Every time I write an article, I receive some personal messages and comments from men:
But what about the men?
Your articles are biased…Not all men are like that.
One guy I know even went to the extent of saying that he feels “discouraged” to be good to the women around him – dropping girls home after a party, not passing lewd remarks on scantily dressed girls in a pub, because he felt that men no longer get any “recognition” for being good in India, thanks to the “feminist wave”.
When women send me their stories and experiences, they are very elaborate and specific. They tell me EXACTLY what it is that is bothering them – whether it is pressure of getting married, struggle to manage home and work along with expectations of in-laws, lack of support from husbands etc. When men send me messages, they are usually just one liners – What about men? Not all men!!
I really cannot write a full article based on that! I write about women’s problems based not only on my own personal experiences, but also experiences shared by women, both known to me in personal life, and unknown to me, who have connected with me in the blogosphere. If a man would actually send me a personal story, about the injustice that he is facing because of society, I will care to write about it (believe me). I am also very much interested in knowing what are the issues faced by men.
Feminists are not men-hating, bra burning, home-wrecking women, provided we care to understand what the whole movement is about. I am in no way saying all men are bad, and all women are good. But I want to tell the men the following:
I have been groped in a crowded public place..
I know a girl who was abused by her relative as a child.
I know of an educated woman who was made to abort a girl child.
I know a former colleage who suffered sexual harassment at work..
I know quite a few women whose husbands have hit them.
I know of women who have been raped by their husbands.
I know of women who could not do MBA because they were told if they don’t marry soon, they would end up alone..
I know of women who spent most of their late teenage years and early adult life studying hard, but gave up their careers for children (They may still have a job, but not a career).
Many married women I know, are expected to take care of household chores, and cook / clean before and after working hours.
Most of the weddings I have attended, are funded by the bride’s side of the family. There may additionally be a car or cash gifted out of “love” as well.
Please ask the women you are close to, if any of the above has happened to them. Maybe every woman you know, will say yes to atleast one of the above.
So, next time I write an article from a woman’s point of view, please do not undermine it by saying “What about men?” Don’t make everything about men…
I get it. Gender stereotypes damage everybody. It is not benefiting anybody. Men who want to leave their jobs to study or work on a start-up or stay-at home dads feel the pressure of society to “provide”. Men get abused too but cannot tell anybody for fear of being ridiculed..I know that some women are filing false dowry cases, and bringing about shame to the ones who actually need the laws (more on that in a separate article)…
Please share such stories with me, if it has happened to you or somebody you know. I will be happy to publish it. But please don’t just say “Not all men!” Not all men are bad. We never said that!! But yes, all women are suffering, in some way or another, just because we are women. Instead of getting defensive, acknowledge the problem, and work towards making things better.
1. Next time your friend says that she is afraid to take a cab late at night, don’t tell her that the city is safe and she is unnecessarily panicking. It is not. Understand that she lives in fear..
2. Stop forwarding those sexist jokes on WhatsApp! They are not harmless and certainly not funny. Especially the married men jokes that I hate. These jokes only support that idea that women are objects to laugh at. A male friend of mine sent me the following joke:
Jet airways launched a scheme where a husband can take his wife free on their business trip.
After big Success of the scheme.
Jet Airways sent letters to all wives asking about their experience?
99% wives replied
and When was it??
Do married men really have women throwing themselves at them? That women will jump at the first opportunity to travel with men who are not their husbands? Is cheating a joke? What if I edited this joke:
Jet airways launched a scheme where a wife can take her husband free on their business trip.
After big Success of the scheme.
Jet Airways sent letters to all husbands asking about their experience?
99% husbands replied
and When was it??
Is it funny anymore? Do we circulate jokes like this? I guess because women don’t get to go on business trips (sarcasm!)? Or maybe society does not consider it acceptable that wives could cheat on their husbands, and then laugh about it too!
3. Don’t just support women empowerment on social media, or in discussions where women are present. Apply it in your daily life. If your friend is maligning a woman’ s character, ask him to shut up. Even if there are no women around to applaud you.
4. Don’t be proud of yourself because you “allow” your wife to work, or visit her parents or go out with her friends. You don’t have any authority to allow her to do anything. You don’t own her.
5. If you genuinely care about women, and treat the women in your life well, they will respect you and appreciate you. Don’t get offended by every “feminist” article. They are very much needed, and are here to stay.
You continue to be the good person you are..
© 2017, Tanvi Sinha. All rights reserved.