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“Boys will be boys”. This is a phrase I have grown up with, every single day of my life. But in my life, I have found that all men do not behave this way.
“You shouldn’t show skin, because boys will be boys.”
“He cheated on her. He is a boy after all!”
“He said things about her that he shouldn’t have. Boys…”
I’m fed up with this mindset, where day in and day out we now talk of men like talking of sharks- that bite at the faintest scent of blood, who have no control over what they do, and have significantly gone back in evolution.
By normalising bad behavior, these sad excuses for human beings take center stage, putting an entire chromosomal type to blame. Soon people who had done nothing wrong began apologising for the ones who had. They too were tricked into believing that there was something inherently wrong with the entire gender.
The need to punish and shame the actual wrong doers is paramount for this very reason – because I have found that not all men fall under this noxious category.
Google the words “Men will be men” to look at the context that they mean it in. Not one picture puts them in a good light. You will even see a picture of a baby boy reaching out to a woman (with her cleavage exposed), with these words written beneath. Men who behave in this way are the ones who need to be ashamed of themselves…They have set a standard so low for people to achieve, that they need to lose touch with humanity to reach to a place where a child’s innocent behaviour gets sexualised.
‘Man enough’ is always associated with aggression and sexism, and vulnerability and kindness is said to be feminine; but if feminism is about equality, this is something that needs to be talked about too. Because I have come across men who were not examples of toxic masculinity.
From the stranger who waited with me at 3am on a lonely road until my father came to pick me up because the bus had dropped me at a point where it usually doesn’t, to my friends with whom I can have actual conversations with, more human to human than girl to boy, irrespective of the time; the ones I respect aren’t the prototype men that they try to sell as brands – these good human beings are all around me. I don’t need to search through history books for them. They are here.
When girls are taught that they forever will be the damsel in distress, boys are taught that they have to be strong because ‘mard ko dard nahi hota’.
Yes, there are people who believe that intentions have the power to change with the position of the sun – that a setting sun can mean a significant drop in moral standards. Like a girl texting at night could mean so much more than just that. This narrow minded thought process isn’t reserved for men alone. There are women who think this way too. Small minds are not gender specific.
The fact is that if men are like the ones the advertisements and media project them as, the fight would have been between men and women. Now that we know better, the fight is against these moulds that we are expected to fit into; the fight is between equality and inequality .
The fight is to be honest to what we are, to be more human.
Published here earlier.
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