[VoxSpace Life] Patriarchy Is Bad For All Genders And Guess What – It’s Ruining Our Men Too

Patriarchy Is Bad For All Genders. All GENDERS. Yay, Surprise?!

Well, let’s face it… We live in a time where most people happen to miss the grey area and are mostly extra and extremely into things and ideologies. We follow the herd, well I’d like to believe we do. We like to call ourselves feminists, without understanding what feminism really is. We think it’s ONLY about women, we think equality can be achieved ONLY by uplifting women, well no. It is about bringing all genders at par with each other, in terms of opportunities, exposure, grooming, education, rights, security, etcetera. Now, how can you fight an evil if you leave behind more than half the population? So, no. Feminism applies to all the genders. Everyone needs it. Everyone must be a feminist because patriarchy is toxic. Plain toxic. Let’s pick something very routine in nature, something like going out with family at night.

“I can think of how patriarchy has made several fun places like Chai stalls and late night bun-makkhan stalls “men-only”. This not only makes these places a lot less vibrant than they can be, but also means that you can’t be there with your family without worrying about people’s stares and safety.” Says Ali Rizvi, Journalist at The Times of India, a mentor and a friend.

The Toxic Nature Of Patriarchy – Effect On Our Men

I’d like to out-rightly refer to patriarchy as toxic because it has benefitted nobody; going by our country’s standards, women definitely not. I mean, they do go through a lot more torture and inequality than the men do.. Or let’s put it like this.

The inequality, the torture that women face is a lot more put out in the open, it’s more easily talked about. While there is an important bit we happen to have left behind over all these years and still do quite often is the fact that patriarchy ruins men too.

This one is for all the men out there who had to hide behind a fake smile when they actually wanted to cry. This one is for the boys who pretended to be strong and courageous even though the other big kids at school were bullying the life out of them in broad daylight. This one is for our fathers who maybe gave up on a career in music, or photography, or acting, or sports or one of his choice years back because it wouldn’t pay him enough. (Because on a few levels, it is easier for a girl to follow her heart because we don’t expect her to feed the family or pay the parents back unless she is a single child. I mean, talk about the misogyny here, right?) This one is for that friend of mine who will end up marrying a woman who he doesn’t even love in “that manner” because he’s gay, but because his family and more so the society can’t handle him loving another man in “that manner”.

“Patriarchy. *cues slow claps* For me, being a guy and a queer Indian teen, I never could express how I felt because you’re supposed to be a man and suck up all your problems. It is wrong to be feminine when you’re a man. You cannot just express yourself, you cannot be who you want to be. No matter how much we fight or protest, it makes me sad every night once before I hit the bed because there lies the reality.” says Shikhar, a dear friend.

The Story From The Other Side – Patriarchy In Our Lives

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This one is for all the disparity that our women AND MEN face. This one is for all the times we have let our men down by generalizing them as the bad gender after one rape in New Delhi. This one is for the men who themselves went through rape and sexual abuse but never spoke up because of course, “Log kya kahenge?” This one is for all the boys we don’t give a chance to even cry because it apparently isn’t manly enough?

This one is for all the boys out there who have been forced to take up the bread-earning of the house even if they wanted to be house-makers. This one is for all the boys who are not body-builders, who are not physically strong enough, who we are made to believe are less of men because, “Hey! He’s a man. He’s supposed to be strong!”
That is just how tones of most men are deciphered.

“We are in a relationship. I ask her a question, she asks me something back too. They call her act ‘liberating’ while mine is often referred to as ‘controlling’.  Not fair!” says Akshay Shanker, a struggling filmmaker, a friend.

“Papa Ka 2020 mein retirement hai, beta. Finish your college soon and get a job that pays you well”, says Suyash, an aspiring actor, a brother, a friend.

“Stubborn patriarchy in my family allowed us, children, to form meaningful relationships with our parents only too late. Patriarchy forced a son to disconnect with his father.” says a friend who I can’t name because he has family on social media and probably has been avoiding this conversation for years now.

The Stereotypes And The Cultural Drilling For Men

We don’t understand how most of our children, inclusive of both boys and girls are never taught about Consent, Good Touch, Bad Touch, Accidental Touch and the psyche of Exertion of Power and we just blindly expect them to grow up all sensitized. It’s a bit difficult. Patriarchy has all of us convinced, over all these years, that men are the supposedly stronger gender and that is where most of the problems lie. Oh, and of course men can’t be tender, they shouldn’t be.

I love bear hugs but ‘Men’ apparently don’t hug. They smile, shake hands and slap each other’s back..” says Utkarsh Misra, an ex-colleague, and a friend.

It is tough for us women and I know it really is but it also isn’t easy for our men. Patriarchy has managed to put all the burden of being strong, being responsible, being careful all the time, being the caretakers, being intelligent, being skilful all on our boys over all these years. A woman could still get away if she isn’t doing well enough career-wise but we have fed our boys since the beginning of time to be responsible for everything.

Patriarchy And Its Deep Rooted Facilities In The Society

“Patriarchy began polluting us at very early stages of our lives, as the stories we were told, the textbooks we read, all had strict gender roles in them. Unbeknownst to our innocent selves, it moulded us in a similar way by the time we grew up, in those families which weren’t *’modern’*. Only damsels were to be saved from their distress, the man in misfortune was asked to deal with it.” says Naman Bisht, a photographer, an artist, a friend.

How many more of such statements do we need to feel ashamed, to feel appalled at our state? How about we get out of toxic mentalities now and just let each other be, not throw vain judgements around and just be kind?

The next time you advocate for a woman, remember our men need our advocacy too. Remember that not all boys are the same, remember that not all boys want to lead the life they’ve been historically fed by patriarchy. Leave patriarchy behind, leave your patriarchal mindsets behind and not our men. Let’s go a little easy on them, shall we? They need feminism just as much as we women do. Gender is no bar. The two types of human beings are not males and females. The two types are good human beings and bad human beings (so, of course, we know who to help, to fix and work on). Let’s look at it like that and we can aim at being a happier and better society. It’s as simple as that, really!