Men are commitment-phobic to marriage and babies. Career means everything for the rational and objective males. Men give love for sex and the women vice versa. Men are wired to be the hunter, provider and protector.
Two recent movies challenged this gender stereotyping - Hollywood's No Strings Attached, and the unexpectedly successful Indian blockbuster, Band Baja Baarat. Both began with the super cool modern stuff on relationships: "F Buddies" and "Bijness Partners" respectively, who were clear about what they wanted from the relationship - sex in one case and professional partnering in the other.
Fine so far. Quite in line with what we expected from the seen-it-all, done-it-all gen Y. Till we hit the halfway mark, when the gen Y script of the cool, detached, boy-girl relationship goes awry. The girl would have gotten emotional, you'd think. Wrong. The boy gets mushy. And Adam's love is different from Eve's. Expectedly, it is less complex, more honest and, well, somewhat stupid. 'Dil toh bachha hai ji'.
It's a sign resonating everywhere. As per a recent survey among youth in the US, more boys than girls want an early marriage and babies. Closer home, while men crave early retirement, women seek second careers, perhaps at tatasecondcareer.com.
Have the sociological swings for the male become extreme? From the 'wham bam thank you ma'am' generation to the effeminate metro-sexual to the stubbled urban lions to now 'nesting Adams', have the masculinity conflicts found their stability and the confidence to break free from the stereotype?
Or is it merely the sustained pressures of pointless overwork forcing men to seek stability in the much-ignored latter part of the work-life balance?
Perhaps, it is all this and the fact that after decades of talking about us as a young nation, we have slowly matured. Statistics will confirm it a bit later but clearly, there are a growing number of middle-aged men who form the upper crust of the society.
A majority of our movie stars are middle-aged, and the grandest old star sharply retorts with "Buddhah hoga tera baap" at the mere mention of ageing.
In a telling repartee from trailers of a new soap on Sony TV, the mature male protagonist of a middle age romance, upon being asked by his companion on why he never fell in love, responds: never had the time! Truly, "bade ache lagte hain", such dialogues, to this fast-emerging dominant urban demography of mature men who feel "zindagi na milegi dobara".
Was it this emotion that led to proliferation of the men's grooming industry, efforts at down-ageing, seeking fun, romance or even pure sexual dallianceoutside the marriage? While all work and no play dulled the male, sensitising him to the softer side of life, women simultaneously witnessed a much-delayed catching up with their professional evolution.
Women are warming up to what's due to them, in the office and at home. And the newer Adams are happily according the Eves their due. Even if Beckham inspired it, the forearm that proudly adorns his lover's name 'Kareena', needs to be shaken and congratulated.
The writer is chief of strategy and head, Water Consulting.