Monday, February 15, 2016

I’m a woman and I’m Much More Than How I look…Please!!

Don't judge Them From their attires and Looks
Image Source-Google
When a Man Speaks, people listen to the speech first…then try to SEE “who is the speaker”
When a woman speaks, people try to SEE the speaker “first”, if they like her… only then they listen to the speech.

Imagine yourself in the midst of a crowd…suddenly someone starts speaking in a microphone. How the crowd behaves….Isn’t the above lines are true!!
Well…let’s admit it; women are judged by their looks first then their ability, capability or anything else. Every woman at some point of time has faced this for sure.

My story (It is one of the many instances of similar kinds): -

It was my first job as an “Instructor/Faculty” in a reputed Computer Institute in my hometown Cuttack, Odisha. The Institute had newly started. I had been sent to it for the interview from the Institute where I was doing my Course in Computer. The Director - Owner of the institute - as well as the Regional Head of the Brand had taken my interview. The next morning I had a call from the same and was asked to join immediately.

I was really excited. I was just in my early twenties and already had a job in hand. WHOA!!
Well as I reached it… I found another girl had also been appointed as a receptionist cum Counselor. Apart from two of us (women) there were all male staffs including one faculty for java and C+, two Marketing Managers and a Center head.

There admissions were going on. But no classes had been commenced yet. Then there happened something unusual. From the Contacts of The Director who happened to be an established busyness man, there was a group of senior citizens more correctly VIPs (including Doctors, Advocates, and Engineers and established businessmen...Etc) were supposed to have a “Beginner’s Course” at our institute. They wanted to learn “the basics and fundamentals of computer and use of it” as it was new to them. I was asked to take their classes which were scheduled from the next week.
However, before the class start (On Monday), we (all staffs) were asked to attend a training session (On Saturday) taken by the Regional Head in The Regional Office at Bhubaneswar.

During the session, I was upset with the kind of behavior shown by The Regional Head towards me. He was visibly ignoring me. My instincts said, maybe he wasn’t impressed with me though he was quite happy with my female colleague-cum-friend. Well…I ignored it thinking…you couldn’t impress everybody. However I was clue less about “why wasn’t he happy with me” when my report cards can impress anybody and I had fared well in my interview!
The next Monday when I reached the institute at 8 a.m. to take the Class of the “Senior Citizens (VIPs)” I was said that it was given to my female colleague who was not even a Faculty Member.  Well…that wasn’t a problem for me but I was curious and wanted to know the reason.

I went to the Sir’s cabin only to find that “The Regional Head was sitting in the couch while my Director hadn’t arrived yet”.
I politely asked him (though I didn’t want to talk to him) regarding the sudden change.

I can never forget what he said…
He said “Ms. Acharya, you need to improve a lot in your appearance”.
Appearance?? What do you mean Sir? I asked
Just look at your Colleague. How smart she looks! He said in a typical voice.

Ohh!! First time I realized it was my Salwaar Kameez and a plain hair style (behenji kind…u know) was the reason behind his partial conducts.  My Colleague (friend) was a smart girl for sure as she had shifted from Delhi. That day she had wore a blue denim knee length skirt with a black embroidered kurti. She had a laser cut hair also. She was really gorgeous I must say. Her attires were more often western clothes which I would hardly even imagine to wear given to the restricted atmosphere I had been brought up with.  

But…Did he mean he was less interested in my report card or my depth of knowledge/understanding of the subject? But that’s what they had mentioned as their requirement for the job of “Instructor”…right!!

To be honest, I felt very bad (obviously as no one would like to be pointed for the look) and was almost in tears. I didn’t say him anything. I came back to the Lab hurt and wounded and drafted the “Resignation letter” in anger.

After an hour or so…The Director of the institute came. I went straight to his office. He was surprised to see my Resignation Letter. The Regional Head was still sitting there.  I said “Sir…I know I’m no model material. Also there was no such thing as requirement in the Job Profile of the Faculty. Had it been so I would never had opted for the job. Well…as I came to know about this requirement so I think I’m a misfit to the profile. Accept my resignation”.
I looked at The Regional Head and said “Sir…while doing the job I have also had another responsibility to obey some family/social rules. She (My Colleague) has come from a different background and I’m perfectly fine with her but I can’t be like her”.
He didn’t like what I say (Obviously)

Fortunately my owner was a different person. He asked me to sit and made me calm down and assured me that such thing would not happen again.

He didn’t accept my resignation. After few days things were normal. We all became friends. I even helped my friend with my notes to teach the basics as she wasn’t that good in theory. I was given other classes. Also I learnt The Regional Head wasn’t even wanted my appointment. I was chosen by the Director himself.

However after two weeks, once I was asked to take the Lab Class of the VIPs (which was in the afternoon) as my friend was on leave for some reason. I took it and after that I left for home.
In the night I had a call from the Director himself to come early next morning.
Next Day as I reached the institute, I felt a kind of noise in Sir’s cabin. The attendant asked me to go straight there.
As I entered into it I was surprised to see the VIPs who were sitting there along with the Regional Head and the Director Sir.

To my surprise Sir asked me to take the “VIP class” as all of them had asked for me as their “instructor”.  They were pretty impressed with me with the previous day’s Lab class and they’re not happy with my friend’s delivery.
OMG!! I was really glad.

I went to the class with my VIP students. After two hours…class was over. I came to the staff room where I found the Regional Head sitting there.
I greeted him. But what happened next was epic…
He was apologetic for pointing on my look and my clothes. I said, “It’s Okay Sir. You’re in the majority as most men judge women by their look”.
It’s not just an experience, but even statistics say the same. Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
·    69% of men agree that their judgment of women is based on their looks.

64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.

70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.

72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

I don’t have any problem if look is considered where it is a priority (modeling, showbiz...Etc) but every now and then…it’s not fair. Even one of my own relative rejected an alliance for marriage even though the girl was quite educated and nice…just b’coz she was average in look. Horrible!!

However imagine the above incident was narrated by friend. What would have been her message? If I’m good looking that doesn’t mean I can do everything…whatever you want. Many a time Look surpasses Merit and Talent!!

“I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”