Here Charitable Individualism is the key!… nothing less.

Gender Bias!

Not long ago, when my son was still at school, and caught up in gender discrimination issues asked me a question, which on the face of it appeared an innocuous inquiry to ascertain facts. So while we were at a restaurant near NANDINI on St. Mark’s Road, Bangalore, he asked me, ” Dad,, did you notice that there is a tobacconist at the entrance of NANDINI HOTEL?”

I said, “Of course, and I have many friends who had stopped by at that tobacconist to buy cigarettes. So what is strange about it?” I asked wanting where he was driving at.

So he said, “Did you notice that that tobacconist’s shop is abutting the compound wall of  BISHOP COTTON’S GIRLS’ SCHOOL on St. Mark’s Road?”

I said with an air of accepting an uncared for piece of fact, “I know..”

“So,  having a cigarette shop within 200 metres of any school was an offence, and near my school there are no cigarette shops and some of my smoker friends have to walk quite a bit to have a smoke and it is an unfair advantage for the girls!” he said.

Yes, it is a law which is in force, but may be this tobacconist had had his shop even before the law came into force, or worse still the school “CAME INTO NUISANCE”!

CAME INTO NUISANCE- what the hell does that mean?  he asked.

“In England, once an elderly couple bought a house in a lane abutting a cricket ground. So during the weekends the house was left with a few broken window panes to the annoyance of the couple. So the couple filed a suit in the civil court claiming compensation from the Cricket Club for  damages. Lord Denning, who decided the case on appeal, succinctly raised a point and settled the issue in favour of the Cricket Club by stating that, the couple knew before they purchased the house that there was a cricket club in the vicinity  and that there was a locational hazard which they willingly assumed, so effectively by purchasing a house thus located was COMING INTO A PRE-EXISTING NUISANCE! So no damages!”, i said.

Dad don’t bull shit me, this Cotton’s for Girls have been in existence for close to a century, if not more and there is no way a tobacconist was there prior to the establishment of t6he school. So please think up another one.

So I shifted track, seeing the sense in his point. I said, “There are laws which cannot be uniformly enforced, as there are not enough people in the government to check everything and take corrective steps. So certain illegalities pass off for want of governmental notice!”

He said, ” Dad, that is not the point. Girls are generally thought of not to be smokers, whereas boys are thought of to  take to such addictions. That is why this cigarette shop is allowed to be next to a girl’s school. This is nothing but GENDER DISCRIMINATION. And let me tell you dad, there are more girls smoking around than boys, at least in Bangalore!”

I thought of my school days when we also, as boys thought that, girls had it easy- ALWAYS! The gender discrimination issue is nothing new and in the metamorphosis of human evolution, one has to face it sometime and fight for one’s space- ALWAYS!



Comments on: "Gender Bias!" (4)

  1. Chelraj said:

    Hi Movid:

    It would help if you point to the source of statistics about girls smoking more than boys in Bangalore. The topic “Gender Bias” also looks rather confusing. Historically, the word “gender bias” was (and is) attributed to the female gender. Daily, we read news about dowry deaths, honor killings, frustrated parents killing their female daughters, people traveling to Thailand to get the gender of their fetus checked, illegal ultrasound clinics all over India, girls getting molested in bus (and ironically Kerala tops the list in this category), etc. To me, linking the topic of gender bias to a false analogy of “substance abuse” does not make sense.



    • movid said:

      BIAS is PREJUDICE and it could be for or against. Since “historically” it has become fashionable to make more headlines ascribing NEGATIVITY in respect of women, BIAS appears to be so to You, Sir. But, Bias could be FOR or AGAINST. In my blog, it stands for treating girls preferentially, without assessing the present reality!
      Regarding statistics, i have not cited any statistics, but that was the statement of a, then school going boy- maybe that was his impression. I thought i shud believe his statement on his peers!
      Thirdly, i am not a fan of all these gender issues which have hogged the headlines and the precious time of our courts. I believe that GENDER NEUTRALITY could be better achieved if “positive discrimination” is not indiscriminately sought for and obtained under duress. If girls get molested in buses, then let us get the women LADIES’ SPECIAL BUSES, SEPARATE ENTRANCE WITH PARTITION FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS. Let us do something and generate income for the state and then get it done. Structural changes is the only way. Reforming rogues and scoundrels ain’t gonna happen soon.


  2. Chelraj said:

    Personally, I have noticed females being the object of true gender bias. I am the youngest of the 2 sons in my family. I had noticed people telling my parents, “oh, you have 2 sons.” After marriage, I have 2 daughters now, and I hear people telling us “oh, the second one is also a girl.”


    • movid said:

      Dear Chelraj, have you ever seen a firm/concern/company mentioned as MOVID & DAUGHTERS? or CHELRAJ &DAUGHTERS? No way, it has always been MOVID & SONS or CHELRAJ &SONS. Why is that so? Sons “historically” used to take up professions and vocations of their fathers and used to defend their rights giving their lives when needed.
      When Dinah got violated by Shechem, Dinah hardly fought back but it was her brothers Judah and Simeon who went and killed all the men of Shechem. Likewise, when Amnon raped his half sister it was Absalom who killed Amnon- so men have been traditionally into these “extreme corrective measures”. So power came into their hands, therefore they could manage better.
      So PEACE among men is not a by product of thought out policy, but a strategy to avoid conflict and LIVE PEACEFULLY and be PRODUCTIVE. Even today when that equilibrium is disturbed MAN will return to RIGHT IS MIGHT attitude.
      So historically, men were preferred. What does the Psalmist say at Psalm 127.?
      Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
      Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. (New International Version)
      But if you see the KJV it is children- why has this been changed in 1984 in NIV? Reality my friend reality.
      Let’s get real, but let us be kind and caring and not equate or attempt to equate women with men. Their roles, attitude, needs are different.
      I believe children are God;s gift, girl or boy, a child is still a child without gender and let us not worry about what gender they grow up to be. Let us raise them and not assign roles and attempt to fulfill our aspirations thru them!
      People will have bias, i can’t change that or them,. When my cow calves they are envious that a cow-calf is born, but when a girl is born they sympathize. They look at the MONETARY gains, but such prejudices are the privilege of the undiscerning.


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