Masculinity or Mardaangi- a hindi term which means an idea, the definition, the notion of a man- an ideal man or mard. It is also a system of defining manhood.
According to the society, masculinity can only be defined as the person should be mentally and physically strong and stable, brave, helpful, a saviour for women, intelligent, hardworking, sensitive, etc. But the harsh reality is that no men has all these qualities.
Masculinity ends up crippling men, depriving them of the ability to express normal emotions like love, pain and vulnerability.
Ideas of ‘asli mard’ are perpetuated by society, media, our culture and even religion. Eg. : In Western Maharashtra, there are bullock cart races held in March (recently banned by the Supreme Court). Farmers participate in this men only sport. Bulls are raised for this race. The man who wins is considered the real man as this is a risky sport that only a real man can win. The culture of this region creates that definition of manhood.
For change to be possible in society, we need to challenge and transform that hegemonic idea of the ‘asli mard’ and bring forth role models, which are caring, nurturing, non- violent and peace loving.