Why Are Men Pressurised To Buy A House, Pay Bills And Save For Generations?

Dear patriarchy, please stop objectifying men as money-making machines. They have a better and more significant role to play in the fight to achieve an equal and harmonised society.

Rudrani Gupta
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Rahul was frustrated. He said he was undergoing a financial crisis. But I tried to console him by saying that you earn enough to meet your needs. “What else do you want?”I said. “You are a woman. You won’t understand the pressure men have to buy homes and pay bills of the entire family,” he retorted. “Patriarchy is everywhere. We just need eyes to see,” he sighed.

My friend is a teacher in a private school earning a good amount of money and fortune. He owns a bike bought with his own income. But still, he lives a minimalistic life so that he can save money to buy a house someday. He says that if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a house, no woman will want to marry him. He also added that without owning a house and additional income, a man is not considered worthy enough in our society.

I am sure my friend is not alone in this unfair burden of owning a fortune to prove one’s masculinity. In our society, men are worthy only if they have a house, can pay the bills and still have their pockets filled. It will not be wrong to say then that patriarchy has objectified men into money producing machines undermining their emotional self and limited capacities.

The pressure to be rich enough is so huge among men that poverty is one of the major reasons why men suffer from depression. The study that investigated the risk of depression among men and women showed that in the UK, men living in deprived area and conditions are 50 per cent more likely to be depressed compared to men living in a good conditions. While the significant effect of poverty on the mental health of women is not so high. Furthermore, we all know that men commit suicide more than women. Men die by suicide 3.5 times more than men. When we look in India, around 250 men died by suicide every day in 2018, which is double the number of women.

Is it fair to risk the lives of men just to complete the missing puzzle of toxic masculinity? Is this not similar to the oppression of women whose lives are sacrificed in their duty to be the support system for others?

Normally, we appreciate people for earning a job and paying their own bills. But in the case of men, that is not enough. Men not only have to pay their own bills but also of the parental and marital family. In fact they have to earn enough to leave behind something for the men and women of the next generation. My father worked very hard to build three properties so that he could divide them between the three of us. But was it important? Was it worth the struggle and depression that he went through?

Pankaj Kumar, an aspiring entrepreneur in Dehri-On-Sone says that mental pressure is huge for him when it comes to marriage, family needs and socialisation.


“In society, men are judged in terms of their salary. Society would socialize with you if only you earn and earn well. I have sleepless nights thinking about my business and how I will earn enough to provide for my wife and family.” He also says, “ A man’s happiness is dependent on the recession in the market. If there is a recession, earnings suffer a dip and men have to reel under the pressure of how they will be able to meet the increasing needs of the family.”

“Marriage market too is obsessed with men who earn. It is almost time for me to get married. And I can’t even imagine how difficult my life is going to be,” he says.

Moreover, Shivam Prakash, a Software Developer in Bengaluru said, “Society can accept and economically dependent women but that doesn’t apply to men. For men, if they sit at home with no earnings, they have to face rejections in marriage markets, taunts for being unemployed and whatnot.”

Why are men burdened with the financial responsibility of the entire family and even generation? Why can’t we value men for who they are rather than for what they earn? Why can’t the financial responsibilities be divided between men and women? Can't men and women buy a house and property together and divide the family bills? Why don’t we understand that by dividing the financial responsibilities we are targeting two goals with one arrow? One is the financial empowerment of women and the second is the improvement in the mental health and pressure of men. Men will then be able to express their emotions which are bottled up due to economical pressure while women will be able to live more freely. A better balance will be achieved in society if men and women support each other financial responsibilities and emotional baggage.

Dear &t=498s">patriarchy, please stop objectifying men as money-making machines. They have a better and more significant role to play in the fight to achieve an equal and harmonised society. Don’t burden their intellectuality and talents with the weight of the financial needs of the family. They too have the right to live on their own terms without carrying any baggage. If we keep imposing this burden on men, we will end up hurting the entire balance of society. If men are pressurised to do something, their rage is vented out on women who automatically become a burden in their life. Moreover, we will also lose the opportunity to empower women by dividing the financial responsibilities. So please dear society, accept men for who they are. They are as much a human with normal capacities as anyone else. The worst part is that no one finds anything problematic in expecting men to provide for everyone.  Open your eyes and see the patriarchy lurking behind this.

The views expressed are the author's own. 

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