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Why Are Men Afraid Of Aurat March?

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‘Jism’ means ‘body’ in all the dictionaries. Nowhere has it been synonymised with ‘sex or sexuality’ except in the mind of social media Ghairat brigade that has used most explicit filth and abuse against the slogan and for the men and women who support it, writes Fauzia Yazdani.

I have never seen such an outrage against a slogan as I have seen for “Mera Jism- Meri Marzi”. A verbatim co-option of global slogan ‘my body-my right’. At home this slogan has become an icon of female anatomy; a slogan which has smeared our culture and tradition. A slogan that has tarnished religious protocols – whereas all it says is MY CHOICE.

It brings out the hypocrisy of most of men and society that do not allow women to get out of a socio-religio-cultural boxing of their desire. Interestingly, neither religion nor culture was defaced when a religio political party used derogatory slogan like pehan-di-siri meaning ‘head of your sister’. Religio-socio-cultural sensitives also remained unmoved when abusive words were publicly used by the same party. And right after these words ‘Nara-e-Takbeer and Nara-e-Risalt’ were raised.

Aurat March last year stung the social conscious of our society. While marching for equality and access to rights, some placards were linguistically stingier than the others. They crossed the permissible social barrier by using some expressive language which is ok to be used for men but not for a woman. Hell broke loose. Come March 2020, and the ganging against the march is growing louder by character assassination of the brave women to filling of Public Interest Litigation in the High Courts of Sindh, Lahore and Islamabad. Why? Because the word ‘jism’ has sexual connotation; is akin to the desire to be naked; is not reflective of our religio-cultural sensitivities – as per the ‘men who filed’.

‘Jism’ means ‘body’ in all the dictionaries. Nowhere has it been synonymised with ‘sex or sexuality’ except in the mind of our most popular drama writers, comedy actors and of course social media Ghairat brigade that has used most explicit filth and abuse against the slogan and for the men and women who support it.

I did a vlog on the subject and have since been the recipient of choicest abuses. Most who abused – I went through up to 300- hurled filthiest sexual superlatives. Irony died many deaths as most had Quranic verses in their bio and on their timelines and while telling me that I have violated the religious dictate they chose to just see me as an object of sexual desire which should be sexually violated. To bring a religio-socially deranged person (as per them) back to the realm of religion all they could think was “f***k You” – is that a religio designated or permissible way? Is it our culture? Is it socially acceptable? I rest my case.

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No what did I say – I just showed mirror to the society that we are women – living humans that cannot be boxed like Russian dolls. Our women are boxed as second rate gender the moment they are born. They socio-cultural preferences ring their cot – be it the baby pink color; food; clothes; or access to education; and work opportunities.

The socio-cultural barriers grow as a girl grows-up. The women are shattering the glass ceilings and flexing their muscle to push the socio-cultural boundaries. Their voices are becoming a collective to claim their rights and space in society. This has created jelly legs with insecure men.

To me, this insecurity is due to the fear of being called out and caught with hand in cookie jar. They are afraid that women will no more be quiet when they are touched ‘innocently’ by men while they walk past you. Or when men flash themselves in public park considering it to be their right. And the society tells us ‘oh boys will be boys’ or ‘it happens-ignore”; or worst what were you wearing.

They are afraid that women will no longer waive their right of inheritance in favour of their brothers; or allow their heads to be pushed down as yes to marry against their will; or being pushed into an underage marriage. And she would no longer agree to be in an abusive marriage and seeks divorce and refuses to take the societal blame on her for ruining her family name and life of her children, if any. 

They are afraid that what if one day a daughter chose to kill her father in the name of ‘honour’ for dishonoring the family as the father, who was head of Islamic studies department, is caught red handed molesting his students. They are afraid that what if she slaps his brother on the road who raises hell if her scarf slides an inch but loves to stand on corner of street or outside a girls’ college to cat called, eve teased or ogle. What if instead of committing suicide, she chooses to throw acid on the Mamu, chacha, bhai, behnoi, Qari sb, driver, cook, her own father and brother who makes sexual advances on her.

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The men at workplace are afraid that what if a woman starts screaming at them when they make lewd gesture with their tongue, and stare at her while sipping their tea. Or when they are slapped hard when they causally run their hand or pat on their back. Or refuses to stay quiet on being harassed at work as it may cost them their job and respect. And at home refuses to take that slap from the younger brother for coming home late at night from work, while he’s leaving with his friends for dinner.

It’s not the march but these insecurities which are making men anxious with high palpation. It’s the fear of the beygharitis of so the called gheyrat brigade being exposed that has made them sleepless.

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