I am just another guinea pig of the messed-up Indian education system.
This is how Simar Singh, a 16-year-old poet, describes himself in a blog post. An accidental poet at an age when our minds are brewing with revolutionary ideas, observations, and newly acquired perceptions, but our parents and society discredit us for being rebellious.
In his latest slam poetry, Simar Singh talks about the parameters that make a boy a man. He tells how a baby boy is ascribed to become a tough man who is not supposed to cry at all, and how all of this is a form of subjugation which takes from a man the freedom of expression and liberty to feel fragile or vulnerable.
He starts by addressing the common stereotype which apparently celebrates “macho”ism – “Men Don’t Feel Pain” – and traces the root of this ideology back to our houses where men are made fun of when they cry.
We’ve been brought up in households, which made us preach such false teachings. They told me I will soon be the man of the house, while I was just 6 years old.
These same households propagate the idea of women being the weaker sex. Patriarchy is a double edged sword which attacks the freedom of men as violently as they do women’s. He identifies all the stages when a little boy is ridiculed for crying.
And contrary to popular belief, this still is feminism.
Simar says these words before he addresses every brother, father and son in the audience who must have cried in silence because his emotional side was not welcomed. He urges people to talk to their fathers, brothers, sons, and ask what troubles them.
Men are not allowed to share, or are scared to share, the demons that trouble them. Simar Singh’s poetry is not just another rant which tried to slam patriarchy, but a wake up call for all those who decide against addressing the issue. It is a request to show some empathy.