On Being Men: It Ain't Easy!

June 22, 2006

Being a man is not so easy. As much one would like one to believe. Being a man is tough. And like the cliché goes, tough get going when the going gets tough!

Often it is made out that men are macho and can do tough stuff that women can't do.

For example, men can be soldiers and women can't, and have not been. Forget Rani Jhansi, Rani Rudrama, or whoever. They are far and few in between. Actually, they WERE.

Firstly, why the need for being and feeling macho?

It is called compensatory behavior. We normally seek what we do not have. Don't we?

Men feel small. Check for it. Most of them at the least. At least at some point in time. Where does that smallness come from? From the toilets where one starts to compare. Or their equivalents. Who is big? Statistically not everyone can have it big. Just like height Mother nature seems to have learnt the normal distribution early on.

Men feel small, especially with women. Often they feel out of depth. Or constantly wonder if they ever measure up to it. Could be real or imaginary. Depths not easy to fathom. Lengths can normally be measured. Jungle saying. Even very tall edifices can be measured - given some light and shadow. Hence the feeling of being very exposed, and vulnerable. Unfair world.

I do not want to go to lengths on this issue here. But I would like to go a little more into the depths of this phenomenon of smallness.

Most men get over it. Either they get understanding companions, who make them feel better, unique and special. Or, wherever, the companion does not understand this dynamic - it could be a problem. Three possible phenomena might happen. Implosion or Explosion. Or they would have understood the meaning of the basic stats they learnt early on in life and learn to live with it. And build a sense of adequacy.

Self doubt, feeling of worthlessness etc., are probable. I leave it to one's imagination as to the possible compensatory behaviors.

I do not deal with explosions and explosives. I leave it to the experts.

Tough jobs!

'Tough and risky' jobs such as uniformed jobs, typically satisfy the need for compensatory behavior. At some point or other most boys would fantasize about them. At least I did. Just check the popularity of the gun-games on the computer or other gaming equipment. Rarely do we see girls loving or enjoying them.

Check all the tools men like to handle. Going about their job. Most of the projectiles should stand as good substitutes for projection (I am talking about psychological) and dealing with inadequacy. Check the shape of bullets, missiles, rockets, torpedoes etc., (inspiration George Carlin).

The raison d'être of all projectiles is to project into someone-else's business. I guess docs call it invasive procedures.

Prakritim yaanti bhootani ... says the Gita. Every organism behaves according to its nature.

Symbolisms, language, etc.

Peace is sissy. Check this out. A dove symbolizes peace. And dove is a bird. Birds are also called chicks. Hence, chickening out is not a man thing.

More often than not it is men who ride bikes. All the bike reviews talk about how 'beautiful' she is. And 'ain't she sexy?, etc., etc. So far, I have read hundreds of reviews. I haven't seen any one saying how handsome he is. I had a great ride on him, etc., etc. Get the point?

Cars are no different. I have yet to see when a reviewer writes - 'he is awesome, I got into him, and lord, was he responsive? Just a touch of my foot - and did he gallop and take me to dizzying speeds?' and 'his pulsating power I felt when I held the knob, and the chunky wheel, it fills my hands, and so nice to hold' etc., etc.

Projections of a different kind?

How come? Do not ask me.

A good fight is a perfect validation of overcoming the existential dilemma. Even a mock one is alright.

Hence, men like fights.

Dog fights, symbolize men fighting. That's what air force pilots call them. Don't they?

Cat fights, are left to girls. Feline and feminine go together? Some how. Purring, soft and cuddly, meowing, sound less threatening and menacing I guess. Menacing is macho. Still do not know why men like dogs (normally) and women cats (generally again).

Moms and Men
Often men get caught in the fantasy of the first woman that they know and adore. The mother. And hence here is the basis for the 'mother sentiment' films.

What do you have? I have Ma.

Mothers, being wonderful people they are, do not prepare the male children for reality. At least most of them.

Hence, the second/third or whichever woman that a man gets to know and invites into his life is benchmarked with the first woman he ever knew. Obviously the new girl cannot match up to it. For mothers give un-conditional love. For them one is always the 'li'l one', and always right. Always on the look out if the kid is hungry, angry, depressed etc., etc. They do not demand any reciprocity from the kid. Coz' they know that they need to pick on someone their size.

But the girl also is a 'li'l one' to her mother. But she is expected to live up to the 'first' woman's benchmark. That beats the men. They do not understand why this girl can't be as unconditional in giving as the first woman they knew. They do not understand that this 'li'l' one is as fragile and as 'wishing to be taken care of' just like the other 'li'l' one. And demands. And at that equal rights. That's difficult to digest. That takes us to food.

Food and Men:
I have heard, men, even those who are in their 70s, complain to their wives with whom they would have spent significantly more time than with their mothers, and therefore would have eaten more meals than they ever ate with their wives - 'whatever you say dear, you can never cook like my mom." His taste buds were tuned early on by mom's cooking, is something the man does not learn!

Sensitive Men:
I have met men, who consider themselves to be 'sensitive'. I used to wonder what it means to be sensitive. I used to think probably they are sensitive to others and the world. But I figured it out after a while. They are sensitive to themselves, and in other words are saying - handle me with care, I am fragile. While I do not have enough empirical data, however, about the 'sensitive' types that I know, I learned that they are not very sensitive to their spouses. In two cases that I know, led to divorces. And no one would believe that they could 'gently' torture the second woman in their life. They look so tender and gentle, they evoke - brotherly, fatherly, motherly and sisterly instincts - depending on your gender and age.

So, when I feel small, I posture. When I feel inadequate I take it out on others. I will stick to momma. I will not grow up. But expect others to grow up. That's our tragedy - of being men.

Did I not say it was not easy to be men?

work for a large IT company in India. work with CSR arm of the IT company. love to read patterns. enjoy a good argument. love words. used to think can change the world. interested in organizational and individual learning.
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June 22, 2006
03:56 PM


chuckled ... good usage...wonder if they'd find the intended target...wonder if the target would wince?

loved this:

Men feel small, especially with women. Often they feel out of depth. Or constantly wonder if they ever measure up to it. Could be real or imaginary. Depths not easy to fathom. Lengths can normally be measured. Jungle saying. Even very tall edifices can be measured - given some light and shadow. Hence the feeling of being very exposed, and vulnerable.

June 23, 2006
02:01 AM

Some of the Point wirter kept un-answered:

Verbal abuse, mental harrasement, economical abuse, adletrate relationship, neither a men or women's whole sale free lincence ( As per LAW women have the right by birth).

But as per 16th century men's mind set, in 21st century also they think in 16th century itslef..


Men converted the defination of women= wife.
Men converted the defination of Child well fare= balckmailling tools.

Let wait for 22nd century and try to see Indian men are ready to come in reality or still want to stay in 16th century mind set.

Yes, Human are more intelegent than animale.. but that does not grantee that Uncle is more intelegent than auntie...


Sucide statistics: Men sucide more than women( hide)
Crime agisnt men: Satistics never shown in public.
Men die faster than Women.. that is a Joke.

Men have 100% reservation as a solders, rishwka puller, railway coole, taxi driver...

and they never allowed the women to take those job.. wonder.

So indian men are you ready to come in 21st century reality?

June 23, 2006
02:15 AM

"While I do not have enough empirical data, however, about the 'sensitive' types that I know, I learned that they are not very sensitive to their spouses. In two cases that I know, led to divorces."

Writer, little update as per 2006:-

"In the two cases before divorce", the men's age old parents, pregent sister, grand children have to go to jail ( let them stay 2000 KM far away or out side India that does not matter) -

irrespective the men is sensative or insensitive.

Record says:-

More than 55% divorce does not filed by Men.. wonder why?
Less than 15 % divorce filed by men only
offcourse about 35% sensitive people( incudles men and women), prefers to remove the so called husabnd/wife bond and prefers to take the responsibility for failure mutual trust.

June 23, 2006
02:48 AM

Why is it that we have certain folks come in and spoil the most innocent of posts with statistical data and other claptrap? no wonder the suicidal tendency is on the increase!

balaji - loved your post. so the next time my husband throws a snit, it is cos he feels 'small' eh? hmmmm *wonders* good one!

June 23, 2006
03:02 AM

Deshigirl auntie writting a story does not ensure that whatever writer says is have to be followed blindly, only to say I like your post!!!!

If writer does not have knowledge of any statistics, he/she must take the education, because learning stage does not restrict with some age bar..

Secondly regarding the husabnd, are wifves thing any think different?

At least till date I have not seen a single auntie, who says she feels her husabnd is big..

On the other hand I never seen any uncle who says my wife is small..provided they are in so called sensative mode of realtionship..

June 23, 2006
06:15 AM


Comments aren't just meant to pat the writer on the back, I agree. But at the same time, coming up with the sort of stuff you do, post after post, tends to dilute your message. No matter how valid it is, the minute people see that sort of thing for the gazillionth time, they can't help but go 'oh no! not again!' thereby losing you your audience. So maybe being selective would help? You could post all your views in an article of your own, perhaps and leave the comments column alone?

June 23, 2006
06:33 AM

Good one!!

The power of men is a myth.

Men do feel small(against the good luck of girls and success of other boys). From childhood, their life is made up of a complete chain of risky, competitive games. Most of them lose and in losing they learn how to win and survive. For men winning is equivalent to surviving. They learn, if they lose, they can die.

So, a boy always grows up with enough scars(in mind if not on body) and haunting past traumas.

Still, the expectations on him from the family and the society are too much and this leads to a sense of alienation from his feelings and state of being. He turns into an automaton with no awareness of self or feelings.

Mother's love can be unconditional in 50% of cases.

In other 50% of the cases the mother's "love" can be stifling, controlling and crushing. These men do not recover from the trauma that mothers inflict on them.

But, we are not supposed to discuss this. Is not it? Because, we believe that all mothers are Godesses (especially to male chidlren).

Many "Mama's boys" remain silent not because they do not see the plight of their wives, but they know they have little power against a mother who is a treacherous shrew.

How often you find Indian men criticising their mothers? Its an eternal sin to have any differences with the so called ever tolerant earth like mother.

Mothers look forward to their sons to provide them what their husband are not capable of providing. They expect the son to give her power, the power in the households and money. So, its doubtful if mothers give everything unconditionally.

Mothers also condition the basic psychology of boys and their risk taking behaviour. If mother is a feminist, then she will bring up the boy like a girl, in such a stifled way that the boy just grows up searching for an identity.

A Man's relationship to his mother dictates his relationship to any other women (in future) including wife. This fact is scientifically established. So, mothers who stifle and crush boys basically create an insecure, imbalanced, distrusting man.

Women do not realise that without "false bravado" (as represented in Rang De Basanti), the men/boys can never prepare themselves to do protecting and providing for family. Today, women resent the false bravado of men as "male ego" at the same time not letting go the demand of "protection and providing" by men.

Women also do not realise how weak men are emotionally/mentally. So, while emotionally abusing men, they do not get a signal when they subjected the silent, evading man the overdose of mental abuse.

Next thing their mind remembers is, he became physically violent without any reason.

He will be, given the emotional castration he is being subjected to by society.

June 23, 2006
06:48 AM

Thats the reason why we need "Masculine Studies" departments in universities.

Afterall, we wish to change men. If we do not understand men (who are in 16h century), how the hell we can change/tranform them.

Or do we think only threats, terrorism by laws will transform men? Those who think so, have certainly not grown up.

By the way, I do have not come across any proof that intellectual grown ups are better than kids. It may be bit simple to prove the opposite.

June 23, 2006
07:44 AM


You wrote about sensitive men:

"And no one would believe that they could 'gently' torture the second woman in their life. They look so tender and gentle, they evoke - brotherly, fatherly, motherly and sisterly instincts - depending on your gender and age."

Can you please elaborate what are the methods of this "gentle torture" you are refering to?

Is there a law which says that only wives can indulge in "gentle torture"?

June 23, 2006
09:11 AM


the party is on!

have a feelin' you were clamouring for it;)

June 23, 2006
10:21 AM

Balaji is having a ball. ;)

June 23, 2006
01:23 PM

Now i know why men's suicide rate is so high (as compared to women)

Men with high sensitivity about themselves who can't help feeling small , especially with women,are bound of commit suicide.

June 23, 2006
01:26 PM

don't know about men's suicide rate...feel free to ask me about some men's spam rate though;)

June 23, 2006
01:45 PM

i was worried. when i heard that men's spam count was falling down.

t, thanks you confirm the contrary!

June 24, 2006
05:08 AM

t - "feel free to ask me about some men's spam rate " man! that cracked me up (i know i am such a saddo!)
now you know what to expect next from your 'nephew' dont u?

June 26, 2006
06:48 AM

Desigirl auntie/uncle, thanks for showing your concern regarding my comment policy/quality/repeatition etc.. but the question is unanswered, why Indian Men hide in dark room in the fear of a Bad women!!!!Why they can't openly say a Bad women is a Bad women and she should be treated the way a bad men treated?

Why the meanning of the women always = wife/daughter in law ?

Kash, the same type of little advice had been in your hiding box, for those writers also.

In the end kids know, their talk is foolish, but at the mid night it comes true in our uncles/aunties own bed room.

Temporal uncle, rembember or forget, the question i asked long back, are you too bussy in F TV hot show?

( Edtior you can edit the last para, as it is only for my beloved uncle)

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