“ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL”?By sagun Basnet
The words echoing, “All men are created equal” are more than a buzzing word today with the mushrooming and schooling of various enlightening principles of gender equality.
But somewhere, I feel – NO, all men are not created equal. If I restrict my claim to the only feeling, which defines human beings, your emotions… the feelings that make people understand what is that essence in you which is preceded by your existence.
Feelings count, and feeling is what makes you think differently, act differently and perceive the consequences differently from every other rational creature.
And when you count your feelings, don’t you see that the rhetoric of all men being equal do not match the reality.
Well, if you see it solely in male terms that the sentence says that its only men who are all created equal, then it surely has some truth in it.
Counting on this perspective, is it ever surprising that women everywhere appear a defect in nature; that they do not seem to come in terms with the practicality of males?
These ideas have become so habitual that it has ceased to be a problem that needs attentions and solvencies anymore.
Females everywhere are identified with their romantic twist of mind, infamously called sentimentalism, the umbrella term for describing femininity the weakness in females.
It is really true that women are sentimental and are vulnerable to emotions more than men but the gravity of matter is that this trade of the fair sex has always been judged virtually from the male perspective in the past and into the present.
Then is it true that males do not cry at all and women shed their tears “wherever you are?”
In general, the mind does not know sex and further, tears do not know the eyes they are falling off are of men or women.
The debate over reason and sensitivity has been of very long but the saddest part here has been that we think the former part is the essence of males and the latter of females.
If it is so, then, at sunset when the strong wind blows to stir up the senses, with a golden sky and the sun coming face to face with you in its mildest form, standing at the hilltop do the men see it only as a process of natural law then?
If a flood disaster renders millions of people homeless do the men think leaving everything to their practicality and say that it was actually quite in order that millions of people die in a world that is threatened by over population?
No it is not so many times.
How, precisely, can we ever define a human being? We know by now that many times we perceive things not as they are but as we are. So, the answer is not an easy one.
These kinds of questions need a deeper understanding of the key concept of the nature of cultural traditions rooted in our society, for the concept depends largely on the thinking standards of every different person and that too depends mostly on the cultural age the particular human being is brought up.
Culture, signifies recognition and respect for the specific identity and way of life of a people of a society, and an emphasis laid on cultural specificity perpetuates the depiction of women as symbols of social and cultural heritages
Men have always been the breadwinners; the practical patriarchs of the family and women are relegated to become females before they become humans.
This is the injustice of a society where distribution of power matrix is in the form of practicality and emotionality seen as binary oppositions.
Every human being experience emotions of every conceivable shades: the flush of happiness, throes of despair, ecstasy of love, fear of death, anxiety of hatred and much more.
Subtract emotions from human beings, and the result is a strange emptiness.
But still such a differential yardsticks for women and men when both sexes have the capacity of feeling for their emotions are solely because we have been thinking hitherto that men should not be emotional the only reason behind this marginality of emotions is we see it as an opposition to reason, the practical sense.
But time has changed today, the situation today is profoundly complex and ambiguous-perhaps this is its very essence. Today the situation may be viewed as an indeterminate set of attitudes that has been shaped by various diversity of cultural and intellectual currents.
As Martin Heidegger puts it, “…thinking begins only when we have come to know that reason, glorified for centuries, is the most stiff-necked adversary of thought.”
The cultural reason has made women more predisposed to an open exhibition of feelings because they are vulnerable to emotions and they show their need for someone in a very displayed manner at the same time the need of a man to succumb to emotional outburst causes raised eyebrows.
Besides, suppressing tears is a matter of macho strength. This is what our culture has taught us.
Tears are natural channels of expressing one’s feelings of sorrow or sometimes even happiness.
Withholding emotions does not get one anywhere but further down the bog of misery. I think to be able to express your emotions is a very brave task because then you are showing the essential you, the inner you, the sensitive you.
We always prefer to be masked as bold, as brave, we feel the more insensitive we show ourselves the more we become strong but how can one become strong without acknowledging the real self? We have been living as mimic men, pretending to be real.
Michel Foucault says, “We must see our rituals for what they are: completely arbitrary things, tired of games and irony….”
It is not a sign of weakness then to discuss emotions, but our rituals have made it so. Giving vent to one’s pent-up emotions proves cathartic and goes a long way in cleaning the mind.
Even excessive happiness is sometimes expressed with tears of joy.
Expressing can act as an ointment on a battered psyche. Psychotherapists opine that a good cry works as a medicine.
In fact bottling one’s emotions is far more dangerous- the agony that is banished to the deepest recesses of your mind only resurfaces with renewed intensity later.
So, men should also be given the right to outburst with emotions, not only that the women also now should have their say against the misunderstanding of their emotions as something in relegation with rationalism when reason and sensitivity are no longer binary opposites,
In fact there are never any things that existed as binary oppositions but are only human constructs with the strategic usage of power relationship.
It is a world known fact that men and women are essentially different, they act differently because they think differently the only matter was their way of thinking was taken as vulnerable because they are women, the “Second Sex” so men were bound to think the opposite.
Today, one feels that the world has lost its horizon, to restore the spirit of love that has dangerously been replaced trust and mutual understanding is the only antidote.
Whatever may be the conflicts, the world, in order to run has to have the full share of both men and women for the cycle of civilization to continue.
So, the men and women instead of fighting for their so called rights have to go through a long way, respecting each other’s problems and appreciating each other’s weaknesses. As in the end it is only love that wins.
Men and women are not binary oppositions but rather when they are together they can cope up with anything that opposes them.
Ultimately when love is thick, faults are thin and when understanding is thick emotionality and practicality do not find a place.