Over the past year, I’ve seen many cases of violence against women in my neighbourhood unfold before my eyes. Some cases even involved calling the police. It’s unfortunate that people I know seem to believe it’s normal. Some even go on to justify it in terms of manifestation of frustration due to lockdown, and even worse than just “Buri-bura” (husband-wife) things.
While it’s unsettling for me to witness such violence, it’s disgusting to come to terms with the fact that these are the people who want to see me be successful; the parameters of which include being financially independent, earning big bucks and “societal recognition”. We are expected to become successful people with empty, shallow, cold and ruthless hearts. A summation of these “successful people” will make a society devoid of basic morals and ethics. It pains me to see that people who want good things for me are the people I do not want to be.
Of course, the “real” world is a harsh place, and competition and survival are the buzzwords. But what are we without our values? Why is violence against women still being justified on flimsy grounds? A blood smeared face and cries for help should not be passed off as routine matters. If no one tells you this, I will- VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN is not normal. Masculinity is toxic because it creates a false sense of superiority and entitlement, it normalizes the inherent sexism entrenched in our societies.
If one wants good things for family, friends and the world, then one should help them actually be a better person. There’s a truckload of resources available on material success, but not many on being a good person. I’m not here to stand on a moral pedestal and claim my moral superiority; I am here to simply state my disillusionment with role models in my life. Perhaps, masculinity is one of the biggest problems of our world. Macho this and macho that, but zero courage for standing up for the truth.
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By Paden Bhutia. She can be contacted at [email protected]