In response to the article "We need to start male empowerment"

Yaneithing Misao *

First and foremost I am all for gender equality and believe that every human being should get equal respect in spite of their gender, but if am not wrong, is patriarchy not about male power and superiority??

There is no denying that gender stereotyping exist in the society but to deny that the problem face by women today is not related to gender issue would be another form of discrimination.

For instance on 24th July the supreme court of India denied a 10 year old rape victim permission for abortion because it would endanger her life and 32 week foetus, so the child who is to enjoy playing around with her friends at her age has to now go through pregnancy but also labour pain only to be cast away by society.

Yes male are tortured and killed but have you heard of male being rape before he was killed? Injustice of any kind to any human being is criticised generally, it is not that women gets special privilege in terms of the injustice done to them but one should keep in mind that often torturing of women is done along with sexual assault or rather torture of women is express through sexual assault and violence.

Indian history : Anyone who has read history of India would know about the social reforms movement in India. We would also be familiar with terms like sati, dowry system, child marriage, female infanticide etc and these ill practices of Indian society were closely linked with Indian culture and religion. It has not change much today judging from what we read or hear from the news everyday.

Sex determination : Let me begin from the womb itself where each human being comes from. Why is sex determination ban in India in the first place? Why are female babies buried alive? Why female foeticides and female infanticides are so high in the first place as compare to men? Why is the population of women in India less than men? The answer to these questions will instantly give you the status of females in India.

Education : 'Beti bachao beti padhao' not 'Beta bachao beta padhao'. Why is the Indian government creating special schemes to promote women education? Is it because women are just complaining in spite of getting adequate education? Or are there factual figures to show that high population of women are not getting education?

Employment : Women today are fighting for a space in the employment sector this again is related to the topic of education and I assume we know now that education for girl child is very low it is needless to say how women are doing in employment sectors.

Another isssue face by those few educated girls in the society is that their family does not educate them to work but to get married and find the right husband. Again that minimal number of girls who gets to work outside their home is not free from their domestic role as a housewife and as a mother. Men at least gets to rest after they have a long day at work but women do not even get that luxury.

Giving up our goals : Girls are not even allow to be born let alone dream. Dreaming is a luxury to many girls. Just as a father gave up some of his dreams, mothers gave up their dreams too. Or are we just assuming that mothers did not have goals and dreams before she got married. Just as fathers may not like their jobs women may not like doing domestic works. Males in the society at least have a job that they do not like while women don't have a job even for the sake of hating.

Women seen as sexual object : Rape is just another way of men proving their macho-ness, because it proves their dominance over women. To remind the society once again who is in control. Women are not allow to make decision as a human being to decide what she like and dislike. First our fathers or brothers decide for us then our husband will decide for us then our son will decide for us and then our grandson. The sequel goes on and on.

Any attempt to defy this system can make you stand out as a bad person who goes against the conventional social norms. Let us study numbers and statistic or read the news regarding violence and abuse and compare it between male and female. How many percent of men or women get rape in the world. Why is tortured of women always related to sexual harassment???

And the question of what is okay or not okay when it comes to touching a girl .This entirely depend on time and context just as it would be inappropriate for me to laugh on a funeral, but okay to laugh in a comedy show. Therefore, it is not worth making an argument about how women hands could be hold under appropriate norms and condition.

The irony of men as an ATM in the context of Manipur : Let us now look at our own state, anyone who denies women being a bread earner of the family should pay a visit to ema market which has existed since time immemorial. Manipur is famous for skills and talents in weaving, embroidery works etc. which are done by women of our society.

Another form of popular investment distinct to women in our state is the "marup system". Also let us not forget their participation in liquor vendor to provide food on the table for the family in spite of all the stigmatisation from the society. Look around women carrying their young child selling vegetables in spite of the rain or hot sun .

These are some of the factors why women thinks they are discriminated .In other words women, contribution are often not paid attention to. Secondly, women are left in these unwanted or unknown labour because they are less preferred than men in the educational field. Now, you can ask yourself who the ATM of the family is before making a speculation that men are the ATM.

Today, many laws and protection has been implemented by the state of India to empower women and such laws are implemented only because women needs these special rights to bridge the gap between men and women. However, despite the protection, women continue to face problems that are still unsolvable till today. Rape being the most severe one which proves that women empowerment still needs to be taken of.

Rather then analysing on how to solve these issues why are we envious of the little protection women have in the society which is still far from being in practice. It is painful to see articles on men empowerment by our very own people despite the situation women are still facing today. The issues raised above are just tiny part of what women face today.

The issues and problems women face are too vast and too broad to fit in this small article. The day these specific issues face by women in India is face by men in India, and the newspapers are fill with it, I will be the first to voice for male empowerment. In the meantime, let us not generalise issues that happened within our own family and based it to the whole society because one opinion might hurt a thousand women who are fighting for their voice to be heard.

* Yaneithing Misao wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 07, 2017.

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