In response to PauI Elam’s request to hear from the men of India, I have the following to say. I am what you may call the average Indian male and I fall into the category that is the most hated, a young Indian male. Now, I cannot really provide you with statistics as I am no researcher, but I can provide you with accurate descriptions of misandry I have seen and experienced throughout the country. I have seen it happen countless times and have been subjected to official discrimination based on my sex as well.
In New Delhi, which is infamously called the Rape Capital, men are treated like beasts. Since the preconceived notion is that men are the perpetrators and a woman cannot lie about being troubled by a man, even the slightest hint of discomfort shown by a woman could mean doomsday for a man. The rapes that actually do happen are mostly at night when girls roam around unguarded in isolated places, but the media portrays it as a crime that happens around the clock in every possible area. I do not know anybody who has known rape victims personally but I know many who knew murder, attempted murder and assault victims. Statistics would easily tell you that murder and assault are more common in New Delhi than rape, and that men are murdered and otherwise harmed much more frequently than women. No one is rioting on the streets about what is happening to men.
It is an attitude you see reflected in many other ways in Indian culture. Our buses have seats reserved for women; the front half. One row is reserved for senior citizens and one more row is reserved for handicapped travelers. Now, the rows reserved for senior citizens and handicapped travelers may or may not always exist. But every bus will have seats reserved for women. I stand up out of courtesy for middle-aged men and women. I believe that they deserve respect as they are an elder to me.
But I have seen girls, young college girls, making old men sitting on seats reserved for women stand up so that they can have the seat. I come home after working for 10 hours in the office. I never get a seat in the bus. The back of the bus is always full and if the front half is empty, I can only sit there for a few minutes unless I am really lucky. As soon as a girl enters a bus, I am out. Due to sheer embarrassment and fear, men continue to stand even when the seats at the front are vacant. Due to this, buses are often very crowded at the back. Men never take the front seat unless they feel really lucky and all the seats at the back are full. A few air conditioned buses do not have reserved seats (I travel in these as far as possible).
In Delhi metros, there is a coach reserved for women. This coach can remain empty but men cannot enter it. Apart from this, we are also constantly reminded (through announcements) to give our seats to ladies if they are standing. I would be willing to give my seat to an old woman or a pregnant lady. But young women? Healthy college girls?
There is more. I was recently standing in a very long queue to buy an interstate bus ticket. After waiting for more than an hour the queue had hardly moved. Why? A smaller queue had materialized next to our queue. A queue for women only. The tickets were being given to them first. A few women buy, they leave and then more women come, while the men wait. I got my ticket after 2 hours. It was 2am. I wanted to board the midnight bus.
If you try to make people understand that even men can be raped, they don’t believe it. It took me some time to convince my friends, all of whom are well-educated. Imagine how difficult it is going to be to make the entire country believe that this crime exists. In India, it is assumed that no girl likes sex whereas sex is all that men can think about.
Most of the discotheques in India are openly sexist. The entry fee structure is usually something like this:
Ladies – FREE/negligible
Couples – 1000 Rs., since you are getting a MAN (rapist, demon, molester) with you
Men – 1500 Rs., or NO ENTRY
The justification? The same as it is in the west. Girls attract crowds. Girls will attract men and men will pay. Okay, so sexism is a business decision. But many discotheques don’t even allow men unless they have women with them. Recently, I saw a man trying to go alone inside a discotheque. He was denied entry. So, he went out and asked a random girl to accompany him to the discotheque. Now get this. He was still denied permission because they had seen him before without a girl.
Our Constitution is shit in written form. Check out this link:
According to our Constitution, nobody can be discriminated on the basis of gender. But, if you read the sections related to dowry, rape, other sexual offences, etc., you’ll see that our Constitution itself is hostilely misandrist. The “modesty of a woman” is a common phrase in our laws. It is not even clear what modesty of a woman really is but it roughly makes a woman’s body a treasure which every man wants to possess by force (Read Section 354 of the IPC for more information). In cases of adultery, only the man can be held guilty. There were efforts made to make this law gender-neutral. But take a look at the following article which provides 1. the justification for having such a biased law and 2. the reason why it was proposed to scrap the law (it’s not because it’s against men).
In general, men are considered evil everywhere in the country. Videotapes of women beating men are showcased here and any acts of violence against women (even if its self-defense) are condemned. You already have a lot of videos on your blog. When the Delhi girl was raped, newspapers, magazine articles and Facebook walls were flooded with brutal remarks calling for barbaric punishments like public beating and castration. The physical violence involved in the crime against the man was completely overlooked. Nobody was concerned about the girl’s friend (probably her boyfriend). He saw his friend getting raped and he was beaten up by the men, too.
During the protests, a policeman was killed while performing his duty. There was hardly any news about him. Indians are concerned only when a woman is the victim and the concern is doubled if the woman is raped.
A film actor was convicted of rape a few years back. The whole country went berserk. Later, the victim changed her statement and said that she was not raped. This time nobody cared. Many people are still not aware of this development.
Yes, in our country some women are raped, tortured and subjected to humiliation. So are men. But we do not recognize those crimes against men. There are no laws to save or help men, only laws to attack them and keep them down. You can see the results of that on our streets in recent days.
But I was already aware. I saw the real problem with my own eyes; in a queue to buy a bus ticket, and in the eyes of old men, forced out of their seats to stand on a bus so that smug, entitled college girls can have a comfortable spot to rest their asses. I seem to remember hearing of similar rules, in one of the darker chapters in the history of America.
Publisher’s note: For Indian readers visiting this site for the first time, here are some resources in your country.