“We say men should be vocal about their emotions, but as a society, are we ready to accept their vulnerability?” – Deepika Bhardwaj
Everyone speaks about equal rights for women and laws have been implemented for their safety, which is needed. However, we shouldn’t forget that few people misuse this law by putting false accusations on men. There are no laws made for protecting men in such cases.
Men speak about men’s rights, but it is rare to have a female as a men’s rights activist. In this episode, we had Deepika Bhardwaj. She started as a journalist, and now she is a men’s rights activist. The turning point of her career was when one of her close family member got divorced and his wife falsely accused him of dowry and domestic violence.
Hope this blog creates awareness regarding such false accusations of domestic violence against men. Happy reading!
Johnny Depp Case
Recently, the trial for the Johnny Depp and Amber case took place, and now it is of utmost importance to talk about such issues. So, we started the podcast by talking about this case.
“Amber Heard filed for a divorce with Johnny Depp and accused him of domestic violence. After which, Johnny Depp lost his career even before being proven guilty. He filed defamation against her, and now, with the latest trial, we know Johnny Depp was being falsely accused ”.
“IPC 498 (A) criminalizes dowry and mental and physical cruelty on women by her husband or his relatives. This law was implemented in the 80s. Few women misuse this law by falsely accusing their husbands of dowry and domestic violence for various reasons. They don’t think about this but there are immense repercussions for men under such serious allegations as being fired from their job, or they might end up taking steps such as committing suicide, as these cases are not investigated properly”.
“When this happened in my family, I saw my dad and brother going into depression. My primary intention of getting into this space and making documentaries such as Martyrs of Marriage was to create awareness. I want the suicides to stop and bring awareness to the misuse of this law”.
“The documentary, Martyrs of Marriage was made in 2012. Talking about men, working on men’s issues is a hard task. It was the purpose that has driven me so far”.
“The major purpose of this, I feel, is to create a space for men, where they can be vulnerable and not worry about people thinking that they are weak or would start making assumptions about them. We want to bring a change in the system so that men are not presumed to be guilty until proven guilty”.
“India’s son is a documentary on a false rape case victim. In the documentary, Arvind Bharti says, ‘men are presumed guilty, a man is born a criminal. The justice system seems to be against men’. We need laws for men”.
“IPC 498 (A) was brought in1983 and people used to get arrested immediately when a complaint was filed with no investigation. This is a reason few people misuse this law”.
“There should be laws made in favor of men and we even need to make sure that the laws made for women’s protection are not misused”.
“A law brought for a purpose needs to solve its purpose, and if it is being misused, it just loses its purpose. Unfortunately, this is happening with rape laws, and that’s why I made a documentary, Indian’s Son. Rape is such a highness crime and you cannot afford to have a mockery out of it”.
Must-Have Conversation Before Marriage
To be honest, I feel women’s minds are more complex than men’s minds, and I am saying it in a good way. Men need to become emotionally aware so that they don’t have to go through a terrible relationship. Misuse of 498 (A) and situations like these are the peak reason for terrible relationships.
“I feel a lot of guys of today’s day and age are still living with the ancient ideology of how a woman or a girl is. While women have progressed a lot, emotionally, financially, and in practical aspects. They are aware of what they want from a man in a relationship, whereas men are practical and focused, but they don’t think about emotional factors”.
“There is no formula to know whether a marriage would work. But before marriage, have conversations like,
- Whether the girl is ready to stay with her in-laws
- Whether she wants to work after having kids?
- If you are being transferred, is she ready to move with you even though she is doing well in her job?
- Does she expect you to move with her if she is being transferred?
- Does she expect you to support her financially by taking care of her parents?
You need to make all these things clear before marriage”.
I feel men need to sit peacefully by themselves and write about what they are thinking. It will help them grow emotionally. People say, to stay in the moment, don’t think about the future, but for decisions such as a job, or marriage you need to have conversations about your plan for the next 5-10 years and think about all the problems that could come your way.
I can give a guy’s perspective on love. A lot of guys are often behind the looks. Looks are subjective for each guy and they even need someone to take care of them. I asked Deepika Bhardwaj if she has seen any such pattern?
“I feel there is no such formula. Your family and friends know you well so, if they warn you, you should be careful. The most important thing is to know if you both are comfortable being under each other’s skin every day, in terms of habits, lifestyles, family values, or friendship circles”.
Message To Women
“Women who go through any issues in their marriage should file a complaint. But, don’t lie. Fight on your merits and the truth. The law is like a safety net that, even when they lie, they are immune to any repercussions”.
She is someone who is constantly fed with the suffering and traumas of others, so I asked her how that affects her, and has her tolerance increased?
“I have realized that life is messed up. Suffering and trauma keep coming and I know I have a demanding job, but the idea is to save lives. Yes, sometimes I cry and I have breakdowns. However, I know what I am doing is important”.
Reasons For Suicide
What drives men to commit suicide
“In India, the number of suicides is high. Around 1/3rd of the world’s suicide of women is from India and 1/4th of men’s suicide is from India. The suicide rates among men have increased over the year”.
“There are many issues, such as
- Financial distress
- Divorce battles, and many more.
Unfortunately, for the legal aspects that I deal with, there is no record of suicide. The problem is we don’t have any laws for men, so there are no statistics to produce”.
“In the world, we do have laws such as
- gender-neutral domestic violence act,
- gender-neutral rape laws,
- gender-neutral sexual harassment provisions
Women cry out while men fear the judgment of being called weak. They turn towards alcohol, and as a society, we are yet to condition ourselves to listen to them and not judge them”.
I feel guys should be taught to be vocal about their feelings and cry out.
Strengths To Learn
- From Men, get to the solution and not cry about the problem
- From women, learn to let it go, empathize, and be vulnerable
It is said that the motivation to do anything in life comes from only two places: fear and love. It is difficult to be motivated by love when you have a broken relationship or broken family life, so most men feed their motivation from fear. But we should switch that to love for family, or your friends.
This was a deep conversation for me to have. Hope you guys have got to learn a lot and make sure you watch the documentaries by Deepika Bhardwaj.