Later, I see him holding a young woman’s hand longer than she’d have liked. She pulls back, as he leans in, and comments on her off-shoulder dress.
Ray is both endearing and annoying at once. He doesn’t want to hurt women, but still ends up making them feel unsafe. This contradiction highlights the problem with gender discourse today – men are given a long list of ‘Don’ts’ for their dealings with women. But in the absence of a list of ‘Dos’, many men find themselves lost and confused.
It may or may not be biologically inherent, but where we know that the brain is plastic and changes with skill development, there’s no denying that there is a social component here which assigns more burden to women, which in turn, makes them work harder, which in turn, makes their memory sharper.
The global average life expectancy today is 72.6 years. But oddly, women everywhere live longer than men. The average life expectancy of men, globally, is around 70 years whereas for women it is about 75 years. This isn’t just seen in humans. In many species like chimpanzees, gorillas, and other apes, females outlive their male counterparts.
Women often complain of men being emotionally unavailable and while this is true in some cases, in many cases, a man’s emotional unavailability is in fact, an inability to express his emotions. This is so common that there is a term for it – ‘normative male alexithymia.’ Coined by Ronald F. Levant of Nova Southeastern University, Normative Male Alexithymia, or NMA, refers to a man’s inability to put emotions into words. This stunting of emotional expression is a result of gender-stereotypical upbringing and socialisation.
Rajat was born and raised in a small town in Uttar Pradesh, and grew up with a restricted idea of masculinity. Over time, having interacted with people from diverse backgrounds, he learnt that men shouldn’t be pigeonholed in rigid gender norms. One of the boxes that are patriarchal society puts men in, is that of the ‘provider’. Boyish is an attempt to break this box, and showcase facets of masculinity that have nothing to do with one’s bank account
One would imagine that after speaking to hundreds of women about the ways in which our patriarchal society silences them, it would be impossible to care about men. To give room to their struggles, the ways in which they are boxed, and to deconstruct what the same system that pitches women as second class, does to men. Not for Dr. Deepa Narayan, though.
‘India has the lowest divorce rate, but the highest absolute numbers of divorce,’ Abhishek Kashyap…
Years of suppressed silences has led to many misconceptions about both men and women. Let’s take a moment to clear out the air.