Saturday, March 14, 2009

Liberalism of a Chauvinist!

  1. This blog follows a long period of turbulence within me. It is inspired by another fabulous blog on http://cmt-lekhnise.blogspot.com/2009/03/yes-i-am-male-chauvinist-pig.html, though I must confess that a previous attempt to write this blog met failure due to undue stress it caused me. Today again I am trying to gather the strength required to put forth my opinion on the topic and to bear all the criticism that may come my way later from expected quarters ;). I have borrowed from my own experiences of a relationship, discussions with like-minded people who are renowned experts on the topic and my long drawn thought over the subject.
  2. I got an email, a forward , explaining the hardships a modern woman goes through while trying to balance between her workplace, her personal life, her spouse expectations, her own aspirations while men failing to understand her point of view and her minimal expectations from her spouse. ( read the previous post to have a better understanding of my views) The mail was forwarded with the pure intention of making me read something interesting, however to the surprise of the sender I took an unexpected interest in it, so much so today I am writing about it.
  3. I am sure much attention is being given to women and their hardships nowadays (not that they don't deserve it) with so many interest groups and authors dedicated to their cause. But same is not true about the opposite sex barring a few exceptions like Akhil Bharatiya Patni Virodhi Morcha. Very few people (even men themselves) actually believe that men need help or counseling with regard to their problems. In fact few men and fewer women think about the emotional problems a man might have especially after he enters a relationship. In fact this is basic premise behind the overused term "Male Chauvinist Pig".
  4. The first fact that needs to be understood straightaway is that men are very much saddled with emotions and sensibilities, although to a lesser extent than women. The fact that they do not display their feelings or cannot handle emotions very well is a result of too many factors working against them at the same time. Firstly, the pressure of conforming to the established norms of society where they are expected to be practical and cold-minded. Secondly, there are genetic twists that do not favour men in this context but I am not going into the biological details here.
  5. The fact that working women have to deal with the inherent insecurities, irrational jealousy of their spouse who is more often than not uncomfortable with her obvious proximity to men at workplace misses one point. It is more difficult and painful for the man himself to bear the burden of these emotions especially if he comes from educated middle class. He is always getting torn apart between the educated, logical mind of his that tells him that there is nothing wrong with the his wife being proximate to men colleagues or college friends among boys and his innate genetic instincts that always guide him in the opposite direction.
  6. When I am attributing some drawbacks of men to their genetic makeup I am not trying to shield their behaviour that results out of such attributes.I just want to point out being genetic in origin, its rather difficult (read impossible) to curtail such feelings and behaviour. And despite these problems most men do live with their spouse having a life of her own out side the four walls of home. Men deserve applause for this and not criticism for their instincts.
  7. On a more offensive note, women too have their innate instincts which would be no less worthy of criticism if men paid attention to them. For example, if men think women are objects of pleasure, women think of men as nothing more than instruments of reproduction. If it was not for the element of bringing up offspring and ensuring security in a world where women do not have much say, women would be first ones to ditch men once the act is complete. But with emerging technologies where reproduction can happen without men and women can have economic power this status is about to change.
  8. On a selfish note it is good that I was born a man in a men- dominated world. For if it was in control of the other sex, I would be a mere tool for impregnation or may be worse ( my semen would be kept in semen banks and I would even miss the short duration of pleasure). I am sure the genetic instincts of women are strong enough to make them do such things to men.
  9. Having written so much, my advice is don't read much into my mind or judge me from this blog. I am just another man brought up in a patriarchal society, educated with modern values, brought up to think logically and who is trying to find way out of this dialectic and in spite of all this trying to be happy. Wish me luck!

3 comments:

  1. “For example, if men think women are objects of pleasure, women think of men as nothing more than instruments of reproduction. If it was not for the element of bringing up offspring and ensuring security in a world where women do not have much say, women would be first ones to ditch men once the act is complete.”
    This is offensive!! Preposterous!! With the intensity you have written it, it seems that you or some of your dear friend has been dumped after ‘the act is complete’. If this is so, I sympathize; if not get please get your figures correct. Find out the number of male molestation, rape FIR’s and compare it with the number of female FIR’s registered. I don’t push the argument that what you stated does not happen but the idea is look at the numbers; it’s an odd world and everything happens.
    And for heaven’s sake please stop thinking everything with a sociological aspect. It’s just a subject for your exams and not the way of life. No one denies that you belong to middle class patriarchal society, so do I. And FYI in a common Indian family, the women want to be controlled by men. No one’s arguing about who’s the best gender because my father who is also a tough member of this patriarchal society grew her daughter up to be a fine educated lady. You shall understand this when you have a daughter; I shall ask you then that what kind of a society you belong to? Patriarchal or matriarchal?
    My Dear, it’s no argument at all!! Things change with time. Today if a wife is a home-maker she is a pointed as a mother-in-law extortionist (I don’t refute this totally because an empty brain can do this) and she is not a contributor to the family income in this time of rising inflation. She faces all problems and hassles which she is never accustomed to being ‘genetically twisted’ and yet she is expected to play the SITA and GITA role from office to home. Now if she doesn’t go to the office and stays back and asks for a gold chain, she is a mamamamamama nagging wife, isn’t she? Now this also comes to your male ego, if you can’t arrange for one, and if she is capable enough to buy one, it’s again a hit on your ego.
    You don’t always have the liberty to switch roles from patriarchal society to logical urbane at your wit. If it was only for your precious semen, no women would ever have borne the pain of taking a maternity leave of 3 months and a labor pain. It’s not sociology, it’s love!! Sheer love.
    Please understand neither it’s your chauvinism nor someone’s feminism, it’s just ego driving your mind all the time. A sensible couple always understands of each other’s problems and pleasures, be it work related or home. Try thinking out of the sociology box and erase the words like chauvinism form your list. Trust me life shall be more beautiful if you could explain your possessiveness simply as ‘I love you too much’.

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  2. I don't know how much the post stands as chauvinism, but the comment above surely sounds very feminist.

    The statements made in the post might have been overrated at some points, but one must understand that it does not target the women of the so called "homemaker" types who had to face objections and regulations in life. It targets the overy-independent women of today for whom men are the way this author describes.

    And when one talks about numbers, one can't ignore figures about the increasing number of divorces in the metropolitan towns especially where the lady is the one who initiated the divorce than the number of divorces in a middle class so called "patriarchal" and "chauvinist" society. With the improvement in the social and educational status of women and the increase in the broad-mindedness of the men, the rates of success of marriages has come down drastically.

    I don't know whether it was chauvinism which made marriages last long or if it is feminism which is endangering marriage especially love marriages.

    Apologies if I too sound sociological.

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  3. Just one comment to add..Notwithstanding that strict gender stereotypes programme an average middle class patriarchal social setup to produce in equal proportion engineered "chauvinists" and "feminists", the fact remains that we do fall prey to emtions of love and finer engagements in human emotions. Henceforth, is it not futile to risk the beautiful suustainence of cohabitation by sounding, reading and writing too labelist?Just because someone sympathises with a woman's pain,doesnot make one a "feminist" and similarly because one falls prey to a masculine point of view is one a "chauvinist". It is a reductionist argument , a classic case to evade deeper introspection.However, members of the two contesting clans exist, i do not doubt that.

    Had my argument not been valid,the blogger would not have posted another blog(a forwarded mail,he he!) to substantiate his position.So where is he? As he proclaims himself, a chauvinist, is just not true. And nor because he relates to the other blog,he can be deemed a feminist.

    The problem is that we are members of a society in transition infected and being continuously be affected by new ideas every day,courtesy globalisation,telecommunication revolution,dada dada dada etc etc.While females can look"up" to many role models to be branded a "feminist" males do not have that luxury of a sudden makeover,however liberal and desperate their attempt.With due sympathy to the "chauvinists" clan, i propose that they are free to experiment and formulate a self devised image for themselves, aluxury that women can no longer enjoy,courtesy the extensive research on the much abused Feminist theory that will place anyone speaking rationally about women's question in one form or the other of the grossly misusede term "feminism".I did not try to sound as a feminist,but sadly the very fact that i strove to balance my view labelled me a "maternal feminist"...sad maybe!

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