Anya and the Mass Execution of Femininity

This is an entry received for the freshers writing competition and submitted written for the topic : My expectations from a gender unbalanced society at the IITs

“Come out of the closet.

It’s not so dark anymore.

Look at the trees out there!

What are you waiting for?

We haven’t travelled all this way so you can snore and dream!”

We all dream how the world ought to be. We acknowledge that gender bias is wrong, don’t we? So then where do we falter? I cannot generalise and answer for us all, but I can look within and share.

Firstly, I shall clarify the title. Anya is not my imaginary Russian friend. She is a personified concept or a frame of reference (for us physics buffs). Simply put, she stands behind you, at your blind spot, and knows how you are defined in the context of the world. In all my intellectual capacity, I try to be her. This way, I can understand how my actions affect the world and how the world affects me.

When I first came on campus, I was terrified! I had never been in such a heavily skewed gender community all my life! How would I fit in? What would my friends say if I talked to a girl? What would I do if I needed a woman’s perspective on things (shiver shiver)? On my third day here, while I was playing my guitar, I was greeted with requests. Requests to teach a bit of guitar, so that one could approach a girl and be friends. Really? Wouldn’t it be easier to just talk?

It seems like a lot of us are eaten up by desperation. I don’t deny it, but would chose to define it in a different way. As a PHI142(Logic) student, I would say:

If all desperation is yearning,

and all yearning is the absence of love,

desperation is just absence of love.

Wow. Now, I have to define love, don’t I? Tricky business, writing an essay. For simplicity (and not escapism), let’s say that love is a dimension which humans don’t understand yet. It’s that warm feeling in your tummy when you lie down. Everybody wants some! Since I defined desperation as absence of love, what sort of love are we missing? It’s so easy to love others, but I want to love who I am because if I do, I can build myself. This construction of self requires a bit of both worlds. Remember that your sex doesn’t define you, you define it.

Now, I think I should clarify why Anya is feminine. I simply made her this way, so that when I think about my place in the world, I think romantically. Romance has earned a very sad reputation in recent times. Cinema and literature have eliminated its true meaning. This is how Google defines it: a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. This quality or feeling is often associated with the feminine and I just need a dose of it occasionally. So, are guys missing femininity? If so, why? Whoever told you that femininity  is a trait of womanhood was very very wrong. It doesn’t make you less of a man to be soft and emotional once in a while. I try hard to fight this social dogma and would die to see you fight with me. This is what I expect from the campus community. Don’t fight the world on gender bias. Fight yourself. If you listen closely, you may hear the trees swaying in the wind and the leaves dying to break free. Please, exist!

Written by Tanmay Rao Taritla