This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Pragati Sharma. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

If It Is Women Who Are Discriminated Against, How Are Men Able To Play The Victim Card?

More from Pragati Sharma

Trigger warning: Mention of rape

(Parts of this article are satirical)

If I go by the trend, given the headlines these days, trolling, bashing and humiliation have become the norm. But it’s high time that the issue of men posing as victims be addressed. I will start like this:

Sushant Singh Rajput was a very intelligent man by all standards and had been in a relationship with at least three women. Yet, Rhea was able to easily fool him, loot him and worse, control his mind to the point where he stopped realising that he has agency. It has been proven that his relationship with his family was on shaky terms, but still, Rhea is, without doubt, and without proof, 100% criminal.

In Hathras, a girl died declaring that she was raped, but still, the accused became the real victim because some outside agency tried to manipulate the situation. Moreover, the girl was said to be in touch with the accused, with the implication that she was partially responsible for what happened to her.

Again, in Delhi, a girl’s (male) family members beat her supposed boyfriend to show their displeasure with the relationship. The supposed boyfriend died, but the girl’s family members remained not guilty because the girl is their property and they have a right to punish a trespasser (man or woman) with impunity.

Similar was the case with Bois Locker Room chats, which surfaced in Delhi. It came to light that a group of minor boys were circulating photos of minor girls and commenting on them in obscene language with the description of rape. Yet, a sizeable section of social media turned these boys into victims, some claiming, without proof, that the girls mentioned must have sent their photos to these boys to be used in this way.

Boys locker room
During the Bois’ locker room incident, it came to light that a group of minor boys were circulating photos of minor girls and commenting on them in obscene language with the description of rape.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s daughter received rape threats after a bad performance by her father during an IPL match. But I won’t be surprised to hear someone saying that this person was just “an overzealous fan who crossed the line.”

I could go on and on if I start describing examples from everyday life. The common characteristic of all such incidents is that men are proclaimed to be the ‘real’ victims even while they have faced no brutality, inhumanity or degradation in such cases. While to women, in some of these incidents, even death comes with humiliation and utter disrespect. A man has the choice of dying honourably, not so for a woman.

I remember an article that was written by a man describing how a girl had abused him by threatening him on chat, with a fake case of molestation if he does not indulge her. He portrayed himself as a victim by grieving on the fact that he did not have a legal remedy to address his situation and save himself from future harassment. What’s astonishing is that only a few questioned him on his claim.

He could have hired a lawyer and filed a petition in any court for his alleged harassment, even if the police were to dismiss his complaint. If what he claimed was indeed true, he would have had written proof which no court would ever dismiss. However, it was clear that his intention was not so much to bring awareness to how situations such as these can be handled but to prove how hard a man’s life is and how a man deserves more legal power. Besides, his claims would not have held in court.

A woman harassed on cyber media, on the other hand, would likely be forced to think twice before reporting an abuse: isn’t it a rule of society, for women and girls, to not talk to men at night?

In this era of social media, men are quick to complain about how women lure them, hurt them and destroy their lives. Men claim they are the puppets in the hands of scheming women and do not have any agency of their own. So, man is the victim whereas the woman becomes a devious shrew. Sometimes, even women are complicit in such myth-making.

The line of reasoning used to defend the vile acts of men is often beyond understanding. It is excusable for a man to resort to domestic violence because even though he earns, protects and is responsible for the family’s welfare, he seldom gets respect from women at home. You see the irony here: in the Indian society, the role of a man as the breadwinner is considered to be his noble burden, but when a woman earns, she does so on her own volition and is expected to leave her job for her husband on his whim.

In Indian society, the wife belongs to another family and becomes a pariah, even if her husband doesn’t actually live with his family. He does not have to leave his family after marriage, yet it is his life that becomes difficult after the marriage because he ‘has to act as a bridge between his family and wife.’ You see the comparison here? A man, very willingly, would be ready to act as a bridge on issues in a professional setting even if he weren’t paid for it. He is likely not to look at the beneficiaries of his mediation as harassers. In a family, on the contrary, his wife is conveniently framed as a harasser. In India, a man gets to live with his parents after marriage, but it is he who is the victim of the marriage.

Jadavpur University students protesting against domestic violence
The groom’s family always has an upper hand over the bride’s family. In the end, the girl’s parents must pay obeisance to the boy’s family in the hope that the girl is ‘kept happy’ after marriage. Image credit: Getty Images

This is not all. Dowry is illegal, but still, every year, at weddings, thousands of rupees are spent on marriage celebrations by the bride and her family. The groom’s family always has an upper hand over the bride’s family. In the end, the girl’s parents must pay obeisance to the boy’s family in the hope that the girl is ‘kept happy’ after marriage. But when cases of dowry are filed, the boy’s family gets to play the victim. The girl’s family, who has to part with their hard-earned money, is demonised.

Observe the irony here: it is okay for the girl’s parents to part with their hard-earned money (often their retirement savings), but if a husband is asked to leave his home by his wife, then the wife is told that her ‘new parents’ must not be deprived of care and economic security. This is deceptive; in India, it is often the man’s parents who find themselves taking on the financial burden of their married sons. Yet, at the end of the day, the man is the victim of a marriage.

Women do commit crimes. Yet, more than men, they have been known to be truthful. For example, it has been reported that, in Delhi, as many as 40% of cases tried by court of law are filed by disgruntled parents of daughters whose relationships they do not approve of. Quite often, the victims here get justice when the girl tells the truth. Women are less likely to shy away from receiving punishment as exemplified in the Kerala serial murder case. In the ongoing drug trial of Bollywood, it is strange that all women celebrities have been named and no male celebrity has been called out for using drugs. Is it possible that the men of Bollywood are living such pious lives? Still, at the end, disgruntled fathers are fathers and apparently have the ultimate right to override their daughters’ agency, often destroying their lives in the process.

During the #MeToo movement, every accused was crying for his career, yet, it is easy for a TV anchor like Arnab Goswami to allegedly ask for the resignation of a government official simply because his ego is bruised. It is also easy for him to defame a doctor from a reputed hospital, without any proof of misdeed, for his own vague and immoral agenda. It is acceptable by society for a man to destroy another man’s career, but a woman, even for her dignity, cannot question a man because ‘his career will be affected’.

There are many laws that favour women in India, but only a few of them are used, and most of them fail to get justice to them. No doubt, women commit crime. Some women will be bad because this is how nature is: evil will always exist alongside good, and has been so since the beginning of humanity. Still, women get punished very easily, if not by law then by society. Nobody can deny that.

The truth is that men like victimhood, though they are, at times, the victims of a world governed by their own rules. They have jobs, social standing and power, yet, they insist on masquerading as victims. They insist that they are victims of the misdeeds perpetrated by women, who refuse to respect them. Men, who, for centuries have insulted women and still do, have the gall to play the victim. All his life, a man suffers and feels victimised. This is the very reason why feminism exists. Man is never satisfied with his life and so how can he be satisfied with any woman he has in his life?

You must be to comment.

More from Pragati Sharma

Similar Posts

By Jagisha Arora

By Sheryl D'silva

By Drishti Agrawal

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below