The August 29 issue of Open Page had five articles pertaining to feminism in one way or the other. This article is not meant to defy the existence of important issues in this field, but looking at the same thing by different authors, again and again, is unfortunate. Cheesy headings, cheesier artworks and photographs, and comments coming from some of these essays, are nothing short of an insult to an honest and sincere man. It is also not uncommon to refer to men as a community totally separate from the human race and to present open biases against them.
In marriage, the freedom of the bride is often talked about. Agreed, some women have a hard time in their marriages, but here is some food for thought — can a man really be happy making someone suffer, especially his wife? Does a man not suffer if a marriage is not successful? It is extraordinary how it is presented as a woman-only problem whereas bad marriage, in reality, is a problem for both, man and woman, and the loss is more than physical or monetary, it is emotional. The result being that the issue can hardly be solved by law, because law does not ‘know,' it ‘judges' and emotions can be hard things to ‘judge.'
A good relationship cannot be maintained at gunpoint, but by good counselling, understanding and communication. Decisions on freedom of woman (or man), or in fact anything that affects both lives, should be jointly taken. Some of these decisions are rather difficult, but unfortunately any external force is likely to make it worse.
It is often mentioned that women have a harder time at office. Promotions, perks and even salaries are lower for them. This problem is shown statistically, so let us answer it statistically. Surveys have shown women don't demand as much as their male peers and for those who do, well, what to say? We have CEOs, we have leaders who are women; and, as far as male ego goes, a man won't like to be beaten by a woman. Accepted. He won't like to get beaten by a gentleman either.
Prejudice. A word used a lot in the context we are talking about. Parents' prejudice, peer prejudice, classmates' prejudice against a teacher's pet and what not. “I want to do a job, but my parents want me to marry after college and they want my brother to be an engineer in a good company. Why such prejudice?” asks a friend. I ask her if she can see her brother marrying instead of doing a job. She looks complaining but amused at the same time. If a woman is denied job over marriage, a man is denied marriage over job. If one says that a man won't want that, it is just an example of prejudice I am talking about. The tension, the bad times, and the social stigma — everything is very much real, but they exist, and they exist for everyone.
I am a man of little importance in this world, except to my parents and friends. Yet, I am a man, who respects both man and woman, and disrespects anyone who disgraces someone's sanctity and self-pride. It is my appeal to all feminist authors to know that there are men having hearts in their right place, and hence it is a request to them to be more sensitive in what they are writing.
(The writer is a student, BITS, Pilani, and his email is email@example.com)