Critique of Masculinity and social reactions to Gender Politics

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Ishrat Naher Erina

Society itself has some common negative perceptions and preestablished definitions for females’ roles and males’ typical behavior in society. By the way, maybe answer lies in the question–what does society means to a female, who makes up the society and whom it serves for? These are some questions for you to understand, not to answer. Today the society is qualitatively fragmented in the chaotic debates of gender politics. Surprisingly, when the one side of coin encourages women to be strong enough and be man-like, the opposite side of the same coin keeps judging and underestimating the same women folks with different names and tags in a society that equally belong to women as well as man.
Both of the mensides are harming, either knowingly or unwillingly, to the women who have started a meaningful revolution to find themselves as worth of humanbeing. Seemingly positive, the group of males who are stuck up in their masculine way and believe women should be a bit man-like in today’s society to be empowered or free or whatever. Yet many feminist quarters believe women need to think very much themselves, not what society told them to think.
However, in Bangladesh women enjoying outsides are more likely to receive the dehumanizing tags from the major society, but the society is still far away to understand what does it costs being females in such a society.
The definition just varies from men to women. Raising voice and protesting is as welcoming as more righteous for a man since society does give appreciation to that heroic person for growing up and protesting for the cause. At the other end, If the same thing happens in cases of woman, society may not be that much flexible to praise her without just mocking the way more complex! Then again, women are being grown up hearing lots of NOs and suffering mounting setbacks which also enable women to fight back and be resilient, but how many of the women can realize this unexplored strength? Thus the behavior of a society loses its neutrality and so effectiveness to a greater extent when its treats people based on gender.
Perhaps I have sliced out some images of ‘Gender Politics’ in forms of social reactions to some gender preferences, i.e. women in Bangladesh. However, here the politics does not mean changing terms after every five years, this is the politics that women always looses whoever swears in power. Sometimes women realize, oftentimes they do not, but this politics always hits every women who does not bother about society or today’s women who studies the society and finds better solutions to it. Gender politics is very much prevalent, penetrating every nook and corner of our society today. The situation asks every man and women to study it carefully and then address accordingly. Before doing that let’s start the change with educating ourselves.
“Be strong like a man or do not cry like a woman”, or “be independent like a man or do not be home-sick like women” support the very core theme of MASCULINITY .This term is nothing but a behavioral situation to be manly, never means its absolute. This virtual framework is being favored by the society since patriarchy contributes to society in present statues and equally we do not have anything robust mechanism to accelerate women’s pathways to enjoy their share of social stakes.
Given the current scenario of our welcoming surroundings, it is really a herculean task to figure out the exact definition of some society-mediated terminologies. The time when we are aiming our fingers at society for its limitations, is also the time we, actually, are forgetting that society is made up of us and we, the humanbeing, are the integral part of a society. Giving the tag to women is actually more likely to make them fishes out of water. Only society can act as oxygen in this regard for overcoming this terminated breathing insufficiency; society does breath well today, so is not healthy. It really does not matter whether our attitude are shaped by masculinity or molded by feminism, the thing that matter is to have that same equal behavior and support from the society like as men do have! These perceptions are not the one sided indicator of feminism rather it is explaining the real scenario that a society represents through its different biased behavior toward men and women. Knowingly or unknowingly, society is ready enough to welcome the adaptation for masculinity but in case of women, this well-established definition varies. Moreover, who does not know the importance of variation to make difference and exception? If this unequal variation deprives women from enjoying their freedom, exception can never be expected that make women isolated.

Ishrat Naher Erina is a cultural critique and studies in the Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University. She volunteers with South Asian Youth Society, region’s largest youth policy platform. With her community services, Erina enjoys some scopes to study society first hands and she oftentimes writes on many critical social trends. She can be reached at