Today, the world marks yet another edition of the International Women’s Day. It’s celebrated annually as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. There are a few requests that women are making to the members of the opposite sex that would better their lives
1. Stop blaming the hormones
The world has been calling women crazy for a long time and it’s time to just stop. Whenever we are ‘being sensitive’, and expressing genuine emotions worthy of the situation, we aren’t PMSing (Premenstrual Syndrome). Stop blaming our hormones when you don’t fathom a particular situation and just try to understand, instead of dismissing it.
2. Stop thinking feminists hate you
Feminism means equality, nothing less and nothing more. Period. If you agree with that, you’re a feminist, irrespective of your gender. However, this word has been translated to ‘a group of angry women who hate men.’ For the last time, we don’t hate you, we are just aware of our rights and not afraid of calling you out when you are being a misogynist. Also, there is no shame in calling yourself a feminist and supporting women in their fight for gender equality. After all, at the core, feminism is just about making the world a better place. Not just for women, but for you as well.
3. Stop commenting on women’s bodies
Men going out of their way to tell women how we should wear our hair, how much make-up we should wear, what or how we should shave, how our bodies look to them, is just unsolicited. There is a clear demarcation between complimenting and objectifying women’s bodies, and it’s high time you keep those opinions to yourself. Women’s bodies and their choices are not up for a public discussion.
4. Women don’t need men’s machismo
Women know men love showing off their wisdom, but your valuable input is not required everywhere, so men should stop explaining things to women before they are asked. Women have a fully functional brain and can Google things too! For many who are not familiar with the term, “mansplaining” means to explain something to someone, typically a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising.
5. You don’t have to fix things, just listen
It’s no secret that men love to solve problems and be the hero, so bringing a problem to you is an open invitation for his advice. We understand that this is your way to show that you care. However, we just want you to listen and empathise. Sometimes, there are situations so complex that there isn’t a ready-made solution, so we just need you to let us rant our hearts out!
6. No stereotyping and belittling
All of you, who view women as less than equal, as less worthy of our humanity and sense of fairness need to seriously sensitise and educate yourself. Making jokes about women’s skills, stereotyping them and doubting them just because of their gender is the worst thing ever.
7. Women need better jokes, please
While you casually crack jokes at the expense of women, please understand that all those ‘misogynist and rape’ jokes are not funny and extremely demeaning. These jokes have nothing to do with your sense of humour, and everything to do with normalising the idea of sexual assault. Come up with better jokes, please! Having said that, not stopping your bros when they engage in sexist behaviour makes you equally guilty.
8. Stop associating women with pink
Not all women love colour pink. Since time immemorial, it has been predefined that pink is for girls, while blue is for boys, but it’s not a universal concept. So, stop associating us with pink and let us choose whatever colour we want.
9. Women are not here to fix men
It’s not a woman’s responsibility to make men better human beings, and be caretakers of badly raised, ill-mannered men. We can’t fix you and invest all our energy in “mothering” you and solving your toxic issues. Go to a therapist or a rehab centre if need be. Of course, we will be there to hold your hand and support you by all means. Also, it’s not our job to feed you, take care of a household and raise babies. You are not entitled to all these privileges just because of your gender. It’s 2023, so please step up!
10. Men don’t have to be women’s heroes
Living in a patriarchal society, our upbringing has taught us that since men have to protect their families, they have to be strong. Since you were little boys, you have been told that ‘real men don’t cry’, so you always hide your real emotions. However, beyond this unjust societal constraint, you and me are just alike and have the same emotional range. So, crying does not, and will not, ever make a man less of a man. We are here for you, whenever you want a shoulder to cry on. We don’t want you to be our hero, just our partner. After all, the battle is not between you and us, it’s against ourselves, our insecurities and the constructs that we have placed on each other.
-The article was first published on India.com
COMPILED BY: MWANGI ALBERTO