I always called myself a feminist because I believe women are equal to men. To me that’s what the word symbolized – equality and fairness. There are countless traditional/religious/cultural expectations of women which aren’t equal and which a lot of women complain about, and rightfully so. Expectations to be obedient, ‘beautiful and thin’, housewife, child-bearer, or to work outside and do house chores too, etc etc. But there are expectations of men that are equally unfair – to be the ‘provider’, to earn money, to not show emotions etc. Yet many women want all the equal rights of modernity while also wanting all the benefits of traditional gender roles. Many women get angry when men say – “that’s what women should do because it’s been done like that forever”. Yet somehow for many it is okay to say “that’s what I expect of the man because that’s how it has always been”. Just like a woman can do anything outside, a man can also work inside. Both can be child-rearers. Both can be earners. Whether both work outside or which one stays home and which one works outside should be up to the couple. But having traditional expectations of men when you don’t like traditional expectations of women is hypocrisy. And hypocrisy and unfairness extremely pisses me off.
Telling a woman “you can’t find someone because you aren’t beautiful or thin” is cruel. But somehow too many women think they can get away with telling a man “you are not ready to marry because you aren’t earning enough to support her”. A man wanting a beautiful and thin wife is an idiot, and society is becoming better in letting him know that. But it still hasn’t reached that point when it comes to women choosing a partner based on his income. I am not saying let’s reverse the old system where only the woman works outside, and make it worse for her by making her work at home while the man stays inside and does nothing. My ideal scenario will be that the couple share the outside work and the inside work. And if someone has to stay home to raise children till school-age or even later, it should be up to the couple to decide who stays home. Yet many think “women can raise children, men can’t”. That is as insulting to a man as saying “men are better at working outside, women aren’t”. I have known men who have been excellent stay at home fathers. Even when children aren’t involved, many say that “we wan’t to stay home because housework takes an entire day”. As an unmarried man, I do grocery, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and work outside. I do everything required to do inside the house, while also spending 50-60 hours a week working outside. So the excuse that housework even without children is a full-time job is baloney.
Now this isn’t about all women. This is about a small minority, but this topic doesn’t really get talked about as opposed to the sexism towards women. I have always been the first in line to fight sexism towards women, and I completely agree that sexism towards women vastly outnumbers any sexism towards men. But even that little sexist attitude towards men should also be part of the social discussions about sexism and gender roles. And the worst sexist comment is when men complain of sexist attitudes, they are taunted with the phrase that they aren’t manly anymore.