#MeToo movement: Men should talk

New Delhi, Avina Vidyadharan | Updated : 15 December 2018, 03:30 PM
#MeToo movement: Men should talk
#MeToo movement: Men should talk

Started a few months ago in India, the #MeToo movement managed to shake the foundation stone of many prominent organisations. From the glittering showbiz world to the business planet, from media houses to political pillars, the whirlwind of the excruciating movement trembled across the quarters. However, what still stands as a nightmare to the plenty of men and women hollering through the struggles of justice is the uncertainty of the thin line, that lies between the blurred concept of consent and predatory instincts. Maybe its time, that men should talk, bursting the pricky bubble of insecurities and obsessions.

Also Read | #MeToo: Will it remain just another feminist strategy to achieve absolutely nothing?

Is it some random flirting or rather offensive to the counterpart? Where does the line of enjoyment diminish, and the horror of coercion begins? The answers to these questions remain unabated with time and generations. While on one hand where women are worshipped, disguised as the idols of goddesses in this country, they are also the victims of the misogynistic society, on the other. Which spectrum of women is completely safe? Abiding by the reports, none! The sexual predators are not really bothered by the age dimensions, a 90-year-old gets raped and so is a months-old infant.

While a few handfuls of these terrors get reported, many others suffer in silence. What accounts to these horrors? Well, to start with, the biological average strength of men varies from women. If a man decides to clout himself upon his counterpart, physical force is the only tool left. Such is nature, and we can't really fight nature, can we? 

According to Dr Noam Shpancer, professor of psychology at Otterbein University in Westerville Ohio, sex and violence are closely linked in our internal architecture. The sex-violence link has traditionally been discussed in the context of over stimulated male sexuality. The sex drive and the propensity to violence (in men and women) are both linked to the same hormone, testosterone. Acts of dominance and violence are common ways by which males attract and protect their mates among our primate relatives. However, this does not hint to the fact, that society can and always alter the way, men and women think. The fact that men are stronger does not give the right to force your urge upon women. But who ponders these thoughts to the naive minds of misogynists?

The 'men will be men' tag needs to be changed for once and for all. What people are, what they become and how they see the world, is through the vision of the environment they are put in. Our cinemas or music have been objectifying women from its very beginning. Be it following a girl to get her attention, to compare her with lavish lifestyles, our entertainment world has also played a major role in deciphering what people have become. In the world of fiction, 'boy meets girl, the girl does not pay attention, boy teases her, stalks her, then girl falls in love, happily ever after'. But this isn't what reality is all about. Men need to understand the limits of attraction, the boundaries of mutual understanding and that affection cannot be forced down the throat.  Maybe its time, that men should talk, bursting the pricky bubble of insecurities and obsessions.

Also Read | Is #MeToo an answer to the question of sexual harassment?

According to an article published in TheWire, Ruchita Chandrashekhar, a clinician in Chicago stated, "Men need to expect each other to do better and help deal with insecurities that arise when privilege is challenged. The prevailing culture of solidarity and support dismisses ownership and responsibility. The problem is not about who they are but lies with what they have done."

What can be done?

Sex education. According to a study published in Indian Express, covering 2,268 children and their parents in eight cities in India, six out of 10 parents do not provide sex education to their children. The study also revealed that one in two children spends two or three hours daily on the internet. The shocking figures mark the polarised mindset of the children and the knowledge learned through the medium of the internet can shape a very negative mentality in the budding minds. One step towards a better society and elimination of rapes can be funding better sex education programs in schools, and emphasis should be given on consent and healthy sexual relationships. This could help reduce the rate of sexual violence in the country. 

Stop normalising sexual violence. The patriarchy that is deeply rooted in the Indian society and a skewed sex ratio is only making the matters worse. Many Indians – men and women – refuse to believe that sexual violence is a serious problem plaguing this country. While a handful of sexual abuse cases are reported, the majority of the cases are left unreported. According to a survey published in LiveMint, An estimated 99.1% of sexual violence cases are not reported, and in most such instances, the perpetrator is the husband of the victim. The average Indian woman is 17 times more likely to face sexual violence from her husband than from others, the analysis shows. Even if one excludes marital rape and assault from the analysis, the extent of reporting sexual violence is still small. Only about 15% of sexual violence committed by others (someone other than the current husband) is reported to the police.

Also Read | Gender equality Vs religious fanaticism, the battle continues unabated in India

A row of #MeToo movement or outrageous feminist activists leading campaigns might not bring major changes in the society. If men are the predators, they are also the ones who can help bring a ray of hope and much-needed revolution in this country. Maybe its time, that men should talk, bursting the pricky bubble of insecurities and obsessions.

Disclaimer: The opinions and facts expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. They do not reflect the views of News Nation. The NNPL does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

First Published: Saturday, December 15, 2018 03:29 PM
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