Misogyny comes in different forms. Sometimes it’s when men are chosen over clearly more competent women for a job. Sometimes when a boy is allowed to sit in the class on arriving late because apparently “He has to support a family in the future. So he can’t afford to not sit in the exam because of low attendance, just because he was a few minutes late!” It was half an hour late and it wasn’t one boy, it was half of them. The worst thing is that the dialogues mentioned above came from a female teacher.
Girls are ridiculed for choosing a field that is apparently for males only. I didn’t know Mathematics was a male and Biology a female or English a lady and Physics a gentleman. If a boy does summer internship he’s ambitious but if a girl does that, she becomes the hot topic for the gossip aunties.
And the tabooed topic when it’s okay for a boy to have an affair but when a girl has it, she becomes characterless. Like dude, it takes two to clap, common knowledge – something common people don’t have.
And the list goes on and on and on. Because sadly misogyny is present in every aspect of our life. Sometimes it is confused with chivalry. Both alas where misogyny prevails chivalry dies, we just don’t see it. And the reason for that is our society, the so-called norms.
We Pakistanis get away with a lot of prejudice against women under the pretense of being respectful towards them. Shouldn’t respecting women be synonymous with creating such an environment where women can prosper without the fear of being harassed, and here I mean all sorts of harassments, physical, mental, emotional and social.
Why does a man get away with catcalling? Shouldn’t he be punished at the spot for disrespecting a woman, if we are so called torch bearers of respecting females? Instead, the female is forced to ignore and leave quickly, feel bad about herself because what will people say if I slap that vermin on the road.
This is a less talked about subject, and those who are brave enough to talk about it are blamed to be liberals.
Another prime example of misogyny is the leverage the men and their families have on women and their families when it comes to the matter of marriage. And no I’m not talking about the dowry that comes very late in the equation. When a guy comes to a certain age and his family starts thinking about getting him married they suddenly start feeling like they are some sort of nobles and their son is some enchanted gem that they are now willing to give to someone.
It all starts with the unrealistic demands; the girl must be fair skinned; must be tall; should have long hair; must be able to cook gourmet meals; should be able to clean the house like a vacuum cleaner; she must be an MBBS Doctor and yes she shouldn’t be older than 20. And meanwhile, their own son is usually 4’12”, balding with a broadening waistline. He barely managed to clear his BS, works in his uncle’s company, isn’t even capable of getting water from the kitchen and can’t even imagine about clearing a table after eating a meal the females in his family labored over and in which he so graciously pointed some flaws. Oh and he’s almost 28 but that’s okay because apparently men age slower than women.
And if by some luck the said son is actually a nice bloke; stand up hardworking guy who is well educated and is also easy on the eyes. Well, then you are so lucky to be even considered for him. You should kiss their feet for considering you but if that’s too much then at least have them over for tea which is actually a three course meal. And then agree with everything they say and be okay with being examined like a cadaver in the anatomy lab. Correction, be ready for the above mentioned things even if their son is a devil’s advocate. Because you’re lucky to even have a proposal.
Your husband’s family will always have leverage on you and your family and no matter how nice they are, they will still abuse the power they have – consciously or unconsciously. They are trained to do so, because if the roles were reversed, you would do the same and we do the same in our reversed roles.
And the sad reality, everyone is aware of this, but we are all too scared to say anything because in this society a woman needs a man to survive. If you try defying the rules, you will be punished.