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In conversations about sexism and feminism, we tend to forget that patriarchy also binds men to restrictive roles and expectations.
Feminism has brought a revolution across nations to bring about equality among men and women. Well, equality in terms of freedom, employment and rights. Undoubtedly that was what was severely needed to give the righteous share to the womankind. But have we ever recognised the struggle of men? A man also undergoes a series of restrictions and judgement throughout his life.
As a child, he is expected to play masculine games, or basically sports. Playing girlish games with makeup kits or playing with dolls are forbidden by the family or and larger society, ignoring the fact that he is just a child exploring this world. He is made to play sports so that he fits in the category of boys.
When he grows up a little, parents start to advising hime to pay attention to school and prepare for competitive exams, not for the intention of giving knowledge but to prepare him for financial success. Throughout his teenage years, he is told that he has to work harder to get a job or else his life will be screwed up.
He is made to choose a career that can fetch money as he is assigned the role of the breadwinner for the family. He might be interested in photography or becoming an author, but his parents push him to opt for engineering or medicine, if not at least accountancy. Nobody gives a damn about his interests.
After finding a stable job, the family look forward to finding him a suitable bride to marry and showcase to the world that their son is leading a respectable and homely life. Anyway, whether a man marries a girl of his choice or the family’s choice, the roles and responsibilities remain the same. He doesn’t have the luxury to quit his job and pursue his passions. Even though the wife may earn, it is still unacceptable in our society for a man to live off of his wife’s income as he explores and chases his dreams. He is chained to his assigned role as the breadwinner.
When it comes to his marriage, he must act as a bridge between his spouse and his mother. Many a time, men get aggravated while patching up the issues between the two women. If he favours his wife, his mother starts to curse him with emotional please whereas if he supports his mother, his wife calls him patriarchal. “Bechara kare bhi toh kya kare?” (what is he to do?). He is puzzled about his life.
His role as a father demands even more attention. Though he has no role in delivering a child, except for the ‘seeds’, emotionally he is stressed out for the entire pregnancy. He must manage his schedule and change his personality to become more of a serious and dedicated man. The entire financial responsibility falls on his shoulder if his wife leaves her job. He has no choice but to focus only on his family.
And on top of it, his career demands of him to work harder and harder to show the world his efficiency to get a promotion. You are a man so you are expected to work overnight and present your deliverables. To falter in keeping up is seen as a major failure.
So isn’t it a little unfair to be so harsh towards our wonderful men, who work for the betterment of our society and fulfil their duties of being a son, husband and father? Let’s cheer up for them as well. They need it too!
Image Source- Canva
Sagarika Sahoo has done MBA and M.Com and pursued her career as a lecturer. She had short term experience in IT companies as a finance professional as well. She is now a full-time read more...
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