Deccan Herald carried an article titled, “In coping with stress, men could be the weaker sex”; a couple of weeks back, highlighting the abysmally and consistently high suicide rates amongst married men and the need and reasons to look into the same. The article was based on recently released suicide statistics for the year 2010 by the Union Home Ministry of India.
Along with opinions from activists working for men’s welfare, some psychologists and police opinion was also sought and in that DCP Sonia Narang from Bangalore echoed her thoughts saying that “Male population is more than female population, hence more suicides must be expected.”
It was a profound statement made by her elucidating far-reaching implications. It raised pertinent questions like,
- Does it suffice to invalidate large scale suicides by men with a brushing statement like above, without actually checking the facts? And that too, from a police officer of DCP rank? How safe would men feel with such officers around? For example, as per 2001 census data there are 933 women per 1000 men which means male population is 1.07 times female population, however, male suicides are 1.93 times female suicides. Hence, men die 1.8 times more compared to women on a pro-rated basis. In such a situation, can we ignore such large scale suicides by men under such eye-washing statements as above?
- Do not such statements clearly elucidate the need for men’s rights and men’s welfare in the society as these statements are glaring examples of male disposability existing in the society that makes it socially and politically correct to belittle, invalidate and dismiss men’s problems, concerns and issues?
- Will not men going through similar problems feel a deep sense of psychological suffocation and it can lead to increase in suicidal tendencies in such men further deepening the problem?
- If such a statement was made about women, would it have gone unchallenged?
- Why this gender bias and discrimination against men?
Unfortunately, as a matter of fact, such statements are very common against men and more often than not, they go unchallenged.
- And it must irk the rationale, as to what could be the reason for such rampant and socially accepted male-disposability?
- Why is abuse of men so easy and so easily unnoticed, when it is a general perception that it is the men who rule the world, it’s the men who behold the power positions be it politics, bureaucracy, legislative, judiciary, execution, business or any other power center?
- Why does the society find it so amusing to talk against men?
These and many such pertinent questions largely remain unanswered. Partly, because of lack of awareness of men’s problems but mostly due to misandry (male hatred); as it is misandry which prevents the society from taking responsibility for its men and it is misandry that brings in hesitation in building support structures exclusively for men.
However, as mentioned above, that there is a general perception that ignoring men’s problems should be OK as there is very little awareness of the same. And it is turning out to be a chicken and egg problem wherein low awareness creates a perception of “no-problems” for men and this in turn does not propel awareness campaigns targeting men’s issues. This, in reality, leads to increase in men’s problems and men suffer in silence as they have been doing so for the last few millennia, courtesy, male abuse being social service and a socially accepted norm.
Before understanding the reason behind it, it is imperative to mention here that the male gender is not homogenous. Males can be clearly divided into two broad categories – Males with power and Males sans power. For simplicity let’s refer the males with power as Alpha Males and the males sans power as Beta Males.
The Alpha Males are the “Been-There-Done-That” species who control the power structures in one way or the other. These are the “males of substance”, the politicians, the lawmakers, the feudal lords, the corporate honchos, the rich and the powerful, who either through money or influence, have ruled over civilizations in every era. These males have, for generations and civilizations, laid down the rules and social structures. They constitute just 1% of the world male population.
The Beta Males are all males who are not the Alpha Males. These are the males who “run-the-mills”. A vast majority of them are wannabe Alpha Males and look up to the Alpha Males as their idols. The Beta Males are the powerless males who are just a runner in the rat-race (the race to become an Alpha and enjoy the power position). And they are the exact replica of race-runners. Everyone knows that only a handful are going to get the glory; yet all run, running while competing, often trying to hurt, injure and eliminate fellow runners in a bid to minimize competition. This inbuilt feeling of hatred towards fellow runners (fellow males) is the root cause of inherent and internalized misandry (male hatred) and male disposability. We shall see more about this later.
Before we proceed, it is imperative to mention here that, as males, the reference is not limited to the biological male gender (men, as we better know them), but to the psychological male gender that depicts the most typical masculine characteristics and it includes some women as well, however, it’s the men the who are in the majority as we refer to the male gender in this article.
I would like to quote the example of the Hunter-Gatherer community here. During the pre-historic times, hunting was the primary source of survival and it was the young men of the community who used to wander out, explore into unknown areas, in search of food, and fight nature, wild animals and other young men from other communities in order to gather food for people back home. These people would comprise of women, children and elders in the society.
And, as the hunters would move forward, it was in all likelihood that some hunter would suffer some casualty, of say, getting injured or getting hurt. It would be extremely dangerous to the spirit of the entire hunting clan, if the wounds of this particular hunter were not down-toned. And, as a result, the hunter was usually told, “Be a man, move on!” Often hunters would die on such expeditions and the number that returned was usually less than those went.
Mostly, the returning hunters were hailed and used to get the women of those who died in addition to their own women.
This same principle was applied to wars later, as civilizations matured and war technology advanced. Slowly, it became the norm that the male gender must play the role of the Protector (the Unpaid Bodyguard) and the Provider (the FREE ATM MACHINE) who would be glorified if he lost his life and limbs in protecting and providing for the women, children and elders in the society. The roles were accorded to the male gender as a precondition to honor and respect in the society. However, the same did not hold good for women as we shall see in the following picture:
For women, their power to produce babies was the single factor enough for “De-Facto Honor and Respect” because population was less and communities, societies and civilizations were in dire need of children in order to grow, to be able to assert their power on neighboring civilizations, defend them and to run the “System”. This also called for a social meme to set in which is popularly known as “Protection of Women”. It had just become a perception of the society that women, children and elders are more vulnerable and must be protected at all costs (even at the cost of the men – the Beta Males – of the society).
However, as a matter of fact, it was the men who were losing their lives and limbs – during the war era and later their peace of mind – during the pacification era. For, when boundaries matured and countries started forming, wars subsided, even then the same social structures continued.
The perceptibly weaker sections of the society – women, children and elders – would place demands before the power mongers – the Alpha Males. The Alpha Males knew, it was this demand that was the source of their power and hence they ordered the Beta Males to fulfill those demands.
But, as there is an exception to all rules, this one was no exception. There were some Beta Males who were either incompetent or unwilling to “obey” the orders and “provide” for the “demands” in order to run the society.
The Alpha Males realized that if this tendency was encouraged, it would soon lead to breakdown of the entire structure which would also mean it would dissolve the distinction between them and the Beta’s.
Hence, in order to survive, the Alpha’s passed another rule that any Beta not conforming to the above structure be treated as “outcast” and it would be perfectly fine to violate his human rights and punish him. This led to the formation of another category of males called the “Criminals”. And this mindset was the prime contributing factor to the foundation of anti-male laws which objectified the definition of crime and criminals.
But sooner, the Alpha’s realized that this structure was also unstable, for, as soon as the demands are exhausted, the cycle breaks and distinction (between Alpha and Beta – the source of power) goes for a toss. So, they realized that somehow, the demands must be perpetualized. And hence, they started patronizing a few select “Criminals”, so that they can be enabled to systematically snatch from the society – comprised of women, children and elders. This would create a never ending flow of demands and their reign of power would become endless. The single reason due to which this whole cycle was running was because the society was by and large oblivious to the silent patronage that a few select criminals were enjoying at the hands of the Alpha’s which was running the whole cycle.
And the society wasn’t oblivious by compulsion, but by choice. The Alpha’s are like Gods to them and it was unacceptable to them that their God could be patronizing the very demon due to the terror of whom they were sitting in the refuge of the God.
This above scenario can be used as structural template for any society of any era. And the very foundations of this setup were misandrous (anti-male) in nature. Misandry, male abuse, and male disposability were an inseparable part of this setup and exploitation of the Beta Males was but a natural element of the entire setup.
The very elements of this setup did not allow the recognition of men’s rights to succeed ever, for, the moment, it is done away with the perception that men are not the weaker section of the society, and it would not have been possible to have such a setup wherein 1% men enjoy power and 99% slog in a bid to reach that power position one day. A handful of them, do succeed but a vast majority end their lives struggling and being discriminated against and the moot question that arises is – “Is the price worth the prize?”
Call it a function of time or the arrival of a point of saturation, the emergence of the men’s rights movement was the most happening event at the twilight of millenniums – at the dusk of the twentieth century and the dawn of the twenty-first century. Few men realized the underlying principles of the setup and called shots. However, the Alpha Males never recognized it as a mainstream movement nor considered it necessary to exist; as they were well aware of the fact that the rise of this movement was “The Beginning of the End of their Power” and this, obviously, wasn’t acceptable to them.
However, the men’s rights movement, typically started by some rebellious Beta Males did consolidate and is growing day by day. The Beta Uprising is ON and it is just a matter of time before power structures tumble and a new structure – hitherto unknown – comes into place.