On 1st February 2015, TOI has published an article creating an abominable gender stereotype against Indian men. This article from Dhawani Desai states a recent judgement of an Australian court that absolved an Indian man of stalking charges citing Indian culture and Bollywood influence on him as the reason.
This article was titled “Things we want our men to stop doing”. Let’s see what this article demanded. It demanded Indian men stop doing the following –
- Eve Teasing
- Glaring at women
- Not giving space
- Taking pictures
- Spitting and urinating on the roads
- Scratching private in public
- Slapping girlfriend / wife / sister
- The working homemaker
Now let’s see what each of these demands is in detail –
The article included following behaviour such as whistling, passing comments, accidental brushing in public transport as the behaviours of Indian men and it claims that these prove that Indian men think of women as commodities.
I am surprised to see that when such acts are done by men is considered a crime why she had to again mention them as a daily occurrence in India. But we have seen such acts done by women are not considered as a crime at all and that is what should be discussed. Men experiencing such offences can not even register a complaint and in many cases get accused for no fault of theirs.
The writer created a gender stereotype and shamed every Indian man as if it is all Indian men who are to be blamed and there is no woman who had ever done any of these. This article told me that we can not expect a better standard of journalism from a newspaper that reported the Rohtak sisters’ incident as the bravery of the girls and didn’t see the real crime involved.
Glaring at women
This article blames that Indian men (who it terms as desi men) of glaring at every passing woman including the wife/girlfriend/sister of his own friends.
First of all, the way it mentioned about desi men in an abominable tone it shows author’s hatred for her own country. I am surprised to see such anti-national people still get to write columns in nation’s leading daily. Also, the author blamed the entire menfolk in India for this habit (or bad habit).
It only reminds me that this is how some women try to attract attention. When they are not even worth a glance, they claim they were ogled at by men, simply to show their importance. I remember Rohtak sisters who claimed of being molested 2000 times in public places. We know how fake this claim was and understand in reality they would have extorted money from so many innocent boys and their families. Thanks to Rohtak sisters such attention-seeking women are exposed today, but I never knew some of them have started writing columns for TOI as well.
Not giving space
Her claim is men do not give space to women while walking down the road or in the elevator. She says “almost always a woman has to manoeuvre her way around”.
Here she complained against all Indian men. So men who have given her space in an elevator or went aside seeing her coming their way owe an apology from her for such generalization. These men include her male colleagues in TOI office or wherever she works.
She blamed men for taking others’ pictures without their permission. With the advent of camera phones, this has become a nuisance. We don’t even get to know when someone is taking our picture without our consent. Unfortunately, I have never seen anybody taking others’ pictures in public places and I am not sure how she had seen the same except she or any of her friends had done the same. If she had ever found someone else’s pic without their permission, I would like to know her reaction to that incident and the result.
Again blaming only men for this act is highly unjustified. Mostly I have found women glued to their mobiles all the time. Much more compared to the men around me. I am not sure how many times these girls were busy taking unauthorized snaps. In any case, the writer owes an explanation to all Indian men for such generalization against them.
Spitting and urinating on roads
Yes, these are bad habits. To stop this we need more public toilets at important crossings and in main roads. Recently feminists have raised this issue in the name of women empowerment and demanded public toilets for women. MRAs didn’t hesitate to support and wanted toilets for all.
Today due to lack of proper facilities men are forced to urinate in public. If we want to change this habit then we need to have the necessary infrastructure in place rather than blaming men.
Indian men are considered as providers and protectors of their families and hence are forced to stay outside their home for work purpose much more compared to women. Since they do not get the comfort or luxury of urinating in their own toilets, they are forced to do the same in public. Women do not face this challenge today as they stay indoors most of the time (compared to men). So blaming men for these habits is absolutely ridiculous.
Spitting on the streets is again is not very gender-specific. Dust in our roads is mostly responsible for this. Women can cover their face with their Dupatta to avoid dust when they are on roads, but men do not have that option. So blaming men of spitting on roads shows her hatred towards men and nothing else.
Scratching private in public
So here is a sexist objection. Why do men scratch their private parts in public? The writer claims private parts mean that anything needs to be done with these parts within the privacy of four walls. I forgot showing private parts in public and claiming that as empowerment is only women’s prerogative. The moral guardians like TOI and writers like her are ready to make sexist comments about men and go unpunished simply because she is a woman.
Today anything said to a woman becomes sexist and the same things said against men are acceptable. Don’t agree with me? Try telling women not to show their cleavage in public or keeping their extra skin display to the four walls of their room, and see what happens.
Here comes another sexist and abominable comment from the author. The author says, many movies still show men slapping their girlfriends and reminds Indian men that they are not supposed to slap women. This is done at a time when this is considered as a crime and not taken lightly, whereas a woman slapping a man is considered as empowerment. We have many instances when Indian media reported such incidents as the bravery of women and we did not even bother to know the truth behind each of these stories.
By showing this as a habit of Indian men the author once again tried to shame all Indian men and created a hateful gender stereotype against men. According to her and the media groups, all Indian men beat their wives/ sisters/girlfriends. This perception created by author tells me why Indian men who get such treatment from their wives or girlfriends do not even get fair treatment, because they are already considered as criminals by such shameless authors and mainstream Indian media.
The working homemaker
The article states that most men seek working homemaker and expects her to take care of both office and home. But such expectations exist for women as well, they want a better-earning husband or always marry above their status, so if men also have some expectation from their women then what is wrong? Also not all women who work financially contribute to their family.
The reality in India is the percentage of women who work is very less compared to the percentage of men who are forced to work. Women join workforce based on their wish, many leave their jobs during the divorce to get more alimony. None of these women can be forced to contribute to their families financially. If men try to influence her decision of either working or not working that may be considered as domestic violence. Any money or help sought from the wife can be considered as dowry demand, harassment.
The article demand that such working women do multitasking, whereas in reality all of them may have a maid or two to help and a lot of electrical gadgets to take care of their work. Many do not even contribute to household work at all. Also, all such household help is provided by the men in the family. Even if we consider these as the job of the woman, no woman pays for the maid or the washing machine. So, in fact, it is the maid or the machine that does the work and not the working women. Anybody who feels oppressed because she needs to take care of work both at home and at the office may stay single to avoid cribbing about in future. Marriage is all about sharing and caring. When the husband is providing all facilities without any contribution from the wife, the wife becomes duty-bound to take care of the family as well. Also, the decision on division of household work is better left to the couple themselves rather than someone else intervening.
This article in TOI shows how newspapers create gender stereotype and male hatred in India. This is showing how low the journalists can stoop to shame a nation that reads them. The way men are being blamed for everything today, even the nicest men can be blamed by most criminal women. Such is the power of gender hatred created through such articles. If these authors go unpunished for their sexist comments, if the media house does not apologize for publishing this article then Indian men can forget about a dignified life. Any attention-seeking criminal woman can blame the most dignified man.