Men are much more likely to commit crimes than women. Men and women also appear to commit different types of crimes; men are much more likely to commit violent crimes, for instance, accounting for 90% of murderers. I’m not saying this, statistics say this.
Are men really bad? No. Are women really weaker? Again, no. Answering the second question about women will be easier for all of you. You will conveniently say it’s the society that portrays them as weaker. Something similar goes for the first question.
In a society where men have to be macho, tough, physically strong and violent to get qualified as ‘real men’, won’t this have an effect on them? And is this toxic masculinity just affecting them? It’s affecting all of us? Because it doesn’t let men be emotional or vulnerable; traits which are considered ‘feminine.’
So, this bounds both men and women to behave in a certain manner, which makes people conclude that men and women are different. We’ve made them different. Studies show there is a meagre difference in the way their brain works. It’s how we’re working. And it needs to change. Toxic masculinity includes things like, ‘being strong’, ‘over aspiration for sexual activities’, ‘suppressing emotions’ and so on so forth.
‘Ladkiyon ki tarah kyu ro raha hain?’ (Why are you crying like girls?) That’s something we all have heard. Because, apparently, boys and men should be macho enough to control what they feel. But they’re not unique. They feel, just like the way any other person would. Because that’s science. But that’s not how stereotypes work.
Why do you think rape is so prevalent in India? Because men are taught to dominate. Men are taught to be violent. Because we teach our boys and girls that women’s bodies are what men crave for. I’m not saying that it’s just the society which is responsible for rapes, men fully are too. But somewhere, the upbringing plays a major role. And that’s why I said in the beginning; it affects us all. I remember a guy from eighth grade, who used to be teased and was tagged ‘gay’ because he didn’t fit into the norms his male counterparts wanted him to. But I know that guy, and he was a sweetheart.
How to end this? I can’t change the way we’ve been parented in a minute. But at least I can ask my readers to be a little logical. Stand up, when it’s wrong. When my brother cries, I let him. Because he is a human being. He feels. If we stop telling boys to be aggressive, strong, loud, all the time, just because they’re boys, we’ll control anti-social behaviour, gender-based crimes, mental health issues, or bullying. Simply, we’ll make this world a better place, and the ‘feminist’ tag we wear, will carry much more meaning and worth.