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Men suffer from patriarchy too, although these effects are considerably more insidious. Cars, gadgets and work are not what men talk about every time!
Stereotypes exist everywhere, and we all agree that gender stereotyping is the most rampant kind of stereotyping in the existing times. Now that women are gradually finding a voice of their own, they dismiss the errant bracketing of men and women into acceptable and unacceptable peripheries.
It is amusing to know that even the art of conversation is segmented into ‘what women talk about’ and ‘what men talk about’. It is held that men generally like to talk about cars & the stock market, while women are said to be inclined towards chatting about their children, their school assignments, clothes, and cosmetics.
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Over the years, women have broken the glass ceiling like never before by forging their way majestically into all spheres. This led to the reaffirmation that women can definitely talk shop, and one cannot possibly isolate them and say that they can only talk about domestic matters.
Today, more and more people are in agreement that women are smart and they can talk sense. But, while taking this stance, we do not realize that inadvertently, we are stereotyping men, and claiming that it is ok for men to talk only about the so-called masculine things like cars and sports. Why can’t men talk about their children and their house? Why can’t they open their emotional floodgates and talk about their children as women do? Both men and women are equal partners when it comes to the institution of marriage. Then, why do men feel uncomfortable talking about their children with the same fervour as we as women do?
My husband, who is a hands-on father often feels that men do not consider it ‘cool’ to talk about their children. It would be not erroneous to believe that this is the outcome of the patriarchal society that we have been living in over the years. The mindset is fixed, and so unwittingly men succumb to the perils of appearing ‘manly’. Both my husband and I strongly feel that it is absolutely normal for both men and women to talk about their children and the house, as both the husband and wife are equal partners in creating a ‘home’.
Both the father and the mother have different things to offer to a child. Now that women are not merely limiting themselves to the role of a ‘homemaker‘, it is all the more imperative that men become equal partners both inside the house as well as outside. For this, they need to shed the inhibitions and accept that it is normal to talk about their children even outside the realms of their home. When it comes to talking to their peers, it is fine if they discuss their fears about their children or a school project that they have been helping them with.
Thus, the next time we say, “Oh men, all they do is talk about cars and shares”, we ought to stop and think.
I hope our men do not get stereotyped as they have a compelling voice in creating a world which is equal and fair to both the sexes.
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