It’s only men who are afraid of the woman in themselves that dislike the feminine.
I slowly lean back in my chair and take a bite out of the nacho dipped in hot salsa. It is the evening show of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I can never be more excited. Seeing the lights dim and the screen fade to an obscure WB logo, I hastily place the nachos in my tray and rub my palms together. The excitement in the theatre is almost palpable, what with die-hard HP fanatics like me. I am, to tell the truth, a tiny bit uncomfortable with watching this particular instalment with my aunt. I’ve read the book, and it most certainly no longer is the breezy, whimsical adventure that kicked off with Philosopher’s Stone. I shift guiltily in my seat as the sight of Lavender Brown locking lips with Ronald Weasley causes a certain stir in my anatomy. Cut me some slack people; it was seventh grade.
Anyway, the point of this post comes in when Dumbledore dies. I watch with thrilled achievement as the film beautifully portrays Michael Gambon fall down the Astronomy Tower in slow motion. I look to my left, expecting at least a pair of raised eyebrows, and instead come up against a deadpan face that practically drips boredom. I know my aunt doesn’t like Harry Potter. That’s no reason for me not to feel pissed anyway.
“Mausi,” I whine. “He was the greatest wizard of all time!”
“He was the closest Harry had to a father!”
“He defeated Grinderwald and was the only one You-Know-Who ever feared!”
Deadpan from me.
“Rowling recently announced he was gay.”
Now those eyebrows go up. Now tears fill the eyes. Now the face drips pity and bottomless sorrow.
“Oh my god, that’s horrible!” she shrieks with about the same intensity as watching her favorite Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi character kick the bucket in a car accident. She obviously thinks she’s being empathising and sensitive towards the old man, tut-tutting over his sexuality like a pretentious mother duck. I, for my part, don’t know what to feel. My aunt has always been a strong influence over my opinions, and this is pretty much the first time, as far back as my memories go, that I feel so opposite to what she’s so passionately displaying on those carefully-covered wrinkles. Why does his being gay matter so much? Does it affect his abilities in any way? Does it create any conflict in the storyline? Does it, for any teensy moment in his life, cause an obstacle in his path towards everlasting glory?
I straighten in my chair and wipe the glasses on the sleeve of my t-shirt, as Fawkes the Phoenix soars into the sky to a poetically touching conclusion. Yup, the film’s predictably left things hanging for the final saga that’ll hit the theatres a few years after. I usually would’ve hung around through the end credits, basking in the afterglow of the film, but not this time. I quickly get up and head out of the auditorium, Mausi following suit.
This general aversion towards all things feminine has always been a major issue for me, right from when I was four and chose a teddy bear over an action figure (like dude, I didn’t know that guy with the red underpants; why the heck would I buy him?). My childhood was always surrounded by people who were blissfully wrapped up in their own judgements that glorified and worshipped the Man, straight out of a test tube with his mountainous biceps and tapering torsos. Apparently, a dick and a gutload of sperms did not qualify someone as Adam. An inclination towards physical activity was a must. A strong attraction towards blue was a must. The relationship with girls had to follow a specific pattern; beginning from general dislike to the point of actually excluding them from pakda-pakdi cuz it was “too rough a game” for them, to gradual affinity and finally, frenzied attraction. Each stage of this delicate crescendo had a certain age-span. If you were ten and you shook hands with a girl, there was something seriously wrong with you. And oh, above all, I was to never, ever talk politely to people. Or hold the slightest scruple in spewing abuses at the drop of a cowboy hat. Basically, man was a dick. A long one too. And I didn’t exactly fit in.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not expecting condolent sighs or dewy eyes- God knows I don’t fancy another tut-tut from my aunt, this time for me- for I certainly had a blessed childhood, to say the least. My parents were, and still are, two hell of angels who supported me through all the thicks and thins of my mixed personality. I was allowed to sit at home and read, whilst other children worked their asses off at skills they’d neither the interest nor the talent in cultivating. Here too; no cooking for boys. Too feminine. It’s not like ‘cook’ in English doesn’t have a feminine form! Boys, drawing for you. Clay modelling for you. Cricket for you (Will India ever realise other sports actually exist?). Drumming for you (Harmonium makes your fingers look girly). All things bright and masculine. Let girls handle the softer part of life.
Yup; it’s the girl who’ll do everything that doesn’t involve physical hurt. Who cares if a woman’s handled the worst pain known to mankind so you could get your ass onto the planet? Who cares if she’s been running the house all these years and not getting a rupee as compensation? Who cares if women have always kicked balls in the past whenever it came to showing some? Who cares if wearing a bikini is degrading to a man’s personality, but wearing boxers labels a woman as progressive? Who cares if Man has, wherever remotely possible, always asserted his social status as superior to the woman like some insecure ferret sniffing for validation? Who cares if “Man” has become the collective for “human” in the English language, or if 90% of the plurals in Spanish are masculine, or if “mann” is the German counterpart for “a random person”, or if an Indian usually tells a cowardly guy to “go wear bangles”? Who cares if the concept of masculine superiority has dug its roots so deeply into our culture, our opinions, our very blood, that everything associated with the feminine is considered second fiddle to everything that’s hot and macho?
It’s no one’s fault in particular, and that just makes it a whole lot bigger of a problem. For it’s not so much a crime as it is a huge, huge psychological delusion. And those are the worst kind of crimes.
I’m not writing this cuz I’m a femaniac. I’m not writing this cuz I want to join the recent bandwagon and start worshipping women. I’m not writing this cuz I wanna do good to society (cuz let’s be honest, fuck society.) Simply put- I’m writing this cuz I’m part of it. I’m part of those millions of guys who think it’s fine not to hit the gym every freaking minute of every freaking day. I’m part of those millions of guys who don’t think women should be kicked around the house. I’m part of those millions of guys who’re labelled feminine and “woman-ish” by the insecure scumbags around them. I’m writing this cuz somewhere, there’s a woman getting raped by her husband (she married him; she asked for it). I’m writing this cuz somewhere, a homosexual is marrying a girl just to cover up for who he is. I’m writing this cuz I just fucking wanna “be” with a woman. Not worship her, not enslave her. Not put her in a temple, not lock her up in the basement. Not buy her a palace, not build her a prison. Just-fucking-be-with-her.
It’s not about changing the attitudes towards women in particular, it’s about doing so for the whole of the feminine world. It’s about throwing away the shit that created Eves out of Adams’ ribs, or made women look more like mummies in black, or called for a “no-weapons-against-homosexuals-cuz-they-were-women-in-their-previous-births” rule on the battlefield. It’s about going deep into the very roots of mankind and wrenching out the plethora of inferiority that had begun to gather around femininity ever since the beginning of civilisation.
It’s about freedom, it’s about oneness. It’s about being able to come out and scream “Hey, I’m a guy/girl, I’m feminine and you’ll never find the balls to do what I did!” It’s about feeling good about yourself and being up to accepting who you truly are. It’s about doing whatever the hell you wanna do and not giving a shit to the stupid gender roles that shackle you to inaction. It’s about living your life- like, really living your life- travelling, meeting people, doing shit, all the while carrying your femininity with you; not wrapped up and stashed away at the bottom of your sack, but proudly showing up on the tattoo across your face. It’s about living and letting live, being and letting be, going and letting go. It’s about being who you truly are. Being a man. And embracing the woman inside you.
That’s it, really. Now Imma be a man and give my favorite teddy a nice bubble bath. Got a problem? My feminine dick’s waiting.