Patriarchy is often interpreted to be detrimental to women and minority communities in numerous ways. So, women, or more specifically, feminists, work towards smashing the patriarchy. However, there’s a largely prevalent misconception that patriarchy is unconditionally favourable to men. But no! When feminists fight against patriarchy, they are fighting for men too, because, knowingly or unknowingly, men suffer because of their male privilege.
It’s common knowledge that patriarchy coerces women into living according to sexist social standards. But how many people know that patriarchy limits men as well? They too are put into a conventional box from which they cannot dare step out because then they are deemed “unmanly.”
From not being allowed to wear pink, play with dolls, kitchen sets, patriarchy ruins it for men right from toddlerhood. From a very young age, men are taught to withhold their emotions because being emotional is considered a feminine trait. The only emotion that men are allowed to exhibit is anger because it’s considered masculine, powerful, and dominating. It’s a shame because men too are emotional and they deserve to be vulnerable at times. After all they are humans too! Bottling it all up will only take a toll on their emotional health which again they cannot afford to reveal.
Patriarchy Is Detrimental To Men
Patriarchy instils the belief that women’s responsibility is to take care of the family while men ought to be responsible for providing. What if a couple wants to reverse their roles? What if the woman has big career plans and the man enjoys taking care of the house and children? What if the woman becomes the major or sole provider and the man takes a backseat to chase his dreams, which might not necessarily be financially rewarding for a period of time?
This will definitely work if a couple stands firm with their decision and is truly supportive of each other. But will society let them live life on their own terms? Typically, parents wouldn’t want their sons to be financially dependent on anyone, especially a woman. And girl parents wouldn’t want their daughters to be in a relationship with a man who isn’t financially stable because it’s a man’s duty to be able to provide. Why is it mandatory for men to provide and women to nurture? Why can’t it be the other way around if that’s what works for a couple?
Due to gender roles set up by patriarchy, men are forced to choose a stable, reliable, and high-paying job at the cost of sacrificing their dreams and passion. A man might want to take a career break and try his hands at direction, photography, travelling, cooking, etc. because that’s his passion; that’s what satisfies his soul.
Financial independence and stability are mandatory needs for everyone, regardless of their gender.
That being said, it’s alright for a man to take a pause from his financially rewarding yet emotionally exhaustive job and explore his passion for a while. It might pay him peanuts compared to his high-end job, but if that helps him grow as a person and gives his soul the satisfaction of having tried to pursue his passion, that doesn’t make him any less of a man. In fact, it requires abundant courage to value his aspirations over what society says. Not everyone is perseverant and spirited enough to work towards making their dreams a reality!
Today, women are breaking the glass ceiling in every other field and establishing their prowess. While women are shattering gender stereotypes, men too deserve to get over theirs. It’s high time society understands that smashing patriarchy is only going to help create an equal world where both men and women are able to live life on their own terms. Yes, patriarchy entitles men but not without a cost. So, isn’t it good for them as well to get rid of this toxicity that’s holding them back from growing into their own person?
Suggested Reading: Men Too Deal With Traumas And Mental Illness. It’s Time We Listen To Them
Views expressed by the author are their own. Feature image is a still from the film Soorarai Pottru and is used for representational purpose only. Image source: Twitter