In my ongoing series of things I learnt from my parents, this is another story….
When you want to be equal, don’t expect privileges…this was something i learnt from my dad.
Once when I was in my plus 2 days, I came home huffing and puffing angry with some nerd who was in the bus who did not get up seeing me though he was sitting in the ladies’ seat
So Baba saw me and asked what happened and of course I vented out my anger as to how that man lacked chivalry, etc etc. It was then Baba said something I will never forget….He asked me “Were you in any problem that you could not stand?” I of course said no. So he said “What would you have done if a woman was sitting there” and I said I would stand like I did. Thats when he asked me “Do you consider yourself any less than the boys you know or men in general”. Now me the ever feminist of course refuted and said how dare you think that way. So he said “then why did you today consider yourself any lesser, that a man had to get up for you to sit down? When you want to be equal you need to FIRST TREAT YOURSELF AS AN EQUAL. You cannot want special privileges and equality at the same time”. Though I did understand what he meant I still egged him on and said “But you always behave so chivalrously. You always open the door, pour the wine, pull out the chair. Why do you do it?” That is when he said “Being chivalrous is my duty and I will remain chivalrous all my life, cause I was taught to be so. But expecting chivalry is your privilege. My duty is at max your privilege and a privilege is not your birthright”
SINCE THAT DAY I HAVE NEVER EVER SAT ON A LADIES SEAT IN A BUS, AND NEVER EVER HAVE I IN MY CORPORATE LIFE OR OTHERWISE EVER TOLD ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING SPECIAL FOR ME CAUSE I A WOMAN. That day I learnt that to be equal I first need to treat myself equally.
Also see my other posts on parenting :