It’s easy to look at a man and forget that he is so much more than what society expects him to be. It often eludes us that men are trying hard to please society too. And often, society blinds itself to mens’ vulnerabilities.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 things that Indian men DON’T have to do to please society.
1. Be a Tamil movie hero
As Indians, we are constantly inundated with the ‘hero’ syndrome. Indian men are expected to be brainy, brawny and tough; they can ONLY cry for their parents or when they are heartbroken. They can do no wrong, and if they do, their punishment is always too extreme. Guys, listen up. Society doesn’t need a generation of hypermasculine heroes. It’s okay to cry and feel vulnerable, it doesn’t not make you any less of a man. Men are blessed with such tenderness, and it is sad to note that that trait is often shamed out of them.
2. Keep mum about something that’s troubling you
If you are having a tough time, please talk to someone about it. If you have been sexually assaulted, report it. Never keep it on the down low because in fear of what people will say. Talk to a friend, or a family member. Or call the Befrienders at 03 – 7956 8145
3. Look for a partner who is inferior to you
If your partner makes more money than you, or is taller than you, it doesn’t make you any less of a man. Remember, you are equals in the relationship.
4. Only be interested in ‘manly’ things, like cars, football & computers
What is a ‘manly’ thing in the first place? Interests and hobbies aren’t segregated by gender. Whatever your interests are, pursue them. And if you choose to do things that are not traditionally defined as masculine, NOBODY has the right to question you. Just do you!
5. Be the breadwinner of the family
It’s a shame that in 2018, house husbands still receive a lot of flak from society for simply choosing to be the home maker of the family. Turn a deaf ear to all of them! What matters is what works for you and your family.
6. Change your appearance
Nobody can tell you what you SHOULD look like. Be yourself, love yourself and ditch any girl who says you need to change that already perfect exterior for her.
7. Be afraid of self care
Guys, if you want to put on a face mask or do your eyebrows, go for it! A person’s masculinity isn’t threatened by good grooming. In fact, it shows that you care about yourself.
8. Look down on women
Tamil movies have shamelessly celebrated misogyny and used it as a plot device, even seamlessly incorporating it into the comedic elements of movies. This, in turn has a toxic effect on young male movie goers, who prattle on about these sickening chauvinist slogans long after the movie has ended. You really don’t have to do that, guys. Understand that viewing and accepting women as your equals is no threat to the man that you are.
9. Love women
Being gay was never a ‘Western’ thing. But somehow, our society cannot seem to use the terms Tamil and gay in the same sentence. That shouldn’t dictate how you choose to live your life, though. While the Tamil movie industry is decades away from our own version of Brokeback Mountain, we remain hopeful that the society will one day be open to homosexuality.
10. Be afraid to say NO to unwanted attention
It can be a pain in the neck to receive unwanted attention or worse, sexual advances from women. Contrary to popular belief, you are not expected to enjoy this. Respond with a firm NO, and if it continues, report it. Nobody has the right to harass, irrespective of gender.
It is sad that Indian males are expected to betray their instincts, to shush their inner voices, to renounce the best of themselves and submit to being aggressive, detached hypermasculine beings.
Society, be kinder to boys. Stop insinuating that it is wrong for males to show any emotion except the ‘manly’ ones. Let boys be human.