2. Little awareness of men’s issues.
3. Trivialization of men’s problems.
4. Male disposability.
5. Systematic gender-based discrimination against men across policies – either public or private.
6. No special protection accorded to men from serious issues like incidences of terror from intimate partners, immediate family and extended family.
7. Gender based discrimination against fathers.
8. Gender based discrimination against boys in education schemes.
9. Irrational distribution of responsibilities across the two genders.
10. No allocation of budget by Government towards male friendly causes and objectives.
These problems are just the tip of the iceberg and the peculiarity of the above problems is the high degree of social acceptance around these issues from the society which includes men as well. On the other hand, there is almost negligible social unrest against the same, barring for a few pro-male NGOs and research organizations that have taken up cudgels against misandry and its social acceptance. Even these are also an occurrence of recent times, not even a decade old.
However, with the emergence of men’s rights organizations across India, there has been a growing trend of increased political correctness around the issue of victimization and harassment of men and this year marked a drastic leap of faith in that direction, what with, two organizations – INSAAF (Indian National Social Awareness and Activism Forum) and Confidare Research (Research wing of Confidare Consultancy, the owner of India’s first ever community center for men) vouching for a new law titled – “Saving Men from Intimate Terror Act (SMITA)” which will be presented to the Govt. of India and is highly likely to be discussed in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.
Saving Men from Intimate Terror Act or SMITA. as it is conveniently referred to, is the first ever pro-male legislation proposed by the civil society to the Govt. of India.
SMITA recognizes various forms of instances of terror committed on men by their intimate partners, immediate and extended families such as:
1. Physical Abuse: Men face severe physical abuse from their intimate partners which often includes gruesome acts like cutting off of private parts and gory murders, reports of which are not uncommon in the media. However, rampant social misandry does not allow the society to recognize such crimes as “Crimes against Men” and often such female criminals go scot-free.
2. Economic Abuse: Men are more often than not forced to be the breadwinners of the family even if their wife earns and are also forced by immediate and extended families to undertake huge financial risks in the form of heavy home loans, personal and education loans, insurance policies, etc. Even in case of divorce, men are ripped apart financially irrespective of the fault.
3. Emotional Abuse: Men/boys face severe emotional abuse which includes verbal and psychological abuse. Boys face castration of emotions leading to suppressive tendencies making them averse to sharing their pain. This results in mutilated and deformed emotional states for men wherein they are silent sufferers and more often than not find solace in committing suicides which is evident from the high incidence of suicides amongst men of all ages and social strata. In India, every year more than 62000 married men and 80000 men in total commit suicide out of the 120,000 odd suicides that happen yearly on an average.
4. Legal Abuse: Men face unparalleled persecution from the legal system that ubiquitously views all men as criminals and denies them even basic human rights when it comes to implementation of gender biased anti-male laws like Section 498A, Domestic Violence act, etc. In addition to that, men are offered no protection from the crimes done by women on men. Hence, the issue of legal abuse is like a double jeopardy for men.
5. Sexual Abuse: Men face unaddressed forms of sexual abuse which include male rape, diminished sensitivity towards the male sexuality and being tagged as either perverts or sissies merely for their choice of sexual orientation. When men are sexually harassed, raped or molested by women, it becomes a source of entertainment and comedy for the society and this further suppresses men from coming out with their issues related to sexual abuse.
These and various forms of abuse faced by men have been identified as incidences of Intimate Terror against men by pro-male lobbies like Confidare Research and INSAAF. The two organizations have been instrumental in collecting data pertaining to the above social evils and have accordingly drafted a bill that seeks to address these concerns and provide relief to victimized men in such cases.
Men’s rights organizations across India have been creating awareness about these laws which have also been covered in various media articles such as,
Now a bill to safeguard men to be discussed in RS
SMITA will provide protection for men
Reacting to the news, helplines of these organizations have been flooded with support and congratulatory calls from one and all. Even, quite a few Members of Parliament (MPs) have also extended their support to such male friendly legislative initiatives.
Such a proposal, being the first of its kind and one that recognizes a social evil called misandry that dates back as old as the human civilization is, and seeks to suggest redress mechanism aimed at alleviating men from its evil clutches, this Dusshehra is truly the reinstatement of the principle of triumph of good over evil.
While it remains a matter of time, as to when the bill, SMITA, sees the light of the day, it can easily be concluded, seeing the initial reaction that
“Men of India demand SMITA”.