Do Pakistani Men Really Need Self-Made Women?
Followed by the scorching heat of a summer sun, the night was usually cool. South Punjab has a very harsh sandy climate. With less vegetation and population, the area I work in looks like a sand dune. The sand storms give it a picture of mini Cholistan. And, the topography gives it an image of an abandoned watercourse.
It was 3:00 am sometime in July, 2016 when there was a constant knocking at the door. Overwhelmed by frightening emotions, I wanted to scream but the constant sweats suffocated my throat. Few moments later, I mustered up the courage to get up and ask who was there, but nobody was there. In my extreme paranoia, I was not ready to accept the mere apprehension that it was a cat that slammed hard at the door of my residence.
Just as I was thinking this, a distant resonance produced by a bullet-fire further shook my nerves. I was reminded of the warning of my fellow citizens that the area was notorious for dacoity as the bandits terrorized the city for many years in the past. And this fear was constantly lurking at my subconscious. I immediately called the security that patrolled in the backyard. And, they assured me that there was nothing sinister. The bullets fired were at a wedding ceremony going on in the rear area of the campus building.
Although being a working lady and the mother of three, living an independent life and having a career, that day I felt so weak indeed. Although I tell myself daily that I am very strong. But, I feel that the stereotyping of woman as fragile and docile can never ever be undone. My own psychological makeover compels me to accept such stereotyping. Being a woman, belonging to a suburban community in Southern Punjab, I hold my own version of feminism, which is not based on sheer ideology, but it rather springs out of the actual experience grounded in reality that I face daily. And, there are millions of feminists located at the heart of this culture.
Once, I asked my comrade, “What does a Pakistani woman need to hold a strong footing in the home?” And, I was shocked by her response, “Effective domestic politics, some seducing tactics, and little education for gauging the literacy rate will do!”
This was her answer!
I have a few questions for the rest of the Pakistani women. Please, find out the answers to them by your own relative feminist positions, which relate to your individual experience imbibed in real social fabric. Dig deep! And find the answers!
Although, I hold firm faith in woman emancipation through education, can I still be licensed to question the very premises of such stereotyping?
What role education is playing in undoing these stereotypes?
Do you think the degree holding men have become aware enough as as to undo such stereotyping??
Is an educated woman a need of the hour for the society?
Or we should say Pakistani men don’t need self-made women?
Or we should say, although they need such women, but they are perhaps not ready to pay the price?
Or perhaps, they need women of their choice, but they should showcase them and put them on display whenever they need? And, those women should be made of emotions digitally controlled by a remote button?
I often wonder and ask myself:
Do Pakistani men really need educated women?
And, I think they don’t!
Breaking the shackles of such norms which seeped through the flesh and blood veins of the social fabric is just not possible. It is like a cancerous tissue. If you cut the malignant part, you actually cut your flesh and eventually kill yourself. You can not actually separate the two. It is like a rhizome. You can cut the infected pieces of a plant, but you cannot cut its roots and you cannot actually find out where the actual root is. This social fabric is so strong that even education cannot change or overcome it. Men with even heaps of degrees will never be able to demolish the castles of the male supremacy!