The prelude to this post can be found here which briefs the background story.
So one of the friends’ advice in the matter – “A guy in your situation would never think twice. He will do exactly what I am asking you to and that’s the only option that’ll even come to his mind.“
What is that supposed to mean? A brag, a justification, what? Did he mean that this was the only logical or sensible way to go because a guy would do exactly that.
My retort – “Are you trying to justify the move by saying that a guy would do that and that’s why it makes sense? I hope not.” I don’t know if he was embarrassed but he was a little surprised. Maybe he dint mean it that way but unknowingly as it may be, that’s the impression I got.
He defended by saying – “Guys don’t go into the emotional side of things. They think practically. The system uses everyone so why to get so sentimental?” I disagreed. I don’t think it was a ‘guy’s perspective’ he was giving me. Maybe he was conveying what he would do in my situation. I know plenty of male friends who would find themselves in the same dilemma as me. So it maybe the popular option in the conventional patriarchical culture, but it’s definitely not a guy thing. I call this ‘unconscious sexism‘, the kind which is prevalent in our society and wich we promote without even noticing.
Another incident happened when my boss was discussing about my future with the company. He said that he is putting a lot of trust in me in taking this risk and I should assure him that I’ll give this at least 2 years of my time before thinking of a change. I agreed. He added – ‘Is that a gentleman’s promise? Because I can’t force you to stay. I can only take your word for it.‘ I responded – ‘Its a gentlewoman’s promise.‘ How about that?
It was a joke for him but not for me. These little things matter. Gentleman’s promise, man-up, be a man, ladies first…..and so on and so forth.
My advice to all my male colleagues – I know you want us to be equals as much as we do and this requires efforts and initiatives from all of us, the 100% of our society, maybe even a little more from you. It would mean thinking twice before promoting sexism as harmless as it may seem, even as a joke. When we come to you for advice, it doesn’t mean we need a man’s solution. It means, we need just another perspective. This has seeped into our subconscious without our knowing and we would have to remove it from the roots before being able to joke about it. I trust you to be with me on this.