As per Bacchi Karkaria, the noted TOI columnist and one of my favourites, “If you key in 'Women cannot' google will obligingly come up with such sexist options as 'drive', 'be bishops', 'talk in church', or even 'be trusted'. 'Women shouldn't' will produce 'vote', 'work', and even 'box', which would make our million- dollar baby, Mary Kom, kayo her computer screen.”
So these are some of the much talked about stereotypical allegations made against women. Add to it a couple of others which I have noticed which apply to me as well: “read maps” and “work on excel”. And as much as I hate to admit it and as much as I rant against stereotypes, there are some things we are, how do I put it delicately, “not the best at”. And yes, driving, reading maps and working on excel feature high on that list.
Every time I have got lost while traveling in some European city where people would not/could not speak English, I have been left helpless staring at some godforsaken map which stares back rudely at me, without telling me ANYTHING, pretty much like a French guy. And each time I have asked a kind passerby, he/she had looked at me condescendingly as if to say, “But it’s RIGHT.THERE. How can you not know?” Well, I don’t! Doesn’t make me stupid. I am just bad with maps.
Same with excel. I don’t like spreadsheets, I don’t like the way they look, I don’t like the way they automatically populate themselves and I don’t like the way they program you to become a trained monkey repeating the same task, crunching numbers and making graphs. With each day and with each worksheet, I feel like the last bit of creativity is being sucked out of me, which is when I open a blank word document and start typing: randomly, desperately and furiously, trying to hold on to whatever is left over of the girl who churned out editorials at will, completely oblivious of all the accounting jargon around her.
Again, that doesn’t make me stupid, only “differently-abled”. 'The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.' (David Ogilvy)
Women ARE from Venus; they don’t need to drive or read maps to get there…