In conversation with a jaded Indian man and a dented-painted Indian woman

(Taken from comments made on my post, Mujhse Fraandship Karoge and Other Inconvenient Truths)

I am an Indian guy and I need to say many things from my own experience. I have noticed that Indian girls who are good-looking have a feeling of pride and attitude and behave as though all men are their slaves.

People who consider themselves God’s gift to the world do have that attitude and this goes for men and women all over the world! I’ve had guys not give me the time of day because I wasn’t upto their standards of attractiveness. It works both ways. I really don’t think this is a gender issue or even an ‘Indian’ issue.

Regarding attitude that you mentioned as not being gender specific, I again disagree. Perhaps, what you say is true to an extent. But there is no denying the truth that good-looking women have an attitude much more than their male counter-parts.

Although I’m inclined to dismiss this as hyperbole, I’m going to answer this anyway. Why do ‘hot’ Indian girls have so much attitude? Setting aside the fact that this isn’t something that is specifically gender based, I’d like to focus on why ‘good’ looking Indian girls in particular are said to have this ‘attitude’.

Easily put, it is self preservation. The thornier the exterior, the less likely anyone is to approach. Every woman in the country has been mentally undressed at some point by leering men, and this as everyone now is well aware of, is the least of it. And of course there is the slut shaming, where a girl who has a lot of guy friends is immoral and loose, and a BAD BAD girl. No wonder then that girls (in particular the ‘good’ looking ones) would rather be ice queens than be vulnerable to this quagmire of unpleasantness. But like I said in my earlier post, it’s something that I’ve personally been working on as a part of my own effort. This gradual change in attitude needs to be augmented by changes in the very system.

Somehow, Indian women (urban educated), it seems have got it into their heads that they are superior to the men. I wonder what makes Indian women  pride so much when they are not even half as beautiful as their Russian and Ukranian counterparts (although I agree beauty is relative).

I’m an ‘urban educated women’ as you put it, I don’t know why you think we consider ourselves superior to men. We have finally reached a time where we see a significant number of Indian women working, driving and doing other ‘manly’ activities.

That is a different debate altogether whether feminism has brought about good or bad in society To me, its definately made society worse.

Oh dear lord. To anyone who says this, all I can say is — keep your women safely locked up in the kitchen  because if you had it your way that’s where we would be. No voting rights, no right to inherit property, no right to our own reproductive choices, no protection from domestic violence and the list goes on. I see how it has made society worse.

Do we take pride in the fact that we are making huge strides in this male driven society? Yes.

Again its another debate and about technology having been the cause of this so-called empowerment. But its definately NOT a male driven society as you women claim it to be. I would dispute that; contest it and I have enough reasons to do so. Rather, I would say its always a female centric society where men are made the scape goats whenever the need arises.

India is a male driven, patriarchal society. Period (oh wait, that’s a female thing).  Sigmund Freud stated that for women ‘anatomy is destiny’ and it makes me sad, because it is true. Even now I hear friends’ parents telling them not to choose Civil or Mechanical Engineering because girls can’t work on the field. Even now, in 2013 I have friends who aren’t allowed to enter the kitchens in their homes because it is their time of the month. Even now, women in the corporate world can never feel secure about their jobs after taking a maternity leave. Even now, hostel timings are set at 6 p.m. for girls while there is no such need for the boys. Even now, at 21 I get asked when I’m going to get married because that is my sole goal in life. Someone needs to tell me how this isn’t a male centric society. In all honesty, I’m not sure if I can even call myself a feminist. I wrote about it in an earlier post, “Where do we go from here?”. Sometimes I wish it was black and white.

Yes, there are cases when men are falsely accused of rape and women get the benefit of the doubt. It does happen, and it is wrong. There are women who use their gender as an excuse to be morally repugnant. It is best to acknowledge that these situations do exist, but at the same time remember that so many crimes against women go unpunished.

Do we feel empowered that we can stay alone and work in a different city without fear? Yes. Does this have anything to do with men? No. It is just pride in our own achievements, that we are able to do things our mothers and grandmothers couldn’t do.

Too much of corporate-fed media here. You are brain-washed to believe that mothers and grandmothers weren’t achievers. They were bigger achievers than all the achievement that you can ever imagine. Just because they didn’t mean much to the MNCs as they led simple lives didn’t mean that they were under-achievers. Turning a house into a home is a much bigger achievement than owning bungalows, cars and 10 digit packages.

By achievements, I don’t mean earning truckloads of money and owning bungalows (although that is never a bad thing). My grandmother on my father’s side was married at the ripe old age of 14. When I think of myself at 14, I can only scoff at the idea of getting married then. There are so many things she could have done, if she had the chance to. She didn’t even get a chance to work on her hopes and dreams. Turning a house into a home is a huge accomplishment, I don’t deny that. Was it their dream? Was it the only thing they wanted to leave behind? Was it a choice or an expectation? We have an entire world full of possibilities now. 

We claim that we are a gender equal society. Then why the hell should a guy approach a lady and not the other way round? Why should guys pay the dating and dining bills and not the other way? (now don’t tell me that you go dutch. Saying is different from doing and even if I assume that you do, what about the other women?). 

We can’t claim that we are a gender equal society because we aren’t.

Yep, we are habituated to pampering women…..

For this I’m going to direct you to this wonderfully acerbic post. She tells it far more eloquently than I will ever be able to.

But lets say that men and women are to be treated alike. In which case, who pays rests totally upon the individuals in question. Sure, social norm for ages has been that the man pays. But that’s not the status quo anymore.

If a guy told me that he didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford to pay, I would be okay with that. If he wanted to pay for my meal, I would be okay with that too. But I earn my own money. So I’d be perfectly comfortable paying for our meals. Can I speak for all women? No, I can’t. But it’s inaccurate to make a blanket generalization.

I do not agree with many many things that you have mentioned. First of all, I told you not to speak for yourself when it comes to paying bills. I have had this argument with many ladies who make such claims but when it comes to actual payment, they back out. Its real! Its my experience. What you speak here is immaterial; what you do in reality is what matters and there is a HUGE difference. Secondly, when you cannot speak for other women, why do you even need to refer to that? As a guy I know how many times I had to pay bills and how many times I was exploited. Sorry, I can’t accept your contention.

I’m sorry but no one is putting a gun to your head and asking you to pay. If you choose to go out with women who are that exploitative in the first place, that is entirely your fault. Women aren’t succubi. We’re not out to suck you dry of your money and your soul. If you’ve had multiple such experiences, I’m truly sorry but I think its time for an exorcism.

Regarding this article, its well-written. But, I also do not agree with you when you say that a guy who seeks ‘Fraandship’ is a bad guy.

The guys who seeks ‘Fraandship’ may not be a bad guy. However, when a person I don’t know sends messages like that after simply looking at my profile picture, I’m not going to be inclined to be friends with him. Even if he happened to be the nicest guy on the planet. That’s not how you approach a person.

For example, a guy added me on Facebook. He sent me a message saying, “Hey, I read your blog and I like the way you write. I wrote a blog exactly like that once and it felt like you expressed my thoughts exactly.” Would this be someone I’d like to be friends with? Yes! He shares my interests and I know he’s read my work. It’s all so subjective really.

This is one of the fundamental differences between the psychology of women and men. You cannot deny this. Women and men are different in many ways and I sometimes wonder in the correctness of gender equality itself. How can there be equality between two different creatures?

And finally the cusp of this mostly fruitful discussion. I wrote about Gender Bias-ity and I strongly believe that the only thing different between men and women is anatomy. Two different creatures would suggest a different species altogether and that isn’t the case. Gender equality, by strict definition is that men and women should receive equal treatment. Arguably, this is the final destination that we need to reach. I will go on a limb and say maybe this means that as women we need to let go of certain privileges bestowed on us for the sake of equality.

If I have to give up men opening doors for me and paying the check in return for equality in other places, that would be the best trade I’ve ever made. 

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21 thoughts on “In conversation with a jaded Indian man and a dented-painted Indian woman

  1. The saddest line in this article is, “Taken from comments made on my post,” because we truly don’t want to accept this as reality in 2013, but the truth is that we have all heard variations of these things said behind closed doors and it is just too bad. People can never look out and see things from the other persons perspective. Of course, a lot of us have some amount of bitterness in us, but still we have to strive for some sort of selflessness or there is just no hope. My mouth was wide open for a good portion of this article, but then I had to reflect each time that I had actually heard all such comments before.

  2. “Easily put, it is self preservation. The thornier the exterior, the less likely anyone is to approach. Every woman in the country has been mentally undressed at some point by leering men, and this as everyone now is well aware of, is the least of it. And of course there is the slut shaming, where a girl who has a lot of guy friends is immoral and loose, and a BAD BAD girl. No wonder then that girls (in particular the ‘good’ looking ones) would rather be ice queens than be vulnerable to this quagmire of unpleasantness. But like I said in my earlier post, it’s something that I’ve personally been working on as a part of my own effort. This gradual change in attitude needs to be augmented by changes in the very system.”

    This is just one half of it. The other half is where hot women have always been taking undue advantage of the system to favour them. Your contention that it is for self-preservation is half the truth. The other half of the truth is that these kinds of women have a false sense of EGO because guys are attracted to them and that is where they misuse it.

    “Oh dear lord. To anyone who says this, all I can say is — keep your women safely locked up in the kitchen because if you had it your way that’s where we would be. No voting rights, no right to inherit property, no right to our own reproductive choices, no protection from domestic violence and the list goes on. I see how it has made society worse.”

    Feminist indoctrination here wherein you believe all that which feminism claims. First of all, you believe that working in the kitchen is bad. Second, you have people believe that women weren’t given voting rights – as though men were given. You pull things out of context and claim discrimination. You need to study the exact situation that existed when certain things were in place rather than pull things out of context and claim discrimination. The world 100 years ago and beyond was way too different for us to comprehend and we have no right to judge things out of context. If women were discriminated, men were too but in a different way. Just because men were forced to earn and feed their families and protect societies did not mean they dominated. Rather, men were discriminated. Yes, feminism has created a mess in society – broken families, more divorces and single motherhood. If that is not destruction, what is it?

    “Do we take pride in the fact that we are making huge strides in this male driven society? Yes. India is a male driven, patriarchal society. Period (oh wait, that’s a female thing). ”

    This is and was never a male driven society. Period. Feminism can claim anything. There needs a proper definition of what constitutes domination. Without that, you cannot make a claim. Infact, the world has always been women-centric. Females are the powerful in mammals. And humans are mammals.

    “Sigmund Freud stated that for women ‘anatomy is destiny’ and it makes me sad, because it is true.”

    As though society does not discriminate men because of their anatomy. We guys are forced to behave in a certain way because of our anatomy. We are forced to be ATM machines and unpaid body guards of society. So because you complain, try to put in some effort to see the other side.

    “Even now I hear friends’ parents telling them not to choose Civil or Mechanical Engineering because girls can’t work on the field. Even now, in 2013 I have friends who aren’t allowed to enter the kitchens in their homes because it is their time of the month. Even now, women in the corporate world can never feel secure about their jobs after taking a maternity leave.”

    This clearly shows how the corporate world has been able to steer feminism to its own advantage to ensure that women are brainwashed to believe that their happiness lies only in doing things that men have been doing (building a career) and same time, conveniently forget to mention the same with regard to dangerous and low-paid jobs which men are still doing. Feminism aims at distortion of the truth. It aims at seeking so-called equality only in white-collared jobs.

    “Even now, hostel timings are set at 6 p.m. for girls while there is no such need for the boys.”

    It is downright false to claim that guys have no restriction in hostel timings. Ask any hostel to find out for yourself. Yes, guys have an extended time because if a guy is murdered, the society does not make a hue and cry of it while if a girl is murdered, the issue becomes big and its all over the media thereby bringing a bad name to the hostel. So, do not take things out of context. You cannot have it both ways lady.

    Even now, at 21 I get asked when I’m going to get married because that is my sole goal in life.”

    The same society asks guys when then are getting married; they treat us as irresponsible and loafers if we don’t get married. Secondly, if we guys are unemployed, God save us from the ignominy while a girl can say that she is at home. Guys have no choice except to be ATM machines for society.

    “Someone needs to tell me how this isn’t a male centric society. In all honesty, I’m not sure if I can even call myself a feminist. I wrote about it in an earlier post, “Where do we go from here?”. Sometimes I wish it was black and white.”

    Yes you are a feminist. You can have no doubts about it. But then, I am a men’s rights activist too (a masculinist). You can have no doubt about it as well.

    So, you need to know how it isn’t a male centric society. There are tons of literature available to showcase the other side of life. A small extract of it, I prefer to post it here:

    Since the first day of human civilization, Men are sacrificing their blood to protect women, children and society. It is Men, who are doing back breaking labour to get food for women and children. Against any threat to society and people, it is men who are sacrificing their life on frontiers. It is the Men, who are paying most taxes to the state so that society may function….. But what is society giving to men for such sacrifices?

    Men are committing suicides at much higher rates, False allegations are leveled against men by women, Men do not have any rights in marital laws, fruits of Men’s labour is being usurped through maintenance laws, men have no rights for his children, feminized education causes high percentage of male student dropouts, workplace is being made dangerous through sexual harassment laws, higher taxation on men, gender biased sexual assault laws, reservation against men……. why?

    + Discrimination Against Men in India + from AIMWA

    1. Men pay more taxes than women at the same income level. Tax provisions are not gender neutral.

    2. Men are provided no protection against sexual harassment at workplace and against rape and seduction.

    3. Men do not have the choice of vocation. He is expected to subordinate his preferences to the needs of others in the family. That is because he is always the provider to others at the cost of his own personality. He has to just slog. He lives and dies for others. He is forced to don the mantle of the breadwinner for the whole family (including the extended family upon marriage) or else face a social death.

    4. Men are not allowed the luxury of being the master of their own destiny.

    5. Men are not accepted by the society the way they are – just normal human beings. He is reduced to the role of a robot – the eternal protector and provider with no desires of his own!

    6. Men are not provided with a free and un-choked communication channel – a channel that listens to them without invalidating their feelings or ignoring or trivializing their problems.

    7. No schemes are being furthered either by the Government or eminent social celebrities for boys the way they are happening for girls.
    This has led to more boys dropping out of school resulting in in crease of juvenile delinquency. Shunned by the society, such boys grow up with gross inadequacy and ultimately turn criminals.

    8. There is no concept of MEN’s RIGHTS, only RESPONSIBILITIES and DUTIES enshrined for them!

    9. 2007: 57593 married men committed suicide vis-à-vis 30064 married women in India.

    10. If we look back, in the last 62 years of independent India not a single rupee has ever been allocated for men’s welfare from the Union Budget.

    11. Not a single constitutional or quasi-constitutional body has ever been formed to identify redress problems peculiar to men.

    12. There’s no a National Commission for Men nor Men’s Welfare Ministry.

    13. The numerous Anti-male and gender biased laws which are not gender-neutral.

    14. Anti-male slant and negative stereotyping indulged in by media, television and films against men.

    15. Negligence of health issues of men like prostate cancer, short life expectancy, high suicide rates, cardiac problems, diabetes etc.

    16. Not a Single Attempt has ever been made to Recognize that Men Too Have Problems

    17. Not a Single scheme ever been envisaged for Men’s Welfare.

    18. On the other hand men are always discriminated against in the guise of women empowerment.

    19. Lack of government urge on the private sector to come up with Health Products specifically targeted to diseases affecting men in large numbers.

    20. The World Economic Forum does not recognize men as human beings, because it doesn’t conduct a study and publish Gender Index of Men similar to that of women.

  3. “Yes, there are cases when men are falsely accused of rape and women get the benefit of the doubt. It does happen, and it is wrong. There are women who use their gender as an excuse to be morally repugnant. It is best to acknowledge that these situations do exist, but at the same time remember that so many crimes against women go unpunished.”

    The very fact that many women use their gender as an excuse and get the advantage shows the discrimination that men have been facing in society – being treated as morally inferior to women. It is proof that men are discriminated. Infact, when a woman and man have a fight, even if the woman is in the wrong, society forces the man in question to apologise and punishes the man. Examples are aplenty – from a street fight to the misuse of domestic violence laws and 498A, to state a few. Moreover, our society has no answer to the misuse of the laws.

    “My grandmother on my father’s side was married at the ripe old age of 14. When I think of myself at 14, I can only scoff at the idea of getting married then. There are so many things she could have done, if she had the chance to. She didn’t even get a chance to work on her hopes and dreams.”

    Those were the days when even men were married off at an early age. So, its not a gender issue. Moreover, although I do not agree with the age at which they were married, is it also right that people get married at the ripe young age of 40 as it is happening these days? Something to think about.

    “Turning a house into a home is a huge accomplishment, I don’t deny that. Was it their dream? Was it the only thing they wanted to leave behind? Was it a choice or an expectation?”

    Today, we have broken relationships and sky rocketing divorces. Is that the accomplishment which you refer to?

    Moreover, is making money and careerism at the cost of relationships an accomplishment?

    “We have an entire world full of possibilities now.”

    You have an entire world of possibilities minus quality relationships and fulfilling marital lives. You must say that instead.

    “But lets say that men and women are to be treated alike. In which case, who pays rests totally upon the individuals in question. Sure, social norm for ages has been that the man pays. But that’s not the status quo anymore.”

    This is false. My own experiences and experiences of my male friends stands testimony to the contrary of what you stated. Social norms still mandate the guy to pay all bills Period.

    “If a guy told me that he didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford to pay, I would be okay with that. If he wanted to pay for my meal, I would be okay with that too. But I earn my own money.”

    If a guy does not pay for the shopping of his GF, he is called a jerk. A guy saying he has no money – the girl will walk off from his life.

  4. “I’m sorry but no one is putting a gun to your head and asking you to pay. If you choose to go out with women who are that exploitative in the first place, that is entirely your fault. Women aren’t succubi. We’re not out to suck you dry of your money and your soul. If you’ve had multiple such experiences, I’m truly sorry but I think its time for an exorcism.”

    Its easy to blame men for the fault of women; that is what is part of the discrimination that men face. When a man is exploited by a woman, he gets the blame. That is what society does. You need to re-programme. Instead of blaming the guy, try and see if it makes sense to you if you blame a girl for being exploited by situations which are actually an outcome of social norms. If women have exploited me, it is because of the social norm. Each time I dine with a lady, the hotel staff presents me with the bill and not the other way or asks whom they should present the bill to. So, you cannot deny the obvious truth that men are expected to pay bills by society. So stop denying this fact. I will stop debating with you if you deny the obvious.

    And yes, there are many women out there who suck our money and sell our souls. I have come across many. Ask the men who have been exploited by their wives – falsely implicating them in dowry cases, DV cases and claiming 50% of the property (read marriage laws amendment bill to know).

    “I strongly believe that the only thing different between men and women is anatomy. Two different creatures would suggest a different species altogether and that isn’t the case.”

    Its a myth that there are no differences between men and women except the anatomy. Read the book “men are from mars and women from venus”. We find these differences even in day-to-day life although there are many similarities too.

    “Gender equality, by strict definition is that men and women should receive equal treatment. Arguably, this is the final destination that we need to reach. I will go on a limb and say maybe this means that as women we need to let go of certain privileges bestowed on us for the sake of equality.”

    The problem is that women want to have it both ways – take the advantages of traditional values and same time those of the modern. Yes, we men have a problem with it. And the men’s rights movement has started to challenge this one-sidedness and exploitation of men.

    • I disagree with a lot of the things you said, in fact some of them even disturb me. But I’m not going to recant the entire discussion point by point again, it isn’t going to serve any purpose.

      I am glad that you pointed out masculinism. According the the dictionary definition it is the “Advocacy of the rights of men; adherence to or promotion of opinions, values, etc., regarded as typical of men; (more generally) anti-feminism, machismo.” This ideology is focussed on male superiority. The very idea scares me.

      While I disagree that men are being ‘exploited’, I think the men’s movement or men’s lib should be taken forward. Society is patriarchal and when we emphasize the impact this has on women, we forget the kind of pressure it can have on men as well. The argument now crosses over into accepted gender roles and the traditional ‘family’ set up.

      Some of these things are already changing for instance in the 2013-14 budget, the tax slab for men and women is the same. For everything else, it is going to be a gradual climb.

      The amazing thing in all of this is that these changes are equally conducive for men and women! With the increase of women in the workforce, the lower the expectation that the man is supposed to put food on the table. Men can be the homemakers while the women work. Once the playing field is levelled, these disparities can be ironed out.

      • Feminists like you would never agree with the fact that men were oppressed and are being oppressed by social norms because the very existence of yours is dependent on the eternal victimhood of women. Any amount of data you keep denying it. The truth that male suicide is far more than female suicide itself is proof that society is gynocentric and female dominated where the men are made into atm machines for women and unpaid body guards. Regarding masculism, its indeed a fight for men’s rights to equality but not about male superiority. Infact, feminism is all about subjugation of men and female supremacy.

        Regarding the tax slabs, I do not know for this year but I can quote any number of other provisions that discriminate men. Where is the men’s welfare ministry? Where are the men’s commissions? Where is the allocation for men’s health?Lady, you cannot fool all the people all the time.

        Patriarchy is just a myth created by feminists. Patriarchy never existed. Rather, society was always gynocentric and men were made into money-making machines. Men were asked to sweat and toil when there were no machines. While the women enjoyed the privilege of staying at home and taking care of the house. In the process many men died trying to bring home food and protecting society. Now, with machines, you women suddenly want “equality”. Its fair but then you want equality of convenience. That is where its unfair. You want 33% reservation in parliament and not the same in cleaning gutters and dangerous mine work. See your hypocrisy is exposed.

        Level playing field is what we men’s rights activists are fighting for. First make all the laws gender neutral then speak. Today you want dowry law, DV act, anti-rape law everything to be in your favour and yet you claim to be an equalist. Tomorrow, you would strip men of their rights to voting, property etc and again claim that the disparities can be ironed out once there is a level-playing field. Don’t try to fool people. The mens’ rights movement is here to stay; like it or not.

  5. Wow. I’m sorry you have to suffer this kind of comment abuse. “Exploitation of men?” What? This guy must have seriously been crushed big time by some girl, otherwise… no excuse for it.

  6. Wow!!!! First of all hats off to Mr. Rohan for his eloquent rant. Wish I had the patience to read it in full. Anyways a hilarious compilation of questionnaire. Without engaging in gender wars and becoming a keyboard warrior like my friend Mr. Rohan, a few questions did intrigue me.

    It seems Indian males(I am one of them :p) in general have a problem dealing with rejection. If you feel someone is throwing attitude and dominating you to the point where you consider yourself a slave; why don’t you apply some common sense and change your company.

    Secondly this:
    Somehow, Indian women (urban educated), it seems have got it into their heads that they are superior to the men. I wonder what makes Indian women pride so much when they are not even half as beautiful as their Russian and Ukranian counterparts (although I agree beauty is relative).
    I was literally laughing like mad while reading this and got some skeptical stares in my office. Again the sad part is most males[I feel it is pervasive] associate beauty with white skin and blue eyes. I am not being judgmental on this guy, having a fetish for pale skinned women. Whatever rocks your boat!!! But seriously if he feels Russian and Ukranian women are beautiful why doesn’t he settle over there and we will see how many Russian girls do as much as look at him. How can one correlate pride with beauty.

    Again as you have highlighted in your blog, Indian society is dominated by a patriarchal mindset and in my opinion Indian women are equally responsible for allowing themselves to be dominated in the past. It is good to see times are changing though, but the gender wars will continue long into the future :p

    P.S.: Only one foible that I felt in your hilarious post: Opening a door for someone is a gesture one does out of humanity and has nothing to do with men being showy about themselves in front of women.

    • Completely agree with your P.S. I’ve opened doors for people out of sheer politeness, but it is kind of social custom that ‘men need to open doors for women’. Both genders can be humanitarian, the duty shouldn’t rest upon men. It should be corrected to ‘everyone needs to open the door for everyone’.

  7. I don’t know in which era there men live in, but what I see in my current generation is that Woman is far more superior than man. I don’t see gender equality becoming a reality for Man anytime soon!!

    • Haha, I’m not sure if you meant that in a positive way or a negative way (I’m angling towards negative), but I honestly don’t feel like either gender is superior per se.

      Gender equality especially in India, will take time but I hope I live to see the day.

  8. When I read some of the comments that are posted here, they seemed like a total rant at first glance. Then I read them all again, being the bored and jobless dude that I am tonight. I found that there is some grain of truth to some of the points in there, though most of them are pretty hyperbolic. However, they made me think and I’m sharing my thoughts.

    The first thing that I think everyone should know is that the term feminism is a misnomer. The concept of feminism is based in gender equality. It is not female chauvinism or aimed at making women the dominant sex. Sexism, chauvinism and discrimination towards either gender is completely opposed to the values that feminism stands for. That’s the concept.

    In implementation, however, it’s true that female chauvinists have run roughshod over those who want feminism in its truest sense. Thus, a number of policies and laws have been created that are heavily women-centric and not gender-neutral. That this step is a mistake is being finally realised, decades later, in the birthplace of the feminist movement. I’m referring to the United States of America, where gender-neutral laws and regulations to avoid misuse of women-centric laws are finally being put into place.

    In India, where the feminist movement is nowhere near as mature as in the US, it is but natural that unfortunately, there would be cases where men would be at the brunt of women-centric (I won’t call them feminist because that’s something they are not) policies that are manipulated by conniving females. Also, it is but natural that until there are a sufficient number of such cases, there won’t be much awareness and hence, no one would do much about it either. That’s the way things work, unfortunately and there is no way around it.

    None of the above is to detract from the good that such policies have done for women in India. It would be right to say that women-centric policies have empowered and enabled women in many a case, especially in rural, male-dominated societies. It cannot and should not be denied that these policies have helped pave the way for women to forge ahead on paths that were closed to them before. That’s the commendable aspect of these laws and regulations.

    However, as Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility. But not everybody can be responsible and mature. The power that females have these days over males is quite heady. I speak of power in terms of legal recourse through the application of women-centric laws. Women can commit adultery without getting convicted and can accuse a man of molestation, rape and dowry abuse without a shred of proof. All of these can be misused to get a man and his parents (in the case of dowry abuse) jailed even before they have been tried in a court of law.

    No such option is available to men and the misuse of 498a, which is the dowry law, is heavily debated, with an entire website dedicated to it – http://www.498a.org/. It is but natural that there would be misuse, manipulation and abuse. While writing this, I recalled reading about an extreme example of such misuse. You can check it out here, it makes for a long, but interesting read – http://qr.ae/TT1Hx. However, to be fair, one should also keep in mind that misuse and manipulation is an unavoidable issue with most laws. Hence, it’s not wise to attribute misuse of women-centric laws to the female gender or to the pseudo-feminist movement as a whole.

    Coming back to the topic of feminism and the Indian society, it needs to be understood that feminism in India has not gone past its adolescence and may still be in its childhood. Until an entire generation that has experienced women-centric laws and society comes to pass, it is not going to dawn on the-powers-that-be that gender equality is the way to go. If we look at society as a whole, this scheme of things may actually not be a bad idea. Allow me to explain.

    Let’s take a look at the US and the feminist movement there. It started off much the same way as in India, with men feeling denied and short-changed at the outset. However, it was the law and people had to follow it. It should be noted that the abuse of female-chauvinist laws had also begun there, as it has here in India. The outcry grew in volume until it reached a point where it could not be ignored and finally brought about the much-needed introduction of gender-neutral laws.

    All of this took decades to happen. Decades in which an entire generation of men grew up and matured with the idea that women are their legal and social equals, if not better. Those women-centric laws had thus brought about a social change, which is pretty incredible. Yes, a number of men suffered over those decades and their suffering is completely unjustifiable. An irreparable injustice was done to them, but their unwilling and unwitting sacrifice wrought a change in their society that ensured their kids would grow up in an environment that is largely free of gender bias.

    I think you might have started to get an idea of what I’m hinting at. I think Indian society is at the cusp of a similar change. A generation is growing up with the idea that women are their equals, if not more powerful. The outcry in our society against injustices towards males as well as females is also growing in volume. Thus, it’s unlikely that the gender wars will end anytime soon, if history is any indicator.

    Ultimately, I hope that both social as well as legal change come about quicker here so that neither gender has to suffer in a prolonged manner. There would be nothing better if we could learn from the mistakes of the feminist movements overseas. However, I’m well aware that it’s probably a quixotic dream and I can, but hope. As with most things, there are two sides to this coin and it won’t be wise to disregard or trivialise either without giving it due thought.

      • Haha, yeah, I think I’ll post that on my blog. I’m a pretty lazy blogger but it seems my sleep-deprived brain inadvertently came up with a post for my Quora blog!

      • Hah, you’re mistaken if you think it’s just another social network. It’s a question-answer website at its core and features an amazingly smart crowd. I have a feeling you’ll feel right at home on there. Do check it out. You can have an idea of its content by clicking on my name, which links to my Quora profile.

      • Yes, yes, I know about it! I should have been more clear, I am on it but I don’t actively participate. I just like reading answers, never felt inclined (or witty enough for that matter) to post answers. I did look at yours though, good work! I see that you’re a bonafide GoT expert.

      • Ah, I see, that’s great.

        And thank you! Yeah, I have read all the books and seen all the shows and followed some of the theories on Quora, so yeah. The best part was when my answer on Tyrion Lannister was published on Slate.com. That was mildly surprising and really gratifying! 😀

        Quora is a hotbed of GoT and ASOIAF discussions, you should definitely not miss out on following those two topics.

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