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Unjust Humanity
Liberate men from the shackles of manhood 16 November, 2012
This article describes the evils associated with the penchant of men to earn and protect their manhood and why this practice should be done away with. It also talks about the importance of celebrating International Men's Day.

WITH INTERNATIONAL Men’s Day (November 19) just being around the corner and as I begin to write this article, it reminds me of a very famous scene from a Bollywood movie, “Dil Chahta Hai”, wherein Saif Ali Khan is abused by his girlfriend and then she slaps him. After that Aamir Khan tells him “Kya kar raha hai? Mard ban” (“What are you doing? Be a Man”).

Basically what Aamir meant was that Saif should go back slap the female. And this is not something abnormal. More often than not this society expects men to be abusive towards abusive women rather than creating such social structures that would punish abusive women should a man complain.

Let us look at the scene from a different perspective. What if, Saif had slapped his girlfriend? Well, no prizes for guessing but he would have immediately been booked under assault. And now here, that he has been slapped, there is an expectation, that being a man, he should get back at the female and this will protect his manhood! So, basically when a man hits a woman, he is at the wrong side of the law and when a woman hits a man, if he is not at the wrong side of the law, he is not man enough!

Such pervert social mindsets harm men more than women; as this expectation of protection of manhood is not exclusive and limited to physical abuse. It extends to emotional violence as well and thus, when a man is emotionally abused by a woman, he is supposed to “Take it like a Man”, or when a man becomes victim of this intimate partner’s infidelity, he is supposed to “Take it like a Man.”

These social expectations that men should do anything (even take law in their hands) in order to protect their manhood is the root cause of men’s abuse and their emotional suppression. And this is not a new development.

In the historic times, men used to undertake huge physical and emotional risks by going into unexplored expeditions, hunting adventures and furious competitions to win their women and men used to undertake all the pain and abuse only because they needed to protect their manhood. Men need to do this because they have to “earn their manhood”. A man is not considered man enough just by virtue of his birth or biology but only by his achievements.

In recent times men take huge financial risks by taking hefty home loans in order to purchase plush apartments at a very young age. In fact, in modern society, having a home is a precondition to get a good alliance for a man. And this mindset again emerges from the social pressure on men to earn their manhood.

Such a concept does not hold good for women. A woman is not considered woman only if she marries or gives birth to a child. She is a woman by default, by virtue of her birth and biology. There is no concept of “earning womanhood”.

And the most interesting aspect of this concept of men being forced to earn their manhood is – “This system of earning manhood has been designed by men themselves”. Men discriminate amongst men more than women do. And this creates more problems for a man because in this society there is no respite for a man facing abuse and discrimination from other men where protecting manhood is a challenge.

Also, this concept of earning manhood does not end at it. It extends to earning and protecting it and a man who cannot protect his manhood is considered weak, coward and disposable by the society including men themselves. This mindset must change as it does not allow weak men to express their feelings and they live a life of suppression which ultimately leads to suicidal tendencies in men and the same is corroborated by the high suicide statistics of men world over.

It also makes men dismissive of another man’s troubles, pains and weaknesses and insensitive towards the pain of their own gender because men think it is unmanly to be weak and vulnerable and it is against the protection of their manhood to support a weak man. And it is this penchant for protection of their manhood, which has become an integral part of the male identity, that is at the root cause as to why sacrifices of men are glorified and honored and a man who just wants to live his life for himself is condemned.

Very soon, men will become extinct if there is no immediate change in this social mindset and it has become extremely important to “Save Men from Manhood”.

International Men’s Day that happens to fall on November 19 is one such occasion to talk about saving men from manhood. This International Men’s Day, the theme is “Saving Men from Manhood”. Most men feel it is unmanly for them to celebrate and observe International Men’s Day as it espouses the vulnerable aspect of the male identity. However, they forget that men are humans too and do have feelings and emotions and it is perfectly fine for a man to feel free to share his pains and emotions.

Often when men are told about International Men’s Day, they retort back saying, “Every day is a man’s day, what’s there to celebrate a special day”. However, they forget, that in general social discourse, under the paradoxical veil of “Gender Equality” and “Gender Sensitivity”, male hatred and anti-male social memes are being spread and the only way to counter the same is that men form a formidable force against anti-male gender stereotyping and sexist anti-male social attitudes.

Celebration of International Men’s Day is one such event wherein men can celebrate being a man, being just a man and not having to bother to protect any aspect of the so called manhood.

Manhood has become like a shackle for men and men must be liberated from the shackles of manhood for a healthy society, for a society, comprising of two genders, if one of the gender is not feeling safe enough, comfortable enough and free enough, then such a society needs serious introspection and acute changes in its mindset and the change begins with the slogan, 'Liberate Men from the Shackles of Manhood'.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Virag R Dhulia, a software professional, has been a prominent men's rights activist. He has been engaged in creating awareness about the abuse of men and their families through anti-male and gender biased laws like Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act etc. He has been instrumental in networking with fellow men's rights activist both across India and abroad and has played key roles in organizing events to create awareness about abuse of men by the society. A book titled, 'The Secrets of Manhood' authored by Virag has been published. This book is a collection of short articles which focus on issues and problems faced by men and how men are victims of social stereotypes.
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