Men are our society’s brave-hearts and true heroes. Their courage and skills are practically revered. Typically seen as the bread earner of the family and the protector of women, the image of our men has seen a drastic change over the last few years. The country is now seeing Y chromosome holders in a different light. How? Read on to know.
Reverse Gender Development
Social issues like empowerment of the girl child have seen tremendous progress in our country recently. And for good reason. The state of our womenfolk was not great, and considerable progress has been made on this front. Schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao are immensely popular. Thanks to such schemes, the social status of the girl child has improved. However, what is the status of the male child?
According to an analysis made in this report, there has been a considerable increase in the percentage of men receiving formal tertiary education, especially in the third-world countries. However, significantly more women are being given access to tertiary education in an attempt to improvise and safeguard their future. While it is a great thing to have educated women in the country, how fair is it to ignore the men?
Feminism is NOT Female Superiority
Let’s attribute it to the word itself- Feminism, that many people mistakenly think that it means female superiority. Feminism, in its true sense, means equal opportunities to everyone, regardless of their gender. However, many people have conveniently altered this meaning and created some totally unfair concepts. When we talk of feminism, we talk about all genders receiving equal opportunities. We, most definitely, don’t talk about suppressing men. Sadly, many of us have been so blinded by this wave of false-feminism that we fail to see the plight of the men who are negatively impacted.
Indian laws that side–line the males
There are numerous examples in the Indian legal framework where the menfolk are at the receiving end, sometimes, for no fault of theirs. Here are some examples:
- Indian parents are obliged to take responsibility of their girl child’s maintenance until she gets married. However, for their boy child, they are only obliged for maintenance until he turns 18. While most Indian parents take care of their children, regardless of their gender, the existence of this law raises questions. Does the boy magically become independent at 18? And why does a girl child need ‘maintenance’ until she is married? Is this equality?
- Check out the fourth point in Section 375 of the IPC. Let’s talk about a fictitious couple, intending to get married in future. Both have physical relations and somehow, their relationship doesn’t culminate into marriage. If this happens, the man can be booked for rape. Can fabricated cases flout this law? Not far away from the above law, there is another statement. It mentions that if two people under the age of 16 have consensual physical relations, the boy can be convicted of rape.
- Now, turn to Section 498A. A woman need not produce any evidence for filing a case for mental or physical torture by her husband or his family. While this would be helpful for many female victims, it also increases the likelihood of false accusations, doesn’t it?
- Male sexual offenders receive a much harsher punishment than female offenders for crimes of similar nature. This is completely illogical. Sexual crimes are not a joke. Why should the gender of the offender play any role in legal action?
- India believes that matrimony is holy. However, in Section 37 of the Special Marriage Act, only the wife can make a claim for maintenance and alimony after divorce. What happened to ‘women are equal to men in all respects’?
- In case the wife dies within seven years of marriage by burns or physical injuries, the husband can be booked. Sure enough, dowry deaths happen. However, can’t there be cases where a woman dies due to the aforementioned reasons without the husband’s sinister plan?
Crimes have no gender
A crime is a crime. It has no gender. Why, then, are some punishments and clauses in favour of one particular gender only? A properly-defined set of gender-neutral laws is what we need. This is especially applicable to laws pertaining to adultery, flirting, rape, molestation, sexual offences, stalking, dowry, and inheritance. We also need a gender-neutral language for addressing these issues.
The women in our country have suffered a lot in the past. But why should we make our past a stepping stone for an unjust future? One that neglects our men and treats them unfairly. It is a great thing to empower women. However, if this empowerment comes at the cost of mistreating our men, it is futile.