Six-packs. ripped bodies. Bullet Bikes. Macho Men. Andar se tough. Welcome to the 21st century’s construct of masculinity! Here, you’ll find ideas that are bizarre, behaviors that are toxic, mental health that’s fucked up and feeling that are suppressed. Is this really how we still see men? Sadly, yes. Is this actually how men are? Thankfully, no!
Right from childhood, men are conditioned in a certain way where their masculinity is measured on various parameters. We’re told that there is this 2 x 2 space called “Mardangi” and if you step outside it, you’ll no longer be at the Olympus of existence. Anyone who steps out of this neatly defined rekha is more often than always mocked for being feminine. We spoke to six men who were sick and tired of the way they were often asked to behave as “men” and their experiences.
The point of piecing together these experiences and voices was not just to send across a wake-up call, but to also start a conversation. Not only can men cry, but they can also cook the tastiest mutton biryani there ever is. Not only can men wear salwaars, but also ace those ballet moves. Not only can men talk about their feelings but also have feelings other than anger in the first place. It’s about time that we put an end to the way we look at masculinity and accept men as perfectly ‘normal’ humans who can use grooming products, can cook, can dance, can wear whatever they want and be whoever they want without having to hear, “abey, ladki hai kya?”