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Men often face jeering or even anger from family, friends, society - when they share women's chores and support them in their fight for feminism. But isn't it worth it?
Men often face jeering or even anger from family, friends, society – when they share women’s chores and support them in their fight for feminism. But isn’t it worth it?
Dear Men, We know it’s difficult.
We, Women talk about feminism everyday. We think about it, write about it, work for it, celebrate it, there are blogs and organizations that deal with it. We feel like we are part of great revolution, and it’s rewarding.
But that’s the point. We might seem like a small group fighting against a centuries old, deep rooted male chauvinistic world, finally we know we stand to gain a relatively better place in the world with every passing year and effort, and also we believe in the process. So there is motivation both in the process and the result.
But for men it’s the opposite.
The other day I was talking to my recently married friend. In her first visit to her parents’ home after marriage, with her in laws in tow, they decided to let elders enjoy the day and took charge of the cooking – the couple cooked together for both the families.
Think about this situation.
He not only has to lose the comfort of sitting on the sofa having food served to him, but also has to bear the comments the others might make about being a ‘joru ka ghulam’.
By deciding to discuss every decision with his wife he not only loses his ‘authority’ but is also laughed at by his peers for ‘being submissive’.
By washing clothes and utensils not only he is taking extra effort, but is also being teased for being the ‘woman’ of the house.
By saying no to dowry he is prompted to know his worth, and worse, sometimes he gets questioned about his health – “why is he not taking dowry, is something wrong with him?”
By being vocal about feminism among friends, he ends up facing questions like “whom you are trying to please?”
By not seeing anything wrong with his wife going out with her male friends, he is questioned about his masculinity.
By being supportive of women’s reservation he has to face the wrath of his colleague who thinks that another eligible man’s job is lost because of this. (I can write another whole article about why that notion is unfair. But that’s for another day.)
Every time men take a step towards feminism or breaking this gender stereotype, they get to suffer double time. One for taking the effort and then get looked down for doing the same sometimes by women also.
But this was the case with every change in social structure. It is like upper caste people fighting against caste oppression.
Take for example, Subramania Bharathiyar, the Tamil Poet.
By supporting the cause of the oppressed class he not only lost the comfort and authority other people of his time were enjoying, but he was also being laughed at and ostracized by some of his family and friends for doing the same.
For those belonging to oppressed classes, though there is no way to really measure their ordeal and pain, at least they have the satisfaction that their effort will give their future generation a better place to live in.
So men, don’t lose heart or get demotivated – you are taking a very essential step towards the right direction and it’s definitely not a favour you are doing to women. You are just doing something right which has been done wrong for a long time.
Kudos to all those men who are taking that difficult step everyday!
Image source: a still from the film Tumhari Sulu
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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