Sunday, November 22, 2009

An open letter to The BITS Family (Students, Faculty , Alumni , Non academic staff)

Dear Ma’am/Sir/Friend.

I write today to talk about a quaint little quirk which has entered our fledgling campus a while ago. The absence of a second x chromosome and a y chromosome in its place has been taken as the deciding factor to determine the freedom of an individual post 11:30pm at night. To understand the particular appeal of this little trait in determining to a large extent the life of a human, we need to go back a little in evolutionary time. Since I am targeting a largely Indian audience, I do not expect a load of creationist trash in counter argument here. I do love India.

I am a layperson when it comes to evolutionary biology however I will layout the bare essentials in non technical terms. Organisms were quite capable of reproducing asexually. Copies of the DNA were made and two individuals produced, a few mutations may have occurred in the copying process. In the evolutionary tree, sexual reproduction provided a clear advantage, genetic variation could be promoted and new genotypes could arrive by intermixing of genes. Thus the two sexes arrived on the scene, one of these capable of carrying a new human being into this world right from the stage of fertilization to almost full development. It is this sex that we choose to discriminate against.

Why? Well the ‘cost’ – read as energy cost of carrying the entire female reproductive system , mammary glands, and the ‘cost’ of pregnancy etc meant that the female body had to compensate by being physically smaller, less muscular, more vulnerable to attacks.

Everytime humans smirk at the other species, destroy them indiscriminately and give the superior grin and air of arrogance of having reached the highest brain to body mass ratio, they should be reminded. They are just evolutionarily programmed beings who still treat the ‘weaker sex’ the sex that protects and brings them all to the world by sacrificing its own physical capabilities, pretty damn bad.

The rule was introduced citing probably the lapses in security which would occur if the extra x chromosome is found loitering after our friendly neighborhood star is no longer visible. Certain males of our species have been known to have a tendency to make ‘mating’ advances with no consent of the female. Ah the thoughts for the arrogant human on the top of the animal world – they keep increasing. Or is it tradition, the real reason. It happened in Pilani, so why not here in Goa? Isn’t tradition the ugly reason we give with its highly euphemized name for copying mistakes of the past and spreading them into the future until someone opens our collective eyes? Without the early reformers sati would be a jolly little tradition today, wouldn’t it?

So why do I write now? Why not when the rule was introduced? Let me be honest to my errors first, I was busy and yes I somehow did not bother. I put up with it, maybe because I myself wasn’t on campus, I offer no excuses for my unforgivable apathy. I shall however come to what triggered the outburst right now.

I hope everyone has heard of Sandpaper, The international alumni magazine, lately they seem to share the same twisted sense of humor as my friends on campus.

Kindly give the above link a glance. My friend exalts at his new found freedom after 11:30 and rightly so. It was achieved with hard work from student representatives. Its these little words that caught my eye

“Dancing, screaming, and jeering outside the girls’ hostels, all directing their glee at the hapless girls. They tried feigning disdain and indifference but had to do so inside their hostels! Well, the girls wistfully watched us guys revel in our new found freedom.”

Well, what can I say? Maybe if such people were present during the holocaust, they’d walk up to a gas chamber and yell “ha ha ha – I’m not a Jew, F*** You!”

Probably before the women got the vote, they burst crackers after every election to celebrate the mind numbing ‘brilliance’ of their species in the ill-treatment of half the population for the reasons mentioned above. Anyhow let me not get too bitter, I have nothing against this fellow BITSian, neither is the article the main issue of the letter. It is a general mindset and the mistakes are mine too for keeping quite for so long.

I would just like to ask a few questions here.

To the administration – Do you admit that you cannot treat your male and female students equally and provide them equal rights? Do you admit that the female students pay equal fee and face the same competitive entrance but are denied freedom on the basis of their gender? If this is because of an inability to protect them how do you plan to compensate to this meager BITsian representation of half of the world’s population? Or is compensation not required because it is the weaker half?

To the students (including myself) – Is it only Maggi that can get you moving? Note that I am not advocating the mentioned behavior in anyway. I am asking for questions to be raised and clear answers given, and at least be honest enough to accept blatant sexism occurring in a reputable educational institute. Is watching and gleefully reveling at the woes of fellow students as long as it is not you the attitude adopted by the student body? Or is it because the paltry votes of a few females won’t affect the results of a CSA election, Mr None of the above doesn’t require the help of his female friends I guess.

To the girls in particular (again including myself) – How long will you tolerate? You do know that our ancestors willingly tolerated Sati and the ill treatment of widows are we following their footsteps? We still as a society barely whimper at the numerous cases of female infanticide. Discrimination, large or small is born of the same evil seed. Even the mildest form of it has to end for the most vulgar of them to be crushed.

To the alumni – With all due respect, There have been numerous occasions of alumni intervention to get things right on campus. What happened this time? A mistake replicated across campuses was just highlighted extremely distastefully in your esteemed magazine. Did you all just enjoy the ‘joke’?

Thanking You

Yours Sincerely

Just another BITSian


smilingassassin said...

Could not agree more. well written and well justified. i believe they fear "certain things" might happen if they dont put such rules. but keeping in mind that we r bitsians and we r smart we can do those things anytime rt? :P hehe..11 30-6 is not really a time constraint :P lets hope the curfew on girls get lifted soon. :)

terri said...

guys are pigs

Anu said...

i agree with terri.

codename_047 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
codename_047 said...

hmm.. i m nt aware of the developments .. bt i assume that the curfew has been lifted for the guys nd nt for the girls...

1. first of all ... for the record i think it is a bad desc by the management... nd whtever reason thy giv to justify this desc a) its hw it is don in pilani ; b) its don to protect girls .. blah .. blah.. it doesn`t hold...

2. on the contrary i cn understd whr the CSA is commin frm... given the narrow mind set of the management lets c whts the best way to work out a sol... if thr r no incidents of vandalism or hooligan activities.. i m sure the privilege nd liberty will be extended .. trans gender...

3. thr culd also b the arg tht the management shuld hav tried it with girls first.. nd i quite stand by it... bcos its fair enuf.. + the dogs r less likely to attack our female counterparts thn us :P

The most fair solution would be to giv alternate girls nd guys day out.. bt this very solition in the cause of a MUCH greater problem which i will mention a little later...

4. on a totally diff note i would plead the readers to not confuse mob mentality with the mentality of 1 guy... i m sure that no guy; singular; is going to go outside the girls hostel nd shout " haha in ur face" .. cos frankly thr r better things to be done in the basket ball courts \m/

5. Another very important thing is a quote which means a lot nd has a lot of relevance " With great power comes great responsibility" ... nd here ,as pointed out by my friend ,owing to physiological differences one gender should act gracefully towards the other rather to exert their dominance over the other... plz note while physically it’s a no brainer btw the genders ,mentally it’s the same jst in opp dir… so evn in those situations nt a lot of ppl behave with the abv mentioned traits to their counterparts….

6. Sadly it doesn`t happen that way because such mature traits like grace, responsibility, chivalry are not virtues gained from chromosomes bt frm the way you r groomed...

7. so the real problem is separation in lower primary .. i still remember.. guys culd nt sit with girls evn in 2 or 3rd standard.. whn we didnt kn wht a pe*** or a va**** was or wht went into wht...

8. no1 taught us to mingle.. thy tried to keep us as far away from each other as possible; in spite of being in a co-ed; and evn now the best politically correct sol which i cn com up with is alt nite outs for guys nd girls ; nd WITH VERY VERY HEAVY HEART I HAVE TO SAY WITH TIME WE HAVE GROWN SO FAR APART THAT EVN NATURE WOULD HAVE SEC THGTS ON Y IT EVOLVED a species into 2 genders....

loser_big_time said...


Prakhar said...

You have the answer right there. The problem is that you don't reproduce asexually anymore. Now to avoid the quite obvious, you've got to remove one half of the process atleast. So, the two options left are, treat equally both the sexes by keeping them confined in hostels, or by allowing the majority out. Former had been the case for the past 5 years and the latter is the case now.
You may call it narrow mindedness, but thats the only reason for the 'discrimination'. You find out a solution for this problem, I am sure you'll have your freedom

Full Of Life said...

Lol, the biological start was too funny. India is a biased society with sex-deprived hungry males all over swarming like insects and the society chooses to give them the upper hand.
Sad story. I felt bad too when I heard the news. Lets hope the curfew gets lifted. Must be hell staying in campus now with all this partiality!
Well written, hehee can't stop laughing!

gowri said...

@ Prakhar
Both could be left out at their own responsibility. Aren't they all adults. Except the very few 1st year 17 yr olds.
Those who want safety could very well stay inside.
There is a watchman at the gate and the gate can be kept closed when people aren't moving.
How is 11pm safer than 12:30am neway

ratpik said...

This is an old story now and the lifting of the rule has had no affect on either side of the lawns. Everything is the same considering that nothing is open post 11 on campus, neither SAC, monginis, IC , library,..

Whenever something like that would be started there would an equal opportunity provided for all. I think this has been deliberated and worked out by all the CSA and hostel reps. Probbaly the SandPaper article was written in the immediate aftermath of this.. No1 even talks about it in campus!

Oink said...

confront the elected representatives with this! I was really surprised when I heard the discriminatory rule come into place, more so because there wasn't any reaction from the girls. I agree, one should not have to fight for basic equality. But when things are not how they should be, one has to go make it right, innit?
I disagree with your tradition part though. Here is where we see the so called children of science denounce tradition because of all the horrifying examples it has provided us. To me, it is akin to denouncing Muslims because some harebrained maniacs decide blowing up people is a good thing.

DM said...

let me show you the end results of this particular *ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCIENTIFIC MODE*
of thinking that is called *CRITICAL THINKING*, which is completely divorced from
any human objectives...

this style has been perfected by dawkins, pz, randi and the other *NEW ATHEISTS*


hey, atheists don't even BELIEVE IN BOOBIES!!!

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!

see, I just want to make it clear to the rest of you:

jen is unable to see that there is a CONFLICT BETWEEN EROS & SCIENCE....

see how we take a term and convert it into its AUTHENTIC POLITICAL DIMENSION - THAT
OF LIBERATION - not just merely harmless expression...

they thought BOOBIES had no effect... WRONG!

Visit for the BOOBQUAKE:

how about I believe in WHATEVER I want and you have nothing to say!