Dear fellow Men, You and I exist in the same world, yet our realities are so starkly different! On this Women’s Day, we want to tell you that we don’t need flowery praises, boring WhatsApp messages or lavish gifts, we just want you to help make our lives simpler by being our allies in this fight for equality and respect. While we are at it, please give heed to these 10 requests too:Also Read - International Women's Day: Google Honours History of Firsts Achieved by Women Through Video Doodle
1.Stop blaming it on our hormones
The world has been calling women crazy for a long time and it’s time to just stop. Whenever we are ‘being sensitive’, and expressing genuine emotions worthy of the situation, we aren’t PMSing. Stop blaming our hormones when you don’t fathom a particular situation and just try to understand, instead of dismissing it.
2.Please don’t think that feminists hate you
Feminism means equality, nothing less and nothing more. Period. If you agree with that, you’re a feminist, irrespective of your gender. However, this word has been translated to ‘a group of angry women who hate men.’ For the last time, we don’t hate you, we are just aware of our rights and not afraid of calling you out when you are being a misogynist. Also, there is no shame in calling yourself a feminist and supporting women in their fight for gender equality. After all, at the core, feminism is just about making the world a better place. Not just for women, but for you as well!
3.Stop commenting on our bodies & appearance
Men going out of their way to tell women how we should wear our hair, how much makeup we should wear, what we should shave, how our bodies look to them, is just unsolicited. There is a clear demarcation between complimenting and objectifying women’s bodies, and it’s high time you keep those opinions to yourself. Women’s bodies and their choices are not up for a public discussion.
4.We don’t need your ‘faaltu gyaan’
We know you love showing off your wisdom, but your valuable inputs are not required everywhere, so stop explaining things to us when not asked. We have a fully functional brain and we can google things too! For many who are not familiar with the term–mansplaining means to explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.
5.Stop trying to fix things, just listen!
It’s no secret that men love to solve problems and be the hero, so bringing a problem to you is an open invitation for his advice. We understand that this is your way to show that you care. However, we just want you to listen and empathize. Sometimes, there are situations so complex that there isn’t a ready made solution, so we just need you to let us rant our hearts out!
6.Stop stereotyping and belittling women
All of you, who view women as less than equal, as less worthy of our humanity and sense of fairness need to seriously sensitise and educate yourself. Making sneaky jokes about women’s skills, stereotyping them and doubting them just because of their gender is the worst thing ever. Start afresh, it’s never too late!
7.Come up with better jokes, please
While you casually crack jokes at the expense of women, please understand that all those ‘misogynist and rape’ jokes are not funny and extremely demeaning. These jokes have nothing to do with your sense of humour, and everything to do with normalising the idea of sexual assault. Come up with better jokes, please! Having said that, not stopping your bros when they are engage in sexist behaviour makes you equally guilty.
8.Stop associating us with Pink
Not all women love the colour pink, specially not me! Since time immemorial, it has been predefined that pink is for girls while blue is for boys, but it’s not a universal concept. So, stop associating us with pink and let us choose what we want.
9.We are not here to fix you
It is not a woman’s responsibility to make men better human beings, and be caretakers of badly raised, ill-mannered men. We can’t fix you and invest all our energy in ‘mothering’ you and solving your toxic issues. Go to a therapist or a rehab centre if need be. Of course, we will be there to hold your hand and support you by all means. Also, it’s not our job to feed you, take care of a household and raise babies. You are not entitled to all these privileges just because of your gender. It’s 2021, so please step up!
10.We don’t want you to be our heroes
Living in a patriarchal society, our upbringing has taught us that since men have to protect their families, they have to be strong. Since you were little boys, you have been told that ‘Real men don’t cry’, so you always hid your real emotions. However, beyond this unjust societal constraint, you and me are just alike and have the same emotional range. So, crying does not, and will not, ever make a man less of a man. We are here for you, whenever you want a shoulder to cry on. We don’t want you to be our hero, just our partner.
After all, the battle is not between you and us, it’s against ourselves, our insecurities and the constructs that we have placed on each other.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of India.com)