Today as walking down the street I saw a few kids fighting, as the fight continued one of them said “ladna ladko ka kaam hota hai ladki darpok hoti hai” (“Fighting is for boys, girls are cowards”). A sheer desire to correct them ran through my veins, I had to move up there and tell them all about how girls are not weak and how we should stop this stereotype teachings of the patriarchy system. Not sure how much those 7-8-year-olds understood me but correcting them did feel good.
However, the thought that hit me next was not just disturbing but also horrifying. NOT ONCE IN THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION I EVER THOUGHT THAT THE SAME PATRAICHY THAT TEACHES OUR WOMEN TO BE WEAK AT THE SAME TIME IS TEACHING OUR MEN TO BE VIOLENT AND DOMINANT.
What kind of voices are we raising against the patriarchy that we are forgetting that the same stereotypes and teachings that hurt women hurt our men equally?
In a country like ours, men since birth are taught to be dominant, aggressive and someone who is superior and strong as he is the one who has to take care of his family. They are taught to fight their emotions or to be more frank HIDE THEM and hence they have to prove to be MAN.
A very simple daily example is the crying stigma for boys. Whether it’s an I don’t wanna go to school cry, the she dumped me cry, or even someone I loved died cry, they are expected not to cry. What we need to understand is that crying is not a social stigma but a natural feeling that takes away pain and anger from us, makes us a little more human during tough times. SO ARE WE INDIRECTLY TEACHING OUR MEN TO BE INHUMAN?
Cause everyone faces rejections and heartbreaks, all boys, and all girls, so why most of the acid attackers are boys?
We all once in a while have a bad day in the office, but I have still never seen a wife beat her husband for that.
One explanation for these crimes can be that MEN ARE DOGS.
The other can be that may be that we never taught them to cry and move on. To love not be own your wife, to be weak at times, to be soft once a while. We never teach them that being a guy doesn’t give you rights over girls.
Over 70%of women in India face domestic violence, more than that are forced into marital rapes. Hundreds are killed by beating or kill themselves by suicides. Those who don’t face physical violence face humiliations and restrictions all their life.
But there is another side to it and that side is more disturbing.
Over 70% of men in the country don’t understand love, respect, and their emotions. They find violence and sex the only source of relief. They spend their whole life either in the pressure of proving their muscularity or living the inhuman stereotypes of being a man through violence or forced sex. More than 70% of men in the country think that sex is the only pleasure of life they can have and authority is greater than love affection and care. The rest who don’t do all this live their entire life thinking that harassing and exploiting girls makes them a man. They are taught that sex and vulgarity are not choices but a way of life.
See I bet you didn’t notice that coming :/
I am not saying men are always innocent just like all women are not sweet and kind and angle hearted.
I am just saying that this fight is against patriarchy and not fight against men. If we want our next generation of girls to feel safe, for them to be able to live a life full of dreams and desires and bounded with no stereotypes. We also have to work in making this country a place where men have connections with their feelings where they don’t have to prove to be the man.
Where is every alone girl in the night is not an invitation to rape, a boy alone at night is not always a rapist.
Where if wives are not considered sex slaves, men are not taught to be devils when they get married.
Where if wearing short clothes for girls is not ASKING FOR it, pink for boys is not GAY.
Where love and care are not something weak for men and where emotions are not reserved for women.
Men can live too
Men can love too
They can be awesome husbands
Trustworthy and soft
They can give respect
And also deserve it
BUT ONLY WHEN WE TEACH THEM……….