Infertility – The behind the doors epidemic facing Men in India

Infertility a term that is often considered taboo by men, the mere thought of it gives Indian men a cold sweat. This has led to this issue being swept under the rug more often than not, but despite it being hidden from common knowledge, it is very much an epidemic that is on the rise. A study by AIIMS, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences found that the average sperm count among Indian men has fallen from 60mn to 20mn of semen over the last three decades! In fact  while it is commonly believed that infertility is the woman’s fault, in nearly 30% of all infertility cases, the cause is a problem in the male.

It is indeed alarming how much infertility among men has increased in the last few decades, so what are the causes?

  • Smoking & drinking
  • Stress
  • Disease
  • Pesticide exposure
  • Wearing tight pants
  • Keeping laptop on your lap

These are just some of the causes for more information on the subject you can visit any of the links cited at the end of the article.

So given that infertility is quite common among men and can be caused by common aspects of our daily lives, we must ask the question, why is no one talking about it? While publications have spoken about it quiet often in recent years, men themselves keep hush on the subject. Part of this is due to society associating men’s status to fertility, this is not even an aspect of modern life but rather something that has been instilled since ancient times. It is a man’s duty to have an heir and to satisfy his wife in the sack, an inability to do that will lead to an end of his line and shame in the eyes of his friends and family. This needs to change with it becoming an increasingly common problem, men need to start opening up about these issues and they require their wives, and loved ones to support them through these difficult times. The other aspect is men themselves! Men put a lot of their self worth into their penises, they worry about every aspect of it, length, girth, look, etc. To be unable to produce healthy semen kills the make ego completely.

Most male infertility is frequently seen by society as arising from sexual dysfunction and is thus associated with higher levels of stigma than female infertility. In fact a study by Dr. Rheta Keylor of the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis stated that, male infertility is an “assault on a man’s sense of self revives feelings of competition, castration, and experiences of developmental trauma.”

Given these issues and that fact that male infertility is rising, it is important for men to start talking about this problem and seeking treatment for it. It’s time we stopped associating our penises with masculinity and instead start respecting the courage it takes for a man to talk about facing infertility freely.

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An historic judgement for men! Male students can now file sexual harassment cases

In what is definitely welcomed news, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched new regulations which allow male students to file cases of sexual harassment against men, women and transgender people.

The UGC recently told higher education institutes ‘act decisively against all gender based violence perpetrated against employees and students of all sexes recognising that primarily women employees and students and some male students and students of the third gender are vulnerable to many forms of sexual harassment and humiliation and exploitation’. Delving further into some of the intricate details of the regulation reveals the procedure to file complaints, here are some of the finer points –

  • The victim must file a complaint with the internal complaints committee (of their university) within 3 months of the incident, notwithstanding any major illness which prevented them from doing so
  • Alternately a third party can also file a complaint for the victim. This can be a family member, friend, colleague, classmate or any other associate. They can file the complaint if the victim is unable to do so due to “physical or mental incapacity or death”
  • The internal complaints committee must complete their investigation within 90 days and authorities must take action 30 days after receiving this report.
  • If found guilty a student will be expelled and teachers will be liable and processed according to service rules.

Now I know what you’re thinking shouldn’t this law have always been there? Well sadly the matter of men getting sexually harassed has been long overlooked, due to a number of reasons including the fact that people assume men don’t get harassed sexually. This is partly because men mostly don’t file complaints for sexual harassment out of fear of being ridiculed by society (Because apparently it’s not manly to be sexually assaulted). This law will hopefully serve as a stepping stone for removing the stigma around the issue.

 

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The Tanmay Bhat Rant on Feminism – An Indian Man’s Take

“If you believe men and women should have equal rights that makes you a feminist. That’s it. There’s nothing else.” – Tanmay Bhat

In a video that has gone viral, Tanmay Bhat of AIB fame, rants about feminism or rather how it is being perceived in the public domain. For the most part he makes some great points including his definition of feminism – Any person who believes in equal rights for both genders is a feminist. I couldn’t agree more. According to me, this rant by Mr Bhat, was directed towards women more than men. It was focused on taking the focus of feminism away from the more extreme faction of self – proclaimed feminists or ‘Feminazis’ as they are popularly known and to instead realize that we all want the same thing – equality.

I really enjoyed this video and don’t think that any man should be offended by this. He puts forward a very basic and correct hypothesis. So more power to you Tanmay! Keep fighting the good fight for gender equality and we’ll do the same.

 

So what did you think? Do you agree with Tanmay Bhat? Disagree? Or Agree on just some points? Let us know in the comments below

Featured Image copyright YoutTube

What being wrongly convicted of rape does to a man – Delhi man acquitted of rape after 4 years

The post December 16th 2010 environment in Delhi was tense, the whole city was shocked and we were lashing out, looking for harsher punishments for rapists. While that was a good cause to fight for, it left a lot of collateral damage in its wake.

One man who for no fault of his was caught in this aftermath was a 28 year old event organizer/ model. After spending the last 4 years fighting a case he has finally walked out of jail but not without the stigma of being a rapist. Here is his story –

“I was 25 years old when I met the girl through a friend in an event. She from then on began pursuing me to help her get some part-time work so that she could bear her expenses during her stint. On the day of the incident, she accompanied me to a meeting and on our way back, we went to my apartment in south Delhi along with my two other friends. We partied and then she was dropped home by a friend. The very next day she texted me and enquired about her lost earring. I do not know what happened after that. On February 5, 2013 an FIR was lodged against me accusing me of raping her,” he told MAIL TODAY.

She accused the man of forcing himself on her five times before he raped her.

He further added, “I was immediately arrested due to the pressure owing to the Nirbhaya incident and my bail was rejected. My name was flashed on channels for over a week. I had to share space with other criminals in Tihar for a year. With a bachelor’s degree in finance, I was planning to move to Germany but the whole incident changed my life. My passport was punched along with the license. As time passed, I lost my friends. Today, I am not left with anything. Even though I have been acquitted people are always going to be suspicious of me.”

Even, though the law did acquit the man after finding the statement of the girl to be unworthy of credence. Did justice really prevail? The man (Who has apparently chosen to remain anonymous) has  after a long ordeal been found innocent, but still society looks at him with suspicion and he will never be able to get back the last 4 years of his life. Friends this could happen to you too, so please stay vigilant.

If you’d like to read more about this story please visit IndiaToday.in

 

Want to know what International Women’s Day is? Here is a cheat sheet

No it is not an Archie’s holiday, it’s not a holiday that is looking to make you buy gifts for your girlfriend or your mother. It is part of a much larger movement that started a century ago! To help all of you lovely people out there I have done the research and got everything about IWD you need to know below.

It all started in the early 20th century women’s jobs were mainly sex segregated, wages were horrible and working conditions even worse. We were at the cusp of Union movements, and women supported men immensely in their efforts to unionize, but after sometime they realized that their issues were not being brought up by men(We were kind of busy with our own fight). This led to some brave women starting their own unions and fighting for their rights. An abridged timeline for the events that followed is below (Timeline taken from the IWD website)

  • In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
  • In 1909, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February.
  • In 1910, A woman named Clara Zetkin tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. The suggestion was greeted with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was established.
  • In 1911, International Women’s Day was honored for the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March.
  • In 1975, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations.
  • In 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by its Member States.
  • In 2001, The global internationalwomensday.com digital hub for everything IWD was launched to re-energize the day as an important platform to celebrate the successful achievements of women.

 IMD

OK now that you understand the historical context, let’s talk about why it matters in 2016.

As much as we dislike and try to stop it the fact remains women are discriminated against not in same way the early 1900s but still discriminated against. IWD is an important platform for women to discuss this and to address gender parity. Gender Parity is calculated as the quotient of the number of women by the number of men enrolled in education institutes (I Googled it).

Since 1996, each year has had a theme. This year’s theme is “Step It up for Gender Parity” and you can participate in the conversation by using the hashtag #PledgeForParity. You can also simply sign the pledge to help achieve gender parity by following the link, but more importantly make a conscious choice to ensure that every man you know respects women and shows them their valued. At the end of the day if we want women to respect us, we must respect them too and showing support for International Women’s Day is just one way of doing that. I will leave you with words on the matter from our President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee

“On the occasion of International Womens Day, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to the women of India and thank them for their contributions over the years in the building of our nation.

Women have always been given the highest level of respect in our country. Their protection and safety is a sacred duty of society as a whole. We must respect the right of women to equal opportunities and a dignified life. We have a collective responsibility to create an ecosystem that ensures the safety, security and dignity of women in society.

On International Womens Day, let us redouble our efforts for achieving gender equity and empowerment of women. Let us strive to enable our women realize their full potential and participate meaningfully in all aspects of our country’s development”.

 

Sources:

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/About
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women’s_Day
http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/history.shtml
https://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/CWLUArchive/interwomen.html
http://www.isis.aust.com/iwd/stevens/origins.htm
http://www.business-standard.com/article/government-press-release/president-of-indias-message-on-the-eve-of-international-womens-day-116030700685_1.html

 

Why Celebrities Such As Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone need to be careful with their views on Feminism

Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are probably two of the most popular names in Indian cinema. Actually scratch that they are probably among the two most popular Indian stars globally. I mean Deepika is set to do a Hollywood film with Vin Diesel. Priyanka already has a hit show and moderately successful album in the US. There is no denying the success of either woman. In fact, in a sense I idolize both of them for their hard work, charisma and talent. But what I don’t agree with, idolize or even accept are their populist views on feminism and men.

In an interview published recently, Priyanka Chopra opened about several things including her views on babies and infidelity. On Babies she said “I don’t need a guy for anything else except for children. I buy my own diamonds. I don’t need anyone else to buy them for me.” If you’re going WTF after that, read what she said she’d do if a man cheated on her “I will beat the shit out of him. I am very violent that way. There’s no scope for infidelity and I will not tolerate it.” Now guys if you have seen Priyanka in Mary Kom you’d know that this is in fact a scary statement. While the former Miss World quickly addressed the topic on Twitter with a tweet.

Priyanka Tweet

It still does little to underplay the fact that she shouldn’t have made this statement at all. She might not have meant to attack men, but it sure seemed that way. She is a national icon, a recent Padma shri winner, an idol for young women across the country. She is all these things and rightfully so, but given her position she has to be careful about what she says because her audience also has impressionable young women who may try to take inspiration from this. While people might say I am overreacting a bit, how can one line by a celebrity affect a whole nation’s notion on feminism? It’s not one opinion, that’s how it starts. It’s these everyday statements that men and women both make that overtime become stereotypes or values for society. Plus it’s not like Priyanka Chopra is the only celebrity who has gone too far in the name of ‘Feminism’.

Remember Deepika Padukone’s women empowerment video ‘My Choice’. It is actually quite the artistically made video and it really does have some nice views about how women have a right on what to wear and on body issues. However one statement stood out for anyone watching “It’s my choice to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside of marriage…” Pretty messed up right? The message that most people got from this video was that it’s ok from women to have sex outside of marriage. Everyone ignoring all the good things the video spoke off, because of one poorly chosen sentence. Of course like Priyanka, Deepika immediately came out with a statement, refuting the fact that she supports infidelity.

Both women didn’t mean harm, but as celebrities they have a duty to set an example. Gender relations in India are at a crossroads. While women empowerment is the need of the hour, this should be done at cost of putting down the male gender. Our celebrities have the power to make a real difference in getting us a step closer to gender equality, but as Uncle Ben once told Spiderman so rightly “With great power comes great responsibility”.

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Funny video of men reacting to extreme feminist quotes

Feminism in India has picked up a lot of momentum in the last few years which could have been a good thing. Except unfortunately, with many women it has taken the wrong form, male bashing. Male bashing is basically sexism against men and blaming men for everything that is wrong from global warming to their cars breaking down. It does nothing for gender relations as it leads to constant discontent between the two. While I do believe feminism in its purest form is a good thing (it believes in equality of genders) I find it painful to deal with extremist feminists or Feminazis as they are called. Don’t hate on either gender! Jesting and making fun of each other is all good but both sides often take it too far.

While I doubt this mindset will change anytime soon, this video I stumbled upon shows some honest/funny reactions of men hearing some very strong anti-male quotes. Which will give you a good laugh. Hopefully women will see the funny side to this video too.

Video copyright Fame Fashion