The Better Sex
Harmony - Celebrate Age|March 2018

Resilience, pragmatism and forbearance are a few of the virtues that make women the superior gender, writes Paro Anand

Paro Anand

Several years ago, I was on the admissions panel for a university course. There were several interviewers sitting in various rooms as there were so many applicants. When we compared notes, we realised we had not accepted a single boy; we had selected only girls. Post lunch, we thought we should correct this reverse gender bias. But it was almost impossible. The girls were smart, well prepared, had folders with certificates for all their achievements— academics and extra-curricular— were well groomed and polite. We were to ask one trick question that did not really have an answer just to test them on how they would handle it. To that, the girls would say, “I am not sure, but if you could give me some time, I could try and find out”, or simply, “I’m sorry, I don’t know the answer, could you let me know.”

The boys, on the other hand, were sloppy in comparison. The only preparation they had bothered with was walking to the water cooler to spike their hair with wet fingers. They shrugged a casual “Idonknow, Idonknow” in answer to the trick question and several others. They had not participated in much extracurricular and if they had, they had not bothered to bring the certificates along. So how were we supposed to take in the boys? The crux of it, as I figured out, was lack of motivation. It got me thinking on what was motivating girls over boys.

I think, in India, we have so pampered our sons and given them the best of everything whether they wanted/needed any of it or not. We have so overindulged them that we have actually robbed them of their motivation. They know that they are going to get things served to them on a platter, so why bother? At the admission interview, it was clearly a matter of life and death for many of the girls who saw this as an opportunity to get on in their life, their world. Because girls were being held back, sometimes subconsciously and sometimes even physically, their need to break through the shackles was making them score higher than boys. We see this in the Class 12 results as well. Over the years, it is girls who top over boys.

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