Ayushmann Khurrana: Redefining Mardangi in ‘Gentleman Kise Kehte Hain?’
“… Mard Ka stereotype hain,
badi macho wali hype hain.
woh ghar chalaega,
ladki ko bachaega,
wo royega nahi,
weak nahi hoga …”
Ayushmann Khurrana is an actor who redefines heroism and also the age-old definition of being a ‘man’ in our society. Starting from Vicky Donor to Bala, Khurrana never hesitated to portray the fragility of a man – the basic of being a human.
This time in his latest video ‘Gentleman Kise Kehte Hain?’ by The Man Company, Khurrana is seen to be defining what makes a true gentleman?
The whole idea of gentleman came into being during the Victorian era (1837 – 1901 – the period of Queen Victoria’s reign in England), where a man was expected to be masculine in incredibly diverse ways.
In ‘Gentleman …’ Khurrana gives it a whirl to dismantle patriarchy and its effect on men. In his poem, he goes on defining what a true man consists of and how men are the victim of toxic masculinity asserted by a patriarchal society.
“… mujhe na hero, na saviour, na superman banna tha,
jo ro sake, jo gaa sake,
kisi ko bacha paye toh bacha sake
aisa man banna tha …”
In the entire 3 minutes long video, the poem goes on to be a superficial idea of new-age feminism. An age where men cook, accept caste-creed-lesbian-gay-straight, adore pink and get scared of darkness. Further, men take care of kids and make ginger-wali chai. Beautiful! Gentle! Humane! However, should this not be the norm? Is it not something that is borderline human appropriacy?
Men, it seems have made a new manual of how to be a cool feminist? Yes, they talk of sanitary pads with a dash of hyper-patriotism or put the name of their female co-star above their own in the credits, or make some ginger-wali chai for their woman after a hard day of work. But is charity futile for the poor?
Kitchen – which is an unsaid territory assigned to women from the minute of their birth remains her full-time job where men often enter to become this “new-age men” who believe in equality – at least at the periphery.
Women around me are doing the same for years – consecutively – without even claiming an accolade. Suddenly, why are men being celebrated for doing half of what women have been doing all these years? However, perspective is changing; there is a beginning which is sure to go a long way. But a book-giving instruction to become a true man which are often superficial will not bale the toxic patriarchy out. Just like picking on a perfume advertisement is not the only solution to do away with the mammoth of everyday sexism. It would take a little more selfless effort – especially from the men already sitting on a pedestal.
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