It goes without saying that patriarchy in India prevails to a large extent. While atrocities against women are common in our nation, when we look at the larger picture, it’s not just women who suffer here. Though differently, men in India have their own battles to fight. It isn’t easy being a woman, but it isn’t a cakewalk being a man either. Following are the struggles of being a man in India.
1. It is just assumed that they mean harm, no matter where they are
If a man comes up and talks to a woman, the first thing a woman assumes is that he’s going to do something wrong.
2. Parental pressure isn’t just confined to women when it comes to getting married
While women are pressured into getting married young and bearing children as soon as they do, men are pressured into earning well, saving, and being well off before they settle down. After all, it’s just his responsibility to bring the bread on the table, right?
3. They are not allowed to have emotions
This case isn’t confined to our country exclusively, but is a problem throughout the world. Society, for years, has regarded men as the tougher sex, urging them to just dust off and move on without getting in touch with their feelings about people, situations, and events. And if they do, they’re belittled.
4. Society expects a man to have the upper hand in a marriage/relationship
A man is expected to be the dominant one a relationship. He should pay the bills, he should be the one to take major decisions, and if he believes in having equality in a long term relationship with his partner, he’s blindly labelled ‘namard‘ (unmanly).
5. They have to be the providers of comfort and security
Men are crudely asked questions based on how much they earn, what their salary increment is like, and more importantly, if they can manage to take care of their daughters with the amount of money they have. Not to mention, buying a house and being able to afford other perks in time.
6. Men cannot speak up about rape
Rape is a problem for men too, but one of the reasons it goes unnoticed is that they’re never encouraged to talk about it. Men also get molested, and it adversely affects their lifestyle for the rest of their lives, but they’re not allowed to speak up because that is a sign of a weak man. And men aren’t allowed to be weak.
7. Or about domestic violence
While there are women who face the brunt of an abusive spouse/family, men have also been victims of domestic abuse, and it’s a lot harder for them to come out with it without being discouraged or labelled as being less of a man.
8. Not all dowry/rape cases that are filed against men are true
Here is where you can find just ONE of the several false cases that occur in India that go unnoticed. The atrocities are a lot worse than we imagine.
9. Men are objectified too
Objectification of men is all around us- be it magazines, Bollywood films, male models, etc. The only difference? It’s considered a compliment for them.
10. Men should be the fix-it guys
Men should know how to fix taps, the fridge, flat tyres, and save money well before getting married, whereas women aren’t taught these things as a necessity.
11. An earning man can be married to a non-earning woman, but it is deemed unnatural to have it the other way around
With rapid development and subsequent employment opportunities, women (referring to the urban and semi-urban population) are becoming more and more independent in our country today. Even so, if a woman doesn’t work or doesn’t earn in any way, she is eligible to marry a man who does, but it can never be the other way around. He will not only be considered a failure in society, but will also lose out on a suitable life partner because of his unemployed status.
Though we’re aware of the fact that gender equality is a major issue in a rigid society like ours, we’re far from really acting on it. The only way we can stop this is by putting an end to gender policing. A man can cry, and a woman can use tools just as well. And it all starts with what we teach our impressionable little kids at home, and in school. Let’s not teach them how to be more masculine or feminine, but how to be compassionate, good human beings.