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Why men love men and women hate women

If women start loving women and men begin to hate men, a valuable equilibrium may well be in store, writes Shivaji Dasgupta, Managing Director, Inexgro Brand Advisory

Every time there is a dastardly incident like Hathras, society is up in arms against the deeds of unruly men. While it is totally true that we are facing a severe civility crisis, the abuse of women is honestly institutionalised by women themselves, much before the men come to the picture. A truly quirky pattern of Indian society that is further accentuated by the unconditional affiliation of the Boy’s Club.

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This thinking is plainly apparent in home scenarios, where the archetypal mother-in-law chooses to inflict on the next gen what she was subject to, thus initiating a rather vicious cycle of subjugation. It is well documented that the pressure to continue in abusive marriages usually emanate from the mothers of the bride, in an increasingly futile endeavour to maintain societal status quo. This pattern used to persist in the workplace with women bosses particularly tough on lady wards, especially when attempting to bridge femininity and professionalism, as depicted sharply in a Tanishq advertisement. It is also true that the resistance to unboxing tradition in attire, customs or attitudes come primarily from older women, as if fulfilling a questionable legacy in the passage of time.

For men though, the scenario is exactly the opposite as they are adored by the men in the family. The indulgences demanded by very generation are lovingly supplied by the deprived elderly while their deeds and indeed misdeeds rarely come under the regulatory scanner. This is an emotional affiliation and not just obligatory as men sincerely believe that they owe a certain karmic kindness to other men in their periphery, as opposed to being a censuring critic. On the odd dramatic occasion, the choice of bride may be a source of dissent but even then the fault is usually ascribed to the ‘predatory’ woman as opposed to the self-reliant man. In workplaces and other such forms of organised affiliation, the boys take good care of the boys and journeys are lovingly and willingly shared.

So, why do Indian women not protect the interests of their subsequent generations? There is definitely a sense of retrospective justification as the rights to passage must be earned by proven subjugation. It is a form of ragging or bullying, if you may, as those in power are determined to housetrain their followers and the alibi often is survival skilling. Equally an age old cultural fallacy that those professionally worthy must downplay the beautification agenda, to be taken seriously as peers of men. While this is changing rapidly, those attempting to live in a spontaneous and balanced fashion were severely censured. In a strange logical twist, women effortlessly become obsessive gatekeepers for ambitious women and this contributes silently to the glass ceiling syndrome. For men though, protection of the brotherhood is an important ritual of power dynamics and this possibly influences their unconditional nurturing.

Make no mistake, there is certainly an emerging crisis in India with respect to violent patriarchy and this must be quelled. As mentioned, much of this licensing comes from the affiliation to the brotherhood, which when vile in nature can seriously queer the pitch. It will need a combination of legislation and societal values to turn the tide which may take longer than truly expected. What does not help is the political posturing, conveying an undeserved legitimacy to many such condemnable actions. But the point I must reiterate is that the authoritative self-confidence of women must be curated by the women themselves, liberated from the clutches of arrogant masculinity. Daughters must be given unconditional wings, daughters-in-law the stature of blood and all socio-professional aspirants bestowed an abundant licence to fly. Those who have suffered and survived must stop expecting the nextgen to rigorously follow their flight path and instead be gifted with an expressway to fulfil dreams. This is a movement that must start on a war footing, while the task to straighten dilettante men is addressed by sterner curriculum.

For men, the task is slightly different as they must reduce the unconditionality of affections for the next in line, especially if that extends to abuse and destruction. They must teach them the values of cohesive co-creation and build a collage of respect, trust and equality. Wrong acts must be hastily censured and the current sequence of despicable events be projected as nothing short of holocaustic. This is truly a unique role reversal but one that is necessary to build a civil society as it is true that the primary influencers of conduct are seniors and peers of the same sex, which is where the rot must be addressed.

Brands most naturally must come to the party and be the true agents of meaningful change. To deliver the potent message that what society thinks is way less important than what is right for society. Which is exactly why the attitude of women must change in the way they nurture women and ditto for men to men. If women start loving women and men begin to hate men, a valuable equilibrium may well be in store.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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