Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender Justice Are women the only victims of gender inequality? Reply To: Are women the only victims of gender inequality?

Mayuravarshini Mohana
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Gender inequality is the unfair and unequal delegation of opportunities and benefits based on prejudiced evaluation of an individual based on gender. The prejudice in question arises from prevalent gender norms and stereotypes. They dictate the way a person from a specific gender category should behave. Given that gender is itself a social construct i.e., it has plenty to do with social behaviour than any concrete demarcation, gender inequality is founded on false grounds.

What is instantly apparent, or given much attention, is its effect of women. These stereotypes are taken to generalise women, group them together as a collective ‘they’ with no consideration of individual identities. ‘Women are bad drivers’, ‘Women are too emotional to handle diplomacy’, ‘Women can’t understand finances’ and so on are some quotidian examples.

The impact of gender inequality on men is often unrecognised. All men are collectively viewed as benefactors of the patriarchal institution. It is believed that they find it easier to manoeuvre through the world, for hey, isn’t the world ‘male-centric’? Truth be told, gender inequality affects people of all gender categories. The behaviour patterns expected out of each gender is set in stone and any kind of transgression is met with abject disapproval, most apparent in the social ostracising of transgender people. It even augments to the degree of verbal and physical assault.

While women are expected to be docile and submissive, men are expected to be macho and aggressive. Male children often encounter gendered ideas such as ‘Boys don’t cry’ or ‘Pink? What are you, a girl?’ told with intense disapproval. These are instances of scripting gender, and individuals are expected to perform them flawlessly. Such role-playing is crucial to the inhibitive nature of patriarchy where individuals are not allowed to be themselves. They have to be ‘men’ and ‘women’.