Time and again, I have come across this narrative that feminist standing up against patriarchy is wrong. It is said that they should stand against specific events and incidences that targeted particular victims. They also enforce that patriarchy is a way of life in Pakistan, a cultural and ‘religious’ way of life. While misogyny is the perpetrator. I seek to break this narrative.
So let’s break it down. I googled Patriarchy. The definition I got was a system where the head of the family is a father or the eldest male. Now, this indicates if the father is absent in the picture, the mother of the family cannot be the head since she is a female. Her son, however, who maybe be two decades or younger than her, is the head, and he will be the one issuing orders, and that includes ordering his mom around as well.
Now understand Misogyny
Then I googled misogyny. And the simplest definition I could find was ‘the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls.’ Now bear with me while I explain how endorsing the system of patriarchy, on the whole, can promote misogyny, which is real by the way and not some specific incidences.
Link the two
We established how patriarchy instills the belief that women are not capable of making their own decision since her 18-year-old boy will direct a 40-year-old woman. As a result, that 18-year-old boy thinks that he is superior to women. This is one incident. Bring together an entire country’s population, and they wouldn’t just believe that they are excellent, they would think that it is their right to correct the women’s ‘wrongs.’
As it continues, and they find that women are ‘straying’ from what men have decreed right, that’s when they start becoming anti-women. This is to note that they are not anti-women; instead, they are anti-(those women who don’t deem them, God). And that hurts what they have grown up with because they have been used to being treated more important than women who were even older than them.
And since they have been taught that the only relevant emotion they have is their aggression, they lash out that way. This leads you to read news such as murders of women at the hand of family members.
Drumroll… Aurat March
Let me give you an example. Women got out of the house with various placards and marched to get their rights. Furious about this, in the following weeks, Nation.com reports murders, rapes, and sexual abuse. There was at least 12 murder which was blanketed in the fancy term ‘honor killing,’ and in just two weeks, there were 2776 murders in Pakistan. Reread it now slowly. Two thousand seven hundred and seventy-six. This was the number.
Two thousand seven hundred seventy-six lives lost, 2276 lives disappeared. Gone!
So it ultimately boils down to the fact that since we endorse patriarchy, we water the seed of misogyny. It won’t end right away. These men have grown up in an environment where they were systematically taught to follow these practices. They can’t unlearn all that in a night by reading one article. But when we start discussing this, the next generation will see better values, better lifestyles, and better men. The age after that will be even better.
And that kids are how I met ‘a more positive Pakistan’ (or will meet InshaAllah).
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Disclaimer: This article is based on the writer’s opinion