Friday, April 12, 2013

Do men have human rights?


It's been 4 years since I sat down to write something here. Parenthood happened, and since then, nothing's really grabbed my attention too hard to take the time out. Before I begin, no, this is not an anti-feminism rant (although I won't shy away from getting into one if it comes to it), but that's for another day. However exciting debating the concepts of Patriarchy, rape culture, systemic oppression may sound, I just don't have the time or inclination for it at the present. Right now, what I'd like to talk about is the almost criminal short selling of a man's role in society (historically and currently). Holy asshat in a bucket, what a pig!..yeah, I know. Up to you, read on and seethe with anger some more, or read on and try to understand the logic behind it.

On to the burning question in my mind. How did this question enter my mind, one may ask. My daughter's just started school, and I have observed the approach of the staff, trust's not very obvious..but it IS highly discriminatory. Many relatives and friends have also shared similar stories. Teachers telling parent's to take their 2-3 yr old sons to professional counselors for...wait for it.....................................wait for it........................waiiiiit.....'how to take orders and directions'. Good job Teacher Ji. Tell me, what was it that you were supposed to do in lieu of your salary? What they basically want is a classroom full of girls. No, they won't work on your "rapist in the making" little sir. Sure, we'll allow him a penis (we have large hearts), but he better behave like a girl when in my class.

This morning, while I was sitting in the school reception area waiting to pick my daughter up I witnessed something strange (well, strange to me at least). A boy (around 2 yrs of age) was standing with an attendant outside the lavatory, holding on to his crotch like his life depended on it. One seat becomes free, and at the same time comes another attendant with a little girl, all smiles, prim and very pretty. The attendant starts walking the girl inside,  the boy cries.."susuu! susuu!". His attendant tells him "nahi baba, woh girl hai na, pehne use jaane do". If I were a mind reader, I could hear him say "no shit lady!, do you think I'm blessed with some super galactic-world winning bladder control because I'm a boy". See, I understand manners, I understand the concept of chivalry (and embrace it in my life), I understand "ladies first", but a 2 yr old boy? Poor boy ready to burst in his pants (no pun intended). Really? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong about this.

Anyway, that was an unnecessary tangent, but it was important to talk about it because this is what led me to think about other social phenomena in this day and age. So, back to the original question..Do Men Have Human Rights? If you ask this question to a certain section of the society, the answer would almost always be NO, although it may be smothered with layers upon layers of rhetoric and second grade logic to make it seem like it's not really what they're saying. What's funny, scratch that, what's sad though, is if you look around, look at the societal norms, legal/justice system, look at the supposedly "intellectual" class and study the expressly vocal and the absolutely quiet amongst them..the answer is still an overwhelming NO.

Nuts! have gone loopy, I hear you say. I mean who talks like this, who says men have no rights. Okay, I hear you, and you would be right. No one ever expressly states or mentions this, but the idea dwells deep within our consciousness. Let me explain, and start with the historical/cultural perspective first. It's all about disposability - since the dawn of civilization, men have been deemed disposable, expendable. Hunt, build, provide, protect and compete are are the basic things a man "must" do, and always has. Lay down your life for the family, for your woman, for you child, for the society, for your country. And through these sacrifices (yes!, sacrifices, made willingly) masculinity has been the single most creative force in our cultural history. I use "masculinity" because the odd/rare woman may also display these traits, much like a man displaying feminine/androgynous traits. But yes, generally, it was always about the men, still is.

Of all the dirty, hazardous and dangerous jobs in the world, 99% are occupied by men. Deep sea fishermen, electrical installers, oil drillers, metal fabricators, firefighters, police patrol officers, combat soldiers...yup..mostly men. Next time you go for a drive in your car, remember the "men" working at those oil rigs. Next time, you feel so special wearing that solitaire, remember the "men" working in the mines. Next time you wake up in the morning, remember the "men" protecting your borders so you can live your enriched lives. Remember all the firemen, the anti terrorist units, the border security forces, the coast guards...yes, remember all of them. Remember all the "men" who are willing to lay down their lives for the benefit of complete strangers.

What is all this if not 'sacrifice", which many think is the sole proprietorship of women. No, I'm not saying women don't make sacrifices. They do, but men always have and will always be ready to make sacrifices for even the abstract, or even just for the heck of it..when manhood calls. Laying down their lives for the abstract notion of country, community, society. Next time you see/hear news of a beheaded soldier, a warrior with his eyes gouged out, guts spilled on the ground, thank nature/god for designing the "male", who's willing to take that kind of beating for you, a stranger. Even after all these sacrifices, the man is still content on being disposable, heck! he actually embraces it. Men have always had it easy, men are privileged, they say..right?

Titanic sinks, "women and children first" they yell. Thanks to their super privileges, men have gills now. Run fishy run!, the men are coming. Not to mention poor Miss Rose who's totally oppressed by that fool Jack who wouldn't let her in the water. "Darn the chauvinist pig!", she might have thought.."does he think I can't handle myself? Oh well, okay..I shall let it pass this time". Fire breaks out in the building, "women and children first", the firefighters yell. Again, thanks to their super oppressive nature, men have adapted themselves and aren't flammable. no catch fire anymore!. Hostages at a bank, the police chief negotiating "at least let the women and children out, as an act of good faith". Sure, their super oppressive and super predatory instincts have made men impervious to bullet wounds.

Pause, break, alpa viraam...what was the original question? Isn't the right to life the most important and most basic human right? Tell me, do men have it? You don't even have to answer it. Men themselves renounce this right...this is what defines them. Heck, even most non combat/civilian men will renounce this right for their loved ones or even complete strangers. Remember Keenan-Ruben, the 19 year old Mumbai boy who lost his life trying to save a woman from harassment? Last year, Xander Vento, a 4yr old boy (yes, you read that right, 4yr) died while saving a 3yr old neighbourhood girl from drowning in a pool. Yes, even little men have this instinct. Do you remember it, do you know of it? Of course you don't. You will remember every crime a man ever commits, but not the gigantically greater number of times he protects you or lays down his life for you. Well, this is what men do, and men will always be men. I know, the "men will be men / boys will be boys" statement ruffles up quite a few feathers in certain camps. But that's just how it is, and you should be thankful for that. If men stopped being men, you'll be running scared shitless every second of everyday.

"A ha! you sucker" screams a radical somewhere, smiles galore. Sure, given the choice of words in my previous statement, I believe you when you say you think you got me. Do I sense a "Rape -Women -Delhi -Insert Dangerous City Here -Fear -Scared" retort incoming? Sure I do -it's appalling, it's inhumane, it's ghastly, I agree. No woman should ever have to go through this heinous crime. I'm also a very vocal proponent of death to rapists. Having said that, it's not "men being men", it's "men being criminals", if you understand the concept. I had mentioned at the beginning that I won't turn this into a debate against feminism and its tenets, and if I start, that's probably what it will lead to. So this is where I stop with the rape issue. I'd be happy to elaborate more on this (privately) if anyone so wishes..let me know.

Alright, on to some other rights. Let's see what all "privileges" the Government and Judiciary bestows upon the grand oppressor. No reproduction rights..check. No conjugal rights..check. No prenuptial rights..check. No post marital rights..check. No divorce rights..check. No parental rights..check. No protection against false accusations..check. Believe you me when I say this -in this day and age, as a woman..if you were to pick a random man walking on the street and decide to destroy his life, you most probably can! I see all the support rallies for different causes, all the rich, the powerful, the "intellectual" being a part of it. T-shirts, slogans, colourful make up, grand carnival hats. I think to myself, my God! the only living creature who doesn't have any right in today's society is the heterosexual male.

Everyone needs us, but no one cherishes us. We are utility, as we've always been. They tolerate us for what we bring to the table. Perform, perform, perform...yes, perform! you workhorse, perform! you soldier, grow a pair you wimp, man up you wuss, friggin keep performing you idiot until your batteries run dry. If you still have any batteries left, then get down on one knee and ask the princess for the right to be her oppressor for the rest of her life. 4 out of every 5 suicides in the world are committed by men (over excitement from all the privileges we get I guess). A man is 5 times more likely to be mugged, violently assaulted, murdered than a woman. Farking! criminals and their patriarchal mindset..even they discriminate against women.

When are people going to wake up to this reality -we don't expect mollycoddling and won't even appreciate it, but at least show some appreciation where it IS due. Don't look at your 2 yr old boy as an inherently evil "potential rapist" who needs to be corrected in the bud. He's going to be put in his "rightful" place by the society before hitting puberty anyway. So let him have his childhood as a boy at least. As the late Amrish Puri would say.."Jaa beta jaa, jee le apna bachpana". I shudder to think of the day when women, society and state realize this, and it's already too late. A generation full of disheartened, spiritless and confused men (this is already happening by the way). Twenty years from cry (and trust me, you will cry) "please!, be a man" and he wouldn't know how to be one.

Now, whatever I've written sounds very one dimensional, right? Well..that was the intention. What I see today is nothing less than bigotry. A type of bigotry that is much more dangerous than even  racial/religious bigotry. So yeah, it demands strong words. Having said that, I do feel women are special. No, I'm not saying this just to make peace with anyone who's upset with what I've written. I genuinely believe it. I take a look at my daughter, and this strengthens my belief even more. It's just are not completely worthless. As the old feminist saying goes "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"..yeah..not true.

So, back to the original question again -Do men have human rights? I don't know, I don't even know if they deserve them. What I do know, is that they definitely have the right to not be ridiculed and demonized as a group. Even if nothing else, this tiny little allowance they have won fair and square!



Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to explain how awesome this is. One moment I was laughing, raging another moment and was at the verge of crying at the end. I wont say if im a woman or man.. doesnt matter... I just loved this.

Hemlata said...

So apt;real; practical and yet ironical..... in todays INDIAN society, people have a tendency to take sides with UNDERDOGS. No problem, yet I feel that after NIRBHAYA'S mishap our BOYS and MEN are being treated as TAKE IT FOR GRANTEd JUVENILES AND CRIMINALS even before committing any REAL anti-social ACT.Your SPONTANEOUS flow of LANGUAGE as well as MANLY EMOTIONS really touched me. Thanks for having the courage to put forth your emotions and VIEWS so FRANKLY. AWSOME and FANTASTIC.. keep WRITING .

triza said...

Hmmnnn, the other side of the picture!!! thought provoking write-up. In a bid to protect women, is society/law too pushing too far???!!!! are men being driven against the wall???!!!!Never thought in these lines before i read this article. Great job!!

Chester said...

Hello from teh UK. Commendations on your write-up. This will mostly fall on deaf ears though. I have lost everything -two daughters (4 and 6 yr old), most of my property and I'm basically living my life to support my children (my ex won't do anything). She became exceedingly violent and neurotic when my mother came to live with us after my father passed away. I've since been part of an MRA group in London. It takes away some of your pain and anxieties when you share and talk with people who have had similar experiences. You have no idea the kind of persistent fear we have to live in. We talk a lot about Indian trends in our lectures and debates. It's probably still not as bad as we have it here or some western nations, but it is very dangerous. Families are being destroyed because feminists believe they're somehow helping underprivileged women by propagating their man hating cult.