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One day we were seeing off a young couple who had paid us a visit along with their small child. I watched the child get into the front passenger seat of the car next to the dad who was driving, while the mom took the backseat. The young man smiled indulgently at his son and turning to us said by way of an explanation,

“He says he is a big boy now that he is four!”

How interesting. The boy thought being older meant he had the right to the front seat (among other things), over and above that of his mother. Now, why would he think that?

The common practice hereabouts is that the men always sit upfront while women seat themselves in the rear seat of the vehicle, not because they want to, but because, (*sarcasm alert*) well, men are superior and need to be respected. What better way to get it than by sitting in front and letting women take the ‘back’ seat? Behind me, you inferior beings.

Obviously the boy had noticed. Being a male child he felt his rightful time had come, and as a woman his mother had to make way for him.

It is not just this little boy. I have seen any number of young boys doing the same thing. What’s more, parents indulge them. I have not seen any father or mother object. The fathers accept the right of the sons to sit next to them over that of the wife as a fact. The mothers who have already internalized their secondary position to the husband (and the whole family as such) sees nothing amiss in this arrangement.

What’s noteworthy (and I am not talking about the exceptions here only the rule) is that, if a family has both a daughter and son, the children don’t take turns. The daughter’s claim is summarily dismissed by BOTH parents and the son gets his way while she has to meekly follow her mother to the backseat. Get behind me, you inferior beings. 

It starts quite early, and in many different ways, these lessons in entitlement.

©Shail Mohan 2018

And with that we come to the end of #FebruaryRamblings. Thank you, for reading. 🙂