I have come across a myriad variety of men in my sixty plus years; as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, a full-time teacher and also in other extended relationships. My experienced conclusion is that a large percentage of men suffer from a superiority complex, insecure egos, are easily excitable, impractical and selfish. Worst are those who are your near and dear ones. It is these who take your niceties for granted, hurt you the most, bully you and stretch your emotional baggage to the breaking point.
To portray this limited canvas, however, I’ve toned down my responses to an acceptable level for self-preservation and loyalty to the family.
I’m also omitting the disturbing observations of a young girl regarding the general human male and intend to take it up some time later.
The heavenly phase of the life of a daughter is with the man as the father. The odds are overwhelmingly in her favor if she is kind and accomplished also. For her, the father doesn’t figure in the men category. He is just the father, the first man in a girl’s life. He is the best in the world, he loves his daughter, protects her, admires her, respects her, values her opinions and misses her terribly when she leaves the nest.
It is tough to be a sister to two elder men (brothers) with their irreconcilable differences. In fact, I’m motivated to write this because of a verbose face to face with one of them recently. All the pent up reactions of years got unleashed in my mind and putting them in words, perhaps, is the right approach to reach a catharsis of sorts.
In the Indian milieu, a younger sister howsoever capable is expected to remain silent like a nincompoop and normally not allowed to say a word edgeways even when she feels like laughing at some dense conversations during occasional mutual visits. ‘How on earth a younger sister who had been bullied into submission when young has the audacity to interrupt and dare to articulate her views.’ She can’t have her own views. They knowingly brush aside the changed realities, fearing to lose the remnants of their power. Being manacled in a time warp, they refuse to accept that their sister has turned the corner and has transcended the constricting boundaries. Over the years the loving sibling relationships acquire the undercurrents of strange jealousies. The brothers start regarding their sisters as competitors. There is drying up of once strong emotional bonding among siblings because of structural changes in the family set ups. The mutual visits turn out to be cold courtesy calls sans warmth or camaraderie.
In the male arena as a wife is exceedingly challenging. The more proficient and intelligent you’re the more you’re expected to prove yourself in all situations whatsoever. The relationship euphemistically is termed as that of understanding and compromises. Yes, the more you succumb to the above; the more you are insured against unpleasant dissonance. The equilibrium has to be maintained constantly. Though you may ignore their blunders you receive darts of disapproval at slight aberrations. Most of the time you are your only supporter and others' pleasure matter much more than your self-esteem. It is like tight rope walking. You can never rest on your laurels. Your genuine, solid and back-breaking efforts for the sake of family are received with 'so what.' Only conscious assertiveness makes way for your opinions to be heard. You live clinging to your own private joyful moments. To have your man by your side in this arduous journey, the tracks demand continuous repair.
In a professional set up most men seem to be tolerable (as colleagues), with the exception of a few. But these few can test your sanity and are impossible to deal with because of megalomania and other complexes. They cause disharmony and thoroughly wreck the atmosphere by squabbling over nonissues. They play the card of imaginary victimhood to elicit sympathy and are potential destroyers of institutions.
Man as son is special. Every mother has a soft corner for the son though the feeling largely is not reciprocated. Respect is there, though. The relationship remains on an even keel as long as the mother adjusts with the daughter -in- law without disturbing the equations. Though the mother may fall head over heels for his sake he’d be more influenced by his father. Very soon, subtly, he starts equating his wife’s culinary and other skills with that of his mother’s, who has to be magnanimous enough to endorse it.
About the men in your husband’s family, the landscape is barbed. They remain pumped up for no reason, maybe still clinging to the relics of patriarchal male snobbery. They tolerate you in proportion to the visibility of your husband’s loyalty to you. Their hostility can be sensed even under the cover of diplomacy and they resent your ability to warn your husband against their machinations in family matters. However, your hubby tolerates them obligingly. You stand them till they remain bearable.
Here is the upside:
But I do admit that life'd be dull and stationary without these relentless challenges. On a lighter note, I feel the Adam in them gains an upper hand occasionally yet is befooled by the eternal Eve.
Dear friends what do you think? Your feedback will be appreciated. Thanks!