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!
Trigger warning: Mentions of domestic abuse
With set patriarchal notions,
We have an image of an ideal man.
Talk, dark and handsome!
Strong body, hard emotions with a big mansion.
Who will have to earn good to get married,
And earn bread for his family.
One, whose cooking is always frowned upon,
And all the household chores are forbidden for a man.
One, who can only show his manliness by beating his wife, getting drunk, and smoking away his life.
One, who cannot wear pink,
and to express his feelings, he always has to think!
Because that’s what girls do!
It was the British who stereotyped Indian men as effeminate.
Even the film industry homogenised this masculinity.
Salman Khan is shirtless in all his movies flaunting his six-pack abs,
The ideal male body.
Arjun Kapoor played a house maker in Ki&Ka,
Which wasn’t accepted well by society.
And of course a man can never be a nanny,
F.R.I.E.N.D.S tried to break this stereotype but rather,
Sandy was labelled as ‘manny’ and got replaced.
Because it’s a woman’s job, and
A man can never be ‘too sensitive’.
Why did we set these norms? Why did we make a distinction between a man and a woman?
Why can’t we choose according to our will? Why can’t we dress how we want?
Why can’t we express ourselves?
When will society stop dictating these norms? When will society reform?
So that we can live in tranquillity.