First of all, happy women’s day. I personally didn’t use to believe in a special day to appreciate you. Having been raised by a woman who handled finances, household, and family(s), I was never under the impression that patriarchy existed. My father would give the utmost respect to my mother. And my mother would make sure that my father’s mental health wasn’t suffering due to the societal expectations placed upon him. So, I had no clue that there was any inequality among the genders until I observed other people around me. The first time I noticed was when a female teacher told a classmate, a girl, to sit like one. I questioned myself about what that even meant. I was 3 or 4, mind you. Probably my teacher was rightfully worried about the male gaze, prompting me to question, why can’t men care about it? It’s just a skirt she was wearing.
As I grew older, I realized that this was everywhere. Patriarchy, as its called, wasn’t just bad for you, but men too. There is a reason why more men commit suicide than women. Ever since I was a child, I observed that boys were taught to not share their feelings. They were taught that this is what makes them a man. And to that, I called bullshit. That is when I became a feminist.
We were taught that you are the weaker gender. And I still remember asking myself, how? I mean, you bring new life to the world. How are you the weaker ones? You carry a child in your bellies, bearing the pains all through and during labour. So, where did this notion of you being weaker came from? Were the past men so scared of women that they built a society to restrain women's wings?
I keep questioning, only to conclude that men do owe you two things. First, an apology. For making you feel unsafe to go out, for not letting you wear what you want to, for binding you to our liking for generations, among countless others. Second, gratitude. For making our lives better, for making our world better.
So, From a man who is confident of his masculinity, I’m Sorry and Thank You.
PS, You need pockets. I’m tired of carrying your stuff in mine.