• The Feminist Times

THE COST OF SEXISM I HAD TO BEAR BEING A MAN


I got my nose pierced last year, I like to wear pink, I am an emotionally driven person, I got no muscular body, I can shake my booty well with groovy moves, I am more dramatic than my sister, I feel like crying when I am down, and I feel like expressing everything that’s in my head to feel light. All of the things I just mentioned above should be perceived and regarded as normal as ones thirst for water but as soon as I say this has been said by a "Man", it instantly makes a difference. This then will not only attract lewd comments but will also raise questions to my existence as a man, or to put it more bluntly my ‘Manliness’. Actually it all started from my school days. I use to play basketball in school until my coach started saying "yeh ladkiyon ki tarah khelta hai, ismein dum nahi hai" followed by other sentences by fellow mates which then seemed to be derogatory (because I too considered chakka to be a bad word). I still remember the hesitation felt while going to the other section to borrow a duster. I was judged upon the way I used to walk, I was judged for my way of communicating. Because according to norms a Man shouldn't cry or express. "Hey bro? Man up!" "Why you acting like a pussy? Just give it a shot!" The weight of these sentences seemed very less initially but later became my worst night mares. Patriarchy has sucked the meaning out of gender, gender expression, gender fluidity and gender identity with time. You'll be given taunts on a daily basis if you are not tough. Even shopkeepers questioned me about getting my nose pierced! "Kyunki yeh toh sirf ladkiyan karwati hai". But who decides this? Why is it so difficult to understand and realise that the societal norms of being a man is toxic enough to degrade one's mental health. Why is it hard to believe that gender and sex are not the same? These are two separate entities. Hence I would just like to reiterate that Gender is a personal concept whose dimensions are formed by one’s unique intersection of various interests, experiences and personal characteristics. Therefore, it’s high time we put an end to advising each other upon the characteristics that might suit us according to our genders! Don’t stop that boy from playing with a Barbie; let that girl ride a bike. Let people be. - Devrishi Mehta, 21, ‘When you want to go for a long walk, talk without the fear of being judged; I am the right person to contact :D’

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