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The emerging concept of male vulnerability

The emerging concept of male vulnerability

Societies are complex systems and complex systems move slowly. So, do societies and any concept that has been there for about a decade can only be called in its infancy in a system as complex as the human society.

If we look around, there is a lot of factual evidence available about “female vulnerability” to the extent that now it is a given fact that a woman is vulnerable no matter her education, financial position, social strata or the power she can wield or influence but for the only biological fact that she is a woman, it would be taken at face value that she is vulnerable and this gives her a lifetime opportunity to play victim at convenience.

But, for men, this concept just doesn’t exist in theory, reality or academics and a man howsoever, poor, weak, fragile, powerless, and a victim of circumstances just doesn’t get the chance to play victim at convenience.

This social pattern acted as the biggest impediment to the growth of the men’s rights movement in India and worldwide as well. The men’s rights movement in India spearheaded by the Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) since the last 10+ years faced a similar shackle as faced by the men’s rights movements in other countries.

As members of SIFF marched forward to create awareness about men’s problems in the society, no one would believe that a man can be harassed, or that a man can be a victim or most importantly that “men are vulnerable”.

However, sustained efforts by SIFF not only resulted in the growth of the movement and led to the establishment of the world’s first ever community center for men, but also to the social context around the concept of “male vulnerability”.

In very soft tones, one can see the slowly emerging concept of male vulnerability in the society as one gets to see a shift in the line of thought of movie makers when they make movies like “Pyaar Ka Punchnaama” which is the tell-tale of the abuse of the 3 young men at the hands of 3 young women, or a more funnier version in the movie “Dil to baccha hai ji” or with commercials showing the wife ruling the husband in office (airtel ad) and with the latest scene from the Mary Kom movie where the girl tells the boy that “he is safe with her”.

These developments are the undertones of the new social concept that men are vulnerable and need protection. These developments are good signs as they are going to lay the foundation of a future that would take protecting men seriously and not make fun of abused and victimized men like in current times.

Protection to men must not only be provided from violent and abusive women and situations but also from frivolous legal onslaughts and state sponsored institutional discrimination against men which happens via false cases and the false case being used as a convenient excuse to abuse the man.

And, for this to happen we need a social transformation which must begin with academics and culminate at the Govt. reflecting itself in the media. This social transformation, though herculean and cumbersome, the seeds for the same have already been sown and have started proliferating themselves in the area of creative arts at least.

It is pertinent to realize that vulnerability is not limited to gender and should not be genderised, stereotyped and applied ubiquitously. The acceptance that men can be and that men are vulnerable will open the doors to the solutions of a lot of problems this current society is going through and those solutions will be scientific in nature and academic in perspective providing long term effects.