Prejudice is the child of ignorance and it is one of the dangerous obstacles in progress too. Be it the progress of oneself, a family or in a larger picture a nation. It's been 70 years of our country's freedom from the slavery of British but sadly our minds and souls are still a slave to numerous kinds of irrational thoughts and biases.
Right from a child is born our society pushes him into a dark well of prejudice and ignorance. Right from its birth he is immersed in the biased ideologies based on gender, colour, caste and what not. The most deteriorating among them all being the one based on gender. The word Gender Inequality makes us think of the poor women facing atrocities however this inequality derogates all genders-males, females or transgender. From ages women have been subjugated by the deeply rooted patriarchal system of the society. But more often than not the Masculine Human is also thrashed with biasness in everyday life which goes sheerly unnoticed and knowingly or unknowingly paves way for an unjust society.
Our day to day life gestures and inculcated thoughts give way to bias against men too and I think this is also to a great extent responsible towards the unwarranted behaviour done towards women of our society. Let's have a look how we discriminate boys against girls-
1. Bias against "Gender-specific" professions – dancers, nurses etc.
A lot of men who get into professions like dancing, nursing etc. face ridicule. Men are expected to take up more 'manly' professions like engineering , medical, law etc. Our society has already prescribed gender to many occupations – which can result in a bias for those that break this norm. Rarely we see parents encouraging their sons to pursue dance, music or arts as their career. Even Chetan Bhagat- a renowned writer has shared his woes on the same.
2 . Stigma for stay-at-home dads
India is still hugely orthodox when it comes to men staying at home looking after the children. If mothers immediately quit their jobs when a baby is due, then why can't the father? Why isn't the father allotted a paternity leave? It's time we let go of this bias against dads and grant them the time they deserve with their children. I guess if the men are given freedom from this bias then the huge discomfort faced by working women in managing home affairs can also be taken care of.
3. "Men don't cry – Be a Man! Be Tough!"
Men who cry are supposed to be 'weak'. 'Ladki jaise rota hai'. How can a man cry after all " Mard ko dard nahi hota". Being weak is considered to be feminine. Why do we deny men the right to be emotional? Besides, being a 'man' inadvertently means being aggressive, tough and strong. Fighting with men is supposed to be 'a guy thing' and we can all see that's plain wrong. Men have feelings, men can feel fear and pain. If a man doesn't want to fight he doesn't have to be ridiculed. Let's break away from distorted and in fact, violent ideas about masculinity.
Husband earning less than his wife feels 'let down'
In our society, if a wife earns more than her husband, it's considered to be insulting for the man. This is because we ascribe power to the man's salary. With a higher earning partner, a man faces an ego battle with her and within himself. We have to let go of these antiquated ideas. A man need not feel ashamed of himself if the wife is earning more than him.
'The Man of the house' syndrome
'Man of the house' often means being the breadwinner of the family. Men are also supposed to be the head of the finances and furthermore, expected to fix the bulb! Women can share these responsibilities and its undue pressure on men to be expected to provide for the whole family.
Always the 'protector' and never the 'protected'
A man is always supposed to stand up for his sister, girlfriend, wife, mother etc. He is supposed to beat up a man who insults his family, particularly the 'woman'. Why is he always supposed to be the 'protector'? Today a lot of women are learning not to depend on the 'man' and learning how to take care of themselves at all times they can. Furthermore, a man has to let his guard down and sometimes let a 'woman' stand up for him. Why can't we train our sons and daughters equally to protect themselves and others?
Bias/ridicule against anything 'girly' or even 'gay'.
It's wise to note how a lot of traits considered to be girly are shunned by the 'real man'. "I'm not weak! I'm physically strong! I'm not small!" Yes, unlike a 'woman'.
There is a lot of sexist bias women, and even homosexuals or transgenders face. The same sexism is faced by men as well. Sexism and gender bias can hurt all people – and it's time we come together to nip this in the bud.
Sexism/Gender bias Hurts Everyone
We have to face that gender bias hurts not only one gender, but all genders and all kinds of people. We have to work towards ridding our society of it. Gender-based crimes are a direct result of gender bias and sexism. Even our top-most politicians, police, law-makers, educationists and people in positions of authority have often made sexist comments. We have to free our culture of sexism.
We all have a combination of feminine and masculine traits. Emotions are human and there's nothing wrong with them. We have to learn to manage them in healthy ways and it has to be taught from a young age.
Let's pledge to have freedom from bias of all sorts!!