In the interest of ushering gender equality in our society, it’s important for male-identified persons to understand these 10 simple rules, and follow them diligently. To all the boys out there, here’s what to do.
Postulate 1: Only ‘Yes’ Means ‘Yes’
In recent times, a ‘No means No’ approach has been propagated among boys. But it’s only partially correct. Instead, boys should follow a ‘Only Yes means Yes’ approach. ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are not just two digital values. Between them lies a wide range of mixed signals. What will a boy do if a person of interest remains silent or is confused? If you follow ‘No means No’ then you might probably give the benefit of that person’s doubt to yourself. You might end up harassing them. ‘Only yes means Yes’ is the best approach. You will never be confused because unless she says ‘Yes’ with conviction, all her communications may be considered a ‘No’. Even her silence is a ‘No’.
Postulate 2: Know About The Women At Home
Boys should get involved in meaningful discussions with the women in their homes. You should ask them about the problems they face on daily basis, whether it’s related to their security, or health, or psychological state. It will help you get sensitized to their problems. Once you become sensitised, you will orient your thought process to think about their problems. Afterwards, you will become competent enough to solve the issue of gender inequality, right in the home. It’s high time that boys learn how difficult it is to play the role of a mother or a sister or a wife, who face these problems just because of their feminine identity. This is gender inequality.
Postulate 3: Know About The Impact Of Your Conduct On Women Colleagues
Boys should ask women colleagues at work if any particular behavior of theirs would have possibly been hurtful, or even harassment. Sexual harassment is never about your intentions but about the impact of your behavior. Some men are really unaware of this, and women (out of fear, shame or to avoid repercussions at work) never let these men know about the same. If and when she is comfortable, ask her if you have ever crossed the line.
Postulate 4: Stop Using Character Assassination And Rumor Mongering As An Instrument Of Protest
Why would you attack a woman online because of her identity? Just because her political views are diametrically opposite to yours doesn’t give you permission to threaten her with rape threats on social media. Just because she did not accept your proposal or viewoint doesn’t give you the freedom to assassinate her character by rumor mongering. Get rid of that male ego and handle it better.
Postulate 5: Stop Behaving Like The Successor To The Seat Patriarchal Of Power
Boys in their twenties tend to think that they will be future heads of their families, and so they start showcasing their authority over their mother and sisters and. This is the rise of the patriarch within them.
Postulate 6: Stop Objectifying Women
First of all, you yourselves should completely abstain from objectifying females. Once you observe this rule, then people around you will come to know about your stand and this will be a deterrence for them too. Second, no matter who he is, even if your own brother, register your protest with a man if he objectifies women. Maybe when you stop your friends, you end up being labeled as ‘Baba’. But that’s fine. Rebellion is never easy irrespective of its scale but there must be a beginning to a progressive change.
Postulate 7: Support Women Facing Harassment Instead Of Passing Judgement
You will have to speak against sexual harassment and help women around you feel safe enough to do the same. Many a time, boys tend to ignore such cases because the perpetrator is someone whom the girl knows. It is therefore considered their personal matter. But just because the perpetrator is a friend of hers doesn’t give us an excuse to normalise and legitimise such acts. A person’s prior relationship, of any kind, with a man does not deprive her of the right to consent, nor does it allow a man to neglect taking consent.
Postulate 8: Welcome The Girl Child
Committing foeticide or subjecting a girl child to discrimination just because she is female is the gravest form of gender discrimination. If we, as men, can’t spare an innocent life from this discrimination, then how can we expect ourselves to be civil and considerate towards adult women? Subjecting a child to such discrimination at the very start of their life cycle leads to development of a weak individual who will never stand for her rights because she might get acclimatised to discrimination since her inception. You, as a father, will be the ‘first love’ of her life and that too forever. Do you need a better reason to welcome her?
Postulate 9: Learn To Cook And Do Your Part Of Child Care
It will help you, as a man, to appreciate the labour that women do at home. A housewife does not get any remuneration for her services, and we treat her work as inferior to that of working men. This has to stop.
Postulate 10: Do Not Force Your Partner Into Anything Without Their Unambiguous Consent
As mentioned earlier, a person’s present relationship with you does not nullify their right to consent. Any instance of past consent also does not mean that a person has surrendered their right to consent to you forever. If you fail to get this thing right, then you might end up perpetuating the problem of marital rape. Folks, just because something is not a crime as per the law does not make it ethically correct.
Follow these 10 rules and you can play a big role in making gender equality a reality.