Not a woman’s place

When I listened to Malala Yousufzai address the Canadian Parliament the previous day, I  felt nothing but respect for that girl. No, that woman. The way a nineteen year old woman could command the respect of the entire house, conservative and liberal was mesmerizing. I wished she spoke longer, I could listen for a long time perhaps with a Nazia Hassan tune playing in the background. She said she wanted to see more young ones sitting in the house of Parliament instead of many sitting there now, such was her appeal that even the oldest parliamentarians found themselves to be nodding.

I was quickly brought back to reality, the reality of pessimism and anger. My country folks don’t really let such moments pass easy, you see most people can’t tolerate strong independent women. There was a woman being honored by a house of parliament and yet she stood their telling them that they have not done enough to support a girl’s education across the globe, she told them that they need to do more. It pained me to watch so many of my own people accuse her for working on an ‘evil foreign’ agenda, obviously a girl’s right of education can only be something evil for the patriarchy.

1983 – Women’s Movement to protest against laws passed by military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq

Society on this side of the world, both sides of the border have internalized misogyny. It comes easy for them, they all feel threatened by a woman who can speak, who has her own voice. Be it the Fatima Jinnah daring to stand up to the dictator Ayub, standing up for the rights of the Bengali people or even the Sharmeen at the Academy Awards wanting to protect millions of other women from ending up like the girl in the river. Every female politician in this country has had to bear with misogynistic remarks, has had to face attacks such as not being fit to rule because of course she is a woman. Ms Bhutto paid with her life after all. Don’t take me in the wrong sense, I do not mean to say that women can not rise above all of this or that they haven’t been able to ever, but we need to understand the fact that just because that they do, does not mean that the problem does not exist. When a sitting Defence Minister can refer to a woman as a ‘tractor trolley’ to shut her up, to silence her voice, or when the leader of the opposition can crack a joke at the expense of women in a ‘light mood’, because it’s annoying when women speak, it’s obviously business only when men speak, It does help in bringing me back to this harsh reality.

For as long as Asma Jehangir’s refusal to compromise on principles means being ‘uptight’, for as long as Malala is just another foreign agent along with her partner in crime Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, as long as parents continue to stop their daughters from going out for an education, even in urban centres, and people continue to turn a blind eye we can not hope to progress. This battle is not and was not one to be fought alone by Ms Jinnah, Mehtab Rashdi or Nazia Hassan trying to break cultural norms, this is not just ‘a women problem’, this is a moral problem and we all must be a part of this movement, to break the patriarchy and to call out misogyny.

 

The iconic Dupatta burning protest by Pakistani Feminists in 1983 against the military dictator Zia, this later became a symbol for resistance and freedom

 

Exposing Conspiracies

Cover of the documentary titled, ‘Saving Face’ by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Everyone’s favorite pass time in Pakistan is to sit in drawing rooms, sip evening ‘Chai’ and discuss politics. With the spread of social media, a bit of arguing on Facebook with random people, entrenched in swearing and little logic has also come up as a serious competitor to drawing room discussions. I can’t claim to say that this is present only in Pakistan, perhaps it does happen elsewhere too but I speak from experience in Pakistan, an authority and privilege that I can’t claim to have from other parts of the world. In Pakistan, everyone tends to see themselves as geniuses, everyone is extremely smart and can quickly comprehend ‘behind the scene’ agendas of everything that is happening. Most of stuff that goes wrong is almost always if not all the time an elaborate conspiracy to work against the national interests of the State. All nations around the world, especially our neighbors and the West seem to have an unusual agenda to dismantle and crush the not so strong economically, drenched with foreign debt South-Asian country with extremely unusual and elaborate schemes.

When film-maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wins Oscars and global recognition highlighting the plight of women in Pakistan it’s all just an elaborate conspiracy. Women have had their lives destroyed by acid attacks and are killed for honour. But most Pakistani’s are too smart to buy that scam, just last year 400 plus women were not killed for honour, even more so were not attacked with acid, it’s all a lie. An elaborate scheme to defame Pakistan in front of the world, thank god the Pakistanis are smart enough to figure it out. I mean, who else doesn’t know that Oscars are only awarded for defaming Pakistan and not based on artistic excellence, nope. Countrymen going all out on Social media cursing Sharmeen and calling it a ‘RAW’ conspiracy and denying the oppression faced by women definitely does not ‘defame’ Pakistan, assuming that the national image is the sole important cause of this struggle. When a girl gets shot by the Taliban in tribal Pakistan, she is again, obviously a western agent. This is quite obvious because all the other girls or children shot by terrorists were not given the same recognition as this particular girl was given. What about the cause she represented? Pfft lies! I tell you, the situation is perfectly fine, girls are not stopped from gaining an education in the tribal areas, the Taliban in fact are fighting against foreign agents only, I mean they were all feminists during their stint at governance in Swat pre-2007. Polio drops funded by yet another western Agent, Bill Gates are actually aimed to make Pakistani citizens impotent! These people think that we are fooled by this? Polio doesn’t even exist, it was created as propaganda by forces that want to harm the national unity of the country! The people of Baluchistan have in fact not been oppressed by the state, ever! (Hint: Neither were the East-Pakistanis and nor was there a military operation in the 1970s to crush the provincial and local governments in Baluchistan). Those that try to speak up for the rights of the ‘falsely’ oppressed are in fact… yeah you guessed it right again, RAW agents!

Terror attacks in Pakistan are actually acts perpetrated by foreign Anti-Pakistan governments, the home-grown extremist organizations are actually good people, forced to do all of that by foreign governments. Although whether or not there is presence of foreign government funding is questionable, but the idea that radicalism has become entrenched in our society and has created an attraction of symbolic ideals for the people, leading them to join these organization are pure lies I tell you! There are no religious centre of Education that teach children that it is their duty to join the struggle of these terrorist organization, people who call for a crackdown on these schools are mere puppets of the West trying to gain their favour and nothing else.

Thankfully, we are extremely smart people and we know what is actually going on, none of the problems are our own fault, we are just victims of global political agendas. Everything is a conspiracy in Pakistan, and we know so because when we said this in our drawing rooms or on Facebook we got applauded and got a lot of likes. Thus reaching the logically sound conclusion.

 

(Note: This article is satire, this article does not aim to harm or hurt anyone’s sentiments or struggles. Nor does it aim to make generalizations. Any generalizations made are purely for satirical purposes to prove a point)