Forgive Us, We Hang Our Heads In Shame!
The “endemic” of male ‘egocentric’ dominance has now firmly given way to the “epidemic” of male barbarism in the land where only the externally pure are Pak, notwithstanding our impure souls within!
After decades of confining women to so called traditional roles, without ever understanding the glorious traditions from our own legacy – which boasts of diverse responsibilities such as nursing, teaching, trade and battlefield roles to name a few – we were reluctant to offer competitive positions or leadership in academics, governance or business to our women citizenry.
Then we started denying fair share in inheritance and took extreme steps in marrying off some wards to the Holy scriptures in certain areas or enforced child marriages to confiscate property. When this didn’t work, domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape and brutal murder started to rear its ugly head with impunity.
When quota system for men in professional colleges was challenged, women due to sheer determination and hard work and intellectual pride, overshadowed men and took the majority of open merit positions. Men instead of celebrating this, started perhaps feeling insecure.
Also with this progress, came more and more financial independence and entirely consistent with our religious values, women were to be considered rightful owners of all they earned, while men were to be still responsible for maintenance of the family.
This in no way was to be inferred that men or women were to disband their parental responsibilities or roles in maintenance of family and society’s integrity. The ones from either gender, who assumed this, were simply not willing to share the free space they openly hitherto monopolised or to responsibly accept the additional sphere of influence now accorded.
This is where a national dialogue needs to be initiated in schools, colleges, universities and professional domains. The print media, electronic media, social and digital media are all available to embark upon this universally, if there is a will.
However the first step is for all stake holders to humbly step down off their high horses and in a mutually respectful manner, agree to build a viable society.
If the blatant crimes and horrific tragedies against women in the land of the pure – that continue to be exposed notwithstanding the underreporting – are to halt, and our nation is to realize Quaid’s and Fatimah Jinnah’s vision of a progressive mutually tolerant and respectful populace, it is important to stop denying the women centric genocide first.
The only competition one should covet is to rise above oneself, not above others. If we become antagonist ,the natural bond that is there to celebrate – treasure, honour and respect – is only ours to lose forever.
From a Pakistani male perspective, I simply say: “Forgive us, we hang our heads in shame!”