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 or who should do household chores. 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 that exists in our society is the difference between men and women, which took the place of patriarchy.
Definition of Patriarchy
Patriarchy is defined as, “a social system in which men hold primary power, predominate in the roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of the property.” They also hold power in the domain of the family, as fatherly figures. The farthest and worst spectrum of patriarchy in India is gender violence and female foeticide.
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 major 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.
Society teaches Patriarchy to children right from the day they were born. In some way or the other, it teaches them that men are superior. We often see that parents teach the daughter all the household work, while the they teach 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.
For centuries, they have been denied the opportunities for growth in the name of religion and socio-cultural practices, women have suffered from the denial of freedom even in their own homes.
Males definitely benefit a lot from the system, but this isn’t to say that they aren’t the victims of it too. We all have heard the phrases “real men don’t cry” or “don’t cry like a girl”. Society doesn’t mean to express emotions but expects 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. It forces men to become emotionally limited. A man wearing colorful clothes is looked down upon because somehow, colors aren’t “manly”.
This thrust men with the responsibility of earning money, but it never teaches them how to cook or clean; because patriarchy sees that work as a gender role and not a life skill.
Movements against Patriarchy
The question here is that “Are men born this way?” The answer is no, they aren’t. Patriarchy shape men this way. So how can we change this system?
The feminist movement has existed for nearly 150 years and yet has not been able to completely smash the patriarchy. The reason behind it is that men haven’t stood up against patriarchy and to support equality. We as men need to stand up against this system and support women. We need to use our privilege and pass on the mike to women and to hear and believe them. There is a need to start actively taking part in these conversations and use our platform to spread awareness.
At the end, I would like to conclude by saying that “The men of quality are not afraid of equality”.
AUTHOR: Aashi Bansal
Featured Image credit-> National Herald India
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