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There are many men who are feminists, and at the same time, there are many women who are misogynist. Gender doesn’t really matter here, and feminism does not mean hating men.
They said in the previous times that, behind every successful man, there is always a woman. A woman who inspires and motivates. A woman who supports and sacrifices. So men are supposed to care for them.
But roll back to the 21st century, women are strong and proud. They are fearless and successful. They wield as much power as any other. So why are the men still supposed to care? This is a question of questionable intents which has of late bothered so many. In the wake of the #metoo movement, we often hear our men, complaining. Why did it have to come to this? Why couldn’t we all be languishing in blissful oblivion like we always did. Why do we women have to hate our men? Honestly we don’t have to. And we don’t either.
Men, like all God’s creation, are beautiful. Quite tongue in cheekily so. They till, they toil. They provide and sustain, following the patterns set for them by the almighty creator, who very conveniently also happens to be of the male gender, 90% of the time, in the least.
Keeping the religious debate aside, patriarchy runs through the veins of our social framework. Providers are protectors. Protection, entitles them to concession and concessions can be forced. When a woman defies that protective cover, she opens up the channel for judgement and discord. And then comes the force, which is rarely with her (pun intended). Her non commitment to rules could be of any degree. It could be as irrelevant as being beautiful or aesthetically pleasing to look at. It really doesn’t matter. As and when she challenges set norms, she has to be accordingly dealt with.
This is the common narrative of the feminist order. And it is largely true. Just that, sometimes it isn’t. It is not a far flung conclusion that there still does exist a relatively healthy number of good men around (and I am keeping our fathers out of this debate). By good I don’t mean, the quintessential Indian boy. No thank you! But those friends, the colleagues, cousins, acquaintances even, who happen to be very much a part of our everyday lives. And who make it a lot more fun, most of the times. When we interact, have a conversation, become friends, it is usually outside of the gender filter. We choose people to spend our time with, because they intrigue us, interest us and sometimes challenge us. There are still those men who count women, as important parts or influences in their lives simply because they connected despite their gender and subsequent differences.
There are those men who are fiercely feminist and there are those women who are vocally misogynists. Personal opinions have as many colors as the spectrum allows in a rainbow. In the increasingly polar and non inclusive society that we are building for our kids, what is surprising is how we are consciously segmenting our interactions with others, packing them in neat little boxes to be stowed away in fear of social censure. Notwithstanding the fact that women should off course voice their opinions, experiences, concerns, as freely as men do, but what is imperative is men should start treating women as any other equal. Amidst the loud noise of feminist chatter, what is drowning is the voice of strong women, who are now rising up and denying any form of special gender consideration. We women do not hate our men. What we hate is the patronizing attitude, the inconsiderate condescension.
One would think that with the growing prominence of women’s rights and freedom of expression, the necessity and requirement of sustenance provided by a man would take a backseat. Sadly, that is not the case. The increasing need of putting a man down to shore up a woman’s place, defeats the purpose of upholding the collective feminine pride. Does a woman’s self worth revolve around how she is/was treated by a man?
Contrary to biblical beliefs of God having created man and a woman being created out of a man’s rib, essentially making her a diminutive of his all encompassing self, post industrial revolution world presented us with an egalitarian society. As the decades slowly glide by, we have successfully freed ourselves of many of our prominent social evils. Slavery, colonization, untouchability, religious orthodoxy etc are more or less a thing of the past. Despite us moving out of proverbial dark ages, women continue of be treated as second rate citizens. Yes, they don’t conduct elaborate witch hunts or burn us at stake anymore. But discrimination has never really faded. And the new found aggression is only widening the gap.
So what the future generation needs to imbibe is that everyone is equal in the truest sense. Just as a girl doesn’t deserve to be mistreated or manhandled in any way, in the same way, it is not necessary to limit interactions between male and females out of fear of social embargoes. Neither is a man root cause of all kinds of social abuse, nor is a woman an epitome of all that is just and true in the world. Experiences are individualistic and so should be the judgement (if any at all). And lastly, no, we don’t need to hate men in order to be feminists. All men don’t have to die.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: pixabay
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Manojita loves to write alongside her regular 9-5. Flair for language, poetry, art etc
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