Yep, that is right. Another ‘enlightening’ definition of manhood has come up and you must take a good, HARD look to believe it:
— Khanicles (@MushtaqKhan) March 27, 2015
This is a front-page print ad published on March 27th, 2015, on Chennai Times by the brand Basics Life. With a readership of about 4 lakhs in Chennai alone, it makes a huge impact on what its readers take away from it – consciously or not. If you are shown something over and over, it makes a subtle yet indelible impact on your thinking, be it a print ad or a visual one. Just take the example of fairness creams. If the ads show that a woman succeeds in life – both in personal and professional – only if she’s fair, then you start to believe it, albeit over a period of time. While that is another loaded topic of discussion, this ‘manly’ ad tells the reader that it’s okay to be brash, loud, and hit on anything that moves. That it’s okay to treat your inferiors in a rude way. That it’s okay to treat women as someone inferior to you. This is just plain offensive – to both men and women.
Suggested read: Why Farhan Akhtar is a real MARD
But why? In a country that is balancing itself on a thin-edged sword, this shouldn’t come across as a surprise, right? In a land vacillating between dual ends of a gender spectrum wherein one end merits as many streams of spiteful invectives as is known to mankind and the other calls for an enthusiastic sanction and exhorts one toward the desired change, this should be okay, no? Wondering what I am getting at?
Isn’t it too obvious in a scenario where hundreds of animals masquerading about as men are ready to pounce upon anything with a vagina and a handful of men (like Farhan Akhtar), who recognize and appreciate women as their equals, are pushing to make a change?
Image source: Shutterstock
The gender discourse has been, since eons, morphed into a lopsided hegemonic cultural script in favor of the dominant ethos prevalent in the country and across the world – that of patriarchy. It is unsettling to know that we live in a culture that still deems one half of the world population as inferior to the other half, and has no qualms in propagating violence and mistreatment against the ‘lesser/weaker sex.’ In the face of the rape culture that seems to be eating away at the social fabric of the world, like a giant, ever-hungry monster, and other equally significant instances of violent behavior, the deployment of such a marketing strategy makes me want to throw up. Isn’t social media an enabling tool for bringing about massive change? Then, why am I, along with millions, being subjected to such BASIC trash? Coz BASIC-cally, the educated folks in the country sitting on their derrieres in their air-conditioned cabins and making presentations for social media marketing have forgotten their gender basics too, eh!
Not surprising. A lot of these bots are in the government too!
But isn’t it time that the definitions of manhood, so preached and widely circulated, be wiped and a more ‘equal’ system be put in place? Isn’t it time that the fast-ticking gender disaster bomb on the global scene that awaits its last tick be diffused? Isn’t it time that young men engage in critical dialogues about the existent definitions of masculinity, challenge them, and open up newer, ‘equal’ avenues for definition?
It is definitely time.
Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License
It is time that such ‘morphed’ definitions of what it means to be a ‘man’ doled out by patriarchal tenets be made into a thing of a shameful past. This rather damaging idea of masculinity, as a construct, is something that needs to be undone and reshaped into a conducive, symbiotic thriving ground for promoting gender equality.
Coz trust me, if all that makes you a man is that thing dangling between your legs that you have a right to use on any moving thing, and especially so if you are loud and brazen and a certified molester, and not to forget you wear BASIC clothing and accessories, I am ashamed you were ever pushed out one of the vaginas that you have no qualms attacking, when it is outside of your family! Sometimes, not even then!
Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License