And You Thought Sons Are Preferred Because They Are Special…

Heard about violence against women in India? I bet you did. But men are not having a great life either. Find out the TOP OPPRESSION on Indian Men.

Since last few years, heart wrenching crimes against Indian women have come up in the media and brought India under the spotlight of international shame. While 92 women are still raped everyday in this country, there is no doubt that women’s safety is at high risk. Domestic Violence, stalking and other gender based crimes are highly prevalant in all cities and villages.

However, overlooking at the larger state of this nation, one could assume that while women are oppressed under the patriarchal society, men must be enjoying a great life. Or at least this is how it seems or is certainly easier to tell ourselves.

This is hardly the case though. Truth is always disturbing, uncomfortable and no one wants to talk about it, so I decided to go ahead and do the messy work of shedding light on that. This is in no way any comparison of men’s pains with those of women.

Infanticide or preferential killing of the girl child in India has risen in alarming numbers so much that the ratios of the entire regions have flunked. A girl child is NOT preferred, we got that! A baby boy is however welcome, we know that too J

Allow me to mention a shameful statistic here:

More women (81%) than men (76%) showed a preference for sons.

Can you guess why there is a preference for sons?

One of the top reasons is because he will earn money.

It sounds pretty natural and normal but it is far more twisted than it sounds.

In most families, men are the sole breadwinners. This makes them responsible to feed several mouths for their entire lives.

With the rise of the middle class, the unbearable income inequality and materialistic/capitalistic society, men feel the heat to not only feed those mouths but also maintain the family’s so called status.

If they earn a meager wage or take interest in social causes instead of working 9 to 5 at a corporate firm, they are ridiculed by their own parents, wives and siblings. Their worth is defined by their salary. No matter how young, dumb or impolite a guy is, as long as he belongs to a rich family, he will get the best girl he puts his finger on.

On the other hand, guys from the struggling class demand everything from a house to a vehicle from the girl’s family as dowry because they feel they deserve to get stuff in return as this is their one and only chance and achievement. While guys demand dowry and shamelessly feel they deserve it, girls are not innocent either. They give their fathers a hard time if they do not build a heavy dowry for her wedding. I have seen girls blame their parents for their divorces because they forgot to add the ‘power steering’ feature in the car they put up for her dowry.

Other men I see who flee to foreign countries for work, they are so disheartened with their families, they accept that they are nothing more than money making machines for their families.

They have to put up dowry for their sisters so they squeeze more out of the bride’s family and thus the cycle continues.

The twisted and sick way our society works has made men the donkeys that only exist to earn and pay our bills. Hence, they resort to violence as and when they please and barely ever say it out loud that they are struggling with financial issues. Not every guy is a millionaire but every family has expenses. Women, especially housewives do not see the world the same way men do (mostly)…

Status, wealth, competing with neighbors’, showing off in the social circle and among relatives is one of the most common cultural traits of Indians (sorry but the truth hurts).  Poor men are being shredded. They are preferred on birth not because they are god’s special little people; only because they can be turned into personal ATM’s for their families.

The Way Out

Gender Equality is only a word unless we take actions. As a woman, I recognize this pressure on men to earn and feed the entire family by themselves. This is not about thinking ‘oh poor guy, you have to wake up every morning and go to work’.  It is more like ‘hey, why don’t we both wake up and do the jobs we love, come back home, cook a lovely meal together and watch TV’.

I can speak on behalf of men that they don’t need our sympathy for being the breadwinners but they would certainly appreciate if we stop comparing them to other wealthy men, stop nagging them to buy the most expensive dress in the town, may be work from home or find a job, talk about our finances wisely with trusted bankers, stop asking AND offering dowry to show off how wealthy we are and finally stop preferring male child just so he would bring in cash.

When we speak of dowry, people see it only as a women’s issue but it is much more. It is after all the father, the sole breadwinner who pays for it. Isn’t that violence against men?

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