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12 Annoying Personality Traits Of Men Who Graduate From Aitchison

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Every woman who marries, courts, or holds some relation with a man who graduates from a male-only preparatory institute has to carefully separate the male-only part from the human parts of that man. The separation is no less complex than an aneurism extraction surgery and the tension is electric.

Is he human or is he a sad excuse for a human? What remains a forever conundrum has now found its way into Pakistani women’s collective angst against a Lahore based legacy preparatory institute called Aitchison. This institution that gave us our current Prime Minister was once called the Chief’s College catering to the needs of the male heirs of princely states and tribal chiefs. It was a kind of a desi Eton or Harrow and like those boys’ schools it maintains the legacy of elite male privilege, though without the same substance that is associated with those British boarding schools.

Even in Britain, the age of a single sex preparatory school has long passed with only four such stubborn institutions still resisting the winds of change.  Aitchison is of course not the only such boys’ school in Pakistan. There are several cadet colleges which produce the same kind of toxic masculinity. Cadet College Hassan Abdal, PAF Public School Sargodha and Military College Jehlum are a few others that come to mind.  However while these other cadet colleges administer competitive entrance exams into class 8 and above, the only criterion for entry into Aitchison is who you know and what your father does.

I would like to therefore, illustrate with twelve characteristics I find most common features of the grown men who have emerged from there with a massive superiority complex. 

The alumni bio always mentions Aitchison

No matter what a man does all his life in Pakistan, even if he has achieved world domination, his bio will always mention Aitchison, and he will feel the itch to mention it in all conversations. He may be a head of state, or a roller blading scientist, but the brand name appears like a South Asian holds out his caste.

A gross self-obsession

I illustrate with a story I heard from a girlfriend. She was at a small gathering of friends where an Aitchisonian alumnus, from the class of the time Madonna released her first hit single showed up. She said that when the gentleman found himself ignored at a party, he made it a point to say to her on his way out: “We haven’t been introduced. You seem alright.” Juxtaposed together these two sentences do not mean much except a casual goodbye from an overgrown toddler, put apart they could be interpreted to mean, perhaps you are fine enough to have presented yourself me and it is now left to me to decide whether you are alright or whether you are not socially presentable.

A finite ability to learn the courtship process

I’m not saying that all men from this institute get embroiled in a sleeping-with-the-house-maid scandal, or date age-inappropriate young girls who they leave after knocking up, I’m saying that they hold women in low esteem and prowl those who are easier to intimidate. Intimacy is more frightening than a cave full of attractive women that would rather watch paint dry than talk to your self-aggrandizing monologue. No one wants to know how you slayed power, not even your mom, she listens because of biology.

They have WhatsApp groups to reinforce the bro-code

In addition to a long list of sacred cows that range from a discussion of politics or religion, they herd around this app and think it’s a company they own with a full on board structure and a CEO. Also, this is where the we-need-cover-for-each other culture thrives and contradicts we-need-to-stick-together culture. They congregate like fishermen, catfish people here and whale hunters over there. A highly co-dependent culture, really, and no they don’t choose their addictions wisely.

There is only one type of women

Mothers aren’t women, they are mothers. This is where the harassment debates go one way: Women ask for it and then crib when they can’t handle the heat. He’s got a family to protect. What a home-wrecker. This is where the professor who harassed a student sexually and claimed her zip snapped on its own is held in favour of the professor.

There is one type of man

This is where homophobia is celebrated like a good day at the stocks. Insults and slurs are about laughing at anything remotely effeminate. Somewhere, someone knows that a thriving gay culture exists, but the only acknowledgement is touting toxic male masculinity. In fact Aitchisonians seem to protest too much, which makes sense because the stories from there are stuff of legend.

Women over 50 are only ugly

There is a granular understanding that if a man from this clique finds a certain ‘advanced age’ woman (their lexicon, not mine) are unworthy of their attention because their neck sags or hands look wrinkled, that they are ugly. The mere fact that they do not desire her makes them define beauty. This is not about freedom of personal preference, this is a specific way of looking at the world’s women who cross a non-fertile line and begin dwindling estrogen reserves. They think it’s about the eggs, but really it’s about the fact that it’s difficult to hold any conversation with a woman who has shed sexuality as they define it. There is zero control because it’s hard to think of a woman like that without defining her reality outside of her intellect or her personality. Or even her dominance.

Their discomfort is someone else’s fault

When wives nag for more presence, secretaries ask for pay raises or peons are slower than they need to be, the punishment is cut out for them. You know that 1950s’ man that went on “business trips” and came back insistent on a quiet house so he could have some peace of mind? That’s your archetype. That’s the man who maintains airtight worlds for comfort alone – golf, charity, work and/or indulgence – Psyycological integration is hard work and a man can get away with not telling anyone anything. However, sooner or later, when there is some public shame, the blame has to be elsewhere. You can punish most people for disobedience surely.

They are hard to tell apart from a woke intellectual

This guy, the stereotype of course, is occasionally witty, innovative and articulate. It’s hard to tell, but there are ways. Check to see how frantically they try and stop the stories of people outside the force field. Do they listen when the little person speaks, like really listen, or do they preach rather than coach? Do they talk more about equality than allow someone to insult their privilege without running them over? Can you speak to them about #MeToo or some fringe group without emphatically defending their right to be unaware by claiming they already know everything?

An inability to read power disequilibrium

You can hold the suites in high esteem until you realize that they will advocate for a pay-cut for their employees during the Covid-19 crisis and refuse to take a pay-cut themselves first; or tell someone who wants to be assertive that they should know their place and be more tactful, or even entertain themselves on the back of an exploitative industry or at the least be the beneficiary of a warped system that leaves many out. Intellect can be of great utility and fame, even the kind that touts human rights, but cognitive dissonance is just plain uncool. Much of this is due to the specific kind of mindset with which Aitchison has operated over the last 134 years. The erstwhile masters may have gone, but the subservience to power remains.

That’s a wrap

No wait, there is more. They look down on people who are not part of the Lahore elite –– they are the metaphorical big fish in a small pond. Lahore is a charming city but it is at the end of the day a provincial capital with a lot less upward mobility than say Karachi or Islamabad, the former and current federal capitals respectively. There I said it – the alumni hate the integration drive, the only cool thing about that place, and trash it by dreaming of some originalist concept of pre-Bhutto times when old money ruled that place and the ivy on the walls smelled of jasmine and sang Persian couplets as you passed by the walls.

Entitlement is the norm

Here’s-how-it-works, “let-me-tell-you” is how it works. The structure – of government, society, the man, overindulgent parents, whatever you call it – feeds entitlement. Which really is not anyone’s fault really. What is deliberately harmful is acting out to avenge what they think others owe them.

If you are reading this and are not raging mad, this piece of art is not about you. It is mere expression of a few years of observation.

 

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23 Comments

  1. Farhat Ali Junejo May 10, 2020

    Criticism by a feminist but contains some relevant points

    Reply
  2. Lawrence College May 11, 2020

    Sounds like your EX was from Aitchison.

    Best Wishes

    Lawrance College.

    Reply
  3. Faris May 11, 2020

    You cant base an entire article solely on your personal views, that too with a few individuals.You have no idea what you’re talking about and how to lay it down. You Ms. have been highly misguided.

    Reply
  4. Mahmood Khattak May 11, 2020

    I think Ms. Aisha missed another trait of Aitchisonian;Some of them can actually write English and reply befittingly.
    The whole article seems to be biased. I dont know where she took all that from? did she run a scientific experiment? did she have a full statistical sample? I guess nothing of that sort happened. she probably came across a couple of arrogant alumni and made up her mind about it.
    had this kind of article been written by a male against the women of particular institution ( Kinnaird College, for instance), there would have been a whole lot of women shaming and abusing that particular writer. But she being a woman will get away with such nonsense.
    Ms. Aisha, you have the power of the pen; please use it for constructive purposes.

    Reply
  5. Qudsiyah Munir May 11, 2020

    Coming from a feminist, this point of view is thoroughly biased and not to be taken as a seriously. PERIOD.
    The writer had lost her objectivity even before she started the article when she writes feminist in her profile.

    Reply
  6. Qudsiyah Munir May 11, 2020

    Taken seriously *

    Reply
  7. muhammad May 11, 2020

    Seems extremely biased…grossly generalized…i suspect a hidden agenda…in short, very bad article

    Reply
  8. Amer Yar Khan May 11, 2020

    Reads like a rant after a personal suffering. No logic here at all and appears to be a very simplistic personal view which reeks of vengeance or at best comes off as juvenile exasperation which cannot control its tantrum and prefers to vent openly and unashamedly. She’s painted everyone with the same brush, in the process defaming an institution which has provided stars in every field and made Pakistan proud many a time. Amazed that this was allowed to be published.

    Reply
  9. Osman Khan May 11, 2020

    Sadly, the biased tone you adopted at the very start of your “piece of art” precludes any chance for educated dialogue. But I can understand why you’ve used such broad brushstrokes – being the artiste that you are, surely you recognize how effectively such tools add volume to an otherwise insepid and incoherent diatribe which reeks of female angst. This article actually highlights your own over-inflated and mildly deluded opinion of yourself, madam. There are better things to do in this world, first and foremost of which is self-improvement. Perhaps you could take this time to learn how to write properly? Unless of course, this is an opinion piece that affords you the liberty to write whatever suits your fancy. If that’s the case….carry on. But expand your horizons, I urge you….today Aitchison, tomorrow all mankind! RA! RA!!!

    Reply
  10. Osman Khan May 11, 2020

    *insipid

    Reply
  11. Ali May 11, 2020

    This article angers me to a point that’s it becomes hard to articulate myself without adhomynim attacks because the level of stupidity, ignorance and impotence in this article. Nearly every thing you say here is either false, over generalizing or in such a spiteful tone it loses all credibility. First you describe aitchsonians as “sad excuses for human beings”. Not only is this false,unprovable but it is infuriating. You cannot label anyone as a sad excuse of a human being due their education , especially if they come from one of the most prestigious schools in all of Asia. Another thing is you seem to think all aithchsonians are self obsessed and narcissistic but in all honesty that is the most false statement I have ever heard in the entirety of my life. As a person who is currently in prep school , aitchson has extremely genuine people , and I dont know what 1800s fantasy your living in but the common form of humour is self deprecation , which I dont narcissistic people really appreciate. Another thing you say which makes me wonder if you live in present year is your mention of WhatsApp. No one in the entirety of prep or junior uses WhatsApp only a small contingent of senior school still uses it , but literally everyone else has switched to discord. You have no sources , no studies just useless, baseless , invalid opinions that are overly generalizing. Your point about “tOxIc mAsCuLiNiTy” is disproven my my very existence. I hate sports and almost anything which would be considered “manly” and yet I’m still thriving. And literally every person who is popular in aitchson isnt just good at sports , their funny or charismatic in a way.At this point your bashing children for their interests. Next the “eMoTiOnAly DiStAnT” distant point. *sigh* You do realise people from aitchson are INDIVIDUALS with INDIVIDUAL personalities? You cannot say that all aitchsonians are one way or another you can a majority or some of but there are hundreds of thousands of aitchsonians out there so I isnt and never will be all aithchsonians. Also as someone who writes and draws as a hobby , everything I do is emotionally charged and most aithchsonians are extremely empathetic and very nice people, even those who you would classify as “toxiclly masculine” as surprise surprise people can like sports or masculine things and have other interests. But the thing that made me the most angry. The most infuriated. The thing that made me write this essay, is your semi sarcastic, extremely rude little paragraph at the end where you try , and fail , to deflect any criticism you may get. Going with the “if your offended then your the problem!” approach eh? Then you have the gaul, the audacity to call this mess “art”. I’m done. Im honestly done. I can’t with you. I just cant deal with you. Do you know how much effort people, including me, put into art. I cannot tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve had practising anatomy. How much I’ve written to get to the point where I can call my stories art and you, you have the audacity to label this shameless cash grab art. You disgust me.

    Reply
  12. Malik Tariq Hassan May 12, 2020

    A man who has complexes will use any background to claim pseudo superiority. If he is not an Aitchisonian, he will use something else. Whether it be his expensive car, his rich running business, or his vast agricultural land.

    A man who has no hang ups will know how to behave like a human.

    Men of all sorts exist everywhere, so why stereotype Aitchison in specific?

    I am only laughing that this article was actually published, lol.

    In the end, you write “If you are not raging mad, then this article is not about you. It is just the end result of years of observation.” Well please try to observe all men and not Aitchisonians in specific, hehe.

    Maybe you have not come across Aitchisonians who are high achievers. Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Princeton. And yet, they do not play the “Aitchisonian card” when sitting in a gathering. I can take some famous names, and you might be surprised that how come you didn’t know that they are Aitchisonains. Because they never flaunt it.

    Reply
  13. Im shocked that this vile and defamatory publication has made its way to the mainstream. Im hoping some “arrogant” aitchsonian or aitchison itself should drag you to court and have you write an apology.

    Reply
  14. Aurangzeb Mubashar May 12, 2020

    You are an adult without a head on your shoulders.
    “Years of observing’ wow…. we are special, but somehow your observation failed to impress.

    Reply
  15. Kiran May 12, 2020

    This article depicts a highly frustrated mind of author only. Please try to rise above your personal grudges and lowlessness. She should give source of her pathetic opinions about the leading institution if Pakistan. I am proudly sending my three sons admitted fully on merit to Aitchison. Whining by the rejected ones can be easily identified

    Reply
  16. Shahid May 13, 2020

    I disapprove of what you say
    But
    I will protect till death Your Right to say it

    Reply
  17. Malik Tariq Hassan May 14, 2020

    Aptly put

    Reply
  18. Malik Tariq Hassan May 14, 2020

    huh, I only replied “aptly put” to the lady who said “Whining by the rejected ones can be easily identified”. It appeared as a separate note and not as a reply to her !!!

    Reply
  19. Omar May 14, 2020

    Lol, or MAYBE you’re just forgetting that broad generalizations are seldom accurate and that your experience of a few individuals may not be representative of the institution and its output.

    And those drops of bias glistening on your fangs. Tragic.

    Reply
  20. MOR May 14, 2020

    I agree with most of the observations. But Aitchison and Aitchisonians still rock. Keep rocking, let haters hate, play on playa

    Reply
  21. Javed Shah May 15, 2020

    Aisha, thank’s for writing this article these institutions were built by our British master’s to create an
    elitist class of Sardar’s, Feudal’s, Makhdoom’s
    Pir’s and Nawsb’s who have done a irreparable harm to our country.

    Reply
  22. Ali May 17, 2020

    It’s a very generically written article. Most things as mentioned above can be traits in many guys in Lahore. Probably more in lesser educated ones.

    She can be a feminist, that’s all fine, but that doesn’t mean she can make generalizations about a whole institution in such a vague way. Maybe her husband or significant other is an Ass. That doesn’t mean aitchison only produces assholes. Badly written , probably with some agenda .

    Reply
  23. Sameen May 19, 2020

    This article is just a product of jealousy and merely to capture attention. How a woman can know the life of an aitchisonian. Just a pathetic attempt to defame the best institution n its students.

    Reply

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