Editor’s Note: This post is a part of What's A Man, a series exploring masculinity in India, in collaboration with Dr. Deepa Narayan. Join the conversation here!
Like warning mists of a geyser, we more often tend to uncover the hazy layers of masculinity. But is there any mist upon man’s masculinity? Of course not. Its close opposite is femininity. What necessitates to discuss the term of masculinity. There was really nothing left to define it.
The trait of masculinity is god-gifted. When there is nothing peculiar about masculinity, we should go with its logical meaning. However, all the arguments run around physical and social aspects.
If male masculinity is a natural characteristic, how can femininity be discarded as a female trait given from nature? If male and female have been created to show masculinity and femininity, why does one-sided talk continue? Such sorts of queries compel sociologists to explain.
Masculinity and femininity level their distinction when the two spend time during shab-e-zafaf (first night of marriage). One proves one’s virility but does the hymen break or pop or only stretch? Stretching may cause a small tear, but virginity doesn’t end.
As author Cayce LaCorte, from South Carolina, said that there was no such thing as virginity. She went on explaining in her own video: “I’m raising my five daughters to believe that there is no such thing as virginity. It is a patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose other than making women feel bad about themselves.”
There is no harm in saying if masculinity denotes control, feminity hints at rearing. Researchers emphasise that it is vital to educate males on how their social roles may impact gender equality. This involves analysing the entrenchment of traditional male stereotypes in society and their consequent impact on women.
The male stereotypes are more or less functions within a larger structure of the gender paradigm. This leads to a fresh discussion on the progress towards gender equality. Why must males be perceived as fundamental actors? Certain masculinities preserve and promote the inequalities experienced between both the opposites sexes. To achieve the required level of gender equality, they must be dismantled at all costs.