Cairo's Bits & Places: The Minority Report

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Written by: Yehia O. 

The outcome of my work in that class. At least, he didn't get to be a minority...
The outcome of my work in that class. At least, he didn’t get to be a minority…

 

If there’s one kind of minority any guy would dream of, it’s being the only guy among a dozen women. If I ever heard anyone saying that they were the only male figure among that many, I’d Hi-five or fist bump him. However, I couldn’t say I felt the same way and this is what I go through on weekly basis.

I’m very passionate about art and I always try to improve my skills, strengthen any weak points I could find and trying to make the best of what I’ve got. One of my weak points is figure drawing. I never took any courses and never had the patience or proper guidance to improve it. I was with a friend one day, who told me about a professional artist, that he met the other day in “Sufi” cafe, saying that I should definitely meet up with him. Later that week, we met with the artist and talked a lot about art. I got to see some of his work in the antique shop right across from “Sufi” café. His work was mesmerizing and he mentioned that he’ll teach a course in figure drawing and anatomy, a full course starting from figure drawing, anatomy, understanding the form all the way to the history of figure drawing.

It is quite dense and it’s an essential tool for any artist so I decided to attend that course. When I was asking him about the details, he said I was to be the only guy in class with around 10 women. At first, it sounded like a good bonus, and boy was I wrong! Being the only man, apart from the artist, there was so much Estrogen in the room, it couldn’t be underestimated. Testosterone was null compared to the collective female effect. Anyway, the artist wanted the class to be a little more of a gathering rather than a formal art course where us, students, would only be there to absorb the given information then leave. So he decided to make everyone take turns in introducing themselves. I was sitting right in the middle and when it was my turn, the instructor said that he would rather I’d go last (quite understandable, ladies first and all).

When I was up, he mentioned that the reason he also preferred I’d be the last because he wanted me to feel what it’s like to be part of the minority in a society – which was now the female dominated art class – based on and dominated by one of the sexes. Of course all that was mixed with collective humor, which was a little relieving, yet most of the comments were along the lines of “It’s the women’s turn now!” It’s funny now that I’m remembering it, but it wasn’t when I was there. I was passively being put under the spot all the time. There were women of diverse ages, from mothers to college girls. I found myself being extremely careful about what I’d say and how I’d react to whatever that is said and filter whatever I was about to say since I was addressing all these possible female figures I can think of, all at the same time…alone.

So to all the men out there who would think this is something to be excited about, being the only guy in a room filled with women; be careful for what you wish for. It’s unlike anything you’d expect and you won’t definitely hi-five yourself…maybe your face though.

 

Your thoughts?

What about you? Were there scenarios that worked out in a completely unexpected direction than the one you anticipated? Was it as unexpected as that one? Don’t be shy, I was shy for all of us already…

 

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