It was an interesting job and I had the required qualifications. The company was well known and the salary offered fine. So I applied.When I received the call for the Interview I was amused to find a 'Mr' behind my name. But amusement turned to anger when I walked into the cabin of the human resources manager and the first thing he said was "Oh! We thought you were a man!"
So, they had called me for the interview because they thought I was a man. It was infuriating and I vowed vengeance, but today, nearly thirty two years after the experience I can appreciate the reason behind their preference for a man as my cousin's friend, who bagged the job, tells me what his job involves.
He has to travel extensively, especially into the remote towns where it is difficult to find a place to stay. Many of these places cannot be reached by rail so he has to hop into buses at odd hours, stay at lodges in isolated villages and deal with petty shopkeepers who are crude and difficult to deal with.
Yes, despite our ability to do any kind of job, we women still have to accept we cannot fit into all slots, thanks to our biological difference. This is one of the reasons why many companies prefer not to have female employees for positions that call for traveling in remote areas. The employer will have to take the additional responsibility of providing for safety.
There has been considerable agitation on the score of gender discrimination. But no one appreciates the logic. We must face the fact that try what we may; we just cannot go into some avenues, which are better occupied by men.
Why should we grudge them that any way? There are enough options open for us without our trying to muscle in everywhere. There are banks, which have all women branches, schools that prefer female teachers and scores of other fields, which are tailor-made for our needs and capacity.
We must get it into our head that no one is out to repress us. Those days are gone. Today we rub shoulders with men as equals. Let's accept that and not keep fighting for equality like it is the duty of men to hand it over to us! Let us not fight for a piece of cake, which we can’t digest. We must be rational about our role as human beings made differently from men with an express purpose of Nature. It is not our sex that sets us apart: it is our individual capacities - both physical and mental.