Who is a ‘Jug’? A jug is a friend who will be of your help at any time of the day. A jug will always give you a patient hearing, not try to judge you by your actions and will not undermine you. If the new Shahrukh Khan Starrer Dear Zindagi has something different to show, that idea is taken from the camaraderie of MRAs. That is another reason I find my transformation from a feminist to an MRA had been awesome.
When I joined MRM, it was still a politically incorrect cause. Fighting for a politically incorrect cause of men’s rights was a boon for me. I started writing for men’s rights around the Nirbhaya case. The toughest time in the history of Indian men’s rights. Nirbhaya incident turned the world upside down for men. Even though it defied logic why other men needed to feel ashamed for Nirbhaya, we were made to look miserable in all forums by everyone else other than a few of us.
Those MRAs who stood tall at that time and spoke about men’s rights and protested against massive hooliganism in the name of Nirbhaya got open death threats. In all possible forums women had blatantly abused us in most filthy languages but still, we tried. Men gave us death threats, called us rapists, wanted to lynch us. More we tried, more we were abused and more we became determined. Because then we realized the real danger, we have got an idea of existing hatred against men in society. We became more determined to fight for our rights. All of us including me has evolved as human beings. I learned that I needed to respect myself first. The camaraderie of ‘Jugs’ in MRM was the key factor there.
Post Nirbhaya, many things have changed in our lives. Men in India have realized through various cases how feminism was set to ruin their lives. Rohtak Sisters and awarding them for bravery, false rape cases like the one of Badaun or Bulandshahr or elsewhere, videos like India’s Daughter and My Choice had made everyone aware of the danger. Feminist criminals came in all shapes, forms, and genders and so we became more determined. In this aspect, I have learned a lot from fellow MRAs as well. More I learned, more I evolved as a person, more I started loving myself and it was this time when it didn’t matter to me what others thought about me.
This was the time when we needed to stand together because a minuscule few were fighting against billions of hysteric people. That was when we provided support to each other more at any hour of the day. It was tough for us because many of us were still fighting for our dignity in Indian courts of law. We proved to be real ‘Jug’ for one another.
It was that time when I have learned from MRM – “don’t try to judge a man”. Well, it was very hard to practice than preach. But this thought gave a new perspective in my life. Even ten years ago, a feminist me had not tried to judge others, I was very happy with my life. I have always felt that it was a wastage of my time and energy to be jealous of others. Also, I didn’t like others trying to judge me. But whether I liked it or not, others continued judging me and that was most painful for me. This was the time when MRM came to my rescue and I got not one but many ‘Jug’s.
When I started respecting my own feelings, my own needs and started respecting me as a person I learned that respect needed to be earned and the feminist theory of ‘Respect Women’ was all crap. The popular campaign #RespectWomen thus created more determination in me to respect me first and expose the fallacy in #RespectWomen. So when MRM collectively exposed many such attention seeking money minded women, I was happy to contribute to them positively and to get some respect.
In my initial days of activism, I was very reserved about talking against feminism openly. My only fear was “what would others think about me?”. Then I realized, that none of my old friends cared for me. No one bothered if anything good happened to me. Many did not have the strength to stand against the popular crowd, popular theory. They heard whatever they wanted to hear. That is why media promoted male feticide as female feticide, Satyamev Jayate (SMJ) director Swati openly told lies about female feticide in Ink Conference and got a standing ovation from the whole crowd except me. MRM strengthened my determination to stand against popular feminist lies.
My childhood friends left me. Many threatened that they would never want to see my face again, many termed me as a chauvinist but I did not care. Because when I was in trouble these friends, neighbors, and well-wishers did not come forward to help me. So it was clear that they didn’t bother about me. Having them beside me or not having any friends was all the same. Surprisingly, hardly any of them had gone away ever since I became vocal against feminism. Even though they were never my ‘Jug’. Later some of them started appreciating my work, too. This had bolstered my determination to stand for my rights even if no one else talked about the same. It was a very happy moment to share these stories with my ‘Jug’ in MRM.
Improved self-esteem had completely changed my life. The same me who was bullied and was subjected to office politics because of my meek and amicable nature became so outspoken about everything that had resulted in some serious career problem for some senior level managers in my later career. People who loved to mind others’ business (and specifically mine) is taught well not to do so in their own language. Office politics or national or global politics did not make me sick, anymore. Today, even though I don’t like playing dirty games, I teach others well not to try any trick with me. The less I cared for such humiliations, more it weeded out such imperfections in life.
Surely having not one but many ‘jug’ in MRM was a boon for me. They helped me develop much-needed self-esteem. They are spread all across the globe today. Probably this is the biggest gain for anyone who follows an unconventional path where the number of followers are less but dedicated. MRM was unconventional when I started my journey but today it is not. A global change is in the offing. Probably Donald Trump’s win smashing the feminist juggernaut proved this point more than anything else. Hope my community of global ‘Jug’ will only increase now.