How Men Too Are Victims of Social Expectations!

3 minutes

Disclaimer: The writer, here is not presenting the fairness or unfairness of the expectations, society has on men. It is just a perspective that men too are not free of social biases.

Equality is an ideal we all long for. Yet the scales tip one way or the other. Gender equality is a question, for the last three decades, wanting a feasible, genuine answer. While a lot is discussed on women empowerment, very few of us wait to see what is happening to men empowerment. 

They are victims of social expectations, as much as women are. The nature of exploitation they face might be different from that of women, yet there is discrimination against men too.

Men Expectations

Few expectations from men in the Indian context: –

  1. A complete man – Women want their men to be strong and soft at the same time! They should take financial responsibility, yet be capable enough to change diapers and help out in household chores. In short, all men are expected to be as the tagline says, “A complete man”
  2. Be responsible for their basic family unit as well as the extended family – when a woman is a single breadwinner, the extended family does not expect more than what is absolutely necessary. Children also demand only the absolute essentials from her. But if a man is a breadwinner, he is expected to fulfil even additional responsibilities (like marriages of siblings, funerals, etc). His children, too, demand beyond essentials and the list of desirables is long.
  3. A man is often expected to juggle between his parents and his partner: It is believed that a good man is one who is neither a mamma’s boy nor a ‘joru ka ghulam’ (puppet in the hands of his wife)
  4. A man is always expected to provide more than what his father could provide him: Better education, better living standards, and better quality time are the new social expectations.
  5. Holding up a social image for the rest of the family – the peer pressure for a social image and social status is higher on a man compared to a woman.
  6. Being sensitive enough to support, but being strong enough to not expect support – most people perceive men asking for support as weak.
  7. Maintain the Tough Image and follow the notion “Boys don’t cry”: A man is not allowed to cry or even show some anger. Such drastic change in emotions (or so-called mood swings) is only for women.

The changing image of women in society is backed up by exposure and training. At least in urban India, parents today invest equally in educating their daughters as much as their sons. 

This is has resulted in giving women their much-deserved space in the corporate world. But little is done for men to find training and exposure; to become complete on the home front. 

While mothers have reduced telling their daughters that you need to learn to cook and clean; no one has stopped telling a boy not to cry and express his emotions freely. 

There is certainly a noticeable change in the upbringing of a girl compared to earlier times, however, the society does not want to change the same for boys. This is one of the main reasons for breaking relationships and weakening of family bonds. 

It’s time we empower our men too! It is time to give them the same support that women get. 

Shruti Singhal

Shruti is your special friend from Your D.O.S.T team. She is a practicing psychotherapist with 11 years of experience in the field of clinical psychology. She has worked with clients of different age groups, dealing with a wide variety of psycho-social & life adjustment problems that people face in everyday lives. Shruti believes that if we learn the skill to master our emotions, then we would all have that immense mind power to create a successful life of love, joy and purpose. It is her lifelong passion & pursuit to develop and help develop this skill. Through Your DOST, she would like to touch minds and souls to make a positive difference in their lives