In what is possibly the most bizarre form of protest, some 150 men performed the last rites of their marital relationships and feminism in what is said to be a protest against feminism. Varanasi’s Manikarnika Ghat saw men gather for an event organised by Save Indian Family, an NGO, and Daaman Welfare Society.

These men, who gathered from all around the country claimed that feminism destroyed their families and they were there to protest against it and the ‘bias and atrocities’ against men caused by feminism.

This may seem asinine and even hilarious, but the wave against feminism among Indian men and even some woman has been going strong for a while now and this incident might be the call we need to remember how important it is to address it and its patriarchal roots.

Also read: The Misogyny And Deception Of Men’s Rights Activism

Hatred towards the feminist cause has been rampant in recent times, not just among the old who want to preserve their patriarchal culture as it is, but even among the young who see feminism’s objectives of equality and affording women public space as ridiculous or unnecessary. This is a result of extensive social conditioning everyone is subjected to from a very young age in patriarchal societies that are a breeding-ground of misogynistic attitudes.

these laws are structured this way is not because of feminism or feminists but soley because of patriarchy.

While some laws like India’s rape and domestic violence laws, need to be made gender neutral and adultery laws should be banished, most people who desire this do not see that the reason these laws are structured this way is not because of feminism or feminists – for most feminists aren’t happy with the state of these laws either. In fact, these laws exist this way because of patriarchy.

Patriarchy views women as weak and as mere accessories in public life to further men’s existence in public realms. It encourages men to incorporate toxic masculine attitudes, like aggression, violence, domineering behaviour, and other patriarchal and ghastly attitudes to seem like ‘real men‘ and prove their ‘manhood’ and ‘masculinity’. Because of this, those who believe that men are intrinsically this way also believe that only men are capable of violence or that men cannot be sexually abused or harassed.

This doesn’t stem from some collective hatred for men or the collective desire to do right by women. It, in fact, stems from the dated, patriarchal ideas that strong, aggressive, dominating men – attributes that are rewarded in patriarchal societies – are the only ones capable of violence and ‘weak’ and ‘docile’ women can only be victims.

Most law-makers subscribe to these patriarchal ideas then create laws that align with these toxic beliefs about gender. Laws that aren’t gender-neutral even though they should be are a direct result of our regressive, patriarchal ideas about gender, masculinity, and what a ‘real man’ should be like.

Men’s Rights Activists often have an ‘us vs them‘ narrative. They wrongly attribute their issues to feminism and the changes it is causing in India’s social landscape. If they are concerned about the legitimate issues concerning gender that can sometimes be disadvantages to men as well, their goal wouldn’t be any different from feminism’s goal, for if feminism’s goal of equality is attained, the disadvantages that patriarchy causes men will be done away with along with the oppression of women.

This clearly isn’t the case, in the guise of fighting for the rights of men, men’s rights activists only try to hinder the progress of feminism and attempt to preserve patriarchal ideals in society to keep present power structures the way they are – beneficial to men and oppressive to women. Most MRAs are against the criminalisation of marital rape and feminists and feminism have always been blamed for attempting to get marital rape to be a criminal offence. Most people in support of the current decriminalisation state that anyone who pushes for criminalisation is attempting to change the traditional marriage setup.

Traditions shouldn’t be upheld if they are barbarous. Our patriarchal marriage setup treats marriage as a licence for permanent consent, which is a toxic, regressive idea that shouldn’t be allowed to foster. Consent is active, enthusiastic, and can be withdrawn at any time despite the nature of the relationship between two people. If we collectively think that criminalisation of marital rape negatively affects the tradition and sanctity associated with marriage, maybe it is time we reconsider our take on marriage and its patriarchal and less-than egalitarian roots.

Our patriarchal marriage setup treats marriage as a licence for permanent consent, which is a toxic, regressive idea that shouldn’t be allowed to foster.

In a deeply patriarchal society where all power belongs to men and women only exist on the sidelines, feminism is a threat to the historical and long existing power structures established to benefit men. This is the reason most societies opposed feminism when it started taking hold, be it in the name of religion, tradition, biology, or even as a way to protect ‘weak’ women from the harsh realities of the real world.

In India though, feminism is just starting to take a hold and bring changes in a large and noticeable fashion. And with this comes the wrath of patriarchal fractions that know if power structures are altered to give women power, they will no longer enjoy a dominant position in society, that was once created by them to cater to them.

Also read: This Comic Will Tell You Why Men’s Emotions Are Limited By Patriarchy

The fact that these men feel the need to protest feminism, a cause that attempts to provide women equality and to allow them the same space men are afforded in public life, tells us all we need to know about the deep patriarchal ideas that they foster, which we continue to collectively promote protect, and celebrate. Feminism threatens existing power structures that were created by men, for men and in a deeply misogynistic society that thinks women should only exist on the sidelines, this is a threat to its culture and its subsequent traditions that have been created entirely based on patriarchy and misogyny.


Featured Image Source: TNBC Live

3 COMMENTS

  1. Marriage has lost its sanctity due to biased laws in India and many other countries. Why should a man marry in India and become a victim of these biased laws.
    Whatever feminism is propogating will eventualy hurt women themselves as no man will marry if marriage has nothing to offer him.
    Men are better of without a wife.

  2. No wonder why most women (sensible women) treat Feminism as cancer…the eternal crying of Victimhood and blaming patriarchy is a indication as to why feminism is toxic…these feminists sometimes are as bizarre as blaming patriarchy for a even a stomach upset….

    Men’s Right activists are not fighting against Feminism ( little bit of intelligence is good enough to understand this )…MRA’s are fighting against the stereotype in the society that Men cannot be victims of Domestic Violance …MRA’s fight for comprehensive welfare scheme’s for Men who happen to contribute more to taxes …MRA’s empathise with women who face abuse but demand action against crores of women who Misuse and insult the judiciary with false cases …MRA’s demand equality if men and women in aspects including laws…

    Any normal person whether male or female would find accepteble logic in what MRA’s do meanwhile feminists are busy crying Victimhood and blaming patriarchy for everything …

  3. Who is this writer and why is she trying to paint the Men’s Rights Activists as a right-wing hate group and why does the website think they are hilarious? (Yeah, I heard the goofy background music on the Insta story.) The article is highly narrow-sighted and does not really reflect the MRA in what they are.

    Firstly, they is not a bunch of patriarchal men whining about how women have rights or how they have ‘lost the system that was created to cater to them.’ They are not ‘MCPs’ like you guys say. The MRA has very genuine issues (Elaborated later) and they are men who have suffered. The meetings are closer to Self-Help meetups than they are to anything against feminism. The MRA is not trying to hinder the progress of Feminism, or preserve patriarchal mindset. They are not result or an embodiment of patriarchy. To think that is highly misandric.

    MRA is the second wing under the label of Gender Equality, it’s the voice of the Men. Patriarchy hurts men too.

    Many MRAs are against stringent Marital Rape laws because it is hard to prove, and they don’t want another exploitable law that opportunistic women can use to extort, manipulate, etc. This is NOT because they hold a patriarchal and misogynistic mindset, but because they understand equality.

    And don’t derogate the Men’s Rights activists for having the ‘us v/s them’ narrative. Feminists has been very antagonasing to them (Case in point: Earl Silverman), and just as isolating. Sure, you might believe
    The main reason MRA has the narrative is that they have genuine issues (Biased dowry laws, no legal definition of male rape, skyrocketing male suicide rates, biased family court, presumption of guilt on things like rape laws which lead to the false rape fiasco.) There was, in fact, a push to make rape laws’ gender neutral, but guess what? Feminist groups protested against that. Quoting from Wikipedia’s article on Rape of Males:

    Flavia Agnes told the India Times, “I oppose proposal [sic] to make rape laws gender-neutral. We had opposed it when the government made child rape laws gender-neutral”

    Back to the point, whether or not ‘most feminists are unhappy with the state of the laws’ is out of question. The movement has never been about men. It’s a women’s rights movement – always has been. Feminism is a movement that started with establishing voting rights for women (i.e. the suffragattes), then establishing women in the workplace, sexual & reproductive rights, property rights, and the likes (post-first and second wave), and then focused on micropolitics (third wave). It has never been about equality as a bigger picture, but always been a women-centric thing. Anyone who thinks otherwise is as misguided as my uncle who thinks homosexuality is unnatural. Patriarchy hurts men too, men have their problems too, they have been oppressed too, and people seem to forget this.

    Take it from me, an uncloseted MRA who has been a feminist. Who has participated in many feminist forums, debated many, who has paraded (figuratively) under the label. Feminism is NOT the place to discuss men’s problems, and it has proven it time and again by both going silent towards men’s problems, and often increasing them.

    ——
    (Feel free to contact me on http://www.quora.com/atharv-gautam-2).

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