Why Do Younger OTT Men Make Patriarchal Husbands but Feminist Fathers?


Why Do Younger OTT Men Make Patriarchal Husbands but Feminist Fathers?


When most middle-class families gather to watch heartland stories like Panchayat on OTTs, the narrow pathways of third-tier cities are creating a lot of buzz in our living rooms. After COVID, families that have returned to their regular lives are figuring out how to maintain the bonds they formed with their parents and siblings during the lockdown.

These wholesome, family comedies on OTTs are providing us with a taste of the ease of life and giving us yet another reason to connect over those memories when we go to our grandparents' hamlet over the summer. These tales center on regular individuals with the same hopes and desires that we all shared as children.

In the television series Panchayat, Pradhan Ji (Raghhubir Yadav), who is actually the former Pradhan and the husband of Pradhan Manju Devi, is a devoted parent who shows his affection for his daughter Rinky (Sanvika) via everyday deeds rather than extravagant gestures. Pradhan and Rinky always had a loving presence on screen, whether they were prioritizing Rinky's approval during her marriage proposal or cracking lighthearted jokes about her mother.

I enjoyed their chemistry since it is similar to the relationship many girls like me have with their fathers. While not the most verbose people, our fathers show their love by gratifying all of our wants rather than just our requirements. The same Pradhan, however, treats his wife differently, as many of us have undoubtedly seen in our own homes.

The progressive Pradhan, who supports her education and wants her to marry the man of her choosing, is unrestrictive when it comes to his wife but suddenly adopts a patriarchal attitude when it comes to his daughter riding a scooter out with her friends. Manju Devi, his wife, is the rightful Pradhan, thus, he must refrain from abusing that position or forcing her to serve only as a rubber stamp.

When Devi actively seeks out information about the duties of a Pradhan and believes that politics is beyond a woman's league, Pradhan is frequently discouraged. It's not a weakness in the character; rather, it serves as a metaphor for how educated men fail to accept their wives as equals with goals and aspirations, while also wanting to raise their children to be progressive feminists.

Deeply ingrained patriarchal ideals that prevent men from embracing their spouses as their true "better halves" are the cause of these unequal standards. The educated males of today are overcoming the pervasive prejudice against boys and girls in early childhood. This may result from their inability to discriminate against their own blood due to their unwavering devotion to it. Or the competitive character of society, where every father wants their child to outperform the youngster down the street, could be the cause of this "wokeness."

Whatever the motivation, modern fathers are willing to go against the traditional patriarchal ideals they were raised with in order to give their daughters an equally great future. They frequently overlook their fundamental rights while providing emotional and financial support for their marriages. Since moms are expected to prioritize their children, this gap is virtually ever closed. Therefore, even if a man treats his daughter well but not his wife, he will still be seen as a "perfect man."

We only saw Yash, Supriya, and Sheel interact briefly in the Netflix crime drama Mai. Still, it was enough to illustrate how many males in our society respond when dealing with family dynamics. Yash was a devoted and understanding father who was so understanding that his daughter, Supriya, felt comfortable discussing her relationship and lover with him rather than with her mother. However, Yash was also the same person who, despite Sheel's request, was unable to defend his wife in front of his older brother.

We may have once seen our fathers or brothers behave like Yash in front of loved ones, choosing to remain mute rather than stand by their wives.

A relationship cannot be considered equitable until both partners view themselves as having equal freedom and choice. Even these OTT fathers struggle to recognize their partner as a unique human being with desires and choices; this is because of the way the patriarchal system operates. No matter who the woman is or what she does, her interactions with her spouse will always come under close scrutiny. Her sense of self becomes less important. Her principal label is her role as a wife, mother, sister, etc.

In a partnership, communication is necessary and cannot be chosen. Whether it comes from a man or a woman, it can be absent from any two sides. Alisha's father, as we saw in Gehraiyaan, granted her the freedom to distance herself from him, even to despise him and hold him responsible for her mother's suicide. In order to give her time to grieve and maintain that distance from him, he does.

Vinod, however, was unable to give his wife the same privacy. His wife was choked to death by the need to fix everything with her. He kept her mother's infidelity a secret in order to spare Alisha the same suffering and suffocation that her mother experienced. Yes, he was a protective parent, but as a spouse, for whatever reasons, he didn't communicate with his own life partner, which led to her choosing such drastic action as suicide.

We may encounter men like Vinood if we look about, who are willing to accept their adult daughters as people with the freedom to keep their distance from their family. These same guys might not be able to give their wives the same freedom, though. Whether they want it or not, they are required to carry out all of their responsibilities and uphold all of their relationships as someone's "wife," as that is what a "good wife" is supposed to do.

Women are expected to be appreciative and point out that at least they are carrying out their responsibilities instead of neglecting her and the children because the general expectation from men is so low that even the little gesture from their side surprises them.

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