I was just spilling my guts out as usual on Twitter after combating several internet trolls today when it struck me. How would men in our lives feel if they got to live a day in our life. Maybe then they would understand how much Emotional & Mental pressure and stress, we feel everyday by merely trying to exist.
I would be lying if i didn’t want to place my husband first in the same situation quite frankly. Now, he’s a great guy but i can tell you he’s never on the same page as me and would never really ever know what i go through each day. I am pretty sure he never really understood what i went through each day was i was slaving away at a corporate job, had been newly married to him and had left my very dependent family alone.
These issues in my life, did not spark any interest in his life because he was unaware that these were “issues” to start with. This is not just his perspective, it is perhaps the perspective of every man in the society we live in. Women are born, so they marry men to create offsprings and support their growth until the children become adults or the women grow old & pass away (whichever comes first). All of these are understood life facts. They do not have to be considered or discussed because every woman since the dawn of time went through it. Menstruation, child birth, menopause – all irrelevant to men or well, most of them.
Something i would like to share here is how One respondent (From the poll i conducted for this blog) felt about her role as a Home-maker while running a successful business in her community.
Expectations from a homemaker in our society are ridiculously unrealistic without a break! That just kills me.Respondent, Online Poll conducted on Facebook Communities
Sexual harrassment is another stressor! Men, majority, can never feel the pain or even realize how traumatic it is.
Men feel that these are irrelevant details, our issues are irrelevant or trivial because they have been taught to remember these three essential things:
- Men are always strong. This masculinity means they show no emotions, they do not cry and do not fear away from anything. Lack of emotions for self erases concept of empathy for others
- Life’s Focus. Men must always be focused. First on getting a decent education, then a job, then building a house and managing it. Marrying women, raising children and being the sole provider of financial stability in the household. Nothing else comes in the “focus circle”.
- Men are better decision makers. Because women are emotionally weak they cannot make logical decisions. They are not exposed to the world affairs and therefore cannot make informed decisions. Why ask them for their perspective or input when men know everything already. Right?
These are some of the many repetitive society’s lessons our men are fed as soon as they are born. These are also the rules women are trained to obey as soon as they can walk. The lines drawn are so clear, that even when Men are exposed to challenges women face, they either retaliate or completely shrug them off as lies. Much like the many #metoo incidents which are often attributed to Women wanting popularity and limelight.
An interesting note here will be something that a respondent shared with me on the poll i ran for this blog:
“In my case it’s sexual harassment. My husband refuses to believe that women get sexually harassed to the extent that he doesn’t believe it even when i tell him. I mean, he knows it exists, but he thinks i highly exaggerate. I refuse to go to, for example, (Edited the Location) or take a bus, because i am not comfortable with the staring and catcalling. he thinks i am making things up.”Respondent, Online Poll conducted on Facebook Communities
Men don’t ask women how they are doing and if they need help. Because thats such an un-manly thing to do. Men don’t have to show any remote interest in running the house, helping around the house, helping with the kids etc. God forbid if a man tries do any of these things, the society & family goes into panic-mode. Family & Friends joke about the lack of masculinity in a husband and his incapability to keep a submissive wife. Many will think the wife’s put the husband under a spell and the man becomes “Beychara” (Poor soul).
Since our move to London, however things have changed significantly, he sees me struggling and quickly gets up to help. He will do house-chores with me and without me because he feels responsible for it. So what changed? The answer is simple, He doesn’t have to conform to the standards set my OUR society back home. He’s embraced “Adult Life Chores” because he’s a feminist (and he fully doesn’t know it, yet!)
But coming back to my original thought, how would a man feel in the life of a woman for a day. What would he have to go through, how much of it will he be able to tolerate. I asked this some amazing group of intelligent women online about what they think are the biggest issues they face everyday. What they think were issues that a man would face that ONE day he has to live as a woman. Here are the responses to the poll:
So many women were quick to point out that even though the above poll covered everything, there were many factors that were actually sub-factors of the above that were always on their mind, everyday. These included their freedom of choice, Lack of Free-will, Sleep deprivation, Workplace Harassment, Freedom to wear what they want, Freedom to education etc.
Just goes to show, that the challenges of being a woman, of waking up everyday in a mans world is tough. We have several champions of women rights who have been cheering us on and helping us to climb the ladder of success. There are many champions of change and prosperity who are helping women in their life reach if not their full potential then the best they can. These unsung heroes have made life easier for a lot of us, but theres a lot more left to do and a lot more ground to cover. Lets hope for the best always. Because in challenges lies opportunities for greatness!