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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Men facing manifold mounting pressure in society

In a patriarchal society, a man does almost everything for his family members, from earning to carrying responsibilities to making decisions. But the very person hardly thinks separately of his wife and her issues 

Update : 09 Mar 2024, 09:00 AM

“My wife works at her office from 9am to 5pm during the weekdays. Other than her duty, she is regularly engaged in other matters. That’s why I try to manage most of our household chores,” said Rahat.

“Once home from her office, I offer my wife a cup of tea, for which my mother and sister pass harsh comments on me. My friends also verbally harass me, involving my wife, upon my failure to spend more time with them,” he said. 

“I’ve seen my friends returning home after late-night gossip. They don’t even help their wives or spend some quality time with them. So, they mock me as to why I’m caring about my wife,” added Rahat, who virtually works as a consultant.  

However, Shafayet’s views are contradictory to those of Rafat. 

“My wife doesn’t do a job. I've got to bear all of my family's expenses. As I’m a private job holder, my career is always uncertain,” said Shafayet. 

Claiming that his employer pays him irregularly, Shafayet said: “I can’t even express my miseries to all.   

“I’ve become tired of taking on the responsibilities of my parents, a brother, wife, and our only daughter for years. But society insists that I continue this.”

In a patriarchal society, a man does almost everything for his family members, from earning to carrying responsibilities to making decisions. But the very person hardly thinks separately of his wife and her issues.  

If his wife is well paid, he is advised to look for a higher-paying job. If his wife enjoys her leisure time watching TV, he is advised against doing the dishes. He is taught countless rules as such. 

If a man acts sensibly towards his wife, he is not created as a “real man” in society. 

Talking about the issues, development worker Jahid Hossain said: “Many allege that I’m inspiring people to go beyond the classical rules.   

“They say that due to feminists like us, girls can now dare to question beyond their limitations. And this is harming men (the critics say).”

He recalled: “Even our relatives are raising objections in this regard.  For instance, I was dubbed a villain after I thwarted the underage marriage of one of my cousins. My relatives accused me of creating chaos there.”

Jahid went on to say that he was even trolled online for an article supporting women on Mother’s Day last year. 

At a time when more than five girls and women are killed by their family members every hour, one of every three women faces sexual and physical harassment, and 86% of victims of gender-based violence get justice, all of us should become feminists as the first step towards being humanists.  

Other than social and political responsibilities, everybody needs to become feminists for personal peace and satisfaction, despite social obstructions. 

Stating that men too are victimized by patriarchy, Dhaka University Anthropology Department teacher Prof Zobaida Nasreen said: “If the reasons for some recent suicides are analyzed, the frustrations caused by failing to conform to the rules set by society are leading to the self-killings.”

Prof Zobaida said that the men who speak of equality and voice against patriarchy normally stay under pressure in the society they belong to. 

“A patriarchal society never likes a feminist man or a man speaking in a feminine manner. Adds to their woes the practice of patriarchy. If a man can’t ward off these issues, he can never be humane.” 

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