Men can get away with any thing, wear what they want, eat what they want, can even get fat and no body really gives it a second glance. They’ve got shorter queues for the loo and even get paid more than women without even having to fight for it. All the women in the world will come running into their arms without them even having to worry about how they look. Gosh life is grand…or is it?

WHAT’S THE WORD ON THE GROUND?

One cannot ignore how badly women have got it over generations, over cultures and even today. To date, not only are they objectified but also physically and mentally dominated because of their personal circumstances. It’s almost if women are made just for men to be enjoyed, criticised and abused as you look at various stories, day in and day out, of rape and and torture. Sadly, it’s these very stories that people cannot get enough of in a society that is perversely stimulated by negativity, which actually says a lot about humankind. But of course, it’s that lucky old man who makes the world go round because he has all the answers …Right??

REALITY CHECK

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Well looks like life aint all that peachy! While men may be required and expected to cope more and be the leader of the pack, do the heavy stuff because they’re stronger, ever thought of how the thin weak one’s cope? They get it from every angle, fellow men, partners and society who do not let them be weak in anyway. They are expected to be able to cope with anything and weakness doesn’t seem to be allowed in their dictionary. In fact ,they’ll be expected to take up any challenge, be able to fight and win! As far as I can see right now, expectation is the biggest killer here.

Men are expected to make the most money in a relationship and sometimes to be the sole breadwinner. If they aren’t able, forget society and its slurs, it’s the partner that will throw up her hands first. Research shows that, as much as women want equality and say they don’t mind if their husband stays at home to look after the kids, it will change the way that they perceive their partners and consequently, the way they converse with them. The tone shifts and the disregard sets in because the male partner is just so far off from the normal stereotype, and it’s hard to absorb.

It’s ok if the female takes time off or chooses to be with her children as in many ways society expects this. It even applauds the female that manages both, like some amazing goddess and nobody ever questions her choices when it comes to a family. I would say that the male and female image has come down generations in such a way, that any drift from it just takes so much getting used to. Let’s be honest ladies, when we choose a partner, the guy with the neat suit, and the great jobgets the brownie points, who’s looking at the painter or the plumber?

Now, If there’s a catastrophe and the world is coming to an end, why is it that we expect the men to have all the answers? What makes you think that their thinking is in anyway advanced or that they have some divine ability to know what the future holds? Men and women both have the ability to analyse, yet we still expect answers from our male counterpart and if they don’t know, an irritation sets in that is just so hard to shake off. It’s ok if the woman looks lost and incapable but it’s brilliant if they have the answers too, so we don’t really get the brunt of it do we really. But it doesn’t matter how far we come along in life, these guys really have a hard time trying to fit the image, which isn’t a joke.

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Now if this wasn’t enough, men aren’t allowed to express any vulnerability at all because he would be laughed at. It’s a real shame that they don’t’ have this freedom because if they did, maybe abusive relationships would decline as they share their concerns and fears without taking it out on an innocent partner. No way am I condoning any aggressive behaviour or justifying any abuse in a relationship, buttrying to understand a possible root cause. If you look at the old patriarchal mind set which still exists today in India, there seems to be no room for weakness or vulnerability as men need to carry on and lead regardless. Women are expected to show extreme emotions and in some cases it’s expected but if they didn’t, would they be questioned?

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So let’s extend this thought of a man trying to express vulnerability, when it comes to his sexual orientation, or rather the one that doesn’t fit the biology books. I was just watching an extremely emotional video on YouTube with openly gay fashion designer, Ganesh Nallari, which makes you realise how hard it is, to not full fill the image and expectation that your family and society have of you, taking you further and further down that dark road. Is this the frustration that plagues a lot of men out there which in turn generates this unexplainable anger that seems to simmer beneath? As he goes on to talk about his sexuality and society’s response, you see quite clearly how debilitating it is to fall short in a world which is so judgemental.

A FINAL THOUGHT

It’s time to get out of the small world that we have in our head and think about the bigger picture which involves other members of society. Understand, that one needs to stand in the other’s shoes and consider that life isn’t always greener on the side. Personally, everywhere I look, there is no such thing as the perfect picture, nobody has it all, as much as social media likes to portray. People have had to take a 100 photographs before they decide which one looks perfect enough to post, ask me! So when you look at these perfect pictures which you think you need to benchmark yourself against, think again. Everybody has weaknesses, for some it’s easy to express and for others, it’s just not allowed because society has decided so.

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