She woke up in the morning and felt there was a leak. She slowly got up and slid towards the bathroom in a way that no one would notice. She closed the door. Sitting on the pot, she struggled to hold herself together. Yesterday night was painful and this morning she felt tired anyway and this leak left her feeling miserable in the mess. She looked at the time, there was no time to think. She quickly took a shower, began cooking her lunch and breakfast for the family parallelly while constantly keeping the eye on time. She desperately wanted to sit and give her legs a bit rest. There was no time for breakfast so she gulped a banana. Getting ready for office, she wore a human-like face while inside she just wanted to scream out like an animal. She almost sprinted towards the BRTS stand. It was a 30-minute ride.
“If only I get a seat today”, she wondered nervously. A jam-packed bus came and she got in. She looked at the ladies seats. All of those were occupied by a group of 20 something guys. They were talking about some actress’s feminist rant. She went closer and nervously hinted to one of the guys that she wanted to sit.
“Meaning? I am already seated here”, he asked. “Bhai, this is a ladies seat.” “O common, look at this. You working women speak so much about equality and then project yourself as the weaker one. Why should ladies be given separate seats in the bus if they are equal, tell me.” Blood boiled inside her and in spite of feeling that she does not need to give an explanation to him, she still spoke, “Because you are not bleeding down there.”
Chances are that any given point, half of the women on the bus are in their menstrual cycle. 3 out of 5 women get severe cramps and severe blood flow at times resulting into low BP, vomits and fainting. This case is worse for anaemic women. There are chances a pregnant woman is there on the bus. Some women also say that, ‘We don’t need reserved seats.” They mean that they don’t need them. Well, good enough for them. One can’t speak for others in such cases. And asking for reserved seats doesn’t make one weak. We are talking about equity here and not equality.
These things are not just physical issues but also can be mind numbing. We have housewives working just the same, and working women doing both house and office work without a single word and sometimes you not even knowing. If you’re a male sitting on a ladies seat, offer it to the woman standing next. If you’re a woman, offer your seat to another woman who might need it more.