Dear Miss Shonali Muthalaly (and her Angry friends)
I could not resist myself but write this in response to Miss Muthalaly's aricle in The Hindu titled "Tch, tch, tch these Indian men…". Before entering into the context, I would like to clarify that I am not writing this to show my anger and I can understand and totally empathize with the problems that female members of my own society, sometimes face in my own surrounding. This is a genuine problem which should be brought into the attention of one and all. This letter is to point out the phoney and casual nature of the presentation of vague facts in a Nation Daily newspaper without intending to offend anyone.
Through this letter I would like to draw the attention of all towards the dilemma protruding into the minds of an average Indian Man due to such kind of poorly presented facts and opinions. The dilemma or rather confusion starts the moment I use the word Average Indian Man, because according to Miss Muthalaly and her angry friends an Average Indian Man is the one who winks, stares, stalks and makes obscene remarks which by the way is nothing less than absurd and silly stereotyping. Wherever in the above mentioned article some specific act by some antisocial element is talked about, it is said to be done by Indian Men, as if those anti socials are representing the whole Indian Men group.
Ironically, before and after following lines in the article,
"We don’t want to descend into silly stereotypes. Or juvenile name calling. And male bashing is so passé. Besides, like all of you, I know plenty of wonderful Indian men. Men who are smart, funny and — yes — gorgeous (complete with six-packs). "
the only thing that has been done is silly stereotypes and juvenile name calling.
And seriously, I am amazed to see the male objectification from the first para to even in this vague disclaimer.
Few of the take away points from the article are :-
Following two points came out of initial two paragraph for which the best friend of Miss Shonali is responsible and is in full agreement with Miss Shonali's own thoughts since she gave this much importance of including those casual juvenile lines from an Angry friend in search of six packs supposedly available only outside India (specially in Italy)
- All Italian men are hunky with six-packs and Indian Men are inefficient just because all of them lack in this particular quality
- A group picture of five Men is sufficient to define the whole group of Indian Men. (for more about what that group looks like refer to the article)
(Please note that there is no information about legitimacy of the people involved in following social media instances.)
- A facebook page made for specially Indian Male bashing gives the opinion of all Indian Women.
- All Indian Men do not have proper knowledge of English grammar since the responses on a facebook page were ungrammatical. (Seriously?)
- One question on yahoo answers and 300 replies from American girls on quora makes up for the opinion of more than about half a billion Indian women on more than half a billion Indian Men.
- Article on indiaopines.com titled "13 Things An Indian Man Wants In His Wife" (which is just an opinion of someone, neither backed by any survey nor is in requirement of any authenticity) gives the whole scenario of the future which an Indian man dreams about.
But despite of all these things I am not angry because I am fully aware of the fact that neither the opinion presented in the article belongs to the larger mass of the female Indian Society's view nor Indian Male bashing would be able to make any impact on the thoughtful females in our society.
And with reference to the para where your female colleagues were afraid of your supposedly bold step Miss Muthalaly, Indian females are much more fearless than them in general. Please do not force your opinion on naive people whom you may influence from your own naive and crude ideas based on your narrow offline and online surrounding. I would never have invested my time in explaining my point of view if the same article would not have been published in The Hindu because apparently, my efforts may not make any change in the opinion of the writer and her angry friends but even if my effort reach to few of those naive minds which might be affected by this piece, I would be happy.
Please do not back and propagate obsolete and non existent facts about ALL Indian men in general from a random website and put it out to a larger mass as food for thought. I am an Indian Man and I don't think and average Indian educated Man conforms to any of those ridiculous 13 things that you talked about in your article. But certainly because of the stereotyping done by such kinds of articles, ideas and opinions, every Indian Man has to face shame and name calling.
I agree to the fact that disrespect towards women by anti-social elements is an existing social problem which needs to be resolved. But your acts do not make any difference in lives of those probably 10% antisocial elements but make the lives of rest 90% normal people miserable. It is not the correct way madam.
Hope your introspection would last longer next time you sit for writing and your work shall be authentic and fact based. And if it happens your writing would not appear to be passé.
An Indian Man
An Indian Man