Featured in M Magazine
Are Indian men perpetual whiners? That’s not a very tough question to answer if you are an Indian woman like I am. I wouldn’t, of course, generalise here, but most of the times, most of the men in my life have ended up whining about everything (yes, I mean everything) and much to my disgust, I’ve had to bear the complaints and very rarely have I been able to tell them exactly what I think. Know why? Because they’ll whine about that too; they don’t like plain talk, you see. And criticism is not something the average Indian male takes too kindly to.
Anyway, coming back to the question: are Indian men whiners? I can say that there’s a rare man who wouldn’t whine too much, at first that is, but once you get to know them better, it starts predictably. They can take off on just about anything: be it the politics of the nation, the economy, the driver, the office, the boss, the staff, their sad lives, their friends, their children ( not the wife/partner because she has to listen to all the whining so cant include her), the current cricket game, the down turned potty seat, the messy state of the house if they have little children, their bank balance, their cars, their fading looks and physique (read paunch), their rich neighbours and of course not to forget: their numerous illnesses.
A female friend of mine thinks the whining trait is so much part of the Indian man’s mental make-up that he would be quite unattractive without it! I don’t agree, but for her, it’s a way to put those mothering instincts to work when her husband whines. They’re child-free and in-law free, you see. So she doesn’t have too many complaints about her whiny man. But for the rest of us…average Indian women managing a home, a job, children, in-laws etc., etc., .its another story. One that promises never to change.
It makes us wonder whether we women were born to be strong and forbearing so that we could raise two kinds of children: the ones we gave birth to and the ones we marry. Truly the Indian man could use a lesson or two from their foreign counterparts, but then I hear that the American, English, Italian, French, etc., etc., and other types of men … to whine…a lot. Perhaps its just a genetic thing then? But you know what takes the cake? When the stronger of the species: the Man…is ill. All hell breaks loose at this juncture.
Especially if its the common cold or let’s use the euphemism: the ‘flu’ that catches hold of them. Suddenly you see the strong silent angry man who has been whining incessantly about all the other things in the world, including you, switch to the sweet helpless crybaby whos still a whiner but this time looks beseechingly at you for TLC ( none of which they ever give you when you are ill or down). Its that time when we women are made to feel our power over them but even that is a trick: because ultimately we are just made to make them chicken soup, hot chocolate and what not as they sniffle, sob and whine about how they are going to die and they want you to be taken care of: some even discuss finances at this point so that you can feel secure in case they pop off. Not to mention the numerous cuddles and hugs and tender words you have to speak to them so that they get over their fear of the flu and feel stronger (and this…no matter how many times it happens to them in a year).
But just let them get better and its back to whining about other things again. Some things can never change. And I’m really not exaggerating: after all I come from a family with a lot of men: my father, two brothers, my husband and countless cousin brothers. The ratio of women is a little low where I come from so I know what I deal with. I had a lot of men friends too and the ones I was really close with don’t stop short of whining about their marital lives too. That gets my goat: the reason I have just a few men friends now. And now that I’ve emptied my mind of all that accumulated clutter about what men are really like, I doubt if those few will choose to remain pals with me. But seriously, nothing like getting it off your chest!
But this is still baffling something that escapes analysis: why do men whine so much: if you asked me this or any other woman…we would simply say in reply: its because they are men. And truly men have little loads to bear—-being spared all that unhappy business about PMS, periods, birth control pills, pregnancy, hormone fluctuations, childbirth, child-rearing (yes, whatever they do, its usually cosmetic), menopause and of course putting up with whining men. That’s probably the reason why come a little trouble and they fly off the handle. And over the years men have changed a lot. The current crop of men whines more. They like to talk about their feelings, sometimes cry, take joy in being a metrosexual, have no idea about DIY tasks at home so you’re forever calling the plumber, the electrician, the carpenter for that little odd job: oh yes, they’ve evolved a lot and they’ve started whining more. You decide whether it’s for the good or bad. It all escapes logic.
And if you believe the askmen.com website, there are at least 12 ways in which the macho man transformed into a sissy and a whiner. And this despite them knowing that women want a man who will act like a man, who will take charge, who can make decisions, who doesn’t cry, and who faces fear. What went wrong? No one…not even this writer really knows. But like the askmen.com writer says: You don’t have to be a male chauvinist pig, but for crying out loud, reclaim your manhood. Be strong, be decisive, and stop watching Oprah! Hah! If only the men would listen. That’s not one of their strong points, either.
As I write this, I have tons of work lined up professionally and personally, but the editor (a man, yes) is going to whine a lot if I don’t meet the deadline. So here am I pushing myself, juggling many things at the same time and yet, doing a fairly good job I think? Men will just be men and will whine. My three-year-old tornado is no better. These days they learn early. Be it his kind of music, his kind of telly shows, his kind of clothes or his kind of ice-cream he has to whine about it all and get it too. One good thing that comes out of all that whining is a personality trait: persistence, which men are so naturally endowed with. Whereas, we women…give in. Not very nice.
But what can we aggrieved women do —- simply take a deep breath, maybe a few puffs of that Marlboro (no e-cigarettes for us) or a little drink to keep us steady and keep chugging along — with our lives and the glorious Indian man for company. Amen.