Those torturous women

I get a lot of these myths about women. Astonishing, because women aren’t yet so rare that people can’t simply look around them and find out truths. Here goes.

Women are stupid at tech

Now this comes as a surprise to me, because most men I know are beyond stupid at tech stuff too. In fact, women will at least admit they don’t know and attempt to learn, men will mostly go the lazy route and say they can’t. Particularly if it involves work. How about test driving this view of the genders for a few days?

Women are frivolous

Apparently this one is born from the fact that women do a lot of shopping. I recommend that men take over the running of the home, and enjoy all the shopping they want. Groceries, vegetables, curtains, home appliances…. goody… what wasteful creatures, these men!!!

Other than clothing, cosmetics and accessories, I don’t even know any other expense women typically do for themselves. Now men wear clothing too. Also accessories. Most men have more expensive phones than the women in their home. Far more men have gadgets in general from cars to iPods and laptops to cigarette lighters than women.

If you consider men and women in entriety, rather than the bucket you live in, men earn hundreds of times more than women. Own thousands of times more property than women. Women take on far more unpaid work than men. Yet apparently, it is the women with money to throw around?

There is no logic to this popular myth, yet it abounds.

The cosmetics industry is the only one which will never die

Here is the Forbes list of Global 2000 companies. Please find your cosmetics company of choice and return with an explanation of why Forbes is publishing such blatant lies when “everyone knows” that women are the real spenders. Or you have to face the fact that men guarantee far more industries immortality than women. Then it is useful to examine what is achieved by perpetuating this myth? What is achieved by portraying women’s spending as inappropriately large?

Women get more publicity but men suffer “equally”

Please explain our gender ratio. Being irritated by demanding women isn’t on the same scale as millions of dead women – women dead of gender crimes, though it is our culture to object more to inconvenient women than actual harm done to women. Many like to imagine that India’s bad reputation as a country for women is just bad publicity. This is about as true as Pakistan government’s belief that Pakistan’s reputation for terrorism is bad publicity. And we have far more women dead from gender crimes in our country alone than terrorism worldwide. A disbelieving reader had commented that it was impossible that India was worse than say Saudi Arabia, where women are officially second class citizens. And yet we are. Takes some achievement.

We succeeded in this dubious achievement, because hideous as it is to consider women a second class kind of citizen, there are other factors they are better at. Hunger, safety, domestic abuse, poverty… Not being able to work, for example doesn’t matter as much if you are not denied the money to attend to your needs. Sex crimes in Saudi Arabia, for example are not as prevalent as India with beheading being the punishment as opposed to a short stint in jail *if* caught, *if* convicted. This is not to say Saudi Arabia is a paradise for women. It certainly isn’t, but to simply say that India “can’t be worse than Saudi for women” without statistics to back it doesn’t wash. Rather, it stinks of a denial of the wrongness of conditions for women in India.

There need to be organizations to protect men from women

Sure. And there are. And there should be more. Why not start one? Why stop those who are working toward something and redirect their efforts? Because the ones who do the work, aren’t the ones talking, but the ones who don’t want to see work toward women’s rights are the ones talking. People who work for human rights tend to object to all rights violations in general, even if their focus is specific. It is those who wish to deny the rights of people who recommend replacing an overwhelmingly large needy group with what they imagine is the opposite.

But it isn’t the opposite of working for women’s rights to work for men’s rights. The fact of the matter is, men’s rights when violated are also largely violated by men. And I am not talking only of sexual crimes. One needs to have power to abuse it, and the fact is that women very rarely have power over men to begin with. So, this whole fantasy of “if only there were people fighting for men’s rights, we wouldn’t have to listen to this crap that makes us feel guilty” is bullshit. It will never fall under human rights to keep silent on abusers. No matter which group you aim to help.

What such selfish and juvenile people fail to understand is that no matter how many groups for men you start, it won’t absolve the harm being done by men, just like no matter how many womens groups get started, it cannot absolve the harm done by women. For example, when it comes to child abuse, other than pedophilia, other kinds of abuse are also perpetrated by women in fairly large numbers. A woman being beaten by her husband will not excuse her beating up a child – to put it bluntly. There never will be a day when a human rights activist – whether for men or women says “ok, see, the rapist is a victim of other women in his life too, so we should not object to a rape” or “men have so much pressure for home expenses, that it was understandable he burned his wife when she didn’t get him money”. It is possible for an abuse victim to be an abuser, but the abuse will still be wrong – in both cases. The objections women’s groups are raising will not be negated by men’s rights work. It is pure immaturity that makes the guilty conscience wish for a smokescreen.

How do I look? Is this dress ok?

Many men described this as an “irritating habit” of women. To me, this statement says that the woman is trying to please someone who doesn’t give a fuck and finds these interactions a burden. To me, the real concern with such insecure questions is an over anxiety to please, which comes from fearing consequences of not pleasing.

In my view, if a person finds it difficult to accept such minor quirks – it isn’t exactly the end of the world to answer a question – then the lack of tolerance in the relationship is more concerning than the questions themselves. I mean that it is natural to be irritated by questions, but to provide them as an example of harassment of men by women as counterpoints to issues of mortal danger to women seems like disproportionate anger. It would be like objecting to activism against rising incidents of murders by describing how the people who are targetted are really irritating – as if it is not as serious, because they are problems anyway.

Though I do think women should stop doing this, because it is an acknowledgment of a veto power over their personal preferences. They may get vetoed, but at least the woman shouldn’t invite it. I think it is ok in intimate relationships where it is mutual and leads to useful feedback, but by and large, women should stop asking for any approvals for how they want to be.

Being “forced” to watch soap operas

I would like this person to swear an oath on what he holds dear that he doesn’t dominate the TV when he wants – be it news or a match. But culturally, I think it is fine if the man acts like a hog, but a woman being inconvenient is a deep flaw about the woman.

Women get hysterical, over react, nag

This is pure bull shit. Disaproval is at the root of this. If you say something you think is important and it doesn’t get heard, you repeat louder. The next time you see a “hysterical” or “nagging” woman, an exercise is to look at how the first time she said it was received. If you only find women nagging, perhaps you are willing to listen to men, but not women or at least those certain women. That said, you can catch yourself nagging if they refuse to do what you tell them. Or for shits and giggles refuse to listen to someone you think doesn’t nag and watch them transform.

Free yourself permanently from nagging by learning to be responsible for your side of communications. This also goes for women who think men nag, if any.

Though if you find yourself nagging, whatever your gender, it is a good idea to stop, because the need to nag itself means it isn’t working.

In conclusion

There is plenty such garbage incoming on a daily basis. One common factor seems to be double standards. A woman shopping is frivolous. A man shopping is not noticed. Men bathing in deos till an asthmatic person can’t come close to them will whine about the cosmetics their wives buy (never mind that deos need purchased way more frequently than lipsticks).

It seems that we may make many pretenses to be modern, but the freedom that entails is limited to men and expecting greater standards from women, while women exerting their freedoms face social censure. The resentment toward women exerting their will is actually increasing. A recent example is “I allow my wife to handle her own investments herself”. Good morning, Sherlock, if you were really supportive of her freedom, the question of your permission wouldn’t arise at all, because it isn’t your money in the first place.

Our culture is increasingly one where women are objects, and astonishingly, I find working class women from my mother’s generation far more confident and secure about their place in the world than today, even though today’s woman appears to be more free. It seems that while more and more parents have set daughters free, exactly the opposite is happening in societies and working environments at large. The opportunism inherent in seeing women as objects rather than people is on the rise, and I do suspect it has a lot to do with media.

Many times, there are ways of speaking with or women that I object to, which raise protests saying “come on, we weren’t serious! we respect women!” in my view, that is far more serious than a deliberate insult, because derogatory language is actually enshrined as  acceptable. It may seem superficially witty to make

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About the Author

Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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