Main Mard Hoon: Is Modern day feminism a celebration of masculinity?

By Tushar Priyadarshi in Fashion & Lifestyle 13/07/2016

A short while ago, roughly some 4.5 billion years, God created a man and a woman, hoping for sustainable co-existence of life in his experimental venture on earth. The alien ladka valas from Mars and the alien ladki valas from Venus did some balle balle as the priest pronounced the ladka and ladki as man and wife. Please take note, “man and wife”.

The identity of the woman changed from ‘woman’ to ‘wife’, while the man continued to bask in his manliness.

That was when the priest allowed the man to kiss his wife, instead of allowing them to kiss each other.

 

Before the Hindus begin to smirk, forgive me for telling everyone that Hinduism, if not one step ahead, is definitely not one step behind when it comes to treating women as subservient to men. Had you been awake when the priest was enchanting the vows for the 7 phere, you would have noticed how religion itself has decided gender roles that expect the man to be ‘manly’ and the woman to be ‘feminine’.

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While the husband is bestowed with the  responsibility of working for the prosperity of his family, the only major job that these rituals lay down for the wife is to support the husband and to stand by him amongst all odds, and to say “Yes Sir” to every demand of her pati parmeshwar.

 

Little did these ritual-makers know that the 21st century would witness such inspiring stories of businesswomen and success stories of women entrepreneurs! Women were supposed to only support their husbands, but today we get to hear so many Indian women start-up stories. So yes, women have suffered at the hands of men, and at the hands of society, and even at the hands of rituals, but are steadily inspiring not just women, but also their male counterparts. It is possibly the aforementioned suffering that is the father to womanhood’s daughter, i.e., Feminism, in India. The ‘daughter’ of suffering, feminism, is all about women being equal to men. But why does she have to compete with her step-brother, i.e., Masculinity?

Has masculinity established a kind of benchmark that needs to be overcome to be able to qualify for self-identity? By constantly trying to prove your superiority over men, you are just being Misandrists, and are, in fact, making the good-willed Feminists look silly instead.

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After all, you are just going on telling men how much you envy them, how much you want to be like them, which is only increasing the ego quotient of men. You Misandrists will only give birth to 4200 more brats like Shelley’s Ozymandias, whose lips would wrinkle furthermore and sneers will give colder commands. Misandry will only lead to misogyny, and misogyny will again lead to misandry and this vicious cycle would just go on!

 

Calling a spade a spade, women do not need to act manly. Women should be women. No, do not mistake me for an out of mind politician who is asking women to remain within their ‘limits’, because be it men or women, limits do not exist. ‘Limits’ are just non-existent lines drawn by the people, for the people.

Who are men to define limits for women? Who are men to set standards for women? We’ve read so much about ‘should women be allowed to smoke’, but who are men to ‘ALLOW’ women? This phrase in itself is so chauvinistic.

 

Having said that, today, the spotlight is on women, and men seem to have been permanently replaced from centre-stage. So much so, that we do not realise that men also have their own problems which need to be dealt with. Ironically, women are trying to be like men, and men themselves are undergoing identity crisis. This is because if the society has laid down certain norms for women, it has done so for men as well. Traditionally, society has been conditioned into believing that men are expected to have a higher IQ, and similarly, women are expected to have a higher EQ. “Mard ko dard nahi hota”.

 

We have been conditioned into believing that men are supposed to be strong within. “Ye kya ladkiyo ki tarah ro raha hai?” is the perfect example of the gender traits that have been decided by society for society. But who says that men don’t cry?

 

The ‘macho’ man walked in full “chaud’ till a few years back because that is what was expected out of men then. But he would be considered a desperate pervert if he does that today. Who is the real man? The man of 2006? Or the man of 2016? The answer is: neither. Both, men and women are undergoing identity crisis. They do not know who they are. Their personalities are moulded and remoulded by society time and again and they are allowing themselves to be shaped by society solely for acceptance.

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For some unknown reason, women have always been projected as the ‘weaker’ sex. Statements like “Mard hai to saamne aa” and “Choodiya pehen le” are like poisoned arrows passing right through the heart. Ponder on the word ‘man’, and the image in your mind would be of a just out of gym, tall and sturdy Casanova with broad shoulders, whose aggressiveness makes him an ‘eye candy’. And any man who does not fulfil these criteria is not a man, because society would declare him gay.

Unlike every other masala-filled article, this time I give you something to ponder upon. Do you also try to be someone you are not?

Do you also face identity crisis? Who are you socially? A man? Or a woman? Does having your gender different from your sex make you ‘homo’?

 

Well, that’s some food for thought.

 

Tushar Priyadarshi
An engineering student who aspires to become an educationist, Tushar is a perfect blend of the arts and the sciences. He is not very good at numbers, but certainly very good with alphabets. His love for writing got him to write for the Hindustan Times. He is a Bollywood buff who dares to be different at all times.

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