The Patriarchy Cripples Men Too. Here’s Why.
The Patriarchy that people today refer to is a system of values built on a male lead model where the ‘man’ of the family is expected to take the lead and responsibility for all decisions in life and elsewhere. While this may have given power for men to rule over women (which is the case even today) it is a system that puts a huge load on men to perform to be ‘Alpha’ to an extent where humanity is forgotten.
If you take a basic family unit – the father has to provide – money, security and a future for his wife and children. There is the constant burden to provide, regardless of personal challenges and desires for a life besides the one designated for him. This results in men learning to hide their emotions which eventually cripple their ability to empathise and deal with their own wounds. And these wounds keep festering.
From childhood, boys are taught “boys don’t cry” and if they do “why are you crying like a girl?” As they grow up, in all male schools – the standard would be “don’t be a pussy” “don’t be a wuss machan” and similar phrases which teach boys to suppress their emotions and to “be the man”. This continues into adulthood, even at offices and in the usual social and “Old Boys” circles in society. Ego triumphs and insecurities fuel that ego.
Now glorification of Alpha males is all around us. From cigarette ads with cowboys smoking in some Texas hole (never mind that nicotine will eventually kill you), to guys bullying others, beating each other up in prefect rooms, big matches to glorification of “war heroes” and the need to “fight like a man” where young men are given guns to kill fellow human beings in the name of nationalism and patriotism. No one is talking about what those wars do to these young men – traumatizes them to an extent where PTSD is killing them but society is busy erecting monuments, billboards and giving them medals which are millstones dragging them to sure despair and destruction. But wars fund economies and never mind the men (and now women) that we sacrifice in the process. The usual way for men to deal with their “problems” is to turn to alcohol, cigarettes, sex, drugs, gambling and some kind of escape that is temporary. These escape routes are not just encouraged, they are glorified. “Drink you bugger, where are your balls?” “Come let’s get you a good Russian whore. You will forget that woman in no time” are just some of the things most men would hear. Rarely would a man be encouraged to seek therapy and counseling. Those again are considered “weak” traits coz men are expected to be infallible.
The notions of success for a man are often described in very material or physical terms – own a car, Rolex (or similar ridiculously priced watch), look like the Man of Steel (V shaped physique with chiseled features), attract plenty of women and present yourself as provider of your family and protector of mankind. This is a load of tosh if one were to ever get to know even the so called most “tough men” out there. Truth is humans have many traits and labeling traits like empathy and the ability to show emotions as being ‘weak’ is slowly killing the men of today though few realize it.
The suicide rate for men in the world is higher than it is for women. One must ask why this is. Not just say “he couldn’t hack it and so he took the easy way out”. Men aren’t allowed to feel, to deal and to just be. There is constant pressure and this pressure comes from women too. Not just other men. Plenty of mothers are teaching their sons toxic traits of living upto some robotic stereotype of how a man should be and plenty of women are wooing men and expecting them to be the proverbial knight in shining armour. If a man is abused or raped “Oh take it like a man”. If he is beaten up by someone else “oh fight back”. We are expecting men to be moulded by violence, influenced by unreal standards of living and how the fuck can any of them be human? The men of today are vacillating between extreme Alpha traits and the desire to just be and it’s slowly destroying them. Depression is rife. Substance abuse is rife. And yet the bloody patriarchy stands like the shadows of death looming over all.
God help any man if he is gay. From the ‘samanalaya’, ‘ponnaya’ to the usual ‘poof’, the lingo just gets nasty, petty as it threatens some heterosexual cock and bull rhetoric that is championed as being that of a “true man”.
These toxic traits are what patriarchy encourages. Patriarchy serves no one – it gives men a false sense of power and ego while crushing them from within and it just posits women as inferior and powerless compared to this unreal ideal of a man. While the world today is focused on what it has done to women, few realize how toxic patriarchy is for men too.