The Internet is a weird place with memes everywhere, some being totally funny and harmless while others exist for the sole purpose of offending people in general with their biased presumptions.
On August 12, one such meme flooded our Facebook news feed with an impertinent caption “Talk about equality”, stinking of sexist sentiments, about the Delhi Metro’s reserved coach for Women.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, or DMRC as it is popularly known as provides a compartment reserved for women commuters for the solitary purpose – safety. However, the existence of a Women’s Compartment doesn’t mean the other compartments are off limits for women. Though most male commuters think otherwise.
Take for instance, if a woman, decides to travel by the General compartment, frequently mistaken as the “Male Section”, she is subjected to snide remarks and resentful glares of dozens of men for taking up their seats in the metro. In their expression of displeasure with women having a reservation in the metro, men often, invariably, forget that while only one compartment is reserved for the ladies, the rest are not exclusively meant for them.
Harassment in public transport is not unique in India. Women who study, work or simply exist here have always had one unsafe option after another to travel from one place to another. There are plenty of women who suffer harassment, inappropriate touching, gaping and staring by their male counterparts in public transports. Instances like these are the reason why there are reservations in the first place. Moreover, reserved compartments and seats are not a special leniency towards women; rather they are a sign of a serious and deeply-rooted social problem.
If men in our society knew how to behave around women, in public transports or otherwise, there won’t be any need for such reservations in the first place. And for all those men who think it is a privilege, that shouldn’t be given as it obstructs equality, ought to disown all the advantages that they get merely for being a male in India, and they we will truly have a discussion on equality.