Time and again, we are reminded that this society is male dominated and patriarchal in nature. What does it mean?
It means that men live in a have-it-all world. They have all the rights and privileges and they control all the power in the world. And this is how it is justified or evidence of its presence is presented:
- Men don’t have to leave their homes after getting married.
- They don’t need to adjust with another family.
- They get inheritance in ancestral property.
- Their child gets their name.
- Their name doesn’t need to change after marriage.
While all this might be true, the following is also true.
- Men need to become financially stable before getting married.
- They need to continue to remain so lifelong, which means they cannot stop working and sit at home.
- They cannot pursue their interests as it may not generate enough income for the survival of the whole family.
- Even if their wife works, they should not expect her to share the financial load, if she does it by her own choice, well and good.
- The risk of bringing a new person into their life and family wrests entirely with the man and one wrong decision can ruin his life.
However, the second part is conveniently ignored saying, it’s a man’s duty as it is a male dominated world which is reinforced by the first set of points.
Hence, we are looking at skewed view. And the skewness of this view didn’t quite actually surface until the emergence of the men’s rights movement. Yes, you heard it right!
A movement to get men their due right in a world that’s apparently male dominated. And as the scratching of the surface started, the layers of onion were revealed and the naked truth was coming out.
The world’s gynocentric and not male dominated. Everything is viewed from a woman’s (gynocentric) prism. A man’s life has no worth, a man’s emotions have no meaning and if a man does not fit into the role prescribed by the society, that of a protector and a provider for a woman, he is disposable.
However, if someone talks about it, no one would agree including men because everyone is practising the bias inadvertently.
Notwithstanding the fact, every 5 minutes, one man gets arrested in a false dowry case without trial or investigation and every 8 minutes one married man commits suicide and considering the amount of socially validated gender bias that exists against men, it surely is going to be a gargantuan, momentous and mammoth task to set the record straight.
In the last 11 odd years of its existence, the men’s rights movement in India has successfully started a debate on abuse of men by society. However, the ball’s just started rolling and we have exciting times ahead.
Two premier organizations working on men’s issues – SIFF & Confidare have shown the path ahead.
SIFF, which stands for Save Indian Family Foundation is an NGO, creates awareness about men’s problems in the society and also works with Government and Media to bring about a semblance of change in men’s conditions.
While Confidare, on the other hand, runs support groups for victimized and distressed men and runs community centres for them. It also provides them with guidance and coaching, enabling them to face the crisis situation powerfully and lead a peaceful life. Confidare is a company and maintains offices in different locations of India like Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, etc.
The road ahead:
- Continue with the current endeavours and expand to other locations.
- Liaison with colleges to initiate male studies as academic courses.
- Liaison with law colleges to get masculist jurisprudence in law-making.
- Sensitize Corporates and MNCs for a more male friendly company policies and atmosphere.
- Organize male studies conferences and call for white paper submissions on issues facing men.
- Work with Government to have more poor men friendly economic policies.
- Work to reduce discrimination against men and measure it by reduced suicides by men.
- Reach out to a larger and larger audience.
The road ahead is surely long and arduous and the men’s rights movement needs a formidable financial muscle to be able to achieve even a small part of above. We need offices in major cities and trained staff to run the offices wherein campaigns can be designed to spread the word about men’s rights.
Often people ask us, “How do we contribute towards the movement?” Hence, here I am going to answer this question.
SIFF accepts donations and these donations are exempted under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act and donors can avail 30% of tax exemption from the amount donated. These donations would be used to run awareness campaigns and conduct research on men’s issues, send those research reports to various important Govt. officials and media. Using these funds, SIFF can also facilitate training of activists in different cities/towns of India for furthering the cause of men’s issues.
If men want coaching and guidance for their individual problems, and a community of like minded men to share their problems with, they can become members of Confidare Men’s Community by taking a paid membership.
If you are an unmarried man and would be interested to know what are the nuances and nitty-gritties of getting married in India apart from being romantic and mushy-mushy about it and also learn some simple techniques to mitigate risk in marriage, then the #SafeMarriage training by Confidare is the place for you to be in.
If you are interested in reading literature about men’s problems and societal attitudes towards men, you can purchase books authored by Virag R Dhulia, Co-Founder of Confidare and Head, Gender Studies, Confidare Research.
Apart from financial contribution, one can also volunteer for activities and events by Confidare and SIFF after taking Confidare Community membership.