Dear ‘the real men’
The words in the ‘..’ were typed with the motive of getting your attention but you must know that there is no such thing as an unreal man, because the amount of testosterone in your system, the role played by this hormone in making you look and sound the way you do and your genitalia, all come together to give your manhood its certificate of realness(unfortunately, all humans are not real humans because physical attributes are not enough to award one with this rarely known and found certificate of ‘humanity’). I know how your masculinity feels attacked when you are addressed as a woman/girl and on contrary, a woman’s valor is complimented by calling her ‘mardaani’. And this, along with the patriarchy ingrained in our DNA, convinces you that crying, fear, skin care routines, roses, pink, unfiltered expression of emotions and hair removal are associated with womanhood. It is not your fault that you were conditioned to believe and preach that men provide, have a sturdy physique and an extraordinarily high threshold of physical and emotional pain, don’t cry or scream and deserve love only if they earn a 6-figure income and can beat a gang of ten robust men without any assistance and weapon. But it is your fault that you let yourself carry this baggage of expectations to justify your masculinity, fortitude and virility because, just like women are not supposed to be ‘fair’ to be considered beautiful, men are not supposed to conceal their true emotions to protect their manliness which is very prone to the attacks of mockery born out of a lame sense of humor.
You are allowed to have a chest size that is far less than that of a wrestler; you are allowed to admit that you love to be held and hugged; you are allowed to like pink more than blue; you are allowed to date a girl who is taller or earns more than you do; you are allowed to shed the tears of pain, joy, loneliness or love; you are allowed to be vulnerable and needy and lost and broken and you are allowed to express it all without the fear of being judged because crying doesn’t make you less of a man, it just makes you a human, because ‘mard ko bhi dard hota hai’, because the ones who call you a woman/girl for being expressive, speak from a place of insecurity and not intellect.
Tall/short, emotional/rational, with a moustache/without a moustache, fair/dark, gay/straight, regardless of how you look and choose to express yourself and your sexuality, you are a real man and you must not let any man, woman, pseudo-feminist, male chauvinist, uncle or aunty tell you otherwise.
A feminist/ believer of equal rights