Dear Indian Men, Please stop using ‘respect for parents’, ‘respect for Indian culture’, and ‘respect for family values’, as means to control women; Or a crafty way to seek acceptance of your patriarchal toxic behavior! Whatever it is, could you please stop it! Because it is the 21st century, and women are not so naïve that they can’t call out your hypocrisy.
Here are some of the real-life examples of our so-called modern men’s hypocrisy that many of us will find relatable.
But before you read any further, here is a disclaimer: In the midst of a patriarchal mindset, there are some great Indian men, who have been women’s biggest support system; these men have been instrumental in smashing the patriarchy! So, this post isn’t applicable to a handful of men. Rather, if they are reading this post, we want to thank them for standing for us and hope they would keep doing so in near future.
Here’s how Indian men use ‘Respect’ as a tool to enable toxic patriarchy to control women!
Excuse 1: Dowry is just a way to RESPECT OUR CULTURE!
“Bhaisahab, Humara Beta Doctor hai! You should not only throw us a grand wedding, but also gift car as shagun to the couple. In the end, your daughter will also use it!”
Even after being educated and independent, how many men would justify this regressive behavior to their wives:
“Yaar, I can’t argue about this to my parents. What people will think. I haven’t even gotten married and started disrespecting my parents. You forget it. It is just about our Indian culture.”
Excuse 2: Raising Voice Against Abusive In-laws is DISRESPECT TO HIS PARENTS
“Reena, how could you talk to my mother like this? She is elder to you! At least you should have cared about the fact that she is my mother!”
“Saurabh, but you have heard so many times, how rude she is. How she calls me names; she even curses my parents! Even if there is no reason, she just finds a way to say nasty things to me!”
“Reena, I don’t know but you can’t raise your voice against my mother. You can’t disrespect her!”
Taking a stand against abusive parents is just a sign of how our so-called modern Indian men use RESPECT as an excuse to make women suffer the abuse!
Excuse 3: Telling People That I Hit You, Will Only Bring A Bad Name To Family. So, Let It Just Between You And Me!
During a heated argument, my friend was hit by her MBA husband. This man is in a reputed firm in a senior position. How this well-educated man thought it was fine to abuse his wife just because she held a different view on a family matter than him!
Rather than apologizing to her, he shamelessly told her:
“There are things that happen between the couple and they should remain within the couple! I had no intention to hit you but you were uncontrollable. You make sure that this thing doesn’t go out, not even to your parents or sister. Otherwise, it will be a matter of great shame!”
Excuse 4: Hide Extramarital Affair From Society & Parents In Name Of Respect
“Riya, you can’t tell anyone about my affair. Neither to your parents nor to mine! It was a thing that is over now! If the details will come forward, it will only humiliate my parents. And, I won’t let that happen! For me, my parents’ respect is of utmost importance!”
Respect for parents and Indian culture is definitely important. There is no debate about it. But, what makes my blood boil is how Indian men use it as an excuse to control women; to manipulate the situation to hide their abusive regressive patriarchal mindset.
As per various sources, respect is “high or special regard for feelings, rights or wishes” but seems like for Indian men it is a Brahmastra to do what they like when they like! It is a great tool to hide their weaknesses.
Dear Indian men, stop concealing your shortcomings, your weaknesses under the blanket of “respect”. You can’t use Respect as an excuse to camouflage your mistakes or an excuse to not take a stand against the patriarchal society! Stop being so weak that you need to hide behind the garb of respect. Because believe us, 21st-century women see it all!