By Noman Wazir.
It’s been months that I haven’t written anything. I was a silent spectator watching everything and recording none. The reason wasn’t that I didn’t feel the urge to write, and was numb to each and every mishap around me, rather I was forcing myself not to write anything because I knew that it is not going to change anything. But today I received a call from my friend who belong to a ‘certain’ political party, which I feel should be presented to the public at large, for my own catharsis.
As soon as I received the call, he asked me what a ‘liberal’ like you think about the recent incident at Kasur in which a child has been raped and murdered.
I was silent for a while and then replied, Assalam O Alaikum!
Wa-Alaikum Salam, and in a single breath he repeated the same question.
It was really an unfortunate incident, I tried to respond.
He stopped me there and retorted that the responsibility lies with the media. The women are wearing such kind of dresses that are inviting unwarranted advances. Henceforth, men are becoming frustrated and they are forced to take ‘such steps’.
I asked him what you are going to do about that.
We will make them to wear decent dresses or there must be male newscaster, he said.
I sensed the anger in his tone, which was directed against the entire womankind, but at that very moment, I had to bear the brunt.
I asked him, brother isn’t the correlation between the rape and the dress of the newscaster is a bit unreasonable.
How is it so, he asked.
There are countless cases in which even male children are being subjected to sexual exploitation by the mortal gods- men. So if we apply the same argument, then men might be forced by the shorts and jeans of boys.
I haven’t heard anything like that, he feigned ignorance.
Javed Iqbal is a glaring example, who killed 100 kids after raping them………
He again stopped me and said that those are sick people then, who are even attracted to boys. We as a society are going down the road of moral depravity. Just visit the universities of Islamabad, boys and girls are walking hand in hand. If these things are not stopped, then those kinds of incidents will happen.
So now you are against coeducation as well, I asked.
Yes, he assertively said.
How, I inquired.
Coeducation provides with the opportunity to have sexual contacts between boys and girls.
Are you against women working outside their homes, I said.
No, he said. I am not against working women. They should work, if they want to.
If they can work together then why not to study; I tried to illustrate my point, but I am sure he did not get what I was trying to convey.
So for the women are not dressing properly, he said, and know their bounds, the obscenity will persist. The remedy suggested in the religious scriptures to thwart obscenity is no different. Therefore, we should not emulate west blindly and try to stick to our traditions.
I couldn’t agree more. We should stick to our culture and that culture is of inclusiveness and tolerance rather than exclusiveness and intolerance. We cannot just put the burden of obscenity on women. This is where we are all wrong. If the religious scriptures are exhorting to women to be modest, then the same scriptures are saying to men to lower their gazes. However, men are not doing their part while forcing women to be modest. Moreover, if they are not up to their perceived notions of modesty, then they are even blamed for the rape. Here in this case, the child is not blamed directly, but still the womankind is a subject to criticism.
So what do you suggest that we should allow women to wear bikini, he scoffed.
Who am I to tell them what to wear and what not to wear, I replied. Here the problem is not of dressing, but it is actually a mindset which needs confirmation bias whenever such kind of mishap has ever taken place. So this mindset needs to be changed.
What is this mindset, he asked.
The mindset that a woman and man cannot have the formal relationship; they cannot interact like that of normal humans and whenever they do, then the result will be the dirt of man. Consequently, this mindset gives birth to the absurd notion of modesty that revolves around women. For some if woman is working outside her home, then she become immodest. For others if a woman is not wearing shuttlecock burka, then she is obviously immodest. For the rest of us, if a woman is opinionated then she become an object of ridicule, and termed as immodest. On the contrary, a man will post his ripped body on cyber forums and no one will say a word against him. He will wear shorts, let alone the criticism, he will be appreciated.
The point I want to make is that the perception of society as a whole to man is different and to woman is different; furthermore, if I use the word discriminatory, then it will not be wrong.
OK! He said.
I have to go, because guests are waiting for me. I will talk to you later on. And our conversation ended.
This article does not reflect the views and opinions of the Weekly Pakistan and is the sole intellectual property of the writer.
The writer is a socio-political analyst from Fata. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org