Protector Syndrome and Men
Protector Syndrome and Men
- Who is asked to shoo away a monkey from the courtyard when it enters inadvertently?
- Who is asked to escort a 30 year old able bodied young woman?
- Who is expected to walk on the outer periphery of a procession so that the women and children can feel safe?
- Who is expected to take all risks in times of danger?
- Who sacrifices his life, limb and interests to protect the contours of the country?
The answers to the above and many other similar questions is – “Men” and no prizes for guessing that too either.
However, the moot question that arises is – Why Men?
And one more question that arises is, why no questions for “Why Men?”
Why is it taken for granted that it would be men who would take all these risks and no one would ever question it?
Who is responsible for it?
Its men themselves who are responsible for it and their inherent “Protector Syndrome” that takes the blame.
Before moving forward, let us see what we mean by “Protector Syndrome”.
Protector Syndrome is the natural instinct in men to take risks, mostly to earn brownie points in the society, especially amongst women.
The roots of this syndrome are both biological and sociological. Genetically men are hardwired to take risks and sociological conditioning makes it rewarding for men for take such risks, even if is harmful for them.
There is also a very cute name given to such behavior known as “Chivalry”. Chivalry is all about how men appease women without any expectations in return and feel proud to do so. It’s an intellectually challenged concept designed to denigrate and demean men. It makes men feel that somehow they are inferior to women and they should conform to this behavior by being chivalrous.
Chivalrous behavior in men is a direct reflection of Protector Syndrome in men as we shall see going forward.
It was considered as one of the great virtues to be chivalrous and we have many social behaviors around this like:
- Opening the gates for the lady and allowing her to go first.
- Offering the lady a seat by pulling the chair for her.
- Allowing the lady to walk on the inside of footpath while the man walking on the outside as a bodyguard.
- Somehow sense the lady is attracted towards you and make the first move.
- Sense that the lady no longer wishes your company and move back, irrespective of your personal wishes.
These and many behaviors expect men to dance around a woman’s whims and fancies and feel glorified about it as men are called chivalrous and in today’s era of gender equality, these expectations are meaningless and men need to move on. They need to realize that by doing this, men are harming the achievement of true gender equality.
Gender equality as espoused by feminists does not fit in technically if the man treats himself inferior to the woman and feels glorified about it at the same time unless the gender equality that feminists vouched for is wrought with bigotry and double standards.
The perils of protector syndrome:
- Protector Syndrome makes a man emotionally crippled. The man remains under constant pressure of failing to be a good protector and ignores his own well-being in that process.
- Protector Syndrome makes a man hate another man. Owing to sociological conditioning men start considering it as their duty to be chivalrous to a woman and feel obligated to punish a man with whom a woman is unhappy, for whatsoever reasons.
- Protector Syndrome makes men treat other men (including him) as inferior to women and put their pain at a lower peg than those of women.
- Protector Syndrome will never allow us to achieve true gender equality and whatever measures society takes to achieve it will harm more and more men.
- Protector Syndrome also makes men belittle, invalidate, and dismiss serious issues facing men like domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, coerced sex, bullying by women, etc. and thus men suffer silently when faced with these issues.
Men getting tired of Protector Syndrome:
The last three decades have witnessed tremendous awakening in men as men’s rights movements are rising up globally with a unanimous call – “Free us from the shackles of the protector role” and men are giving up on chivalry.
Of late, men are not only getting critical and non-supportive of feminism, but they are also learning that chivalry is self-harming and obsolete. It’s a medicine past it’s expiry date which does more harm than remedy.
The time is now for the powerful men to realize that chivalry is dead and they should stop encouraging and promoting “Protector Syndrome” in men lest their own power positions are jeopardized by the very men they are trying to oppress.