Men have to take the onus in calling out sexism among men, rather than trying to hush women up with the ‘not all men’ excuse.
Remember that ‘maal’ your friend was talking about?
And how that made you uncomfortable, yet you kept shut
for fear of being ousted by your boy gang?
Remember the time when your friend slapped a girl
and you turned your face
because it was their private matter?
Remember, when dad taunted mom for being ‘just a housewife’
without lifting a finger to help her
and you did nothing?
Remember, when that girl in the metro
shouted at a man who was elbowing her
and you looked away.
Remember, the way your friend talked about
that girl in a miniskirt,
how she deserves to be treated?
All the ways you kept silent
when women around you got humiliated, dehumanized, objectified
because what will other men think if you protest?
Instead, you silenced women even more.
By asking them to wear ‘decent’ clothes,
not to be out after dark,
not to drink, laugh, make friends with other men.
Because you know how ‘other men think.’
No, you might not be a direct perpetrator
but you’re worse – a spineless bystander,
who come to protest with their slogans of Not All Men.
When women want their lives back.
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First published at author’s blog
Top image via Unsplash