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Unfortunate though it is, men are more heard than women in our society. It is vital, then, that men for feminism speak up, and do their bit to drive it.
I am a firm believer in the idea that everyone needs to stand up for themselves. Nobody has the power to empower you. It needs to come from within. However, we as humans have a choice to stand up for what is right. It is a choice that we sometimes conveniently ignore – because it doesn’t concern us, or because we assume fighting for it will create more trouble.
Stretching this idea of mine for a bit – I have met many men who agree that society is not fair to women, but don’t speak up when the situation demands.
Let’s for once exercise this choice. Let’s try without worrying about the outcome. I am calling out to all feminist men. Yes, feminism is an ideology, and it is not an all women domain.
I am calling out, so that you speak up and stand up for your mother, sister, wife, friend, or any women you know. Unfortunately, in a patriarchal society men’s voice is heard more than women voice, and what you say might have more weight than what a woman says.
There are many ways you can contribute.
Speak up, by asking your parents to have the same rules for your sister/wife, as it is for you. Whether it is the deadline to come home at night or going out of town alone with friends.
Take the initiative in doing household chores. I have seen many homes where the girls are taught all household chores and are expected to help, but not the boys. Tell them, you can do them too, and that you to want to learn.
Always encourage your sister/wife career. Make it as important to your parents as your career is. Fight with them when they want to marry off your sister against her wishes.
When you get married, make sure that you contribute equally towards the expenses. Of course, this means that you do away with any dowry customs!
In some communities only the wedding expense has to be borne by the bride’s family and no dowry is involved. Still, it takes 2 people to marry – then why should only one should bear the expense.
Do not agree to be part of any custom which might be offensive to the bride’s family. (There are quite a few in every community).
If you contribute in the household expense, ask your sister/wife to contribute too if they are earning. You can decide the ratio, but make it a point to do so. Your behaviour implies equality in true sense, please remember.
Let your wife decide, if she wishes to change her name or not. If she does not, support her when she is questioned about her choice.
Speak up, when someone gives you blessing of having a baby boy or tells you that you need a boy to carry your family name forward. Cut them short right there, and let your views be known.
Whenever in a discussion, a character of the women is assaulted due to her independent modern thoughts, please stop them there. Do not keep quiet.
Please make an effort. Even if you are able to change the view of one person, it will help in the long run.
Image source: shutterstock.