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How Embracing Feminism Liberates Men From The Clutches Of Patriarchy

Unlike the traditional and popular opinion, men do not align with patriarchy. Even though patriarchy was built to benefit men, it backfired and made men the sufferers too.

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Rudrani Gupta
New Update
Image credit: File image

Image Credit: File Image

"This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen."  This line from William Shakespeare's King Lear applies to men and patriarchy. Contrary to popular belief, men do not support patriarchy. Patriarchy was designed to benefit men, but it backfired and made men suffer as well. However, once established, patriarchy reigns supreme leading to men losing their sense of self.

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Patriarchy thrived when men were elevated to the status of supreme beings by them the authority to manage the family and society. It granted men the authority to establish norms and traditions, even if they were illegal. 

How Male Privilege and Patriarchy Backfired

However, the privilege is slowly turning into a burden, adding toxicity to men's lives. Men have become the victims of the privilege that was designed to benefit them. The grandeur of patriarchy, under which men formerly basked, has given way to a cold night, freezing the free flow of men's individuality.

Restrictions on wearing feminine clothes, behaving like a woman, being emotional, expressing mental health issues or even speaking up against sexual assault make men suffer in silence. 

According to a survey, 105 men die by suicide each day, and men make up 75% of all reported suicide attempts. Another survey found that 1 in 38 men in India have experienced or attempted rape. Additionally, approximately one in four male rape survivors were assaulted between the ages of 11 and 17, and the same percentage were victimized before the age of ten.

Male privilege, which created a predetermined stereotype of 'the man', is now suffocating men. The same privilege affects men, oppressing them in a multitude of ways. 

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Why Patriarchy is Hollow

When men themselves feel alienated and oppressed under patriarchy, who is benefiting from the system?

If male privilege is oppressing men, why is it still being upheld as the norm?

When men do not identify with patriarchal norms, isn't the entire idea of patriarchy hollow?

Men were supposed to be the root of patriarchy. But when the root itself is weak, why is the system of patriarchy still surviving?

Shakespeare's quote fits well here - "To be or not to be, that is the question."

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Why Men Must Embrace Feminism to Dismantle Patriarchy

The survival of patriarchy depends on men unlearning toxic behaviors and redefining their identities. As long as men maintain male privilege, patriarchy will continue to thrive, even at the expense of men who have suffered from it. However, it's not easy for men to detach themselves from patriarchal privilege, as they have grown up with it and see it as the norm. Until they redefine their identities, they cannot eradicate patriarchy from their lives. So, how can men recreate their identities? The answer is feminism.

Once men realize the aim of feminism is to address the issues of men too, they will enter its doors, leaving patriarchy behind. If men start learning and internalizing feminist beliefs, feminism will become strong enough to overpower patriarchy. Many men have already shifted to feminism as their thought process and lifestyle.

In an interview, Shah Rukh Khan said, "I'd like to be a woman. Physically, I'm not. Mentally and emotionally, I'd like to be one. Sometimes, there is a part in me that when I see feminists becoming aggressive, I want to step up in their support." Declaring himself a feminist, Khan said, (it is) "the only mardonwali baat"

Actor Akshay Kumar talked about his experience of sexual harassment and said, “When I was six, I was on my way to a neighbour’s house when the lift man touched my butt." He added that not only girls but boys too are subjected to sexual harassment 

Veteran actor Piyush Mishra was sexually harassed by a female relative when he was in class 7th. Reacalling the experience, he said, "It left me shocked, I was surprised at what had happened." He added, "Sex is such a healthy thing that your first encounter with it should be good, otherwise, it scars you for life, it disturbs you for life. That sexual assault gave me complex throughout my life." 

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Dear men, it's time to realize that patriarchy is a trap. It oppresses and suffocates by creating the illusion of male privilege. No one is truly privileged. We live in a democratic society where everyone is equal. So, why should you carry the burden of toxic privilege?

Views expressed are the author's own. 

 

Male Sexual Harassment feminist men mental health of men
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