues, and tearing up posters or defacing them is not the culture our college needs.
There is no such thing as being “sensitised”:
Honestly, I have used this word to target people, multiple times in the wrong context. A person can never be sensitised, as there is no bar of sensitivity that you can ever reach. There is no number of talks, discussions, debates, initiatives that you can be a part of, for you to be declared “sensitive”.
The question is whether you are willing to be more sensitive. This is a continuous process.
This is a movement, not a battle:
Creating a community wherein every student may not fight for gender equality and no discrimination, but is at least aware that this problem is ingrained in us in everything we do, should be our short-term goal.
The long term goal would be to have a utopic campus where we get rid of our inherent sexist notions towards all notions. It would be to have a community where the faculty, administrative staff, workers, students and all stakeholders respect and treat all genders equally.
This is not a battle of a Committee v. the student body. It is not a paternalistic exercise of a few girl students v. boys of the entire world. This is a movement which definitely needs to begin in the 6th year of our college’s existence.
Recognising that advertisements are sexist and that “faggot” is an unacceptable word is not enough. Depending on a student body to change the entire campus is not a fair expectation.
This is movement, which I personally would want everyone to be a part of. It is a continuous process which should not be exclusive to a bunch of people.
If certain people feel that intolerance and vandalism is the only way to go for something as trivial as gender equality, then, may the odds of patriarchy be ever in your favour.