Monday, January 28, 2008

Is it a Man's World or a Woman's World?

Before I proceed, I wish to state few points which might help my cause. Firstly, kindly don't brush this post aside thinking that this is a writing of a disturbed soul. Secondly, don't get judgmental about me rather I shall appreciate it if you think over the issue. Thirdly, this post doesn't mean I hate women or have a negative view regarding them but it is only an attempt to see reason and understand that everyone is equal and is equally worth. Lastly, this post will probably have scores of examples from India, so any non-Indian reader can appreciate it with some additional reading about the scenario of reservations, the social divide in an Indian society. I also wish to stress on the point that I have done considerable reading myself before writing this post.

India is a diversified country with few interesting yet baffling practices in place. I don't wish to get into the need for reservations on a ' you belong to which community' basis for that would invite a debate which I guess can never really materialize into an action plan with a strict cap on the duration ( for the uninitiated : Dr. Ambedkar 's recommendations for reservations for the backward classes were initially planned for a limited duration while the politicians had other plans.) What I wish to discuss in this post is one of most evident practice that happens across the globe : Atrocities Against Men which are rarely acknowledged. There’s some small comfort to be drawn from the fact that the number of serious cases under this umbrella being small. Most of them go unnoticed or are not reported.

Media, which nowadays is all over the place reporting about the loss of a hairpin of some woman, is not sensitive to few common observations in our daily life which I trust are a violation of human rights. One simple example would be the frisking that every passenger needs to go through at an airport : Women have the privilege of using a closure while men are frisked, out in the open. It simply exemplifies incidentalization and displacement which, together with exclusion are few of the strategies used in the media to marginalize and conceal the gender-selective victimization of men.

Feminists make the opposite complaint. According to them it’s violence against women, which is marginalized and concealed in the Media. One of the major points which this post of mine wish to talk about is that marginalization is a relative term which needs to understood and addressed with great care for few steps which are meant to address the greviances of the marginalized would actually pull the other group into the marginalized category.

Let's think of a scenario: There is a never ending debate that surfaces when we consider the admissions through JEE into IITs (I wish to speak of this for I am personally well equipped with the facts needed for the same) of gender based reservations . Why girls don't find themselves on the other side of the line ? "Give Us Reservations " is the immediate cry. This points to many facts in the Indian Social Fabric i.e. how the entire trend of being identified as a marginalized group was seen as a taboo earlier, while now groups ( Sometimes groups which aren't marginalized or are well equipped with) wish to seek the favor ( Gujar Vs Meena Fight) and call themselves marginalized. Added to this agony is the " Lets make something out of this" strategy of the politicians. Going into that debate would sideline the issue which I wish this post should throw light on , I wish to save that for some other day.

Men are equal players in the society ( Feminists wish to put it as greater players while I stick to what I just said) and are entitled for equal dignity. Minorities or the marginalized communities always wish to seek support from the authorities while this sometimes leads to playing the wrong card for the others. Similar to the observation of the creamy layers using the community based reservations for their advantage while the real needy for the same are not even aware of it, there is a growing trend of the advantage which is offered for girls for being " people who need help" category is used up by the "urban bred-not worth to seek the help" girls while the girls who really need them are not addressed. Now, understand the entire effect of such a trend: "Urban Bred- Cant seek help for we are boys" Boys are to suffer . The entire Rural-Urban segmentation needs to be well addressed in terms of extending help for any group. When there is a growing presence of Women Rights Commission in every aspect of our living, it becomes equally important for the Men to have one if we are speaking of equal opportunity. This is a misconception that only marginalized need voice. There is a need for Men Rights Commission to support the cause of men in case of false alarms. Using the law for our own good is not a relatively new phenomenon , which speaks of the growing need to understand the rising number of false alarms on rape charges ( when the boss is not supportive) , dowry charges (when marriage is on the rocks with no fault of the husband, or you simply wish to seek a change of your husband) . When I am pointing out these cases, I am not denying the fact that there would be genuine cases and those need to be addressed in the most severe terms possible, but what I wish to say is that when there is a case both the parties should be given equal chance to put forth their view . Indian Law presently speaks of no " Lets hear them first and then decide" policy but it only advocates " put him on suspension or arrest him and then lets hear what he has to say" policy. When we speak of not punishing even a single innocent person, is this development an apt one for the social framework? There has been scores of writings on the need for all these policies and protection for rural women but why don't the authorities understand the need of the urban male population ? 70% of India resides in villages , then the remaining 30% reside in the urban areas. We are the marginalized segment in terms of understanding the negative effects of it. while the urban "We need help because we are girls" segment enjoys the privilege which is not needed, the boys are to suffer.

There is a social trend that men should not complain and need to take everything that comes their way into their stride. For example, the number of girls who get admitted into medical colleges are greater than men, why isnt reservation considered for men in medical colleges? This conflict between the ego and performance based benefits will result in a greater number of men who are stressed and dont get the apt platform to start with or voice their opinion. This might even lead to marking of one another because of the advantage/ disadvantage one enjoys which might break the entire social setup. There is always a limit for the amount of help one needs to enjoy or one needs to offer because there are many groups involved and it might create a greater difference in the longer run. I request each and everyone who reads this to understand the need for a equal status of beings. Comments are highly solicited and it would be a great idea if you can push the link of this post to your friends through emails, I am sure this post is worth a forward over the normal " I was sick so I created this crap" forwards that fill your inbox just to see itself moved to trash or bin folder. I expect alteast few might be able to see some reason for what I wrote about or atleast it would be worth a laugh, both being equally worth for me writing this post.