“Society has its own rules, but wait, who is this society? It is us.”- Pronita Tripathi.
Before we go ahead any further, I would like to save some time in google searches.
- Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
“sexism in language is an offensive reminder of the way the culture sees women.”
- The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes.
- A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.
- A radical feminist.
Well, that is what we need to know: sexism, feminism, patriarchy and feminazi are words which have a definition, and cannot be used anywhere, in any context, to explain chaos.
Why is there such a confusion about the place of women in society? Maybe, it’s because we tend to check the status of women with men. When a woman has no social significance unless there is the name of a man attached to her, when women have to fight to make independent choices in life which basically no one respects, when she has to bear all the consequences of actions done in a collective way all silently, the thought that strikes up is: how progressive has the graph of India been? Infinitely downward sloping, maybe.
After all these discussions on gender equality and the importance of establishing an egalitarian society, have you ever wondered what the men of the society are going through? They have been on the receiving end of an irrational and intense debate. They have been targeted and abused, and yet targeted and abused if they try to defend themselves.
The main idea to focus here is that, it is not a case of injustice, it is a case of structural error and a mob of highly agitated people, demanding for things they don’t understand. We need to understand the significance of our demands, as well as accusations.
Certainly many of us are aware of the fact that it is not only women who are raped. We have male victims and survivors, too. According to a study done in 2007, 53.22% of children in India faced one or more forms of sexual abuse; among them the percentage of boys abused were 52.94%. Shocking? Well, there is more to it than the eye can actually see.
Males are different from women, both biologically as well as psychologically. We need to understand that both girls and boys are sensitive and tender. The belief of men being strong and sturdy in all kinds of situation, is completely unacceptable. Men are not monsters, men are not the “invincible Iron Man”, they are Homo Sapiens. Girls are less prone to heart attacks than boys, the reason being: girls chatter and dissipate tension that builds up in their heart but boys stay quiet and reserved, and so, are more likely to suffer from a heart stroke. This is a general statement; not a specific one. This is where the problem lies, society has made general statements all this while, when it should have made specific ones.
We have brought up our boys in a way that has caged them in an iron coffin. They are not allowed to become anything other than strong, tough, muscular, masculine, and so on. They are not allowed to express themselves. They have a peer group which is too messed up untangling their own web of problems, so they have no where left to turn to. Men suffer from severe self-esteem issues. They have a tough time swallowing tears and faking composure.
When we say sexism, it means discrimination on the basis of sex; whether be it female, or male. There are some things in this world like rape and suicide, which are not sex specific.
In the tenth grade, we had a counselling session with two eminent counsellors from Kolkata. They had come to counsel us about career choices and reporting sexual abuse. There, one of them asked, “ How many of you have brothers and think your parents favour them more?” 95% of the gathering raised their hands. She then went on to say,” But girls, you cannot see, they are struggling with a lot of pressure, too. They have the pressure of becoming ideal sons and running the family. When, on one hand, they enjoy privileges like freedom, they also have to pay a price for it; in taking up responsibility. So, try to be empathetic towards them, too. They also have a big, heavy bag to drag.”
The society has evolved in a way that neither of the genders are living a happy inner life. They may have money, but can money buy a good night’s sleep? It is a very hollow substance that forms the soul of our society. We need to break stereotypes, not only in the virtual world, but also in the real world. Only then, we can claim ourselves to be dedicated fully to the cause of humanity.