Some years back when the girls had apparently scored better in maths than guys, the headlines read “even girls can do maths”…there was a very interesting FB status during the world cup inquiring if women could really understand cricket... there was this FB poll asking if the IQ of the girls was decreasing continuously… ofcourse, when you confront these people, they express surprise on not understanding the ‘joke’ and accuse us to be frustrated females. I am very used to this and had always ignored writing on this matter. But this had to come… and it came when someone talked about the ‘unfair’ women quota in some universities.
This article, however, is not a personal attack. This is an attempt to attack another common mentality or I should say illusion that people have. This article concerns itself primarily with the women quota which exists in JNU.
JNU needs no introduction…it is supposed to be the hub of the so-called intellectuals of this country. JNU also has one of the lowest fees and that’s another reason for the monstrous competition. Besides the standard SC, ST, OBC reservation…there are many other quotas as well. Among which is the women quota. The Women quota in JNU simply means a deduction of 5 marks which is just about 1%. The quota does not have an internal reservation. It is for women…irrespective of their locale. So apparently a lot of girls make it to JNU, every year. But is it only because of the quota? And is the quota unnecessary?
So apparently a lot of girls make it to JNU. The quota is held responsible. But is it that all the girls who are in JNU had 5 marks less than the required marks? Girls from the top institutions make it to JNU so are they actually that ‘undeserving’? That’s my point about the girls of the urban locale where supposedly the gender discrimination is minimal. Now let me talk about the girls of the small towns and rural locale. Opportunities are limited for them. Investment in the higher education for girls is still not very popular. Education in these regions is also not very competitive. So reservation for women is as important as reservation for the other long-discriminated sections of the society. It is not because girls are “less intelligent”… it’s because girls are “more discriminated against”.
I also remember this debate with a friend about the minimal female population in top engineering colleges. He argued how girls had less “logic”. Ofcourse, that’s another myth but I must admit I consider this better than “because girls think more with their heart, than brain”. Some days back someone tried arguing “scientifically” how women use the right side of their brain which is more creative so they are better in expression than “logic”. Men, on the other hand, are supposed to be using the left side of their brain which is more “logical”. My reaction to this so-called “scientific” crap has always begun with me expressing a great amount of surprise as inspite of being from a science background, they are unaware of the different schools of interpretation of facts which exist in science. So even in this very “objective” discipline, interpretation of the ‘objective’ facts is subjective.
Though there is a lot of confusion (different groups of scientists) about which side of the brain do women use, here I’ll try to argue by considering that women use the right-side of the brain. I am a female but I happen to be a left-hander and according to science, left-handers use the left side of their brain. Now left-handedness is supposed to be more common among males. But the famous left-handers are generally people associated with the “creative” domains. Any arguments? Also, I think it’s also a matter of how one defines “logic”. According to Hegel, logic is the essence of human thought. There can be no creativity without logic! Further, I would also talk about the sociology-biology debate which features in the study of evolution. It is believed that sociology or society can have an impact on our biology. The transition leading to human evolution took place when the apes due to societal tendencies preferred to settle on the land. So even if one ends up proving that some things are probably due to the nature and not nurture, one must remind himself/herself of the sociology-biology debate.
Let me come back to the issue of the engineering colleges. I think I’ll repeat my points about the societal set-up. If we analyze the regional background of people who generally make it to the top engineering colleges, we’ll find that majority of the people come from the lesser-developed regions. So for them, competition and making it to the top colleges is the only way-out. And in this endeavor, men are in the fore-front. Investment in a girl’s education is still not very widespread, it is negligible in these regions. Girls are recommended to go for the ‘soft’ subjects like history, political science etc. I also feel that the fact that girls can afford to neglect higher studies because of their later recruitment as homemakers may add to the laid-back attitude in these regions. Infact, there may be a lot of other reasons. But the source, as we have realized, is just one… the societal set-up.
So yes..the second gender may not be ‘deserving’ the quota but do they deserve this discrimination?