By Arjun Raj:
Every time I have a heated debate with a self-proclaimed male chauvinist friend of mine about feminism, equality and gender roles, I think to myself, why do I care? I could say it’s because I am the son of a working woman, who raised me to believe what I have between my legs isn’t going to give me any special privileges at home. Or because I’m the brother of an ambitious woman who is a daughter, sister, wife, daughter-in-law, and friend, all at the same time without conforming to typical gender roles. Or maybe because I’m just that awesome! But am I?
Having a pretty good understanding of myself (though whatever I said above, except maybe the ‘me being awesome’ part, might have influenced my way of thinking in a bigger way than I could’ve imagined,) I’m aware that the reason is selfish. I put myself first. It’s me and then everything and everyone else. I’m the centre of the universe (which, by the way, I recently learned, is a scientifically accurate thing to say. With the universe being infinite and ever expanding, everything is a centre in its own right. But that’s something for another article. Arjun, focus!).
So what do I gain from being a feminist? I’m a man, not a woman. The lack of equality might be an advantage for me. I’m gay; I don’t desire women. So the lack of equality doesn’t affect my sex or love life either. Even if I see gender as a spectrum, just like sexuality, which I strongly believe it is, I identify myself as predominantly male. So what is it exactly that upsets me to the core when I see an oppressed opposite sex?
Let’s explore the possibilities, shall we?
Although, in some cases, the gay male community could be the oppressor to the former, let’s just say all the gay men are angelic little snowflakes. And although there are a lot of women who hate gay people, let’s say all women are angelic little snowflakes too. Which leaves one empowered, dominant and substantial group of humans – straight men! The ones who controlled and still control the world; making laws and taking decisions for the rest of us. So maybe it’s the hatred buried, deep, deep, deep in my soul that makes me a feminist. But as a lot of feminists would say when they are called man-hating ‘feminazi’ in Facebook comments, feminism isn’t about hating (straight) men. It’s about equality. So no, empathy isn’t the reason. Well at least, not the main reason. I can be sure because I have a dangerously low EQ. I have no empathy!
This is a big one. If we go by the typical gender roles, as a man, my role is to be the ‘superior’ sex. I’m the ‘Protector Of The Weaker Sex’, ‘The Provider Of The Bread’, ‘The Lord Of Hiding The Emotions’, ‘The Opener Of Closed Doors’ and the ‘King of… well, almost everything. Also, I have to stick my ‘pee-pee’ into a ‘vajajay’ for procreational purposes. None of which really makes me not want to throw up. Now let’s forget ME for a second. Every man, who falls too far left of the Elton John-Chuck Norris scale of sexuality, which I just invented, hates to live up to these standards.
No, we don’t want to be a protector. We don’t want to hide our emotions because we have a dick (I might be a robot who is dead inside, but I wouldn’t want to be judged if, in case, one day, someday, I decide to let it all out). We don’t want to be the only source of income in the family. And although some might have a different take on this, most of us don’t bother opening doors or holding the elevator door for women, because honestly, we don’t give a fuck about chivalry. So in a way, the lack of gender roles is more beneficial for men, both gay, straight, and bi, than women. It takes a lot off of our shoulders.
Stereotypically speaking, women, especially straight women, and gay men are born BFFs. And it’s a stereotype for a reason. A lot of the time, we understand each other, without the burden of same gender problems. We stick together as a team to oppose the monstrosity of watching a cricket match on a Saturday night! But that’s just my straight female friends and me. Yes, we are a stereotype.
So all of these combined could somehow explain my feminism. But as an egalitarian, I know it all comes down to individuality and that gender or sex or sexuality shouldn’t be a barrier for standing up for justice and equality, which invalidates this whole article. But that’s okay; that’s how it should be!
This article was originally published on Huffington post