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Being a Man

by Geetika Sodhi Lohan
(Ghaziabad, India)

I am often snapped when I try to see the male perspective in a situation where feminism demands both attention and attraction. The idea of women empowerment has taken such a blind turn that we have almost started forgetting that men are humans too. I am a girl who grew up like a boy with boys so much so that my younger brother called me an elder brother, my father called me his elder son, and the boys in my friends circle addressed me as bro. (Thankfully my mother worried about me being married one day and taught me a few things I had to learn to be able to please my mother in law, though I found a friend in my husband and I did not have to apply those things much to practical use).

I truly appreciate the concept of empowering women but I could never relate to the idea of generally putting the entire male segment, at stake, to pay for it. I know women have been prone to patriarchy and evil in the past but now that so much has changed why do we ignore that men and their mindsets too, have changed. More and more men, I know and see, today are choosing respect for women in their lives, breaking stereotypes, allowing more freedom without questioning and some of them I know are even shielding their women form the pressures of society and family after marriage. Isn't that good enough for a start? In a society that supports tears of a woman(irrespective of anything and everything) being a man, it seems, is a difficult thing.

If a man feels attracted to a woman and tries to approach her, she has the freedom to roll her eyes walk away and defame him in front of others, giggle, and tell the world proudly that she didn't allow a man to approach her because she is strong and can save herself, but if a woman feels attracted to a man and tries to approach him, he is expected to be decent and well behaved at all costs despite the fact that her upfront approach is making him uncomfortable, else he is termed as unscrupulous. If a woman walks out of a settled happy marriage with an extra marital affair, she is appreciated for her strength to be able to find happiness for herself but if a man does the same his fidelity is questioned and abused.

If a man cries, he is considered weak but if a woman cries she has a right to, because God made her tears with pearls. If a man seeks emotional support but his woman is busy in her own circle of friends or family or parties or is not available for him emotionally at that time, then it is alright because being a man you are "suppose to be
strong and not emotional". If a man does everything for a woman but fails to act like a prince(or a fake tv actor) getting flowers and taking her to candle light dinners, he is cold and the woman deserves someone special and better in life leaving behind all the efforts small and big he makes to meet the needs of the family, organize excursions, save money for the future and even work at the cost of his own physical emotional and mental health. If a woman earns for the family she is amazing but for a man it is his duty. If she spends on shopping, she is superb and independent, but if he goes shopping the budget of the family shudders.

The idea here is the misuse of empowerment. Being a Man in today's world is as difficult as being a woman has ever been. Empowerment can never make a Balanced society. Society needs Equality to recreate the long lost balance. We need to activate the collective conscience that can help people understand that right things have nothing to do with being a woman or being a man.What is Important is the ability to be able to differentiate between what should be done and what needs to be done. What should be done seems to be going in a very wrong direction and so what needs to be done is important. Judgement needs to be unbiased, based on facts and not collective sympathy. Rights should be given but equally to both men and women. If a man is expected to get up and offer a seat to a woman who needs it then a woman should also be expected to get up and offer a seat to another woman or a man who needs it. If a man is expected to gift and offer flowers and candle light dinners to women let women also pay the bills and not just have free dinners by looking like dolls. If men are expected to respect NO because "No means No" then women too should be expected to respect NO because "No means No"(without calling a man spineless because he didn't agree). If the men are expected to be good bosses who do not ask for favors to give promotions then let women bosses also not ask for favors to give promotions. If men are to stay away from women who are married then tell women also to stay away from men who are married.

Equality is what is the need of the hour, one that is based on truth and facts. Empowerment works more on the grounds of collective sympathy spiced by the broken hearts from the past and further ruined by loud noises. Being a man and being a woman, let both of them be equally easy and comfortable without being placed at the stake of each other.

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