CHATLINE Well-known feminist Kamla Bhasin tells SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY that Indian men will have to change, not to support women but to save themselves from being brutalised by centuries of exposure to patriarchy
“M ian, aap mein kuch kami hai” (Gentleman, there is something wrong with you).”
Some months ago, when Kamla Bhasin, well-known feminist from Delhi, came up with this retort to Aamir Khan on his headline-grabbing tele-show Satyameva Jayate on saying that he often cries, a roar of laughter brimmed up among the studio guests and home viewers alike. An outspoken Bhasin, with decades of studying gender orchestration in our society, was in fact holding up to the public there a long-established notion: men are not male enough if they have tears in their eyes.
What Bhasin said there is no laughing matter though. Looking back at her reaction then, the feisty gender trainer, in a conversation at her house in South Delhi, strikes at the seriousness of the matter by making a fundamental observation, “We talk about what our women have to go through because of the society, but it is equally sad what our men have to go through because of the way society wants to perceive them. Unless men change, their humanity would be destroyed.”