Something you’ll get to hear often is:
“Why are you crying like a girl? What’s wrong with you?”
So a guy can’t cry because hey we’ve only seen girls do it? Or wait, was it how us women have always been conditioned to act a certain way?
The way people refer to the concept of ‘crying’ or being ‘vocal’ about one’s emotions when it’s a man, it seems like they’re pointing out negative aspects of his personality. It’s like ‘acting feminine’ is not normal; doing something usually a girl would do is just not right when a man does it.
If a guy cries he’s being a ‘wuss’ or ‘weak’ and when it’s a girl doing it; well, it’s what’s girls do!
On the other hand, if a girl possesses certain traits only mostly associated with men, she’s called a tom-boy! She’s manly, she’s scruffy, not a proper girl and probably faces a lot of criticism from the phupo jee next door!
The problem then becomes ‘oh how will any boy agree to marry her!’ (note how it’s never said the other way around)
‘If she keeps up being athletic and outspoken, how will we hand her over to the next home’
‘No-one likes bold girls who can speak for themselves, the society won’t let you live!’
But do you see where the problem lies? Everything we do, falls under two broad categories: girlish and boyish. There’s no concept of personal choice and preferences. No culture, concept, myth, ritual or religion suffocates a human as much as this society does. The unfortunate part is that earlier in time, as a result of capitalist structures and systems, where the woman staying at home to cook was supposed to be a temporary thing, became a norm.
Instead of getting out of those gender roles and evolving to work towards equality, we went for what seemed more convenient than what was right. Women stay at home, be submissive, serve as emotional labor whereas men work hard, bring home the bread and sustain a good life. It became a system. It stayed a system; even after realizing that these roles set in stone weren’t convenience but dominance. Dominance of men over women – and the negligence of identifying this oppressive system just strengthened it over the years.
Now you tell a woman to work, it’s a favor on her, not her right or her choice. You tell a man to stay at home and help with the dishes, it’s a favor on the woman not his duty or his choice.
A woman feels bad for not listening to what a man says regardless of her personal choice – and my personal favorite is when men get offended when a woman doesn’t value their opinion.
This is a vicious cycle that kills women on the inside every day! Admitting it or not – every woman feels suffocated within the four walls of her house. It’s time to get out of a system of dominance and give rise to the minorities – the disadvantaged groups of the society. It’s a crime to do something wrong but it’s a greater crime to see something wrong being done and not stop it. Why do you murder yourself every day? Why do you submit yourself to the man who just talks to you because he benefits from it? What fear do you have tigress? What more wrong could they do to you now – you’ve already been going through the worst.
Know your self-worth and learn to respect yourself – it’s only then that others will learn to do it too.