Sometime last year, an answer popped up on my feed on a very popular question and answer platform for a question titled – ‘What do women like about men ?’
It was heartening and refreshing to read a long but beautifully articulated answer written by a young women as to what she thought of men, presumably she shared her experience with the man in her life. The reason I liked the answer was not because it was an ego boost for men. It was written in an era we currently live in, where male-bashing has become a trend in all forms of contemporary media and the lady shared few points I never thought of it myself.
What followed soon after was that men were asked ‘What men liked about women ? And, a lot of men reciprocated. Those answers were beautiful and a great read as well as there was a lot of positive vibes around it.
However, in the real world, few men and women are not known to be really kind to each other especially when things aren’t going well. In the past it was just celebrities, but now any individual who has an internet connection and a social media account can vent out hatred towards their opposite gender.
A lot of male-bashing has nothing to do with feminism. They are just meant to belittle men for a personal grudge and many do it just because everyone else is doing. Yet, it is even more heartening to know that women, who care about their husband or their son, speak up or write against the blatant male-bashing in the name of feminism.
While crime against women is a serious issue and has to be dealt with strictly and we all know that the perpetrators do not represent the entire male population, male-bashing is often directed towards innocent law abiding men just because of personality conflicts.
What started off as fun has now become a permanent ridiculing and belittling exercise against men and the damage has already been done. These days, if a man or even if a woman disagrees with an extremist feminist, who believes that the ‘sky is green and grass is blue’ – s/he is most likely to be labelled as misogynist.
Through this article, I make an attempt to identify the root causes of what is affecting relationships between men and women – the role of media, workplaces, how bosses affect relationships and the power of words.
The origins of Feminism
Feminism movement started few centuries ago with a noble goal to have equality for women in workplace, representation in politics and equal role in families.
The movement has gained a lot of success, however, in the past few decades there is a lot of men-bashing for fun or just to prove superiority which has nothing to do with feminism at all.
There are many areas of life where male-bashing has deeply affected not only men but young kids which I have explored in this article:
In the past few decades, work has shifted from labor intensive work in factories to white-collar jobs, where women have excelled in roles such as marketing, accounting, technology etc.
Many women complain about sexism at work. Workplace dynamics are too complex to generalize the problem as sexism.
The problem in modern workplaces, most employees face, is not sexism – It’s favoritism and bullying and both genders are affected.
While there is a perception about sexism against women, I have witnessed the opposite too.
It is not common that in most workplaces, men bully other men and women bully other women. I knew a female co-worker who preferred to work under a male boss than a female boss.
Her view was that even though male managers have tendency to get flirty, in general, they are respectful towards women, while women supervisors are not (The Queen bee syndrome).
I have also experienced preferential treatment by men in management towards young, attractive women over experienced women who had kids. The excuse given was that the woman with kids take too many work-from-home option to look after their kids and work gets affected. Nothing can be further from the truth.
In my 16 years of corporate career, the best manager I ever had was a woman- a British national.She earned my respect for her people skills along with technical skills and most importantly she knew how to talk to her sub-ordinates.
But there was a male manager too who was fantastic to work with.
Bottom line is a lot depends on organization culture, supervisor one gets to work with and many other factors that contribute to workplace satisfaction.
I am not denying that sexism doesn’t exist in workplaces.
A bigger problem though is workplace bullying. These are mean spirited supervisors or co-workers who will suck blood for some sadistic pleasure.
One must read the book ‘Snakes in suits’ to understand the real impact of working for psychopaths. They are extremely charming personalities, great actors, give good impression to people around them but they destroy the souls of anyone who comes in their way up the ladder. They cause a lot of emotional damage one can ever imagine.
Ironically, these are the people who are admired by few women and are unlikely to be subject of male-bashing because of their charming personality and success in their career.
Male-bashing and the Media
Media is powerful – very powerful. It can not only influence minds of their target audience to suit their commercial needs, it can topple governments too. Media thrives on negativity, conflict and manipulation of human mind.
We have all grown up bashing politicians for anything that is wrong in our society, sometimes for our own shortcomings. The good work done by ethical politicians never gets the attention because media in all form have painted them in poor light because their audience love to watch politicians criticized.
For the past few decades or so, there are lot of male bashing content on media, through celebrities sponsored by a brand promoting (a lingerie maybe), targeting the female demographics, who love such content, because every 3rd woman has some gripe about men (usually their husband or boyfriend).
There are plenty of examples of commercials, sitcoms and interviews where men are shown as buffoons and a subject to be ridiculed. Boys who live without their father are likely to be negatively influenced by these content and try to copy them.
Ever come across a commercial or a program on television that bashes the corporate psychopaths ?
All men are same
A common view held by few women (not just feminists) is that all men are same.
Well !! so are all males of other species like elephants, lions and other living beings. They are biologically designed to have a similar characteristics and this is not going to change in the near future.
They are most likely referring to men craving for sex, which only matured women understand that it is an emotional and spiritual need for men too and God’s ingenious design to keep both man and woman bonded together. Men are wired to seek acceptance from the women they love through physical intimacy. It’s not a sin.
Given a choice, men will prefer physical intimacy over every other emotion like constant nit-picking, anger, yelling, fighting over trivial things, belittling and back-stabbing, because physical intimacy is considered an act of love.
Intimacy is not purely physical. It is the act of connecting someone so deeply, you feel like you can see deeply into their soul.
Men and women are wired differently and the way they view physical intimacy is not going to change overnight.
When a relationship does not work out, it’s best to move on gracefully, introspect where one went wrong and learn lessons and hope for a better partner. This is part of life. There is no point venting out and denigrating all men. Women with high self-esteem and maturity who understand the difference between romantic fiction and reality, don’t go bashing men in all available social media platforms because she recently had a break-up.
Educational institutes and media have given the impression that it is because of men that the world has witnessed so many wars. But there were men who defended their nation so that all citizens of their nation – men, women and children live peacefully.
All men are similar in one more aspect too, that they work very hard, wish to succeed at any cost and earn enough money so that their wife and children do not have to worry living a comfortable life when they are not around.
How a bad boss can affect a man’s health, family and relationships ?
Emotional well-being of staff have never been a priority for the profit-hungry corporate heads who treat their employees like
The negative treatment from a bad boss not only affects and individual’s health but also relationships. It is very hard for people to keep their work tensions at the door when they leave office.
Women who complain about angry, abusive husband must ask this one question to their husband at least once ‘Are you being treated with respect at work ?’
While women at work ease their stress by sharing with their trusted co-workers, men generally don’t and they let the anger of being ill-treated and ostracized affect them. It is no surprise then that more men suffer from heart attacks than women. It is unfortunate that men take out their anger on their spouse when they were berated, humiliated in public or treated with disrespect at work.
My approach in life is to identify the root cause of problems and try to eliminate the cause not treat the symptoms.
A man would always wish for a compassionate wife to understand that he is going through tough times and he needs his wife’s support.
Walking out of a relationship is not a solution because eventually every man will face all men face challenges in their life and they need the support from that one woman in their life.
Why can’t we have women and men work together to fight for ‘workplace safety’ to promote healthy work-life balance and mutual respect for all ?
Husband-bashing – a popular sport with wives
Whether women recognize or not, what they think or speak of their husband unkindly is observed and noted by children and it adversely affects how they view men when they step out in the real world.
Every man wants to be a ‘hero’ not only for the spouse but also for the kids. Spreading the word about the husband’s annoying habit or failure at work or losing a job is not going to help anything.
Love and respect is mutual. Sometimes, even harmless jokes can be the trigger for a relationship to go down south.
If women believe they have power, then the power is in being compassionate, by transforming the evil into good and not by belittling someone they are meant to be the side even at tough times.
Does anyone think about the children ?
With all the ego clashes between man and woman, it’s the children who suffer the most. Financial freedom does not mean kids must suffer.Children do not expect expensive toys. They just want to see their parents together until God chooses to take them away.
Young boys and girls want to see their ‘Dad’ as the hero in the eyes of the world, a role model to emulate when they face the real world.
The Power of Words
We have so many beautiful faces in the world today but we lack beautiful and compassionate minds who understand the power of words. Words can bring two strangers together and can also split two souls who have known each other for decades.
I have read different views on feminism and also the ones that bash men. It is no surprise that the language the authors have used in bashing men speaks a lot about their own self esteem.
Humans will know peace only when they understand the power of words.
Why are more boys and men committing suicide ?
I wonder if the extremist feminist are actually happy that more men than women are dying of suicides. Because, there are few memes out there on the internet which reads ‘All men must die’. Well, that may not happen. But it’s a sad state of affairs of the society we live in.
Women may think they do not need men anymore now that they have financial freedom. Men would prefer to be alone and get sucked into depression and eventually give up their life because of loneliness.
Both men and women are meant to be loving each other. I wonder who gains from this hatred towards each other.
I am indebted to the women in my life, mother, sister and now my wife and many women friends who understand and accept my imperfection and helped me grow as a man.
Equality and mutual respect is what men and women must strive for together and it is 2-way street but one must remember that one cannot rise up by pulling others down.
Perhaps, both men and women must make it a habit to look for only positives in each other just like those in the question and answer platform. Only then can this world be a better place to live in.