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Masculinism, and not masculinity, is the problem

Masculinism, and not masculinity, is the problem

“Feminism and homosexuality are the greatest threat to masculinity,” said publisher from South Asia and writer, co-founder of Kali for Women – Asia’s  first feminist press, Ritu Menon while speaking on the topic ‘Gender, Masculinities and Violence’ at the panel discussion on the last day of Difficult Dialogues 2018 held at ICG, on Sunday.  The panel comprised of documentary filmmaker, Rahul Roy and director of Prevention of Violence against Women and Children at SNEHA (Society for Nutrition Education and Health Action) Nayareen Daruwalla. The panel was moderated by professor of Global Health at the UCL, David Osrin.

Menon said that women are the original producers of men, “if women decide not to produce babies then the national army will collapse,” she said adding that she doesn’t have a problem with masculinity but is against masculinism.

She revealed that when women enter the public spaces they all experience what men are used to doing at home and often wonders as to why women are asked to abide by the rules set by the patriarchal society even though they are not at fault.  “9 out of 10 men are raped by men and 10 out of 10 women are raped men. Women don’t go about raping other women,” said Ritu adding that hence restrictions like not going out in the dark should be imposed on men.

Menon opined that income plays a major role in mitigating violence. “When women earn they witness more violence,” she said adding that the greatest threat to masculinity is women’s privilege.  Daruwalla said that women want equal rights, “we don’t want protection, we need equal rights and opportunities.” Sharing her experience of working with men she said: “working with men has never been easy. The transformation is difficult. And you must be careful about the resources you invest so that it doesn’t encourage the patriarchal ideas.”

Men often feel that their gender gives them a natural power, says Roy. “They feel that masculinity is a sense of entitlement to power because of their gender. The feminist project of masculinity is not about making good men; it’s about dismantling the power structure,” He said.

(The Navhind Times was the Media Partner for the event)

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