HOW GENDER BIAS IS DANGEROUS FOR MEN
Gender equality benefits all genders, not only women. Those fighting for women's rights are not fighting against men, but fighting against sexism, which hurts both men and women. Find out how:
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 IT/technical, fireman/police etc. Our society has already prescribed gender to many occupations – which can result in a bias for those that break this norm.
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.
"Men don't cry – Be a Man! Be Tough!"
Men who cry are supposed to be 'weak'. 'Ladki jaise rota hai'. 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.
The myth that boys don't get raped
According to a recent Government study in 2007, about 52% boys and 47% girls were raped. More boys were raped than girls. Boys are also raped by men. It's because rape isn't about sex, but power.
By denying this we are only perpetuating the violence and abuse. We have to support male survivors of rape and help them heal from their scars. We have to accept that sexual abuse of boys and men is a reality in India.
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. If a woman is earning more, he should be happy for her, and be secure that the family is financially sound. However, he 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. Nothing to feel ashamed about that. We have to let go of these undue pressures we place on a man.
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.
Do you display sexist attitudes in your daily life or are you gender sensitive? Click on the game and play now to know your score on gender sensitivity.
Before the elections started in 2014, Jaago Re launched a crowd-sourced 10-point manifesto about serious issues affecting women in India. We presented it to leading political parties and asked them to pay attention to our concerns.
Are they being followed through with sincerity by our leaders? Is India catching up with any of the points listed in the manifesto? See the manifesto for yourself here
If you see instances of harassment against women, don't stay mute. Push the Pin here.
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