Men, We Imagined India Without Women & Here’s What It Looked Like
Inspired by Mexico’s ‘A day without us’ protest, here’s re-imagining the fate of Indian men.
On 9 March, Mexico witnessed an unprecedented protest led by the women of the country. In a bold act of solidarity, women across Mexico came together for a 24-hour protest against the increasing instances of violence against women in the country. Classrooms, trains, stores stayed shut for the day as women temporarily boycotted their livelihood so they could fight for their lives.
This got me thinking - what if Indian women were to take such a step for more than just a day? Could our country’s day-to-day activities go unaffected or would society come to a temporary, but tragic, halt?
As a country, India has never particularly been kind to women but from a policy point of view, this problem is finally a cause for concern. As per official data, India is above only 9 other countries when it comes to the involvement of women in the country’s labour force. In fact, our female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is (embarrassingly) lower than ever (23.3% in 2017-18).
If one were to just go by statistics, India’s gender gap is pretty grim. But let’s take a practical look at how women’s absence would hamper the world around us, shall we?
Remember Centuries of Unaccounted Unpaid Labour? Yeah, That
If we’re reimagining an India without women, it only makes sense to start with the one (and only) field that is dominated by women but often ignored.
In an India sans women, the majority of the men might actually have to learn *some* survival skills like cooking for themselves or ensuring that the house is routinely stocked with groceries. In fact, in this alternate reality, men might have to double up and act as providers as well as caregivers - something that is unconsciously expected from women everywhere!
So, in the words of our goddess Rihanna, what I’m really saying is that..
Some Things Only Moms Can Do
While we’re talking about unpaid labour, can I also just mention certain inherent issues that would arise if women did not exist?
Who exactly would be a mother? Who’s going to breastfeed children? More importantly, who will be birthing these children?
In 2019, official data revealed that not a single girl child was registered out of the 132 births across 132 villages in Uttarakhand over a 3-month-period stretch. While some called it a ‘coincidence’, women rights activists in the country stepped up to defend that India’s female infanticide and selective abortion problem is common knowledge, thus making the statistic a cause of concern no matter what.
There’s a reason this dialogue hits different..
It’s no secret that for urban women in India, domestic cleaning is a huge source of employment. In fact, it is the second-most common profession for Indian women. So, now imagine this: every day when you wake up, you’re responsible for *all* household duties. From washing utensils to sweeping dust off the floor to doing laundry - you have to do all this and more, either before you head to work (because nothing’s happening without that dough) or once you’re back in the evening, exhausted from the day’s corporate hard work.
Of course, you could hire men for the same job. But don’t forget their lack of experience when it comes to domestic duties. After all, it’s women who have been doing the good (and incredibly sexist) deed of passing down domestic duties from one generation to the next.
Would You Still Be Able to Profit off Our Bodies?
Let’s face it - there’s a whole industry out there that benefits from the objectification of women. Sure, most of our money-making cinema is lead by men but a lot of it also thrives on dehumanizing, reducing and objectifying women.
Secondly, in this alternate reality, our new TG consists only and only of men. So how many all-male movies do you think men can consume before they get tired of watching their own kind flex (endlessly) on the big screen?
So, next time you step out to watch a movie, just imagine it without the women on screen and ask yourself: would anything change?
The Word ‘Multitasking’ Wouldn’t Exist
Studies have shown that women are relatively better at multitasking than men. And why wouldn’t they be? Look around you, most urban working women do much more than just earn money. On the other hand, the men...
So in our alternate reality, we’re completely chucking the word itself because if they can’t do it, they won’t know what it is, right?
An alternate world or not, women deserve to exist with equal rights in a safe environment regardless of whether or not they contribute to the economy or men’s lives. But for now, we just thought a little bit of perspective would be good!
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