Women in Pakistan: And our vow to silence?

29 Mar

Remain quiet and the world will be silent, speak up and the whole world will sceam with you.

Invisible sweat of fury forms on her fingertips, whilst she feels a nerve throb against her forehead, an univiting scream makes its way to the throat but it dies down as soon as the girl feels her expressive protest is completely useless. This is what happens to several girls throughout this nation and most likely in many parts of the world, they are rendered speechless. Why, you ask? Simply because their protest will go unnoticed and will most probably play the cards against rather than in their favour. Hence the sole solution seems to be silence, which in turn creates an ignorant counter effective process of undermining the significance of the female voice in many matters. Is this a general happening within this country? Not really, along with time, perceptions have started to alter and as a result many parents and relatives have formulated a sense of awareness and appreciation for a woman’s/girl’s vocal authority. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, but just sometimes it can suffocate you into bitter misery where you either kill everyone around yourself or take your own life.

Silence prevails throughout. Shhhh someone might hear.

Have you ever heard the standard sentence ‘Just bear a little more and things will gradually sort out, he needs you to be understanding’, well I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it several times. That’s what many women in our society are preached, continuous reminders of her ‘submissive’ role are embedded within the mind frame. It is instilled in them since they are little girls, when they see their aunts or elder sisters unhappy and going through a rough time during their marriage, they are conditioned to think that there must be something that those women are doing wrong. Maybe she should be “more” compromising, or she should put in more “effort” in her relationship, no matter how unreasonable the man is being. Let me remind all the readers that this is not a general opinion but rather it is a reductionist approach aimed at those women I have seen and heard of. No doubt, both the male and female party need to invest a lot into marriage which requires a few compromises and sacrifices, but surprisingly enough there are many cases where the woman seems to be the only component of the marriage formula that keeps on trying to level the equation.

When our women express their disappointment and unhappiness in a marriage, we jump to conclusions that it might be the initial ‘hardship’ of the relationship where two people learn to adjust with each other. For quite a few women, it’s not the weighing intricacy of the new bond formed that is causing strain, but it’s things that go on inside those four walls when no one’s around. As mentioned before, some women prefer to use the silent treatment with everyone even their loved ones despite the fact that they are having a brutally awful time with their new husband. Are women a piece of cake to live with? Hell, no! Women can be ‘equally’ difficult, erm let’s be honest, women can be harder to tackle than men. Keeping this point aside, let’s focus on women being maltreated. After women say ‘I do’, some men switch into superiority mode and gracefully accept that the wife is now their property. Beat the living shit out her, stop her from meeting her family members, stop her from watching her favourite tv shows, sounds like a fairytale? I think I’ve exaggerated this a bit too much, in case ladies reading this start processing that this blogger has ‘some issues of her own’, stop right there! I never said that ‘all’ men were like this, but come on I know people who have been through such marital atrocities.

Some of us Pakistani women have this disgusting habit of keeping secrets, which should clearly be revealed rather than hidden under a burden of emotions and trauma. After years of beatings, one fine day the family members or siblings realize their ‘loved one’ is taking hits for petty reasons. By that time the majority of people think it’s too late, they believe that sufficient sexual, emotional and timely investment has been made and tearing the wife away from her husband would be an ‘inconsiderate’ move. What happens in this case? Nothing much really, the siblings and parents make regular calls and visits in order to check that the woman hasn’t dropped dead after a sumptuous beating from her better half. In many cases I’ve heard that the siblings gather the courage to get the husband beaten up to keep him in his place and prevent him from turning into a serial wife killer. One of my really good friends has some strong and rather reasonable opinions on such cases, she says the best option is to castrate the man, but that may lead to an enjoyable imprisonment. Hypocrisy? Yes, we all lather ourselves in double standards where the man can get away with a good old regular beating but no one can get away with getting rid of a man’s essential anatomy. Sighs*.

This is not the end of my complaints ladies, don’t worry there’s more to come. What about the crazy idea where wives are ‘forbidden’ or ‘restrained’ from meeting their own siblings and parents. Those women must not have been aware that they were going to be fortified into isolation, reasons you ask for this imprisonment? Here are a few, ‘Who’s going to tend to my house when you’re not at home?‘. I know what many of you are thinking, is the house a new-born baby that needs to be breast-fed from a lactating source? A few other reasons include ‘What about my mother, she’s going to be home alone while you’re gone?’, this being said while the mother in law comfortably lies on the sofa watching an intensely dramatic soap on the television. Let me add this my loves, that no one is ill or in a position of assistance within that household but somehow the wife needs to stay put and must not make that visit to her parent’s place. Gradually some men invade the woman’s whole life, where she has to submit to his likes and dislikes on the television as well, which leads to her watching her favourite tv shows when he’s out at work. I must say that many of our mothers are lucky cause they can watch their dragging soaps on television without any complaining from our fathers 🙂

The key question is why women keep their mouths shut? Why do they believe lifelong silence is preferable to an expression of pain and suffering?

So many of our sisters, aunts, daughters don’t exclaim their tedious lives to us because they simply don’t want others to be part of the ongoing misery. Their love and concern for us keeps them from reflecting their own life stories because it will ignite a chain of events which will not affect them in a singular sense, but will encircle the entire family. The society will devour the parents with taunts and inquisitive expressions of their daughter’s unstable domestic environment. Sometimes all a woman thinks is, why should I take everyone down with me when I’m already facing it alone? That’s where there are completely and utterly wrong! All women owe it to themselves to speak up when they feel something is wrong, neither can we blame the whole society nor can we point fingers at our families. How are our ‘loved ones’ supposed to alleviate our hardships and problems if we don’t give them a chance?

For once let’s think about ourselves ladies, and stop fretting about external factors, all men and women deserve their share of happiness.

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4 Responses to “Women in Pakistan: And our vow to silence?”

  1. anjum March 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Well when women think about themselves its called the selfish instinct its.the way these things are fed into our circulatory system that we dont even know when to raise our voice for the right thing as we have lost our judging cababilities.

  2. Saba April 1, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    It indeed was a treat to read through this article detecting the sheer tint of revolution n stand for change within our ownselves. I still believe the change has to work in totality of whole social scenario. Yes. It starts from home, it starts with your own self. But who are those who advise woman to keep shut up! Us! It starts from your mother n I m glad thar today mother do not want their daughters to go through what they had experienced in exploitation of being mothers, daughters n wives only but never being known, identified n liberated as woman. I had all my life been preached by my mother never to get along a single day in a marriage that is just a drag probably because she has been swallowing the bitter taste of life for years. And I think this approach now is traveling from top to bottom of the society. This age is growing very fast, probably faster than all previous ages. So I believe this change for speaking for one ownself, which I strongly advocate but also being aware of the fragility of the equilibrium of society, will not take longer to be a part of our domestic lives. But we must be aware that this change doesn’t have to be n cannot be independent of our socio economic features. Just like having the international fast food chains or flow of mobile or currency doesn’t make you a stable nation, the same manner it has to be emancipation phenomenon of woman will make the job far more easier n it’s been noticed that socially independent women do not let go of it easily. 🙂 and yes even if it’s the woman who learn to speak, the subjugation phenomenon works more on ” conflict theory” than “interactive approach” Man- woman relationship, though the only real relation of mankind, still is the love-hate relationship.
    One,man or woman, has to work in unanimity for a better generation as a survival rule of existence as we, the homosapiens, are the most successful specie so far. Sometimes I recall Shaw believing only in happier healthier n secured mother child relation. So how imorptant motherhood is for woman. We understand only when we become mothers. If a woman takes the second hardest pain after heartstroke in medical terms for reproductions, she likes to go extra mile for this cause bearing with little more nuisance of inlaws n stuff 🙂

    • heart2woman April 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      Thank you for the comment 🙂
      I agree with your stance that everything works on a holistic approach and that it will work with relevance to the socio-economic functions of our society. Additionally I appreciate your share of experience and perspective on this matter, and we do witness that the top-bottom flow of things is more effective where the young people are willing to bring changes in themselves and not turn their backs on their ideologies. I absolutely loved your connection with the homo-sapien nature of things and evolution, it has inspired me to write a comparative analysis on women with reference to ‘survival of the fittest’, women owe their unanimity for society to stay grounded and well structured, and more importantly happy. Many of us choose the ‘conflict’ approach whilst others opt for the ‘interactive’ mannerism, either way there is exchange of human emotions, ideas of a man and woman, as much as we’d like to stike out conflict from the equation, it comes back at us at some point. As long as the interaction is healthy, even if that risks a bit of conflict, I suppose we’re all good. Thank you for your insight on Shaw 🙂 Please do keep your posts coming, much appreciated.

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