Inequality of Men and Women in Pakistan, who is to blame?

25 Mar

The disparity between men and women in this society becomes more apparent to me day by day. Keeping the anatomy and body structure of men and women aside, the way we perceive women creates a huge gap between both genders. My mother has told me several times, that our society is a sphere dominated by men, but the sad part is that men are not solely responsible for it, but in fact women have played a huge role in undermining their individuality and elevating men to a level of demigods. While men enjoy the extravagant nature of their bilogical make-up, women are constantly reminded of their already lack of authority within society. This is not a general outlook upon the world itself, but merely a reductionist opinion on a majority of realities within Pakistan.

I’m trying really hard to make this piece of writing level headed in the sense that I should probably mind my language, but it causes great frustration to withhold indecent words when society is developing into a joke of the century. Laugh on folks, cause if we don’t change the way we think or the manner we raise of sons and daughters in, women will be in for the ride of their life. Not exactly an enjoyable ride, but a very unpleasant ride which leads to the living dead neighbourhood somewhere nearby the Grim Reaper. Would we want our daughters to be buried alive under expectations which carry hypocritical value?

Before a girl gets married off, the majority of elder relatives start preaching her about how she should mould herself into the very woman every man desires in our surrounding. By that I mean that she should be able to know how to act around her husband in a respectable manner, this includes the way she sits and talks and also the way she interacts with his entire family. Crazy? Yes indeed, I rarely hear women tell their sons anything of that sort, let me correct myself there; “I NEVER HEAR MEN BEING LECTURED” about the way they should behave infront of their wives. Let’s label this phase that girls have to encounter before marriage as the “Lecture all you want” phase, where aunties and mothers and especially those newly wed women gather around the girl and try to alter her personality into one that can be squashed into tiny juicy pieces. This is a joyous occassion where all females get together and help create a new and vulnerable woman, where all her desires, likes and dislikes are shoved into a tiny corner. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that her brain becomes the property of the man, literally. Any thought that rebels against her husband’s mental mind frame is unacceptable and she ‘needs’ to think from his point of view, how come we never see men attempting to perceive things the way their wives do? I’m not pointing any fingers, I suppose with such an accusatory article there isn’t any need to point fingers.

How many times have we heard women complain incessantly about girls ‘of age’ sitting home after completing their studies, I think its something several women chatter on and on about in every street corner. As soon as a girl has finished her desired studies, the parents can’t wait to throw her out of the house, you see she is sucking all the financial accumulation in that house (eye rolls). You see its a disgrace to the family if a girl is within the household that she was brought up, that is after the age of education, in every place it varies according to their wants and cultural affiliations. But hell yes, it is acceptable in fact justifiable if a ‘boy turned man‘ has successfully completeted his educational endeavour and is taking a ‘gap year’ to look for jobs and going on late night road trips with his friends. That’s not a ‘major’ problem, the issue of significance is that a girl is quitely sitting at home and is unmarried. While all this is going on, neither the men nor women around the girl are able to realize the mental strain that a girl has to go through. The fact that she is comfortably residing in her father’s house itself is looked down upon by the women around her, trust me everyone denies it but they’re all thinking it in their heads. That’s how we have been conditioned to think since we have been children. Our mothers teach their girls how to be independent in today’s world and think for themselves but if God forbid that very thought process rebels against the mothership then it becomes a threat. The easiest solution is to eliminate the threat, in other words get her married off in a nice household where she will learn to hold her tongue for the rest of her life. Sounds like a party? Except at this party, society acts like music for the ears and taunts play the role of food and drinks. Once again, I know this doesn’t happen everywhere, but this is an apology from the depth of my heart to those girls who are going through this right now and I am to blame since I have never spoken up for any of you ever.

Why are we pressurizing our daughters into living for others rather than themselves? To hell with that kind of discipline, you teach your girls how to think but restrain that ability when she starts speaking sanely. The minute she starts questioning why she should remain quiet if her male relative has touched her inappropriately or why she can’t be allowed to go out at decent hours of the evening when she sees her brother roaming the city all night long? A woman’s vulnerability in physical strength is a strong factor in asking them to remain shush on such fragile topics, I myself agree that in a city like Karachi it is unsafe for girls to roam at late nights of the hour, but why don’t we ask our men to become more decent men who won’t harrass any and every girl they see walk by in dresses that are a little too tight or short. Has self restraint and conscience become so rare that these are alien concepts to all of us?  It suprises and disgusts me at the same time when people are easily passing judgements on girls they don’t even know first hand. If her male colleague has dropped her off home cause her car broke down at night, this is sufficient reason to label her as a ‘loose girl’, if you don’t believe me then maybe you should take a Pakistan tour and eavesdrop on every street. But then again thankfully there are some parts in our community which are incredibly sane, this includes that minority which thinks from the brain, this minority gracefully does not pass any judgements. In order to create a bit of a chart, let me draw another situation, there’s a young man who has been known for flirting with women and being a total casanova. Before he gets married off to his wife to be, his character will be squeaky clean compared to a girl who is appararently ‘loose’. All the ladies of the family will mention how he merely had his ‘fair share of fun’ and ‘harmless’ time pass and that now his loyalties will lie only with his wife.

All these words might come off a bit too harsh towards men. But its not meant to be directed towards all men, in reality this is a recommendation to all those women and growing girls so that they realize that men and women are beautiful creatures of God, they are not meant to overwhelm each other. All my females fellows need to learn to love and grow for themselves and no one else, appreciate yourselves, do not allow anyone whether it be your own blood to ever make you feel unworthy. If things are weighing down upon you, I beg you don’t give up and don’t give in. I hope that we all learn to value our daughters and their opinions as much as we surrender to our sons.

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10 Responses to “Inequality of Men and Women in Pakistan, who is to blame?”

  1. S. Ahmad March 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    I think that most of the parents in this south Asian society are scared of that bad moment when their daughter is accused of some thing which she never did. And it happens in most of the cases around us. Parents also live in the same society and they know the power of man domination. And let me say that this behavior is not only found in south Asia but all over the world. For an example if a girl does not have a

    man to go out, see how she is treated( currently) I m not discussing the values. I think it al happens because women is physically weak but precious like a diamond which is always kept in a secure sroundings. I agree that women have the right live nicely but she will always need the security b cause of her physical weakness and the men dominated society.

    • heart2woman March 26, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thank you for your comment.
      I think the South Asian society has a long way to go, the matter of fact is that women should stop stereotyping other women. We need to develop a more open approach.

  2. sidra March 26, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    This article makes a lot of sense and gives voice to many opinions that women in our society hold only in their heads.
    Girls being raised in our society are rarely told that in life we have a place which is only ours, instead we our encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others. Rather than being taught to be our own person, we our taught to listen to and follow others. It is high time that the women in our society realize their true potential and discover who they are!
    This can only be done if women voice how they feel just like this article has managed to.

    • heart2woman March 26, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      True that, thanks for the comment 🙂

    • Salman Rajan March 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Not many have the strength to stand up and talk. I am glad that you’ve written an unbiased discourse on the notion which requires thoughtful consideration and is the need of the hour.

      I gauge that the fault is within ourselves, we are bred in the shadows of hypocrisy!

      A woman should not be subjected to distress this has been strongly forbidden in every faith and religion. She is the seed of universe through which mankind breathes and is procreated. Like wise the seed is the most guarded emerald.

      Irony is that for time and again she has been subjected to hegemonic atrocities. Denouncing very essentials for thriving and existence.

      Woman has played her role within the prescribed paradigms with full responsibility. She is an affectionate mother, a compromising sister, an attentive daughter and she continues her struggle to be the fruitful seed.

      High time we learn to respect the Seed as we all are brought into existence from that very seed.

      • heart2woman March 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

        Thanks Salman, I’m sure people like you will change this course of attitudes in our society.

  3. Shaza's Scrapbook March 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    I agree with most of your points – although I can’t say I have experienced most of them, I have definitely noticed a double standard in the expectations/accepted actions of men vs. women.

    I wouldn’t say that this type of behaviour is only specific to the South Asian population though – having never lived in Pakistan, I can definitely attest to the fact that there is still disparity in the “Western” (I have it in quotes for lack of better word!) world. Ofcourse, South Asian countries have a longer way to go than “Western” ones, but you’d be suprised at the double standardness/inequalities throughout all cultures.

    I do agree that it has to be US – especially women – that can help bring change 🙂

    • heart2woman March 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      True that, it doesn’t exist in South Asian countries solely, it prevails throughout the world. Whether it be the middle east, Europe or any place. We all have a long way to go, maybe some have more distance to cross than others. Thanks for the comment.

  4. anjum March 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    its very nice well written

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