On In People & Politics

What Are the Common Forms of Prejudice That Men Face?

Sexism can happen to anyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity. Being a female writer, I frequently come across the cases that portray the ill-treatment women are facing. I feel generous that a huge portion of population fight for the rights of women in India. But somewhere according to me, we forget to realise that even men face such similar issues. The distressing concern is, men now feel they are being unfairly targeted simply for being MALE.  Most of you would agree that we are heading towards a world that may be very hard for men, while some of you may not. But to solve the problem of sexism against men, we should first accept that it exists. So, here are some common forms of prejudice that men often face.   

#1. Laws for sexual harassment or rape.

After the amendment bill passed in 2013, the moment a woman files an FIR (first information report) against a man, the police will arrest him. The investigation occurs later. All a woman has to do to ruin someone's life or reputation or to blackmail someone is fake a few bruises and file an FIR.    

#2. Dowry Death (Section 304B of Indian Penal Code). 

If somebody's wife dies of any cause other than a natural death within seven years of their marriage, a criminal case may be filed against him. And the investigation leads to any kind of proof that soon before her death, she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by him or any of his relatives, the death will be considered a murder for not fulfilling dowry promise or for extracting more money from her family. The punishment for this is seven years of imprisonment for him and his relatives.     

#3. Domestic Violence (Section 498A of Indian Penal Code). 

If a lady goes and files a complaint against her husband or in-laws to a nearby police station, they are ASSUMED GUILTY, till proven innocent. So, the burden of proving their innocence lies on the husband/in-laws, else they can very well rot in jail. This section is non-bailable (they have to appear in court and get bail from the judge), non-compoundable (complaint can't be withdrawn) and cognisable (register and investigate the complaint, although in practice most of the time arrest happens before investigation). 

#4. Adultery (Section 497 of Indian Penal Code). 

Only a man can be proceeded against and punished for adultery (sexual acts between a married person and someone who is not that person's spouse), but the wife cannot be, even as an abettor. 

#5. Same views, different responses!

When Jitan Ram Manjh once said, "If both the man and the woman are adults and their relationship is consensual, there is nothing wrong with having an affair. This is a personal choice," the reactions were, "How can he say things like that, he doesn't deserve to live, a pervert CM."But when a woman said, "I'm a woman and it's my choice to have sex outside marriage," it was termed as a statement for Women Empowerment.   

#6. Men are always asked to push their limits. 

Although a majority of women make less than men on the job; men are expected to relocate more often, work longer hours, and to keep a smaller cut of their paycheques for themselves than women due to socially decided portions of obligations such as mortgages, romantic outings, and such.   

#7. Chivalry 

Chivalry is the biggest instance of sexism against men. Men are expected to open the door for the girl, to pull out her chair. If a girl is seen doing the same for a guy (maybe even because she wants to), the guy is perceived as being haughty, uncaring and possibly even tortures her at home. Going on a date? The guy has to pay, obviously. The girl just needs to come, hang out, waste the guy's money and leave. 

#8. After the divorce, the  wife is likely to get the kids.

There is an explicit bias against the father being awarded custody of children during a divorce, irrespective of considering which is the better parent. 

#9. Some roles are traditionally reserved for women. 

Nursing, child care, primary school teaching, such are the roles that are traditionally reserved for women. Men who enter these roles are often suspected of being homosexual, lacking in masculinity or sometimes even child sex offenders. 

#10. Ever heard of the word HOUSEHUSBAND? 

Society has told men that they are meant to meet those expectations society has laid out for them and this is a kind of sexism men face today. They are even asked to be shamed or not taken seriously if they do not do so. They even face criticism on what men are 'supposed to be like'. Men should be the ones bringing food to the table. They should be the ones working. Mothers should be with the kids. 

#11. Men are far more likely to find themselves homeless.

Men are far more likely to find themselves homeless. There is a disproportionate effort tackling homelessness for women than for men. Even the migrant women are accepted into new communities more easily than men.Mostly every day we notice cases of women suffering, but now it is time to accept that men too suffer.If you have an interesting story to share, please write to me at guneet@wittyfeed.com.