Why I Need Feminism For My Own Selfish Masculine Self

This is not your everyday article on why men would benefit from feminism. This is not an attempt at representation of the issues men or boys face due to gender roles reinforced by the society. This is not an outcry on anyone else’s behalf. I have written down why, just my one singular existence, could have been better with feminism. This is the rundown that underlies my realization that even for strictly selfish reasons, a man can and does want feminism:

 

Because the very same people who mocked me for “always reading like girls” were the ones who discouraged the women in their families from pursuing higher education. Because the same boys who rationalise that they lose out to women in exams for “having many more outdoor activities” are the first to mock a studious boy for coming second to a girl.

 

Because cricket in this country is a sort of patriotic uniform for men that women may also wear if they like. I couldn’t just grow up in India without being belittled for sucking at cricket, and can’t live an adult life without being scorned for my indifference to the live cricket matches. Because the increase in the numbers of women participating and representing the nation in sports is sadly used to shame the men who are not into any sport: “these days even women play cricket and you hide among books”. Because encouraging women to live their dreams isn’t good enough if not coupled by adequate bashing of the reinforced gender roles. Because the sight of a man who doesn’t do outdoor sports begets the automatic question “how do you even de-stress yourself?”. I would want to go like “Word games, duh!” But perhaps the only acceptable indoor game suiting my gender in this society, is chess, which isn’t my thing either.

 

Because I grew up learning that I become a man when I learn to carry a woman on a vehicle, not when I learn to carry myself in front of a woman. Because when feminism brings about a dissolution of gender roles, I can hope that the example of women who drive geared bikes in a place like India would not be used to shame the minority of men who learn it late, cannot or do not wish to learn it.

 

Because I am labelled as ‘anhedonic’ for not participating in group objectification of women – in classifying them based on their curves. Because the concept of sapiosexuality is alien to the society which reinforces that a woman may desire ‘intelligent’ men oriented towards getting better degrees and jobs, but a man may just stick to ‘sundar and susheel’ (beautiful and good natured, in that order of screening). Because I can’t acknowledge my readiness to mingle with women, in front of my male friends, without immediately being shown the most ‘beautiful and easy’ girl of my supposed religion.

 

Because it is not enough for people to just express their disdain for my introversion, they have to blend it with their disdain for housewives in saying “come out and enjoy like men, don’t just sit inside the house like a housewife”. Because if all women could one day freely walk on the streets at night, introversion of boys and men like myself could at least cease to be considered an issue about a deficit in, or a problem with our masculinity.

 

Because there have been actual instances when revealing that I am a physician, to people who do not even know my personality, was followed, not by “he must be saving lives” but by “he must be a dowry magnet”. And I could use the surest tone of my voice to declare that I wouldn’t accept dowry, but it wouldn’t matter, people would say “you’ll accept it when it is presented to you, who doesn’t?”. This annoying and repetitive line is homologous to, “so okay you do not worship God now, but you will do so, on your deathbed”.

 

Because I can’t get any more tired of “All men want only one thing” from both men and women. 

 

Because I have been called rude and weird for not chatting up women with small talk, because when a man is trying to connect to a stranger, small talk is considered essential with women and optional with men. Because it is important that people realise that my speech need not be buttered up just because I am talking to the ‘tender’ gender, that I can use inoffensive straightforward words in acceptable tone with strangers of all genders.

 

I have not written this to urge other men to identify with my experiences, I have written this to urge them to look back at their own experiences and ask themselves, and let us all know, if their lives could have been better with feminism having worked in those dimensions, time included. It is an important idea that needs to come out louder, that male feminists aren’t just accepting feminism, brought about by the females, but we want feminism, and we will want it, even if we are stripped off the nepotistic or altruistic reasons for wanting it in the world. Guys, ask yourselves!

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The veiled choice

Feminism isn’t about stripping your body off the veil (burqa) covering your body, it is about helping you acknowledge the existence of the veil of indoctrinated lies covering your vision about reality.

I write this sick and tired of viral pictures by misogynist Muslim men trying to compare their women with candies, chicken etc to show that it is a normal human preference for obtaining “objects” like candies as packed than otherwise, and that feathered chickens look better than unskinned ones. If you have been there, you know that the simple cries of “women are not candies /chicken / objects”, more often than not, fall on deaf ears. And how much more can you talk when the same arguments are held by women, without being labelled as a misogynist who wants to strip their hijab off and eye-rape their scalp hair, ears, nose and chin? How do we even have a chance to do it the thorough way, by using arguments about what constitutes choice or liberty, about what patriarchy and misogyny has done to their mentality, about psychological adaptations that occur in response to oppression and about evolutionary psychology for determination of what shapes female choices? You have to get down to their level and show them what can’t be unseen.

So I have made a short strip of pics. So that you may catch my point better, please glance through the pics first, without reading the commentary written in italics, because the pictures themselves say a point, when read in order. You can then go through them the second time with the commentary. And please read the disclaimer at the end.

Image

What do you do with your car in your garage or veranda? You are at home and so you won’t sit inside it, there is no point in flaunting its beauty to your own family, so you cover it up for protection. The car looks lifeless, but then it’s your property and subjected to your choice.


So when you have to go out in your car, you remove the covers, so you can freely see from inside the car and freely do all the things that using the car is about. You honor the car, for all that is added to it for looks and functionality. The car seems to have all the life and glamour because of your choice to take it out, use it and flaunt it. Again, your property, your choice!

When a woman is outside your house and fully covered, she is of no use to you, she is just a baggage, a bit more free to move than the car in your garage.

Through that net covering her eyes and noses, she can see just enough to not bump into random things and people, but you have not rendered her the freedom of observing the nature like you do.

She can take only just enough oxygen to survive, you have not rendered her the freedom to feel the fresh air on her face.

With those gloves, she can hold your baby and her little stuff in her hands, but you have not rendered her the freedom to feel the beauty of nature, including her own baby.

She can speak through her veil, but you have not rendered her the freedom to express herself through dozens of muscles of facial expression because of niqab, or through her body language. In the name of protecting herself from the dirty eyes of unrelated men, she can’t kiss her male child when out, nor can the child guess what her mom is feeling without asking her. Worse with a girl child, she doesn’t even have those secondary sexual characters you so jealously want to hide. Neither the mother nor the daughter can see what the other is feeling.


The scenario changes when you bring this precious luggage back home. You have already built up the idea that the outside world is too dangerously eye-rape hungry for inherently weak women to tackle by themselves. The gender roles of the game of chess are opposite to that in Islamic society. She is told that she is a queen whose needs to be inhibited for her own protection, that she is to be honored at her palace. True, except that it is the definition of “honoring” what Garrett Jacob Hobbs uses in the T.V series Hannibal. She is to be honored in the sense that her female parts, the parts that her make her the queen and not the king, are to be thoroughly made use of, for marital rape, reproductive coercion. When People outside their “palace” want to honor her in the sense of appreciating her existence by recognizing her face, she can’t do it because she has to cover herself from tip to toe. She can’t honor herself by freely feeling the good and bad of the world using her own strength, because she has to cover herself. She can only uncover herself when you want to honor her.

DISCLAIMER: I do not intend to compare women with cars, I intend to suggest that they are wrongly been treated as cars to an extent that at least some women have forgotten that they are not inanimate cars and candies to source their honor from others.

The message is not about when women should cover/uncover and how much they should uncover, it is about showing that it has wrongly been the exclusive choice of muslim men, who by imposing burqa on girls as yearly as 3 years of age and indoctrinating children about its false purposes, have made their objectification sound like a way of honoring women.

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Kuch bhi karega for candyman.