A few days ago, on the usual bus ride back from school, all eyes turned to the back of the bus. A senior had just slapped a junior for turning behind. I was sitting just a seat forward. I was vocal about my clear distaste for this act and when the argument got heated, a teacher was called behind to solve the problem.
My school has zero tolerance. Normally, If I’d have slapped anybody, I’d have a call to my mom, a red card issued and probably all free classes cancelled. But this guy got off scot free, increasing the already burning fire inside me.
The next day, situations led the same way causing me to yet again stand up and voice my views. This time, he came up to me and said, “You’re a girl, so shut up and stop talking so much. I’ll finish you.” which was like an alarm gone off.
I’ve been brought up in a family of strong, independent women and so I did give him a very strong piece of my mind before he went to the teacher in the bus yet again. He could have no answer to my arguments except an abusive word, which just prove my point.
The teacher came up and said I was at blame here. She said, I shouldn’t have argued in the first place. And all this time, nobody in the bus pointed out that it was wrong. I told her that she was defending a student who not only said sexist remarks but also used violence in school boundaries. She could say nothing but tell us not to speak to each other.
The next day onward, I paid a little more attention to what I was hearing at school. A teacher said, “Earlier only the boys were naughty, now it has been generalised” comments like “Behave like girls” began to sting me more and more. Even in the school clinic, the teacher said, “Earlier only girls used to come, now boys are coming.” I’m sorry, I did not know physical pain was restricted to a gender.
I was really unwell so I stayed at the clinic for an hour when I overheard the conversation between a young girl who wanted to go home because she was menstruating and in pain. She, (the doctor) said, “All of us women have to go through it, you can’t put a break in your life because of it right? Everybody does. Its not a big deal”
In my family, everything has been taught equally and to each child. I realised I was facing an unreasonable amount of sexism in my school, on a daily basis. Me and my male best friend, while hanging out once, were playing a game of whose punch was the hardest. When I won, I heard a boy Going by whisper to his friend “Ha! He got hit by a girl.”
My school is the best in my city and if this is the case thoughtour the world, we’ve hardly changed our thinking.
I really don’t mind fighting each ine of these people to kill off their thinking, but not a single other soul thought this was wrong. We keep screaming feminsim, the teacher who couldn’t do anything for me in the bus talks about women empowerment while the bitter truth is that even in 2017 we cannot accept women as equals. And it is not just boys like the jerk on the bus, but also women like those teachers who reinforce this orthodox thinking. Also if you are staying silent on the subject, you are equally responsible.
Rather than girls and boys, when can we be addressed as students? Our gender identities never matter more than our personal identities. Let us stop fixing behavioral qualities on a biological factor. Teens already have lots going on for them, dont make life tougher by making each day a battle.