Patriarchy plays a major role in our Indian Society. Nature has given us more similarities in men and women than it has given us differences. These differences are also only present in our biology, and they do not decide other social conditions, like who should go out to earn money, who should do household chores; or who is more eligible to run the country or ride a motorcycle.
Introduction to Patriarchy
Our world loves diversity, so much that in a population of more than 7.8 billion people, there are not even 2 of us who are completely alike. Nature created diversity, but humans created inequality. Nature made “bhed” but humans made “bhed-bhav”; and the biggest inequality in our society is the difference between men and women, which is there through patriarchy.
The farthest and worst spectrum of patriarchy is gender violence and female foeticide.
Patriarchy as a enemy of Equality
We, in our country, have killed over 35 million girl children, and women. Either they were not allowed to be born, or were killed after their birth. Over 1 billion women all over the world have faced physical violence. Every 22 minutes, a woman is raped in our country. 2 women are killed every day due to violence. One of the reasons why men assault women is because they don’t see sexual activity as something that requires mutual consent. More than 50% of men hit their wives at least once in their life. Our constitution recognizes men and women as equals, but our society and culture don’t. The patriarchal society believes that women are inherently inferior and men are inherently superior. Why? We don’t know.
Influence of patriarchy on our society
We teach Patriarchy to children right from the day they were born. In some way or the other, we teach them that men are superior. We often see that parents teach the daughter all the household work, while they teach the son how to carry the family and assume leadership. Women form about half of the population of the country, but their situation is very grim. At the social-political plain, women have suffered from the denial of freedom even in their own homes. Men occupy 51% of the population but still makeup 99% of court judges, 90% of government jobs, and men have taken away all the opportunities in many fields. They contribute only 33% of the total work being done on this planet and still get 90% of the income.
The undefined differences
Men definitely benefit a lot from the system, but this isn’t to say that they aren’t the victims of it too. Phrases like“real men don’t cry” or “don’t cry like a girl”, we all have heard. In our society, it is not acceptable for men to express emotions; the expectation from them is to be strong and muscular. A man can’t say he is in pain, he can’t say that he’s incapable of doing stereotypical masculine work. Men have forceful emotional limitations. A man wearing colorful clothes is looked down upon because somehow, colors aren’t “manly”. Men are under the responsibility for earning money, but they never get into how to cook or clean; because patriarchy sees that work as a gender role and not a life skill.
The question here is that “Are men born this way?” The answer is “no, they aren’t”. They got to shape up this way by the patriarchy. So how can we change this system?
Role of Feminism
The feminist movement has existed for nearly 150 years and still has not been able to achieve its goal of dismantling the patriarchy. Something is going wrong, and that something is that men haven’t been part of this movement. We, as men, have not stood up for women and have not been against this system that favors us. We need to understand how gravely it affects women, and how it also affects us. Everyone needs to use our privilege, pass on the mike to women, and hear and believe them. We need to start actively taking part in these conversations and use our platform to spread awareness. Because I believe, that
Real men of quality, don’t fear equality.
Do read our another article: Media and Crime