Sunday, March 16, 2014

Men Empowerment

Today I attended a "women" event. It was wonderful to meet techie, intelligent and diverse women from various fields.

One of the organizers said we organized this to empower women. We wanted to bring this on Women's Day, but overshot it by a week. He was curious about what we do on Women's Day.

And then he started being true to himself. He started saying how no one remembers Men's Day and how no one remembers it and he asked when it is. Well of course I answered it was on November 19 ;)

And then I thought, this guy is whining to whatever degree societal norm allowed. He really truly believed misrepresented and underprivileged and I thought it would be fun if I tried to empower him. You know, returning a favour.

#1 We don't celebrate Men's Day as much as Women's Day, that's sad

It is true that nobody celebrates Men's Day as much as Women's Day. Nobody creates Men's only events to discuss your problems and issues. It is so difficult for you to find a like minded man to talk about that girl you sighted, that game you played, that code you developed.

Women's Day, as I've said earlier, was first observed in 1911 so as to spread a message for equal rights for women including the fundamental right to vote. Men's day was started because Men felt bad they had to work on a holiday, felt unequal and reverse discriminated.

Women's Day is a day of celebrating one day of achievements. Men's day is yet another day of celebration.

It's only a matter of time before Men's Day gets hyped and you'd have offers on all your favourite products. The UN has acknowledged that it will lead to better gender diversity. And economy.

#2. Men have to be responsible for the family.

That is absolutely true. I am doing a PhD and I know if I were a Man, people would have advised me to not take it up, there is no money while studying, how will I support a family and so on. So, I'd have assured them I will mint money after the degree either here or if need be, abroad.

I'm so happy I don't have that burden, all I have to deal with are questions on how I'm going to get married if I study so much, how will I get married if I'm going to marry after four years, you will get an old guy, get random advice telling me don't get carried about your success or you will not learn about how to adjust in a relationship(actually should be plural because they sometimes refer to the relations of the 'relationee'), and how if I want to go abroad, they will have to find a 'foreign mappillai'.

#3 Men need jobs. Women who are going to quit them when they get married need not take them. This is taking away jobs for men who might actually need it to support their family.

I quite understand this is how a Man who didn't get a job would feel. A bread winner is more important than a hobbyist. Knowing how important this job is for you, you worked so hard and didn't get a job because somebody who didn't need the job was motivated and talented to be hired for the job than you. And Women take jobs because they want to earn, feel good, save up and then quit to spend time with family and make others feel good. Man, find solace, a Woman gets married way earlier than the time your parents realize a daughter in law would be a great addition, you'll have plenty of time to get that job she quits and start an empire by the time you have a family. Be strong.

#4 Men are always the bad guys

I understand with increasing awareness of atrocities against Women, Men feel uncomfortable being stared at as evil guys, being feared. Men have become clueless whether being gentlemanly is good or demeaning.

I really empathize with you. I really do know about uncomfortable stares. Stares that make you feel guilty of breathing. Stares that you perceive but don't dare meet in case that might signal acknowledgement. Stares of wonder. Stares of disbelief. Stares of disgust. Stares of expectation.

#5 Men take responsibility for Women. Men are responsible for themselves. It is unfair.

The burden of responsibility is huge. Men need to take care of parents and future family, need to provide for them. I totally agree this is completely true and unfair. Today's society is not driven by physical protection at least in civilised parts of it. Sometimes, you need a day off, you need to feel taken care of, I don't mean the nursing-kind of taking care that only moms have, the real care where you need not worry and divide the burden with somebody else. I empathize with you, I really would like that to change, no sarcasm here.

Ok, I've had my fun. Real talks, the issues that affect women have a totally different dimension to it. As society changes so dynamically and vibrantly to accommodate them, there are unique issues for men that need to be addressed.

In today's society empowering a man, would be to relieve him of massive societal obligations, to tell him it is alright to share his burdens, his responsibilities, to tell him it is ok to cry sometimes. Empowering a man should make him feel comfortable about women, somebody who can listen and contribute equally. Empowering men would eliminate the absolute call of duty, the pressure to lead. Empowering men, will be to make minds broader, will allow him to pursue his passion to his zenith. Empowering men is not to make men weak, it is to make men not pretend to be stronger and macho than they are.

What I'm trying to say is,
Empowering Men and Empowering Women will lead to an honest acceptance of two wonderfully different and diverse people for who we are on an equal footing.

Personally, I'm a feminist, I believe women's rights are neglected and very important. Somewhere down the line, I realize we cannot expect these changes suddenly in a jiffy. But I feel, men are being empowered too in our society to handle this change. Let us come together. One for all, and all for one.

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