There a girl in my class. Nice looking, classy, probably from a good family background (when we mean “good background” we most definitely assume the family to be rich). She is a feminist. She talks about women power and equality. I am usually impressed with the way she presents herself, presents her issues. She is good.
In the other hand, I am also a believer of equality. There’s nothing in the world a woman can’t do that a man has done. Women are even better than men in so many unthinkable matters. I admire women and girls who stand up for themselves and speak out against any intolerable male-act.
I like pampering my goatee, that’s my beard, I love stroking it. She hates the sight of a guy pampering his dari and one day she even told that every girl hates that. I often do this “despicable act” when the teacher is trying hard to explain what the hell “Alternative Paradigm” is all about. It helps me concentrate, boost my mental energy and speed up my writing. I am so addicted to this. But she totally hates it – the dari act. Hey, it’s nothing to do with the gender equality issue I was going to talk about, but it has a subtle psychological interpretation which I will leave you readers to ponder upon.
She is classy. Every now and then she takes out a copy of VOW magazine and talks with other girls of the class. She likes reading fashion tips. And one day she told me she was going to polish her nails just the way it was shown in the magazine. She looks so cute when she is delighted and her eyes have a wonderful sense of sparkles. She loves reading those fashion tips. The next day, she had her nails polished just the way she told me she would do. Hmm… Impressive! I asked her how wonderful it would be if every woman afforded to have their nails polished the same way. She was joyful and spoke – yeah, power to the women – that would be wonderful.
I never talk with her, she is the one who always talks and I listen. Today I felt like talking. “I wonder with hands like that, polished and cared, I wonder how you wash dishes at home,” I was curious. She blinked her eyes rapidly and gave me a smirk – “Are you kidding me! Kaam garney keti cha dai cha ni. There’s a girl maid in our house who does all the work”. Oh, how could I’ve forgotten that she was from a good family? Stupid me! Then all of a sudden something made me ask her again.
“How old is she?”
She had already forgotten, “Who?”
“Oh that girl-maid in your house.”
“I think… she is around… 12.”
“My friend is on the cover of the magazine. Have you ever seen her TV Show?” she asked.
But before I could answer, I could see the teacher’s intense glare upon us.
Usually, I never think. And when I am thinking, I am always doing that “dari-act”. 12 years old and she does all the works. Could she have any time to go to school? The family probably thought that was not necessary at all. I thought for a moment if the same thing was happening in my family.
I went out of the class to take a breather. Surprisingly, I was still thinking. I have an elder sister and since our childhood, we both learned to do our own stuffs like washing our clothes and cleaning our rooms and even helping mom in the kitchen, wash the dishes often. As far as I can conceive of gender equality, my sister and me are a perfect example. We went to the same school, used the same bus, mom gave both of us the same amount of pocket money. We both went on to the college. I believe that’s equal, isn’t it?
Everyone seemed to have come of the class out for a break. She was there just a few meters away from me. She looks so unbelievably fresh most of the times that she literally radiates. Sometimes I wonder how many times she takes shower in a day. She has a strong personality and someday I would definitely see her excel in whatever she does and be a really popular feminist.
Meanwhile, it was time to enter the class for one last period. So we all kind of rushed towards the class. As I was about to go through the door, I heard her speak – “Do you know that you are such a manner less guy? You are obnoxious when you do that dari-act and you are so thoughtless. You don’t even know you should say “Ladies first”, do you?”
I never retort. I keep it to myself. I let her go in first. Then something pricked my mind again. I started to think. If you girls proclaim that you are equal to men in every bit, then why not the mannerism of “Ladies First” be made obsolete. If I were a girl, I wouldn’t take my “sense of equality” for granted and demand “ladies first”. I wouldn’t let a 12 year old do all my chores while I drool around thinking about my nail polish. I wonder if I would bathe three times a day.
I will never figure that out because I am a guy. I like to do the dari-act and since I believe in equality, I will never be ‘well-mannered’ to offer a ‘Ladies First’ to any girl.