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Life as I'm learning it

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Location: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States

"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Monday, July 04, 2005

We men are such losers!

[I'm male. My Chinese sign is the pig. But I'm no MCP, pleeeeease!]

I was speaking to a college junior last night. Life in the final year of an engineering degree programme should be among the most enjoyable things in the world... especially when you've landed a job too. This chap however had some things to complain about. A new Vice-Chancellor, and predictably, new rules...

Just like in Bombay University recently, Anna University is planning to enforce dress codes! Though I've never worn a T-shirt or jeans to college in my four years of study, I would side with the no-to-dress-codes side. Dress codes, at least in colleges, are such a farce. They actually achieve nothing, except of course the brickbats. Rashmi Bansal's blog entry on this topic makes for an interesting read.

[Feminists and wannabes, I suggest you stop reading here -:)]

There is a larger aspect to the idea of regulating what students wear. In more ways than one, men are pretty simple creatures. Especially in this case, because there are only about four kinds of external wear - a shirt, a trouser, a T-shirt and jeans. There are a couple of variations in each kind - mostly as to how many pockets a trouser should have or the number of buttons on the shirt.

Dress codes are actually for the girls. The infinite variety of womenswear and the obnoxious fan following for each makes it difficult to enforce a coherent set of rules. Because there is only a fine line between decency and otherwise, and also because there isn't any benchmark for decency, any code is bound to fail - or bound to be trespassed.

I observe this even at the workplace. The company I work for has a well laid-out set of rules on the appropriate apparel for each day of the week. If you forget the tie on a Monday morning, you part with 200 bucks immediately! But that's the sick part of being a man. Women are given an almost free run. Their dress code reads something like "sarees or salwar suits, or formal western business wear." I must concede that my idea of formal business attire in the west has undergone a sea change in the last one year. Precisely because what many a female colleague wears cannot be classified under saree or salwar suit. Designer houses like Armani, Gucci, Bennetton and the like can descend down to my workplace and easily triple their Fall/Winter business attire wardrobe for women.

Funny, isn't it, that we call this a man's world? Just to please women, we make rules that are prejudiced against ourselves... and have the audacity to call it women's liberation! What tyrannies inequality can brew!


Anonymous Jupe said...

Workplace and this so called fight for gender equality pisses me off...U compliment a girl on her dress, u r making a pass..if she does it, u r jes supposed to take it sportingly.

7/07/2005 01:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rules about work place dressing were made not to bother people or to pass on comments about each others clothes but to ensure that people concentrate on work and not other other people's fashion sense.

7/18/2005 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Vijay Krishna said...

So you mean to say that just because there is a Constitution, the law-enforcing authorities and journalists must keep shut if there is a violation of the law?

7/18/2005 02:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Preeti said...

Hear hear !!

7/18/2005 04:03:00 AM  

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