[Image credit: wikimedia.org]

Why Men Should be Men?

While watching an interview of a movie actor, I was struck by something said. He was asked, “what is it that he likes most about women?” He replied, “their warmth, their love, and the way they care and so on.” Then he was asked the same question about men, to which he gave an interesting reply. He said, “Men are dogs. Nothing can be done about them.”

Doesn’t this statement imply men cannot change? So it is futile to even expect boys to reform. This is not an isolated opinion of one male. I have grown up listening to this refrain — ‘boys will be boys,’ ‘Men are dogs’ and things like this. What I fail to understand is ‘why men will be men?’

[Image credit: wikimedia.org]
[Image credit: wikimedia.org]

While discussing the question how to change society to make it a better and safer place for women to live in, we need to stop and ponder. Before changing the way how we think about women, what needs to be changed is how the society has created a man’s image. There is no denying the fact that women have been treated as an inferior being. But equally true is the fact that boys have been injected a superiority complex within them. A certain sense of false masculinity has been imposed upon them. Women not being perceived as inferior will in no way change the notion of superiority/masculinity among men. These two are interlinked but different problems with different set of solutions.

Things cannot and will not change for women, till the approach is holistic. The problem with feminism is that it has treated women as the sole victim of society’s parochial thinking. But the truth is men have equally been the victims of this societal pressure. A guy cannot cry; he cannot be emotional; he cannot feel weak sometimes; he has to be strong and macho all the time. Stop crying like a girl, behave like a man– the list is endless. What is wrong in crying and why is it girlish? Aren’t emotions meant for all humans or they meant only for girls. I never understood what is so particular about behaving like a man

These refrains have inflated the male ego so much that it becomes difficult for boys to face defeat or rejection from a girl. And thus, they react in audacious manner when they find any girl– be it their sisters or friends, outdoing them in any field. Boys too are ordinary human beings and not superman. They are no superior race. Its high time society and men themselves accept this reality. By declaring that men will be men, we also declare that men have no scope of reform. They were chauvinist and will always remain so. And this is not and should not be the case.

About Maneesha Tripathi

Maneesha Tripathi is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science. She can be reached via email at: tripathi.maneesha89 [at] gmail.com

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  1. This article is good attempt to explain the “men will be men” phenomenon, I think it needs more content and substance! the matter at hand is what the society has been struggling against for ages, and the fact that Feminist Movements haven’t had much impact on the contemporary Indian society is true, but the point about crying is a very futile point, expression of emotions depends and varies at the individual level. The superiority complex issue is due to the norms of the society which have never been questioned and they still remain unquestioned and the imposition of a false sense of masculinity has led to this crisis, as the society has been largely patriarchal! and I VERY FIRMLY believe that Women and men ARE EQUAL in EVERY ASPECT!

    With no Disrespect or Intent to Hurt ANY Religious sentiments, I’d like to share this; sometimes I look at the women in my life and think that God, probably is a Woman!

  2. I think rapes are overrated in India and society is one of the factor behind providing the proper culture for the same. But it is also true that we are treating rapes on extreme ends. Some people say “Men will be men” while other are too harsh on rape accused.

    I suggest you read this : http://www.quora.com/Rapes-in-India/Are-rapes-in-India-highly-overrated/answer/Samar-Rehman-Patel

  3. You’re right when you say the society can’t change if the only thing that is removed is the inferior status of women, but not the superior status of men. But i am afraid i disagree with your point on feminism that the problem with feminism is that it only sees women as victims.

    Of what I have read on feminism, i can confidently say that i know of no other way of thinking/ideology that understands the problems faced by men better than feminism does.

    This whole thing about men shouldn’t cry, men shouldn’t be weak, men shouldn’t be anything that society says is ‘womanly’ is because being a woman is the most degrading thing a man can be. So, in that way, men are victims of misogyny and patriachy. The fact that we can even figure it out is because of feminism. Feminism wants men to just be what they are, to be vulnerable and emotional, to be able to express their emotions in ways other than the one way patriarchy sanctions it — anger and aggresiveness.

    It’s the patriarchy inside of us that keeps on saying ‘men will be men’ or ‘all men are the same’, whereas the feminism inside of us knows that’s not the case.

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