We celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday, and instead of writing about women I wrote this article on men. Something is terribly wrong with me. :P
It was not intentional though. As I started to write about what does being a woman feel like, how hard it is to be a woman; I just asked myself; is it easy being a man?
When I look at men around me, it feels like they are living a life of stereotype too. They are also not free. Not free to be what they really want to be. As soon as they step from boyhood to manhood, they are told to man up.
“Be a Man. Man up.”
Just imagine that you are saying these words to someone. What does these words mean to you? What is the message they convey?
For me, the immediate thought was to tell someone to ‘be brave’, ‘be strong’, ‘be without any weakness’. In short, do not tell me what your problems are, face them yourself. You are a man. Do not cry. Do not show me your weakness. Do not let me see your pain. Do not show your emotions.
I am conditioned to think this way about what being a man means. Most of us are. Now for me, ‘Be a Man’, means nothing else than a stupid patriarchal statement.
Why stupid? Well, I don’t think that men are stronger than women. I know few women who are much stronger than most of the men. Being strong, physically or emotionally has nothing to do with gender.
Brave? You are not going to war anymore. You may go to war-room to confront your boss, but so are the women. In-fact when you were using a weapon to prove your bravery in wars, some of the women were bravely handling both house and outside work to feed their family. Bravery is measured by the size of enemy in front of you. you were fighting with another man; while women have always fought against whole world.
Be a man, what does it even mean then?
Come to think of it, have you ever heard someone say, ‘Be a Woman’. I have never-ever heard anyone say it to me, and believe me I have heard so many suggestions…. Be a well-mannered daughter, to sanskari-bahu, be a loving wife, to a good sister, even a good cook… but never have I heard - ‘Be a Woman’.
I wonder if I say, ‘Be a Woman’ to my female friends, how will they react to it?
Women don’t have to be told 'to be a woman', unlike men, who may need constant reminders. Lol.
Well, considering everything I can say that the only thing that can remotely sum up being a man is not to show your true emotions. Boys don’t cry, right?
Why and when did we put these criteria for being a man, that you cannot show your human emotions? Why would anyone want to be like this? Isn’t it hard to be such a man? Why to be a man when all it means is to be emotionless? Is it worth it? Worth being such a man?
Be a woman, or be a wow-man. If all of this is confusing, then just be a kind and compassionate person.
Published by Jyoti Singh