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The Absurdity Of The #DontMancriminate Campaign: Are Men Really Part Of A “Forgotten Gender”?

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When we talk about the forms of inequality that result from gender bias, we only consider the disadvantage faced by women, often completely ignoring what men face. While some of the concerns are legitimate, many, like #DontMancriminate do not make the cut.

Image source: Maggcom
Image source: Maggcom

#DontMancriminate is a campaign started by an Indian online lifestyle magazine called Maggcom, which aims to promote equality for men and women alike — with the emphasis on men.

One of the basic premises of #DontMancriminate is that men are part of a supposed “forgotten gender” and are always expected to behave like “gentlemen”. Feminists are being blamed for this lack of interest in the woes of men. Why? Because apparently they place so much emphasis on the liberation of women that they forget that men suffer too. While I would leave it to you to judge the merits of this often repeated argument, let’s dissect the term “forgotten gender” – what does that even mean?

Feminists have for long argued that language is often used as a tool of oppression, and patriarchal appropriation and manipulation of discourse on gender justice through the use of such terms is not new either. Even if we were to briefly entertain the absurd idea behind the #DontMancriminate campaign – that of men being part of a “forgotten gender“, we must examine what is being insidiously implied. Does it intend to serve as a justification of male oppression on women? Let’s get some things straight here then – Even being the “forgotten gender” doesn’t allow you to rape women or abuse women in domestic spaces, or in any way be violent towards women. It doesn’t allow you to give preferential treatment to some workers in an office space. Sure, the law in India is in a few cases biased against men, such as in the case of section 498A of the IPC. But really, if you do think, after knowing that a woman is raped every 30 minutes in this country, that you are the “forgotten gender”, it’s time for some honest introspection. Not being allowed free drinks and free entry into clubs cannot even be considered an issue when you think of the crimes committed against women every day in every sphere of their lives. It hardly calls for a campaign like #ManCrimination.

The campaign also talks about how men are expected to be chivalrous, and how there’s a moral pressure on men to vacate seats for women, or help them in physical tasks etc. In Medieval England, chivalry was associated with the code of conduct of Knighthood. What has chivalry turned into today? Is it about pleasing and respecting women or is it really about placating the male ego? Consider a man who gives you his seat on the metro when you didn’t need it at all. Why did he do it? Was it simply because you were a woman or was it because he was a man, and patriarchy demands that a man must display ‘masculine‘ behavior? It’s important to put these things in perspective and not fall prey to such flawed logic of women oppressing men by demanding chivalry.

What really is the goal of this idea of ‘mancrimination’? Possibly, raising empathy for men and trying to unite them for a cause. But why do they feel the need for this gender segregated unity? Does the male ego feel threatened by the fact that there is another voice out there – the voice of feminism – that can destabilize the male centric power structures, and change the patriarchal order? Feminism doesn’t ask for a superior position for women, it demands equality. And patriarchy definitely doesn’t want the current status quo to change. This campaign is just another attempt to do precisely that – maintain the patriarchal structures intact and try to rationalize it by trying to shame women for demanding equality.

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  1. Roh

    I think this is the perfect time to say “Feminazi spotted”.

    1. TheWordCunt

      Wow yes, this woman has committed genocide in the name of gender justice. Obviously. What keen observation.

    2. Rachita

      can’t stop laughing

    3. Roh

      Women are receiving gender justice, which is a good thing. Men aren’t.

    4. Roh

      Butthurt over the word feminazi but doesn’t mind a movement for ‘equality’ being called fem-inism. Nice

    5. FemR

      Because of course wanting equal opportunity for women is equal to killing thousands of Jews. I’d say Misogynist spotted.

    6. Roh

      It’s amusing to see how feminists love grasping at loose straws so much. Dear FemR (Does R stand for radical?), I am not casually throwing around the word feminazi like a ‘chauvinist’, ‘misogynist’ and all your other favourite words (and words don’t always convey what they literally imply, hasn’t the word feminism taught you that?). The author of this article has dismissed issues faced by men like the dirt off her shoe and that angers me. You would be angry too, if you actually gave a damn.

      P.S. I am all for equal opportunities (as I myself am a grown, working woman)

  2. Monistaf

    Wow!! This is exactly what feminism is all about. The very idea that someone besides women can be victims is considered a threat. You make casual mention of IPC section 498A and how it is is biased against men. What about IPC section 375? The one that defines rape in terms of a male perpetrator and a female victim? Do you care about the fact that men and boys can be raped too? And the fact that it is NOT a violation of IPC section 375? So, we will never know how many of them are raped, probably the same if not more than the number of women, but who cares, because only women can be victims? What are you afraid of? The possibility that by acknowledging the pain and suffering of men, you subtract from the victimhood status of women? Men are, and always have been overwhelmingly the victims of violent crime. Why is it that we spend so much time talking about the victimization of women when they are the least victimized members of our society? Have we all been misled by an ideology that discredits the humanity of men, diminishes their pain, marginalizes their issues while elevating and perpetuating the perceived victimhood of women? Why should we spend so much effort to stop violence against the demographic that is least affected by it?

  3. B

    This article is the biggest piece of lie I have come across.

    According to NCRB Data, there were 2,22,091 arrests related to 498A in 2013 alone. A man is arrested every 3 minutes for dowry – 98% cases are false.

    From 2005 to 2008, as many as 22,000 men have ended their lives in reverse dowry harassment after allegedly being tormented by their wives. In contrast, dowry harassment has driven 6,800 women to suicide.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Harassed-over-dowry-men-demand-fair-play/articleshow/5241108.cms

    Since the media is bigoted and biased, it shows women as dowry victims whereas more than 3 times as many men commit suicide due to harassment from wives. The number of men victims of 498A alone outweigh all crimes against women.

  4. Batman

    Where is women empowerment when mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters suffer because of false cases of rape and dowry on husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons? Or is women empowerment only about how women should be allowed to wear short clothes and sleep with whoever they want?

  5. B

    Men are not seen as human beings in society, that is why we never talk about the biases that men face on a daily basis, women usurp half of men’s properties during divorces, courts give men stricter sentences for the same crimes that women commit, juries give verdicts against men in domestic disputes, women usurp half of men’s properties in divorce, men give alimony to women, misandry in the media, sexism against men, domestic violence against men, how men are locked up in false cases of rape, dowry, and domestic abuse, more than 3 times as many men die due to dowry harassment from women, domestic violence statistics do not take into account verbal and psychological abuse that men suffer from at the hands of their wives, yet we talk about violence being a woman’s issue.

    A man is assaulted by his wife/girlfriend every 14.6 seconds.

    http://www.chowrangi.pk/domestic-violence-against-men.html

    When husbands are victims of domestic violence

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/man-woman/When-husbands-are-victims-of-domestic-violence/articleshow/26031858.cms

    Why are so many MEN becoming victims of domestic violence?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2518434/Why-MEN-victims-domestic-violence-Its-Britains-remaining-taboos-abuse-men-home-rise.html

    A Hidden Crime: Domestic Violence Against Men Is a Growing Problem

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/01/30/a-hidden-crime-domestic-violence-against-men-is-a-growing-probl/

    Women More Likely to Commit Domestic Violence, Studies Show

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/19133-women-more-likely-to-commit-domestic-violence-studies-show

    Male domestic abuse victim: men are scared to come forward

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/30303405/male-domestic-abuse-victim-men-are-scared-to-come-forward

    More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence

  6. Nirmal

    The above argument is flawed in it’s context itself.
    although I do not have any idea about the above mentioned campaign, but I can surely say that men are definitely discriminated not necessarily by women but by the very patriarchal system he established and where he enjoys the powerful position.
    Like these-
    1. Men are supposed to be masculine enough and bear every sort of pain. This stereotype totally ignores the emotional side of men and curses them if they r cry or say something emotional.
    2. When it’s marriage time. it is the presumed the responsibility of the groom to look for a nice home, a njcd

    1. Nirmal

      sorry the above comment was incomplete due to internet connectivity issue.
      There have been instances when the theory of feminism, which essentially stands for gender equality and not for female domination over men, has been wrongly used/interpreted. ex. 498A, the deepika video, fake case of the Rohtak bravehearts sisters (which later came out as a case of extortion), the laws like domestic violence, sexual harassment of women at workplace and many other laws on sexual assault have a preconceived notion that Men are be default culprit ( this is essentially why they are not even considered as a possible victims in these laws). The president Pratibha Patil herself had once warned against the ongoing mis use of these women centric laws against men.

  7. Nihar

    So much verbosity in this article, but hard to spot any argument or reasoning in support of calling this campaign absurd.

    1. Aditya Sanyal

      Very good observation Nihar. Guess they could’nt come with any genuine point to criticize the campaign.

  8. The Joker

    The day I was asked to leave my seat by a woman in the name of being a gentleman, I stopped believing in the hogwash known as feminism. Feminism is not about equality but the superiority of women over men, treating men like slaves and ATMs.

  9. nakul

    such a stupid argument.no wonder such women keep asking for more and more and will never be satisfied no matter what happens to men.cannot even imagine how this lady got to write and post it on a website.only because of people like you men have become the weak gender. for even a small issue u ethically immoral women (not all) will make men suffer, that is how the laws in india are framed.fort he most part no one will believe men (police,lawyers,judges).on the other hand if u r a woman and commit a grave crime still people will blindly support without even knowing how evil they are.india will never change until women like this writer are still there

  10. Prabhat

    “Consider a man who gives you his seat on the metro when you didn’t need it at all. Why did he do it? Was it simply because you were a woman or was it because he was a man, and patriarchy demands that a man must display ‘masculine‘ behavior?” I mean did you even think it through, or are you retarted with a blinder on in an effort to persecute males, no matter how absurd or stupid your analogy may sound? I travel by metro everyday for work and I know what a gruelling ordeal that can be. In that kind of a situation a male passenger must be extremely lucky to find a seat for himself. The first compartment in Metros are reserved for women, and even in other compartments there are special seats reserved only for ladies. The ones reserved for older citizens are also taken up by ladies. Women can sit in any seat they want in the metro while older males stand holding the rail. Men are not machines, they get tired to, and because our society is constructed such that most of the heavy-lifting is always left to the males whether it is home or the workplace. So, I would like to say this Akhila Nagar and all the women out there,that the next time a man offers you his seat to satisfy his male ego, do not allow him to do so. In fact, to further the cause offer him your seat to stop him from flashing his masculinity by standing in the metros. This male ego and brash display of masculinity should be stopped at all costs.

    1. G. Lantern

      Well said, Prabhat.

  11. Aditya Sanyal

    I would say keep up the good work Maggcom. The casual attitude by with the author simply brushes aside the issues faced by men is exactly why such a campaign is needed.
    While it is mentioned that a woman is raped every 30 minutes, what is conveniently forgotten is of the FIR’s registered the majority is that of consensual relations gone wrong, voluntary elopement of the boy and girl and subsequently the boy being charged with rape and abduction. Also suicides done by married is mostly due to family disputes, is three times that of women. This is not only the case in India, but throughout the world where such one sided laws have been enacted.

    1. http://www.thehindu.com/data/the-many-shades-of-rape-cases-in-delhi/article6261042.ece

    2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/rape-cases-scripted-firs-fail-court-test/article6268958.ece

    The the trivial way in which 498a is mentioned clearly shows her apathy/ignorance(am not sure what to say) to how one sidedly
    the law is against men. That too is just one of the laws that have been enacted blindly, without giving giving any thought to the hardships faced by a man or potential for misuse.

    Quote Nihar “So much verbosity in this article, but hard to spot any argument or reasoning in support of calling this campaign absurd.”- Very good choice of words.

  12. Aditya Sanyal

    Feminists do not recognize crimes by women against men, be it rape, domestic violence, misandry, sexism, false cases of rape, domestic violence, and dowry, etc. Feminists do not talk about crimes by women at all, even if they are crimes by women against women, specially in households. Feminists will never speak about love between husband and wife, because feminism is about pitting men and women against each other.

    The media runs headlines of crimes against women because it is good for business, while society only sympathizes with women’s issues, and will rush for their help, whereas a man is not even seen as a human being, only a money earning machine. It does not even matter that men commit suicide twice the rate of women.

    Women in society have legal, social, economic, and political privileges and advantages, and yet feminism runs on the ‘all women are victims and all men are perpetrators’ tagline.

  13. Pooja

    Haha, if only I could take this article seriously. Straight from a kitty-party-activist!

    For facts, lets see what’s going on ground. In countless judgments of high-courts and Supreme court, it has time and again come that laws that have been framed to shield helpless women are being rampantly used by “disgruntled” women(kitty-party-affiliates) to harass innocent husbands. Remember classic Nisha Sharma dowry case? The fact that hundreds of thousands of Nisha Sharmas are outside the bars for putting innocent men behind bars using #Mancriminate laws (498A and DV 2005 and after Nirbhaya, all the rape laws that can and are only used against men{mostly innocent}) calls for a balancing act. Hence, #DontMancrimiate.

    All #Manhaters can see “Martyrs of Marriage” and see if they are on the wrong side.

  14. Victor

    The absurdity of Feminism*

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