Gender
Culture / Gender
Urban legends of a mansverse, demystified
Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 15:37

Men’s Rights Activists are no longer a phenomenon of the West. As the hashtag #FeminismMuktBharat trended on Twitter for a few hours, it became quite clear that a lot of people are not just instinctively MRAs, but quite openly so; they identify themselves as MRAs on their Twitter handles.

There were quite a few bits of gyaan being bandied about, and we have union minister Maneka Gandhi to thank for that.

Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi held a live chat on Facebook on June 1 in which a number of men raised questions on a range of gender-related issues. The government says that the minister received a total of 1,500 questions. The minister answered questions on the new national policy of women and besides giving replies to queries on other qualities.

In subsequent days, the discussions that occurred there appear to have morphed into a men’s rights campaign with a lot of people having fantastic ideas about the status of women in India. 

So here’s five chill pills for those suffering from common manifestations of feminophobia:

Notions of male infanticide /foeticide

In a feminophobic world, we suppose 918 (in 2011) is a higher number than 1,000.

 

Boys are dropping out of school by the droves:

Dropout rates are measured for a variety of categories and by various agencies. But looking at them without comparison to literacy rates and enrollment ratios means you aren’t getting the full picture.

The general pattern for dropout is significantly higher for boys than for girls, especially between classes 5-8.

Among the causes for kids leaving schools, the NSSO notes something worrying: between 2004-05 and 2011-12, the number of boys and girls quitting school to do household chores has gone up.

But here are some other equally important factors that we need to look at when it comes to the education of the country’s people. Literacy rates for men have remained higher than for women since independence, and this pattern mostly holds true for any part of India. Literacy rates for urban women are higher compared to rural women, but in both cases men still fare better.

Gross enrollment for boys – from primary education to college – has also been higher since independence, as the table below shows.

An NSSO survey titled Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India: Education (January-June 2014), provides an insight into how many people actually complete their education. The table below shows that differences between urban men and women aren’t very significant, even though women are slightly behind men. In rural areas however, the gap between men’s and women’s studies is too wide to be missed. One of the reasons for this is the early age of marriage among women.

And someone really needs to tell them about the Juvenile Justice Act and the POCSO Act, which punish child abusers.

Men are killing themselves by the droves because of women: 

Among the Tweets doing the rounds on Saturday were those about men killing themselves because of harassment from women. Some pegged the number at 64,000 others and 98,000, none providing any source for that info.

 

According to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India report, 89,129 men killed themselves in 2014. Of these, two causes claimed the highest number of lives: other family problems (18,623) and illness (16,078). In 11,398 cases, the cause for suicide was not known and yet another 24,808 people died due to “Other causes”. Even if you add the numbers for the other family problems, other causes and unknown cases, the number comes up to about over 54,800, which still falls short of the 64,000 figure often claimed by MRAs.

Frankly, the blame-everything-inexplicable-on-the-woman idea smacks of hysterical logic.

(FYI, the old Greeks had an idea that the uterus moved around inside the body and that it made women a little crazy. That’s where the word hysterical comes from.)

So we guess that this is an urban legend in a mansverse.

An assault on men's reproductive rights will begin with the new women's policy

Seriously, does this investigative report by The Ladies Finger really suggest reproductive rights are in favour of women?

Women’s privilege

Maneka Gandhi’s response to the man’s claims of privileges at birth, should be more than enough.