#Opinion

Why Do Men In Indian Families Enjoy Privileges Of Being Served First?

male privileges in society
Indian men have been conditioned and groomed to be the apple of the eye. From a very young age, boys are given more importance and their needs are given more attention as compared to girls. When they grow, the treatment is passed on to their spouses and children as well.

Men in society have always enjoyed the privilege of being served first. They are served food first, they are asked for permission and advice first, their problems are addressed first, they are greeted and met first, their needs are taken care of first and everything is supposed to happen the way they want. When they are little, parents raise them with utmost comfort, from clothes to education, they are given every opportunity before their female counterparts. Terms like ‘laadla’ or ‘rajabeta’ of the house is often used in Indian households to show the excessive love and adoration they get from their parents and other family members.

When they are married, their parents expect their new wife to continue the treatment and hence, the wife has to wear clothes of their choice, go to places after taking their permission, have to tell them everything first and serve and take care of them first. Even their children are told not to do things that the father does not like. This treatment led to women being treated as less important and their needs and rights have been ignored for a long time.


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Male Privileges In Society

On Reddit, a user posted the story about how her boyfriend, who came with her to her home on Christmas stood up against her father which changed their life forever. The 28-year-old described her misogynistic dad who was literally worshipped by his parents who spoiled him to the extent that his brothers and sisters cut ties with him and his family. He treated her, her 17-year-old sister and her mother like his servants who were available at one snap in his service. He considered himself the head of the family, yelled at them and they were afraid of him despite of hating his behaviour.

Despite his behaviour, her mother was afraid of divorcing him as she worried about custody and the life of her daughters thereafter. Her boyfriend of 1.5 years is completely opposite of her father. He is raised by a single mom, has an older sister, is not afraid of anyone and hates when people disrespect others. He visited her home for Christmas and her father was irked by his behaviour.

She wrote, “We walk into my parents house and Dad is in his chair while Mom is working on dinner in the kitchen, Bf goes to Mom to greet her and complimented her on the decorations (massive smile from Mom) and he greeted Dad 2nd. That pissed off Dad but BF has ALWAYS greeted my Mom first unless Dad is significantly closer to him, Dad has complained to me about it because he is “the man of the house and should be greeted first” and more BS like that.”

He further continued talking to her mother and sister while her father watched TV and even complimented her mother and helped in serving the food. When he brought his beer at the end along with his own drink and served the ladies before him, he was infuriated.

In response, the boyfriend explained that his hands were full and had to bring the drinks in two rounds after which her father ran upstairs and did not come down. However, this did not stop them from having fun and it was the first time they did not go upstairs to convince him. Later on, her mother filed for divorce after realising that she cannot kill her own identity and freedom to serve a disrespectful man.

This is the story of most households in India where men take their privilege for granted and treat the women in the house as inferior. From stubborn kids who hit and disrespect every person but their parents do not rebuke them because they are the son of the house, to fathers and husbands who want their wives and daughters to look after their every need before they even ask for it, the society is full of men who have been spoiled in the name of affection while the women of the house have no rights and freedom and their sole purpose is to treat them good.

However, how long do we expect women to adjust to the leftovers while their husbands are given the best of things? Women also have the right to put their needs first but when it comes to their husbands, fathers and sons, they have to sacrifice for their comfort and liking. Such inferior behaviour forms the root of patriarchy and as long as such male privileges exist, the future of equality is dark.

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