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A Queen’s Gambit: Do Boys Who See Their Mothers Suffer Become Better, Feminist Men?

Posted: July 28, 2020

What is it that can convince men to agree to give up their male privilege, to grow into feminism when it is commonly considered just ‘male bashing’?

Last night, just before sleeping I checked my WhatsApp like every day.

I don’t usually download videos from all the groups I am part of on WhatsApp, but I do click on all the things shared by my close friends because I know they don’t share irrelevant stuff.

So, I downloaded the video and started watching. My first impression of the video was, that it was just one of those ‘cool’ videos of ‘cool’ guys who give you life’s lessons. And to my astonishment, the guy here starts talking by saying, “I am cool guy.”

As he spoke I got really involved because I could see myself, my mom, my aunt, my friends in his narration.

The Queen’s gambit

He says he is chess player and his first coach was his mom. He speaks about how he learnt that a pawn is worth one point, the knight and Bishop are worth three points each, the rook is worth five and the queen is worth nine. He says his mom taught him that the queen is very important in the game and he should be very careful when using her.

I thought maybe he would speak about how a woman can change any situation so I continued watching with a little more attention.

Going ahead, he continued speaking of what his mother told him. He says his mom said, “The king has infinite points and if you lose the king, you lose the game.”

He went to share how he later got introduced to the word ‘feminism’ and how he thought that feminism is not something he would associate with in his house because he never thought that there was any discrimination in his house.

Then he spoke of how his mother silently made all kinds of sacrifices so that  everything fell in place at home. He shared some incidents of his life.

He went on to become a good chess player and his best move was the ‘gambit’, which means strategically sacrificing a piece to win the game and he always won by playing the queen’s gambit, where he would sacrifice the queen.

He very nicely related the game of chess to what happened in his house. He ends his speech by saying, “I keep wondering about why is it always necessary to win.”

At the end of the video, my heart became heavy. I mentioned to my friend in the group that I wanted to show the video to my sons.

What can make a feminist out of a man?

What actually triggered this blog is the response I got in the group from a friend. She said all the boys who see their moms suffering become very good husbands.

This really got me thinking. Becoming good husbands to their wives, good fathers to their daughters, good sons to their mothers is important, but becoming a person who understands why feminism is not just important, it is necessary.

I will show this video to both my sons to make them understand how discrimination starts with small things and teach them how they can make a difference.

What a coincidence it is that I watched US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez share my views yesterday.

She said, and I quote: “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.”

And a decent man will know how treat a woman irrespective of who she is.

First published here.

Image courtesy YouTube

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