My problem is you , woman!

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Now, I know that the feminist out there would have my neck for this statement, but for the longest period of my life, I have simply shuddered to the idea of hanging out with women, girls, aunties – basically any form of the female species.

The reason were simple when I was a teenager: I was too much of a tom boy to hang out with a crowd, whose main concern was shoes, boys, shopping, clothes, boys, dieting, dieting, boys, shopping, jewelry, makeup, shopping, dieting, etc.

For me the topic of interest were politics, religion, international happenings, sports, actually participating in sports, books, etc. My favorite hangout was British Council. Guys, I found more or less, did offer me that variety of topics to talk to them about.

More importantly, the way I had lived my life (and still do) was more or less like a guy.. I am the oldest of my parent’s two daughter and in this regard, from an early age, I started sharing some of the responsibilities with my family. I would run errands. go to the shops, etc, things which girls hardly ever did.  Continue reading

Confused ME

I am 22 .. and i live in Pakistan.. i don’t believe in God.. and i m quite unorthodox for my society.. by which what i really mean is that.. i have never cared what people think about me thus i have never ever hidden my activities.. while my peers go on pretending to be the good Eastern girl.

It has never been about images for me.. it has never been about what people think of me… for what they think about me can never portray my real self.

My family was never the conventional Muslim family. Religion was a personal matter of every member..Education was the top most priority..

But what is one to do when they are so confused about what they want for themselves.. i know that i want a baby and a good family and a husband in whose arms i can sleep every night..but in an era where the girl has to choose between her career and her family. .. it gets to be a pretty tough choice.. for you would have to live with one of these labels for ever… Or am i making too much a deal of it then it really is?

The Pakistani Men.. Part 2

This is the second part of my own analysis on the psycology of the Pakistani Men. So here is my analysis number 4:

4. A GF AND A WIFE ARE TWO DIFFERENT SIDES OF THE COIN:

Most of the men in our society, and when I say most i mean 90% of the men, would want a gf that is fun, adventurous, wild, and ready for a bit of ahum ahum… but a wife is a different story.

The gf should be some one with whom they can go out to parties, to concerts, hang out, who is open minded and not an orthodox, who doesn’t follow connections. For their entire adulthood hey wouldn’t mind flirting and talking to girls that are of the above description, but for a wife they would always go for a simple, Jane next door sort of a girl.

The reason for this can be simple! For a wife they want a girl that would sit at home and do the house work, who is decent enough to be introduced to family, to give good values to the kids, because God forbid the “gf material” sort of a girl would never have any of those traits, right !!!!!

This twisting psycolgical aspect of the Pakistani men is yet to be understood! We need our own little Freud to do that for us.

Women and the Ultimate Choice

This posting has been a result of Grey’s Anatomy season 5 finale episode which I got to watch this week, and there was this particular scene in it that got me thinking about whatever I am writing. The scene was about Dr. Bailie and a choice that she had to make: to either accept a fellowship for pediatric training or save her marriage. It appeared that she had been given an ultimatum by her husband. If she went on to follow her career, he would divorce her!

There is nothing dramatic about it. We have all heard this story. Most of the women have been there and have been faced with an ultimatum like this at one point or the other. Many of us might have even lived this story in their lives and are now living under the shadow of that decision that they had made. And it won’t be surprising that the decision would have dramatically changed their life for the better or for worse.

This incident or story in itself is not new or astonishing. But it is astonishing that the man in our lives, the guy that we think is there to support us in anything we would want to do, refuses to support or share the burden when things just aren’t his way. Are women condemned to listening to these ultimatums and then making choices for the rest of their lives? Is there no breed of men that would walk this earth that would have more than their male egos to boost about? Men who would actually have the sensibility to know that a women is more than just the women who cooks and breeds for them, the women who is most of the time is dismissed as “not having enough brains to understand how the world really works.”

I am sure that women in all sphere have faced this and have thought the same at one or the other point in their lives. It is a tragedy that the stories of these everyday women do not reach us that walks amongst us everyday and whose reflection can be seen in the mirror as we go off to work .

But most of the names and stories that do reach us have been women that have lived in the public eyes, whose tragedies have been there for all of us to witness and to be used by the many men as examples to cite to their wives when they decide to challenge the four walls of their house. These names that come to my mind at the moment include particularly the names of Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India and Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel. Both these women have been examples of women in power who had authority and time consuming responsibilities and maybe thus hadn’t been able to give that much time to their homes that they would have liked. They had decided to take hold of their own destinies and have run their own lives in a different manner but doesn’t for one minute would have meant that they were bad mothers or wives, neither is it fair to assume that their kids would turn out wrong just because they weren’t home 24/7. It just means that they wanted more out of their lives, that they had the same ambition that their husbands had career wise. What is so wrong in it? Isn’t what is right for one gender also right for the other gender?

What is most distressing about this situation is that if a men is in the same position of power and authority that requires time and to be away from the family for a long period of time, and the women gives the ultimatum, not only would she be frowned upon by society but also be taken as a selfish women who doesn’t want whats best for the family. Put this case in the Eastern world, and the women becomes a tramp!

To cite an example from my own environment:I have this aunt who just did her Post Doctorate and at the age of 40, she is still single. In a conservative society of Pakistan where it is thought that the appropriate age for a girl to get married starts from 15 and it is highly unlikely that she can give birth after 25, she has some what challenged the society. I once read her diaries, so I know that there was a point in her life that she was about to get married and that there was a guy that she liked a lot. But then would she have been able to do all that she is doing today? Maybe it was this determination that shaped things for her so completely differently? She is considered an expert and an authority in her field in the world… would she have been all this with a husband and a family?

I guess that the precedences show that the answer is to bound to be “NO” … but hope is a symptom that is always found in the darkest of corners….

Another example from my own surrounding includes that of my mothers aunt. She got her son married off to a girl that used to work before marriage and after marriage she was told to quit it. You would nowadays find this particular aunt boosting about how she made her daughter-in-law sit in the house and take care of the new born, of how she always wanted to have a Bahoo (daughter-in-law) that would be a house wife and take care of the house. I really thought about how even this bahoo might have been given an ultimatum .. that she should either stay at home or go back to her parents house (a threat used in most Eastern household against the daughter-in-law, going back to her house means that she should go back to her parents house which is considered a great insult in the region).  Her younger son is about to be married soon to a doctor .. I really wonder what her faith is to be!

Is this too be the case always? Would women always be asked to choose between their roles as wives/mothers or pursuing something that they want?

Maybe there are some lucky damsels that have it all..maybe there are people that have found to support each other and make the most of things out of a not-so-perfect-idealized situation. Maybe there is a story out there in the world that is living by supporting each other and that is the story that needs to be told. That is the story that needs to come out of the silence and the darkness and be told ….!

Pakistani Men.. the great mystery!

They used to claim that it is a hard job to get what women are actually saying.. But I would like to disagree with that famous myth. Instead I am here with my own special thesis. And this thesis claims that it is highly difficult a job to understand men especially if they happen to be Pakistani.

There is a strange thing about Pakistani women. I would like to discuss these symptoms in a systematic manner. Let’s start with the number one issue.

1. THEY ALL WANT A VIRGIN, BEAUTY WHILE THEY CAN HAVE ONE LEG AND AN EYE:

This is not so much a symptom as a disorder. The Pakistani Men can be blind, deaf, impotent, or have no dick at all, have one leg, can be the ugliest men on the face of the planet, but still his wife has to be the version of the moon itself. She has to be pretty, petite, tiny, dependable, and ready to give it to him whenever he wants. She must a good housewife, and ready to make as many beautiful babies (read sons) as possible, be a good daughter to the mother in law and serve her husband as well as the entire family. The brides must also provide her with a huge dowry or her life can be miserable. She must bring all the comforts with her, as well as provide all the comforts for as long as she may live. Oh.. And she must also take the blame if her husband is impotent for being the one with a “Problem”

2. THEY ALL WANT TO CONQUER THE CAREER WOMEN AND WIN THE BATTLE ONE WOMEN AT A TIME BY MAKING THEM HOUSEWIVES:

The next psychological trend/disorder that you would find existing in most of the men in Pakistan is that nowadays there is a going demand for educated women. The trend is mostly due to the rising number of multi nationals, where one’s male ego is hurt just too much if their wives can’t wear caprice, and sleeveless and flirt and debate about the intellectual world around them and praise the bosses by admiring their almost nonexistent intelligence. They want wives about whom they can boost. But the career.. ahum.. that has to be stopped almost as soon as the girl says “Kabool Ha (I accept)” – our eastern version of I do. Because after all “agar tum kam karo ge to bache kon sambhale ga (If you are going to work then who is going to take care of the kids). So thus the Pakistani men can rejoice at this moment very happily as they have got one more women sitting inside the house. They have cured one more women from the sickness that is called “career-oriented” and made them be what God intended them to be. Cheers to you, Pakistani Men!

3. THEY ALL THINK THAT NO MATTER WHAT SORT OF A GIRL SHE IS, SHE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ADJUST TO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING:

The men of this grand land, I think, give little or no importance to the background that the girl comes from. They expect that well since she is moving away, she might as well understand that it is she that would have to adjust to everyone, from the Masi (the maid) to the old-almost-but-not-quite-dead-great grandmother, who looks more like a pece of relic than a human. And I am almost certain that they feel proud about it, since they have bought the sinful image of a women to the right path. Girls coming from moderately secular houses are married off to big beards to wash the sins of their daughters and give them a Rahe Haq (The right direction…. which in most cases means the religious direction)

This is a section that is to continue.. wait for as I study more and more the psycology of the Pakistani men !

What is Islam?

It is a sad situation that in a country called – or so called – Islamic Republic of Pakistan..that we as a nation lack the knowledge of our religion. Maybe this is the reason that we haven’t been able to fight the war of Talibanization with the weapon of religious discussion itself.

Whenever the argument is given that the Islam of the Taliban’s is right.. it really makes me wonder that on what basis is this being said and done. As Muslims we derive half of our interpretation of Quran and religion from the life and Sun’nah of the Prophet.. so then someone needs to tell me that at what point did this happen in the times of the Prophet?

At what time did women cover themselves up the way they do now with the hideous burqas (veils) that they have chosen to drape themselves in now?

At what time did veiling yourself was radicalized to a point where you even had to cover your eyes completely?

At what time did talking to men become wrong?

When were women not allowed to go out in Public during the times of the Prophet?

At what time were women told not to work or study?

The only way that this could be achieved today is by opening up different schools of thoughts, let it be religious or liberal. to come and research together the meaning of religion and what is it that is right or wrong according to the limits of the Quran?

It is only in religion that we would find the remedy for this epidemic called TALIBANIZATION.

we need to change the minds of people,we need for them to understand what Islam is. And that can only happen when we start to understand our religion again.

Recently, Arundhati Roy was in Karachi to be part of a program held under the banner of “Women reclaiming their place in society” and i asked my teacher who also attended the show about her views regarding this program. Her answer is something that we all should be working on. She said that the time for idealism is long gone and it is now time that we start taking some concrete steps to find a solution to the problems of Talibanization. It is now time for us to chalk out strategies.

Turkey recently did the same. To clear up the years of religious junk, exaggerated by wrong Hadiths and Sun’nah, they asked a panel of Religious Scholars to sit down and separate the genuine ones from the fake ones. This would result in clearing the religious understanding of so many people, and might even open up their minds to realize what is wrong with the Taliban’s version of Islam!