“The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

Let me share some parts I agreed with (in blockquotes) from this link shared by Sundar, Why Indian Men Are Still Boys – Nisha Susan (Tehelka.com). 

Disclaimer: Not all Indian men fit into the stereotype being analysed below though a large number does. Often, those who don’t, risk being seen as irresponsible, selfish, impractical, unmanly, Joru ka gulaam, disrespectful, disobedient or immature etc.

1. “I have a cousin in New York, a 35-year-old professor. He sent word home that he wanted a beautiful 19-year old village girl. She had to be musical, highly religious and from a strict Brahmin family. But since he fancied himself as very modern, his wife would have to cook meat for him. Whether or not this would violate her beliefs did not matter. And, of course, his parents found him one.”

Not only did the parents ‘found him one’, they also expect, train, appreciate, respect, and are grateful for his lack of ability to find himself a partner. Hence,  ‘He has never needed to please.’ 

2. KRISHNA, A 24-year-old software engineer who moved from Kerala to Bengaluru for work, seems to have the opposite problem. Allowed by his parents to find a girl for himself, he is out hunting. But as he says, giggling, “Things are very difficult. I am not getting any.” Krishna is suffering from the cruelest and newest of India’s free markets: the singles scene. Nothing he has learnt so far in his young life has taught him how to engage the attentions of a woman. He has never needed to please. That’s the single thread that connects him with the New York professor: an unexamined sense of selfentitlement.

Do you see something wrong with an adult man not needing to please his partner?

Here’s one of the things it does, “Instituting the idea of marital rape raises the specter of a man going for long periods without sex even though he’s married!” (a post by Bhagwad Jal Park)

Rigid Patriarchy and Patrilocality create a culture where men can expect to have their needs ‘looked after’. 

3. THERE seems to be a simple equation between parents and the drought of responsible, responsive Indian men. In the homes of People Like Us, young boys do not automatically learn to cook or even to be grateful to those who cook for them. They are rarely taught to anticipate other people’s needs. They are not automatically involved in the care of siblings, the elderly or the ill, while their sisters are encouraged to keep vrats (or fasts) as spiritual general insurance for the whole family.

They are not taught to settle conflicts peacefully or, to use the unfortunate phrase, to occasionally shut up and put up. Indian boys are not just perpetrators: they are victims of the plague of the stereotype.

Because while Indian women are only required to be dependent and obedient daughters in law,

 4. Indian men are only required to be sons.

Becoming husbands is seen as being irresponsible. Link: An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

While Indian women are trained to fit into their given ‘space in the adult world’ hierarchy (right at the bottom)

5. Unlike Indian women who are trained emotionally and socially by parents and society to gear up for a time when they must leave their parental home and occupy their space in the adult world, and unlike their self-sufficient counterparts in western countries, there are no major markers to end childhood for Indian men.

Indian men are not raised to be independent, responsible adults.

6. He is the one who brings the attitude of the thwarted child to any zone of conflict: an accident on the road, a difference of opinion with a spouse or child, an employee not subservient enough. The hushed whisper families maintain around the tyrant of the house is uncannily similar to the ones that surround a colicky baby.

The same mindset ‘justifies’ street sexual harassment or sexual crimes men commit. Link: In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

7. He leverages power so casually it seems to be his by natural right. To him and to others around him — us — it is legitimate for him to exert measured but highly effective violence to protect his way of life. He is the man who is impeccably well-behaved everywhere but at home, where he throws plates if meals are late. The man who finds it difficult to deal with his girlfriend’s higher income….

Related posts:

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

The men expect to be the top priority in their spouse’s life but they are told she should not be their top priority for she might take them away from their parents.

Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

‘This ‘I, Me, Myself’ culture that most of you on this forum are propagating itself is hypocrisy.’

“…if this thing comes out my husband will think my wife is after all not that ‘pure’ or is not that ‘untouched flower’”

My wife will inherit my family’s property, her brothers too will share their property with their respective wives.

“A protected generation of women like my grand mother’s did NOT seek equal rights.”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

“Well, if it is about the maid, then in that case lets just get Murali (my uncle) married!!!!”

66 thoughts on ““The sense of entitlement that’s hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household”

  1. India has become a PagalKhaana….Women in bad shape, Men in bad state but with all free power to be mad…
    Back from Vacation to see just another horrible news…

    Like

  2. Both men & women suffer due to patriarchy but this troubles women more. At the same time, as long as we keep using words like victim, we will remain inactive and not take charge. As many women as men are misogynists in our society. Also, I keep asking myself, why do we keep short charging ourselves. What if we refuse to accept poor behavior and say I deserve better. Would not that force men also to step up?

    Like

      • I would actually be easier if we did not ‘entitile’ people to permit, allow, forbid, ban, restrict, expect obedience of us!

        Like

      • That was wishful thinking on my part IHM🙂

        At the same time, things are not black and white. Lately, I am seeing so many people who are abroad (so the system supports them right?) but still stuck in the “I come from conservative India” mentality. I see many people who have extremely liberal parents (like western parents) & still they are also stuck in conservatism. They live abroad, they have liberal parents but they cannot break free. But girls who come from villages are breaking free the moment they get the chance. So, why is this happening? Are we waiting for society to become liberal. But society is made of people. And people are waiting for other people to become liberal. We will be stuck or change at a very slow pace if we depend on that to happen.

        Like

    • I agree with you, Boiling. And I think refusing poor behaviour takes great courage, but if you are hundreds and thousands to do it, things are bound to change.

      Like

    • @Boiling –
      “What if we refuse to accept poor behavior and say I deserve better”.

      It’s easier for women our generation to say this because there are more and more people like us coming together for this cause. If my grandmother had the same ideals like mine, I’m sure, her life would have been made hell by others in the family/society. While I have been given the freedom to be able to make my own living if required, women two generations back were hardly given any mental strength let alone education to even think about it.
      Sadly girls watch other women in the family adjusting and when it’s their turn, they adjust too and the cycle just continues…

      Like

  3. I do not know whether to laugh or cry after reading this. One can very easily cook up such skewed stereotypes just about any group of people. Think about replacing “Indian Men” with your favourite hated group and their stereotypical attributes and see how ridiculous it looks. What it is describing is a archetypical patriarchal, agrarian tyrant which probably is more common in fiction than anywhere else. But again, I have never been to India so I do not know. But if true, I would be very much amazed how a modern society is working with attitudes applicable to underdeveloped ancient cultures ( like I would more easily believe such a description for rural Pashtun males).
    “He has never needed to please”, ” They are rarely taught to anticipate other people’s needs”. Unbelievable.

    Like

    • Just read a little bit of actual article and can’t stop laughing at: “Indian men are ugly on account of the three Hs: hygiene, hair and horrible habits. Despite the way they look, they’re always paired off with goodlooking women.” This is the kind of statement you would expect from a white supremacist or something..

      Like

    • Unfortunately, many men do behave like “archetypal, agrarian tyrants” when they are thwarted by a woman, especially a wife or girlfriend. Indian men are conditioned to respect women only if they are mother figures. All other women deserve to be respected only if they do not break stereotypes. The sense of entitlement runs so deep because Indian society trains women to adjust to men but never vice-versa.
      I had a male professor in college who would crack dirty jokes even when female students were present.
      I once took him aside and asked him to stop because even though female students were uncomfortable, none dared to speak up. He announced to the class that I had asked him to stop and that he would do so, adding, “There is no difference between arguing with a woman and hitting your head against a wall.”

      Like

  4. It might be true for some men that they suffer in patriarchy but i believe from my experience that most of them are just happy about it. They don’t want it to change, even after all that education or staying abroad and looking at those a little more balanced cultures.
    I have a question here.. If men are expected to behave in a certain way, taking many things for granted regarding expectations/responsibilities of a wife then why things change when its concerning their sister. Then in that case, her in laws become all negative characters while his parents/himself have been doing the same things themselves..
    how can someone be so blind to this differential behaviour? This really boggles me!!

    Like

  5. The saddest part is to see some of the younger generation of well educated, modern lifestyle parents also contributing to this ‘entitlement’ mentality in their male children. A friend of mine has a 8 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. The family lives in the US, both parents are highly educated. However I see subtle discrimination in everyday life – the girl is sometimes asked to fetch water for guests – and she is praised with ‘Good job’ once she does the task. She is sometimes asked to help her mom carry plates of snacks to the guests sitting in the living room. Not once have I see the boy being asked to do the same. The girl is always polite and well mannered. The boy is fixated on his games and TV and is barely courteous to guests. And then their mom complains how her husband does not help her at all with domestic stuff and she is so stressed out with managing the kids and the household. When we visit them, I refuse to be part of this discrimination. I smilingly do not let the girl do the tasks – and I indirectly try to get her mother to see how her son is going to grow up the same way as her husband. Unfortunately I don’t think anything that I say registers with her.
    These are subtle ways that the younger generation of parents can bring up their sons the wrong way, with a sense of entitlement or the right way as responsible and self reliant individuals.

    Like

  6. IHM, with all due respect (and I have loads and loads of that for you), I am highly highly skeptical if your blog is making any difference at all. Reason being, I have seen (more often than not) only like-minded people reading and commenting on your posts. However, the very people it is intended towards actually care a rat’s furry behind (pardon the language) for your efforts to make a difference. They live in their own well which they think is ll the world is about, and if and when they do peek out of the well, they go all out to make the outside identical to the inside. Where does your (or mine or anyone else’s) rational thought process figure in their world? All your efforts will count for zilch then, and that is saying something considering the unbelievable amounts of effort you have put and continue to put into these causes.

    PS: Forgive me for being rude or insensitive or mocking or cynical or anything else I may have come across as. I am so so so ticked off today, and I’m quoting the reason in the comment that follows. I wrote the above on a whim, without thinking what I was writing. When I finally read it, I decide against deleting it because, regardless of the mood I’m in, these cynical thoughts keep creeping into my head. Regardless of what I think or do, I can’t shake them off. I’m sorry, IHM. You mean so much to me.

    Like

    • With all due respect, I don’t feel like the point of this blog, or any blog at all, is to make a difference in people’s mentalities. Doing that is enormously difficult, and the bulk of the effort rests solely upon the people who own such misogynistic ideals to begin with. Unfortunately for us, we live in a world which places a lot of importance on “being right”. People are made to believe that there is little to no worth in being proven wrong, that if you are willing to admit that you are incorrect, you are weak and foolish. As a result of this, when people hold sexist beliefs, they are not willing to have them proven wrong.

      To me, IHM’s blog is comforting, because it tells me that I am not alone. That there are like minded people out there in the world, who are thoughtful and critical, who challenge the status quo and don’t take things for granted. Reading the posts on this blog and the subsequent commentors assuages my anger at being treated as less than human in so many spheres, because I know that this belief is not endemic, that there are people out there who definitely think differently. IHM’s blog gives me courage to go on and fight another day, to continue challenging the perceptions that are placed upon me. It gives me strength to know that I am not alone in feeling this way, that there are people out there who understand my emotions. IHM’s blog and her “open minded readers” validate my humanity, even as the world tries to invalidate it. And that, I think, is far far more important than changing a perspectives.

      You cannot wait around for people to change their ideals and then have them recognize your humanity. As a woman, you have always been human, and the important thing is to have oppressed individuals understand this first and foremost. You cannot wait for other people to grant you permission to live your life. You need to have the courage to live your life as you see fit, irrespective of what people think. And IHM’s blog, and blogs like hers, are vital in establishing this courage in people.

      Like

      • “To me, IHM’s blog is comforting, because it tells me that I am not alone.”

        Spot on! I’ve always felt the same. I don’t always agree with IHM’s point of view and sometimes I find myself disagreeing with many other people here, but fact remains that this is a platform where I am able to feel that I am not a freak of nature. This was especially true when I was undergoing pressure and felt at odds with people whose duty it was to support me. I can totally understand how women who face threatening situations on a daily basis would need a place like this.

        Like

        • “To me, IHM’s blog is comforting, because it tells me that I am not alone.” Agree with that. I rarely came across liberal Indian women before this. I know many modern Indian women but they do not care about feminism because their lives are okay, they can wear western clothes (as much as society allows) & drink but they do not care about feminism. I really like emails from writers because everybody pretends our system works but it does not.

          Like

    • Surbhi , and IHM … I just want to say this blog has made and continues to make a huge difference to some people.

      Five years ago , I was stuck in a dead end marriage. I was not happy , critisised day in and day out for how I cannot manage my work and all the household chores, cooking endlessly weekdays and weekends , and in short really really miserable. My self confidence and esteem had taken a bad beating and even at work I found myself not being assertive enough and not performing as well. When I told my friends and family about my unhappiness , I mostly got responses on the lines of lower your expectations. Detach yourself from the criticism and verbal abuse. It’ll get better once you have kids . Learn to enjoy cooking. And the most common at least he doesn’t hit you.

      I was at an all time low , feeling trapped and stuck forever , not sure how to proceed , beginning to wonder if the problem was with me and not him …when random googling led me to IHM blog and suddenly, slowly I realised that I am not alone, not wrong. Sometimes all you need is validation, which in our society can be hard to come by and I was able to eventually muster the courage to walk out… Regain control on my life, laugh freely again (really I had stopped laughing freely in my marriage) and couple more years down the line to find and fall in love with one of those rare Indian men who is an adult and independent.

      I dread to think what might have happened if I hadn’t stumbled on this blog. IHM, because of you and your continued efforts, my life is so much better now. Please don’t stop blogging. Thank you.

      Like

      • I would also like to add that this blog validates my opinions. Thank god for the internet and thanks IHM for this blog. I am sure there are many more people who have found this blog to be their oasis amidst misogynist advice which is forced down their throats in abundance. This blog is one of my very first support systems and I hope to give something back by commenting on people’s posts who are facing similar problems.

        Like

      • Congratulations on the changes in your life. You seem to have changed things in your life significantly which is not an easy thing to do. Maybe you should write more about the steps you took, it might help other readers of this blog. IHM, maybe you should a series of reader stories. For e.g. I remember wildchild also turned to this blog for advice.

        Like

    • All of us who are active on such social networking forums may be guilty from time to time of this “cynisicm” of yours, of not being sure what purpose, if any, can we serve by baring a part of our minds and souls in front of so many strangers. But, just step back and look at what we have achieved here (I say with due credit and respect to IHM, of course, but also to her followers) : A virtual sisterhood. You say like-minded as if it’s a problem. Look at what havoc this ‘brotherhood’ of like-minded men has wreaked on us (I say brotherhood here to indicate patriarchy; not those men who do their absolute best to lead equitable lives). It is upon like-minded people like us, men and women, but especially women, to bring about a change. We say that more than the change in political and judicial system, we need a change in our social system. This exchange of ideas here does exactly that.
      I’ll bet there are more women than do comment here who just come to read, and if they take back even a single idea home, apply it to improve their lives on any level at all, it is a step towards a better future. Kudos IHM!

      Like

    • It is making a difference!!! I know at least five people who were linked to this blog one way or another and now read it all the time. Nd they are young, around 19 or 20. It may not reach the misogynistic people it is targeted towards, but there are many people who feel that the great Indian culture is hypocritical in many ways, but do not know how to express it. When they reach tis blog, they see a well-articulated viewpoint, and realise that they are not the only people who feel this way. This blog exposes people to so many social issues.
      See-you will never be able to convince someone who is totally opposed to you. It is easier to get people on your side who are unsure of where they stand and are wiling to listen. This blog reaches out to those people. And it is doing an amazing job.

      Like

    • @Surbhi, do you have the statistics of people who have read this blog, not commented and had been influenced, or at least question a few things in their life and start a chani of thought in others around them?
      Cynicism never helped anyone ever, but an effort like IHM’s has and will.

      Like

    • @Surbhi: IHM’s blog does make a difference.

      I was conditioned to be guilty every time I thought/did things differently from what was expected of me, and I invariably felt guilty a lot of the time. Subconsciously, I felt that I was a bad daughter to my parents, and it was not a good place to be. The validation I received from IHM’s blog was very important to me, and I’m sure many others have similar experiences.

      So there.🙂

      Like

  7. Yes women suffer more than men but then if women put a stop to this enabling behavior and by women i mean MIL’s , mom’s just about everyone, then the male patriarchs will have no choice but to follow.

    1. Teach your son/daughter .raise them as human beings
    2. Be a normal human towards your DIl, dont act like god.
    3. dont restrict women/girls in your family – even for their protection, enable them

    lo behold, half the battle won,
    your sons wont go and abuse anyone, wont grope anyone and will treat their wives with respect, you will treat your DIL as you would treat your son an dher mo m wil treat your son as she treats her daughter, you will share everything wedding related or you will let the kids finance their own wedding, you will plan fo rretirment and be an individual rather than demand payment for having kids.. and done..
    half the men ar etrained by this and their dad’s will soon fall in line.

    sigh i know simple to say hard to execute , but yet i dream.

    Like

  8. It is very true what you said… I myself have an Indian (Tamil) husband who is very different from the rest of his family. He does almost all the cooking, treats me as an equal partner, he is very close to my parents, and is a very attentive father to our daughter. But many of the other Indian men in our family are not like that, especially of the elder’s generation. Many have not even changed a diaper and have basically no responsibilities in the house except providing financially. I find many of these men to be immature, pampered, entitled, clueless and co-dependant. They simply could not survive without the women of the house. My MIL says that many of the more traditional males are absolutely clueless to offer help, and the women don’t ask because the men do not even offer…a vicious cycle. The Indian women in our family are the strong ones – they do the work of 20 people, and many even have full-time jobs.
    I think my husband is different due to his upbringing with his parents (they are different also) and also he said he had a strong desire to be an independant person. He didn’t want to be doted on, that’s why he helped his mother out in the kitchen and learned how to be an excellent cook. I just wish more of the traditional Indian men would take that initiative too…

    Like

  9. Ok, so here’s the reason why I’m so off my rocker today. I came across a horrid news report on the Times of India website yesterday. It was about this filth of the earth who raped his own 3-year-old daughter because his wife refused sex with her inebriated, probably stinking, and utterly disgusting husband. Here’s the link to the report.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Father-rapes-3-year-old-after-wife-refuses-sex-girl-critical/articleshow/21967595.cms

    Now, there was something else that added fuel to the fire already raging in me after reading the report. It was a comment on the forum below the report. And I quote the comment here, because no amount of writing it in my own words will do justice to the sheer filth of it.

    “This one is open an shut case. Arrest the wife as well. She’s married. How can she deny him sex or vice versa for that matter.”

    Oh wait, I just spotted more such gems which I am reproducing below:

    “That was mistake of his wife so do with her mother why he did with his own daughter??? idiot”

    “Liquor is root of evil here, wife should act more intelligently as Sex is prime form of entertainments among poor ( reason of exploding population ), also how did mother never got to know the missing girl, as she was only 3, they need constant care. I find both husband and wife part of this act.”

    “it is completely the wife’s mistake.”

    I began replying to a couple of these, but was so utterly disgusted and disappointed that I couldn’t respond any further. Moreover, TOI allows such appalling stuff to be published but bans my comment saying it has ‘inappropriate’ wording. That left me even more disgusted.

    Like

  10. That first example with the 35 year old professor makes me sick to my stomach. What 35 year old, in their right minds, would want to be with a 19 year old girl? Especially one that does not know him? And worse, his entitled mentality is supported and perpetrated by his parents, who see absolutely nothing wrong with this situation. =/

    I see this entitlement a lot, and even more often, I see how much this entitlement is fostered in Indian men. When my parents are looking for a boy for my sister, there are endless lists of qualities that a girl should have. She should be willing to shift for her partner. She should be able to cook this. She should cook that. She should be heavily into carnatic music (this was an actual request). She should be able to play racketball and go to the gym three times a week (another actual request).

    But the instant the girl makes ANY such request from the boy, all bets are off. She’s called selfish, she’s spoiled, her parents have ruined her with too much freedom. “What does this girl think of herself?” they will ask, “that she believes she can make such demands of the husband who is good enough to marry her. She should count herself lucky that she is getting married!”

    This is the problem facing one of the people I know, who’s into her thirties but still hasn’t gotten married yet. Everyone is going through various states of despair. Never mind the fact that she’s brilliant, has an excellent job, earns a truckload of money, and is extremely kind and smart and sensitive. She isn’t married, and she expects that the man who she marries should respect her career, shouldn’t ask her to move to the other end of the earth, and if possible, be willing to shift with her if the need arises. But for asking these things, she’s been called selfish and a whole load of other names. It’s pitiful.

    Like

    • And unfortunately, this particular trait is universal. Expecting smart women to dumb themselves down so they can “catch” a man. Otherwise – God help us! – they may remain unloveable singletons all their lives. Witness the best-selling “The Rules” and the article advising Princeton women to find a husband while on campus. She actually wrote “Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. ” The godawful woman even landed a book deal dishing out this regressive advice.

      Like

  11. Many Indian men, I would put it as sons, are not supposed to bring in a glass of water for his wife who is getting choked to death. It is a combined effort by the parents who refuse to let him grow and the son who is immature to decide whether to become a man of substance or remain a Shravan Kumar all his life.

    Like

  12. 1. I am consumed by my own sense of entitlement without realizing I feel entitled
    2. I didn’t buy my own underwear till i was 18.
    3. I couldn’t cook till i got married.
    4. I suffer from attention-deficit disorder
    5. I was never given a roll of dough to play with
    6. I don’t talk about my feelings

    hence I’m a misogynistic woman-killing/beating/chopping-up-like-onion beast. According to this article. i find it crap And before you make more judgments, despite this sort of upbringing, i am a ‘househusband’ myself !

    Like

    • Dude, I’m not quite sure how you made the jump from not buying your underwear until you were 18 to being a “woman-killing/beating/chopping-up-like-onion beast.” That is not the type of misogyny this article was directing it’s ire towards. It was talking about the every day misogyny that women face, as a result of every day entitled attitudes of men. Not some extreme that you are talking about.

      Also, being a “househusband” means nothing. I know plenty of men who can cook, but still behave like spoiled, entitled little brats when something does not go their way. Being self-sufficient =/= not being entitled. There’s a difference there. Then again, if people are too busy being inflamed about semantics, they won’t be able to see that difference to start with.

      Like

      • I didn’t jump to any conclusions but was just appalled by the journalist’s generalization about Indian men. And if she is also stating that child rearing techniques should be same for boys and girls, she is wrong again (dough playing example).

        Like

        • I agree. The journalist wants to talk about Indian men being entitled, which is a truth of the society, but goes about it in a condescending way. Which is fine I guess, just her style, but I don’t think it really adds anything to the topic.
          The gist of the article seems to be this- ALL Indian men behave like entitled brats, it’s their parents fault, and now some want to change. Also, she is fixated on the ‘ALL Indian men are basically children’ hypothesis and is determined to prove it with a few anecdotes about hostels and underwear buying.

          As for markers of adulthood- she can’t seem to establish any, other than ragging? Really? How about their first paycheck that ultimately is used be society to determine the overall value of their personhood?

          Like

    • I didn’t like the article. I don’t like such stereotypes. If the author wants to make a point about large sections of society , it needs to sound less like a rant and more evidence-based. Which is obviously out of the question because, well, the evidence would say that there are many men who are none of the things she’s said.

      Regarding the picture of misogyny she’s painted for us amongst the upper/educated classes, I don’t doubt for a moment that it doesn’t exist. I also guess it’s true that woman are always mentally prepared to leave the parental home, while that’s not necessarily true of men.

      However IMHO it’s a bit disingenous to portray ONLY Indian men as ‘childish’ adults, because the infantilisation of Indian women is so much more rampant and dangerous. SHE is the one always deemed to be under some or the other male’s care, irrespective of her standing in life.

      The immature Indian man will show his immaturity by way of tantrums and demanding to be be spoilt, but he retains AGENCY over his own life, even if his mom is buying his underwear!
      An Indian woman is so completely brainwashed to believe in her own immaturity that she surrenders her identity, her decision making and her choices to the family/society.

      Like

      • “well, the evidence would say that there are many men who are none of the things she’s said.”

        Why don’t people understand that just because there are many men out there who are none of the things she’s said, does not invalidate her claims or make her criticism any less valid? Of COURSE there are exceptions to every claim. This is humanity that we are talking about. Any rant or blanket statement comes with the implicit disclaimer that none of this applies to all of the people of a particular group.

        But that does not make her statements any less valid or her critcisim any less important. To negate all of that, simply because she does not shoe horn in a few words to keep a percentage of people happy is not a good thing to do. It takes away from the original, very valid arguments that she is making, which in fact DO apply to a vast number of Indian men. She does not need to add qualifiers when it should be obvious to everyone that such qualifiers exist.

        “because the infantilisation of Indian women is so much more rampant and dangerous. SHE is the one always deemed to be under some or the other male’s care, irrespective of her standing in life.”

        Who is at fault for the infantilization of Indian women? It is not Indian women themselves who place themselves willingly in such situations. It is Indian society, cultural norms, and those with power in our culture who relegate them to such positions in society. To equate the infantilization of Indian women as something comparable to the entitled behaviour of Indian men is disingenuous at best and stinks of victim blaming.

        Am I saying that this is not a problem? Of course not. It is a problem, but it is not a problem that stems directly from Indian women themselves. They are not the ones imprisoning themselves.

        Entitled Indian men, on the other hand, do tend to be fully aware of their entitlement and continue to behave in ways that allow them to exercise and perpetuate it. They believe that they must be catered to, in all spheres of life, that others exist to be there for them. This behaviour manifests itself not only in explicit ways (such as when a man demands certain characteristics of women), but also in implicit ways.

        Like

        • You need to be two to tango. When someone tries to infantilize you, you are free not to comply. Everyone is born with a free soul and a free mind.

          Like

        • “When someone tries to infantilize you, you are free not to comply.”

          When someone tries to be free not to comply, they are faced with ostracism, disownment, economic destitution, threats, forced imprisonment, abuse, blackmailing, and in worst cases, death. And this is in a country where there is often little to no support offered for people who wish to escape such infantilization, where divorced women are left penniless, where married and unmarried women in many cases are often raised with little to no life skills to survive outside the home (because of infantilization), where the police and society offers little to no support for victims who try to free themselves, either financially or education wise. This is a culture that attacks women who exert their adulthood and try to say no, that blames them when they are in trouble after having “not complied” with societal norms and standards.

          So yes, theoretically, you are completely free to not comply. But practically, the consequences of exerting such freedoms and throwing away the mantle of infantilization can be disastrous. In addition, when you are conditioned from birth in an environment that constantly tells you that you cannot survive without the metaphorical umbilical cord that ties you to your parents and your husband, women are raised to believe that there is no other option. They are raised to believe that the only thing they have is the ability to comply, and they are not educated otherwise. Add to that a hostile society, with no safety net and support system, and it becomes quite clear why there are “two to tango”.

          Infantilization is done psychologically, and it is a systematic method of abuse that chips away at a person’s self-esteem throughout their entire life. This is not something that is easily undone, and it cannot be undone by merely telling a person that they should “not comply”. It is never as simple as that.

          Like

        • Of course, this is not to say that people should not do it. It is only by “not complying” that anything will ever get done. But in the process of telling someone not to comply, people should not forget the enormous undertaking that it is.

          Like

        • @A
          Please note that the entire article has been written using the phrase ‘the Indian male’- which is very different from saying ‘the average Indian man’ or ‘some Indian men’ or even ‘Indian men’. It is more than just a generalisation, and such a definitive phrase on the part of the author is off-putting TO ME. I don’t have to justify my reaction to anyone.
          I would have the same problem with an article written about ‘the Indian female’.
          It is reductive and insulting.

          As I’ve also said before,if you’ve read my comment,that the author does have valid points to make, but I’m appalled at the way she has made them. Quotes like this – “Indian men are ugly on account of the three Hs: hygiene, hair and horrible habits”- are ridiculous.
          It reduces the article to the level of a rant-with-an-agenda.

          Re: ‘victim blaming’- when exactly did I do that? I was merely pointing out that Indian society does not like to give too much ‘adulthood’ to either gender, male or female. And even in this deprivation of adult rights, women suffer more. The denial extends to very real issues such as right to work, reproductive rights and right to choose a spouse.
          The article however, doesn’t seem to acknowledge that, and seems to suggest that Indian women are more ‘adult’ or ‘evolved’ than the men. I disagree with that. Indian women are usually not allowed the luxury of true freedom and independence but are instead forced to shoulder so many crappy responsibilities that they appear to be more ‘responsible’ without having any rights that go along with the responsibilities!

          Ultimately, the entire article focuses on just how entitled THE INDIAN MALE is, which is probably a good topic to start a conversation, but I do dislike it’s overall tone.

          Like

        • “It is reductive and insulting.”

          What is more important here? The tone with which the article is written, or the content of the article which makes quite a few valid points? Is it worthwhile, in the end, to police a person’s tone when they are making valid statements?

          Tone policing distracts from the original message. It puts the focus on something that is far less important–the “reductive and insulting” consequences of the author’s article, when the focus should actually be on the far graver consequences that result from the entitlement complex that men have in our society. It undermines the author and the experiences of people who have faced similar things to that author, and tells them, “I will only listen to you if you write it in a way that does not insult me. If you do not write it the way I want to read it, I will not care what you have to say, even if it is valid and important criticism on society.”

          Also, your counter comparison to, “I would be as insulted if it was talking about women”, is not quite the same. Women are victims of systematic oppression in society, and are, to this day, victims of blanket statements from ALL places. Men, on the other hand, do not face this same kind of problem, because they are empowered in a society which continually supports them. To make a blanket statement about men in the effect the author does will irritate them. It will annoy them, and inflame them, but at the end of the day, they will go back to their lives and continue to enjoy the massive unbalance of power that is in their favour. This one, singular blanket statement is not something that is going to harm them in the same level that making blanket statements about women would.

          Is the article perfect? Of course not. But the fact that it is a rant does not make her words any less valuable or thought provoking, and it is important that we do not dismiss a person’s words simply because their tone is not acceptable to us.

          Like

        • @A

          Of course tone is important. A rant against immigration may have a few valid points, however, if is is extremely racist in TONE I would find myself less inclined to take it seriously.
          Also,as a reader I do have the right not to listen to someone if I think they are ranting. And it’s been two comments now where I’ve patiently explained that I’ve found bits of her piece valid. But that doesn’t mean I that I have to like her article.
          Also, it’s not just the tone, but also other bits of the content that I find problematic.

          Anyhow, there is such a thing as personal opinion of a piece of writing, which cannot really be changed.
          Regarding my problem with the phrase usage, well the class of people the writer is referring to (she even calls them People Like Us)-the upper-middle class,educated, urban, well-heeled- I tend *not* to have double standards for the men and women of this class. That’s just me,again. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion.

          Like

      • I am a fan of the author (she’s the woman behind the pink chaddi campaign) but I didn’t like this article either.I did nod my head when reading a few lines, but the tone of the first paragraph of the article was a turn-off, and the ending came out of nowhere. Honestly, it read more like a first draft.

        Like

      • I agree with DesiDaaru on this. The article may raise some valid points, but putting all Indian men in 1 category, only serves to alienate them. Yes, I also get angry and brush an entire category in one stroke but this does not help in my experience. When we have stereotypes & put people in a box & look like we are not open to any changes in our opinion, we close discussion and the option of bringing people who may change to our side.

        Same thing with religion, racism. Do you think, I am open to another race or receiving opinions from them, when I know they think all Indians are smelly & dirty? So, I am also going to be intolerant & be unwilling to listen to them because they have put me in 1 category.

        I can logically try to explain to some men – who are on the borderline or never thought about these things, and maybe some would start thinking o it but if I said all Indian men are like this this, they would be like – oh she already thinks we are like this, whatever who cares, why should i try.

        Like

  13. An observation:
    The most bombastic generalizing male bashing quotes in that article are from two men. Not the women and not the author of the piece. And yet people complain the women are unfairly maligning these men.

    Funny that.

    Like

  14. Pingback: Interesting stories for Indian women this week!

  15. Pingback: “How to react when you know somebody is staring at you? I am not sure if I should slap him…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  16. Pingback: “She is barred from accessing Gtalk, YM, FB, twitter… Her calls and messages are checked every day. He does not want unnecessary tensions.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  17. Pingback: These lines sum up the biggest reason for male child preference and skewed gender ratio in India. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  18. Pingback: A light hearted take on the way future is dear to the girls and present to the boys? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  19. Pingback: 27 ways in which Patriarchy harms men. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  20. Pingback: Why it isn’t enough to raise independent daughters. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s