There are women who are empowered but are men ready for them
Recently, an Indian Development Poet and Activist, Kamla Bhasin shared a quote on her wall stating, “Everybody is busy empowering women. The worry is, who is preparing men for these empowered women?” and it really takes us the very basics of the women empowerment, which could make us question if we can talk about women empowerment without educating me about it, or can we talk about any empowerment with involving the oppressor in the conversation. But here, let’s stick to women empowerment for the time being and start with the basic definition of ‘Empowerment’.
Empowerment essentially means “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights”. In the case of women, noteworthy is the phrase, “controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights”. Women have been seen as a puppet, an object, as someone who should always be controlled. Women’s authority over themselves has seemingly been nothing and she remained to be a subordinate gender of the society until now. This means patriarchy has allowed men to exercise a position of oppressor, of a primary gender, and a superior entity who exercises authority over women. But. now that we can say that a section of women have been at a stage where they can live and have an agency in their own lives and can claim their rights, but what do you think, can patriarchal men digest that happening without any real guidance?
Both Man and Women grow up seeing the norms at their places and are fed with a set of ideas which they propagate. Where we are teaching women to stay empowered, aren’t we required to make men required preparation for the empowered women. To make it easy to understand here is are a few examples –
1. Will it comes out as okay for a husband to serve his wife, or have her say in the financial decisions
2. Will a guy be able to accept a marriage proposal of a girl who is more educated, has a better paycheck, or is more famous than him.
3. Will it be seen as acceptable for a man to have a relationship that will ask him, and not her to move after marriage
4. If an empowered woman will ask a man about his salary, sexual needs, and desires and tells the man about her needs, will the man be able to normalize and actually accept it.
5. Will it be okay for a man to not pay the bill himself and normalize the girl’s paying it.
Well, the empowerment of women will be incomplete if it will not involve men in it, and not just for the sake of empowered women but for the sake of the masculinity, the man is being fed with for ages. Man has been grown up with engrained ideas of masculinity and patriarchy, which, if not consciously, but subconsciously affect them in ways, they won’t realize. And there can be events where men will start to feel uncomfortable, and mentally exhausted when they happen to see women, progressing. Hence, education for women empowerment can’t be a stand-alone battle of teaching women about their rights and how can they access them but a process of allowing men to smash patriarchal ideas, lose the toxic masculinity, and normalize and accept women as same as men. Women’s Empowerment is not an education, just for women but for all.
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