A look at the notions of toxic masculinity around suppressing emotions and its effect on the mental health of men.


There is a mental health crisis in India, which has been ignored severely. In 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, reported that nearly 15 crore Indians needed medical intervention for their mental health problems. The National Survey of Mental Health Resources found that there are only 4,000 psychiatrists in the country when the required number is around 13,000.

Other statistics show that the ratio of psychiatrists per 100,000 people in India is 0.3, the number of mental health nurses per 10,000 is 0.12, with psychologists at 0.07 and social workers at 0.07. However, at the brink of this crisis, there is still a stigma attached to mental health.

The idea of toxic masculinity in India encompasses certain characteristics that men should adopt, so as to not appear “feminine” and to be “manly”. The core behind these characteristics is that men should be aggressive, tough, muscular, and unemotional. An advertisement against domestic abuse told us that “men don’t cry, nor do they make others cry.”

The question that comes out is – why should men not cry or show emotions?

Why is that considered weak by the society? Men have been constantly told since childhood that expressing emotions is not masculine and that it somehow invalidates their gender identity. This, in turn, affects their mental health as they grow up lacking conventional ways of expression of emotions.

Bhavika Mehta, a second-year student who is the founder of The Happy Company, which is a mental health organisation, says, “Society has set a standard image for men, and there are so many notions around this very image of ‘mard ko dard nahi hota (men don’t feel pain)’, movies, songs and TV shows glorify this very idea of suppressing their emotions. What follows is a lifelong spiral of feeling guilty about feeling a certain way, being vulnerable, and hiding how they feel. Suppressing the emotions can cause severe effects on a person’s mental health, and then also make it difficult for them to talk about it because they’re expected not to feel that way.”

A rejection of the idea that crying is weak and negative would be a revolutionary step to do away with the stigma that has plagued entire generations of men. In fact, crying is known to have many positive impacts. Crying helps you relax, according to a study, it can help people to get support from people around them. It also helps in releasing oxytocin and endorphins which are feel-good chemicals in the brain that help with emotional and physical pain relief, improving one’s mood.

When humans cry in response to stress, it actually acts as a stress reliever. Crying also has several physical benefits – it improves your vision, cleans out bacteria, and keeps the eyes clean in general. Hence, the question arises again, why should men not cry or show emotion?

There is no logical answer to this question. For years, the ideas perpetuated by toxic masculinity have shackled men emotionally. It has led to many men (add the word for clarity) suffering from stunted emotional growth. Men should be taught from an early age that crying and expressing emotions is a completely normal thing to do, and expressing emotions should be considered healthy. Men should be steered away from the idea that violence and aggression solve everything, and should be encouraged to find healthier solutions and coping mechanisms. They should not be measured on their “toughness” and strength and should be shown that true bravery comes from expressing emotions and accepting themselves as they are.


Featured Image Credits- Redbubble


Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]

The Indian Judiciary System sure has substantial laws for the protection of women, but where does one go when these laws are not used as shields, but as weapons? 

Humanity proclaims that justice is the right of every individual, regardless of their gender, caste, social status. But what steps have we taken to ensure that? Let’s address this phenomenon that needs acknowledging but is also just as much overlooked by talking about issues faced by Men- The forgotten gender.     

India’s Sons, a documentary that brings forward the anecdotes of false rape case survivors. It’s a film that traces journey, ordeals and escapes of innocent men who were falsely accused of rape charges. This documentary aims to start a dialogue over misuse of rape laws and reveal the unsaid truth behind India’s title of Rape Capital. 

A statistical report compiled after a survey showed that out of the total rape charges filed, 53% of them were false accusations. There was a case in which, the girl, willingly eloped with her boyfriend and when she came back, the family had filed rape charges against the boy. In 2012, out of the total rape cases which were filed in Delhi, the acquittal rate (acquittal- not guilty of a crime) was 46% but after the horrifying case of Nirbhaya, when the rape laws were amended, the acquittal rate went up to 70%. Just imagine, out of 100 cases of rape accusations against men, 70 of them were in fact false. We as youngsters feel so frustrated when we are wrongfully or mistakenly accused of something we didn’t do during typical conflicts and teenage drama. Visualise the trauma one goes through when he is falsely accused of such heinous crime. One loses all respect in society, his job, his social status. Sometimes their own family disowns them. These men see no way out but to kill themselves. And sometimes they even spend decades in jail. 

Rape is a heinous crime, but if someone is falsely accused of it, it’s an equally inhuman manifestation. If this issue is still not that sensitive to you and you believe that this suffering of innocent men is a price paid for the protection of women (if you’re a Pseudo-Feminist) then let’s familiarise you with the further harsh truth. When an innocent man is accused of such crimes, the humiliation and punishment is not only faced by him but also by his 18-year-old sister and his 60-year-old mother. 

Apart from this, Section 498(a) of the Indian Penal Code, a law made with very noble motives to prevent violence and cruelty faced by married women. 35 years down the lane, Today, section 498(a) is being known as the law that’s been most misused in the history of jurisprudence. Barely 18% of the number of people accused under this law are actually found guilty. I am certain there would be a necessity for evidence of this statistic because we’re talking about men. When we talk about women, we don’t really need to give evidence.

There was once a man who had a 2-year-old son from a 6-year-old marriage. He had a DNA test conducted on his son due to certain suspicions. The next day he was arrested under the act of dowry reported by his wife when she found out about the test. Certainly, the results showed he was not the father of his child. So the child belonged to somebody else and his wife put him behind bars. There have been cases where people were accused of being incriminated in sexual harassment at the workplace because the woman didn’t get a good appraisal so she filed charges against her superior. Writers of various crime serials that are shown on television these days were asked, “Why don’t you televise cases in which the accused men were later proven innocent?” To which they answered, “When we show such episodes, the TRP doesn’t go that high. People don’t see it as an issue and don’t consider it as painful and worthy.”

While it’s a good sign that we have all these laws for the protection of India’s Daughters, why to disregard India’s sons, who might not be dead but are just existing and waiting to be buried because of crimes they did not commit.

Why should you care?

“If the cry of a wolf is made too often as a prank, assistance may not be available when an actual wolf appears” – Supreme Court of India.

Source: Martyrs of Marriage by Deepika Narayan.

Feature Image Credits: Milaap 

Avni Dhawan 

[email protected]

A video of men dancing atop cars seen to be disrupting traffic, surfaces post Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Election results. Violators are yet to be identified.

A video of men dancing atop cars in the vicinity to the North Campus caught many eyes on the social media. This video appeared post the victory of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in DUSU elections, for the posts of President, Vice President, and Joint Secretary while, the candidate from National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) won the post of Secretary, paving way for Akshit Dahiya to become the President, Pradeep Tanwar- the Vice President, Ashish Lambba- the Secretary, and Shivangi Kharwal- the Joint Secretary.

The video comprises of men dancing atop cars, sitting on their windows, bonnets, throwing pamphlets out of their cars, and disrupting vehicular traffic near North Campus area. As reported by Hindustan Times, Anil Mittal, additional Public Relations Officer of Delhi Police, when asked about the incident, said, “We are analysing the videos and are trying to identify vehicles and the persons seen in them.”

Sidharth Yadav, the State Secretary of ABVP said, “ABVP concluded its victory procession in the evening while those videos were shot at night. There are no ABVP members and candidates in those video clips. Police should identify those who violated traffic norms and take strict action against them”. Akshay Lakra, NSUI Delhi President also said that they did not carry out any procession of Friday.

Harsh Singh, a student from Shri Ram College of Commerce, said, “The most fair and accurate, or at least what should be representation of our opinion, should be election. People may have different ways of expressing their opinions, some ways being more violent than others and not allowing them to do so would be against our Fundamental Rights, but the question which arises is- where should we draw the line between availing our rights and infringing on others?” Another student, Swarnim Agrawal from Lady Shri Ram College, said, “This is what we call ‘dirty politics’. I can’t believe the magnitude of resources wasted in these extravagant campaigning for just an election. The acts of violence are also a very grim picture of the ugly and chaotic political atmosphere that we, unfortunately, are living in.”

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Priyanshi Banerjee

[email protected]

The discourse on rape of men has never shaped up in a society where irrespective of the sexes “consent” and “no” are considered redundant words.

Wikipedia defines rape as, “A type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.” Notice the use of the word “person” that should naturally include women, men, transgender, and all other recognized or unrecognized genders. But unfortunately, the law of the land has devoid consideration of men as victims of rape crimes. In August 2014, 4 men in Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh were booked for sodomizing a 16-year-old boy in a government-run protection home. A year later, in April 2015 a Madarsa teacher was booked for attempting to sodomize a male student in the same town. We use the word sodomy (anal intercourse) instead of rape here, which no longer is a criminal offence after the Supreme Court amended the language of Section 377 of IPC in September 2018 to decriminalize same-sex relations.

It was a landmark decision that freed the LGBTQ community to come out of the closet without facing the fear of legal scrutiny.  But at the same time, it abridged adult men of their only legal remedy in case of forceful anal penetration. The rape laws in our country treat men only as perpetrators and not as victims. According to Section 375 of the IPC only a man can commit rape on a woman without her consent, or with consent but under the fear of death, or with consent but under false pretences. It makes no mention of rape as a crime against men and leaves section 377 to cover that.

“A huge contributor to the social stigma around male victims of sexual assault is the lack of a functioning legal framework for them to back on,” writes Mardaangi, an Instagram page with around 3000 likes that uploads stories and mentions of sexual assaults on men.

A 2nd-year law student at Delhi University, talking about the discriminative rape laws in our country, on a condition of anonymity says, “As a welfare state our laws are more concerned towards the upliftment of downtrodden section of the society. Women and children due to historic injustice have always been given special protection under the law.” He added, “Men, on the other hand, have always been considered to be the dominating members as they are mostly in the position of power.”

Lack of consent remains an indispensable factor that naturally should make cases of unwilling sodomy come within the ambit of rape. Despite that, not only the legal framework of our country but the social conditioning too makes it tremendously tough for men to report rape crimes and avail a timely justice. The common notion that men are not vulnerable and that they always crave for sex has diluted the conversation around rape of men. Friends, peers and even the authority will likely deride a male victim and label the incident redundant leaving him traumatized.

Rape laws in India have developed over time. The law whose genesis can be traced in Macaulay’s Indian Penal Code of 1860 got amended many times before reaching its current stage. Changes include the inclusion of custodial rape, which criminalized rape by a public servant in 1983 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 followed by the Nirbhaya rape case. In 2012, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act or POCSO was passed which made rape against a child under the age of 16 a criminal offence and laid provisions for the investigation of the crime in a manner that the child doesn’t get traumatized. This law is gender-neutral and treats male children as victims as well. A legal framework for the protection of adult males can be a next step in the evolution of rape laws.

Feature Image credit: themileage.org


[email protected]

Many New Year resolutions constitute cutting toxic people out of our lives. Maybe it’s time for women to cut off those relationships in their lives which demand too much emotional labor, and is not reciprocated.

People are a product of their past, their circumstances, and how they deal with them. To say that everybody should see a therapist when they become an adult is a privileged statement. Not everyone has access to therapy, maybe because of their social status in the society or the general lack of resources. However, if we look at heterosexual relationships, it is clear that women are treated as therapists and it becomes their job to ‘fix’ the man in their life.

Women who stay with men during their troubled years are seen as loyal and are highly romanticized. One might have heard, men discover themselves while staying in relationship with women who do all the emotional labor to deal with their man’s trauma, and try to stick by their side throughout. Women are encouraged to stay through a man’s financial troubles, mental health issues, physical and verbal abuse, and violence so that she is there to help him to take control of his life. They are ‘broken’; they need help to keep it together. If these women choose to take an exit, they are often made to feel guilty for being selfish, and for choosing not to nurture the man. We need to stop blaming women for a man’s inability to take control of his life.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. You know what they say in the popular culture, right? Take a broken man, fix him, and he will love you forever, but you know what is the actual truth? You take a broken man, try to fix him but instead you break yourself in the process. Men, women are not your emotional caretakers or rehabilitation centers. They can stay beside you and support you but it’s not their job to ‘fix’ you. You need to work on yourself. You should be willing to improve. She’s not meant to heal your wounds. The amount of emotional labor it takes to be a person’s entire support system and a therapist to deal with their trauma is too much, and women, historically have been doing so. When a man chooses his romantic partner, he ideally look for a mother in the woman. In 2019, we’re here for emotional vulnerability that is reciprocated in a healthy relationship, not men who use women to confront their trauma. It’s a patriarchal idea that needs to go away and the balance of power in romantic, heterosexual relationships needs to be restored.

Feature Image Credits: The Meaningful Life Centre


Disha Saxena

[email protected]


With the onset of fall, chilly air streams curl down our sleeves. Who doesn’t love winters? With exams on the front, we decide to hibernate: sleep endlessly under those warmest blankets, the decor of the room setting the right mood. Amidst this, the plan is to create new style statements that combat the cold whilst making us a fashion icon.

Auburn brings you a couture to explore your type of warmer: furry coats, denim jackets, or the exclusive leather ones.

For him:

1. On days when the wind is fierce, a longer coat can really be your best friend. Trench Coats cover down to the knees when buttoned.

2. A scarf is not enough to keep the neck warm, and Turtlenecks are an awesome first line of defense against those frigid winds.

3. Half-Cardigans keep you safe from the winters and also give loud signals of being a stud!

4. Hooded Jackets serve the purpose when it comes to comfort and warmth. They look fluffy and give the perfect winter look.

5. Denim Jackets have been an all all-time favourite. These might not be very chill-safe yet they are your perfect pals when it comes to fashion sense.

6. Bikes, Boots, Babes and Leather Jackets! Every guy must own one of these, it is undoubtedly a safe option!

For her:

1. Quilted Jackets with hoodies are the best for the warmth; they help us keep safe from the freezing cold while maintaining a fashion sense.

2. Initially Blazers were typically worn as officewear, but now they are in fashion as informal wear. Perfect for an interview or your office wear, you can team them up with trousers. You can even wear a casual look by picking up a cotton or linen blazer and a pair of denims.

3. This year was full of prints! Printed Jackets add the right amount of poise in the usual boring winter wear. You can find them in animal prints, 3D prints or blossoming florals.

4. Trenchcoats are a great buzz. Wear them over a sweater or a dress and look dazzling. They are a great pal in the snow and unlike woollen coats they are light weight and waterproof.

5. This season is all about the Faux-Fur Coat. Turn up the texture and team up with dark colours and high collars for some gothic romance.

6. If you want an adventurous or bold look then Biker Jacket is something girl must have. It’s a sort of short coat with hip length. Its made of leather generally and coloured in black, but if you want you can go for other colours too. Biker jacket with a pair of blue jeans gives you a smart and fashionable look.


Feature Image Credits: Uniqlo

Radhika Boruah
[email protected]