Before you call me out, religion’s perspective isn’t being considered when writing this article.
Once, my dad said to me: “I have to do so many things, all alone.” And then I thought, why is only a man the “provider?” When we talk about equality, both parties should be providers. Throughout history, societal norms have often assigned men the role of the primary “provider” for their families. This traditional expectation implies that a man’s worth is measured solely by his ability to financially support his partner. While recognizing the importance of financial stability, it is crucial to challenge the notion that men are exclusively responsible for providing and question why this role has been narrowly defined for them.
In verse 34 of Chapter 4 of the Qur’an, it is mentioned that men are responsible for the welfare of women, as they provide for their families. While this statement holds true, it is important to acknowledge that there are numerous situations where women can also fulfill the role of a provider. Society’s persistent reinforcement of men as providers eternalizes an outdated stereotype that restricts the definition of “masculinity.” Men are multifaceted beings with dreams, ambitions, and emotional needs that extend beyond the confines of being the primary breadwinner. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. Women can be the breadwinners too. By embracing a more inclusive definition of masculinity, we can alleviate the pressures men face as providers and encourage a healthier, more balanced perspective on their roles within relationships.
When it comes to marriage, indeed both parties’ education is being looked into. However, a woman’s gori chamri is also very important just like a man’s earnings. If a man earns good enough, he’s ready to be given a wife, no matter, what other good or bad qualities he holds, and the opposite happens if he’s not earning enough. Expecting men to shoulder the financial burden alone can take a significant toll on their mental and emotional well-being. The pressure to excel in their careers, provide for their families, and fulfill societal expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Men need the freedom to express their vulnerabilities too, without fear of being judged or emasculated. Recognizing and supporting their emotional needs can foster healthier relationships and contribute to overall mental well-being. By freeing men from the suffocating grip of societal expectations, we can create a society that values individuals for their diverse contributions, regardless of traditional gender roles.
Men’s struggles as providers are real and should not be dismissed or overlooked. However, it is essential to question why men are predominantly assigned this role and why their other qualities and aspirations are often sidelined. By breaking free from narrow definitions of masculinity and embracing equality, we can create a more inclusive society that values and supports the diverse contributions men can make within their relationships and beyond. It’s time to move away from the outdated slogan of men as mere providers and celebrate the full range of their capabilities and aspirations.