To begin with let me introduce myself, I am by the description of many â€œyounger peopleâ€ a fuddy duddy middle aged conservative. Yes I know we are a dying breed today, but then someone must uphold the flag of silliness no?
For a while now I have been noticing a major shift in the opinions and general actions of women in our society. The major difference obviously hit me from when I flew off to college in the U.S, from the time of Chaddor and Chardiwari to when I landed back here to an era of awareness in the closing stages of the last century.
It hit me full in the face just last Saturday night at around 2am when I was standing patiently behind a lass of about 20 or so at an ATM machine in the Shell Petrol Station near Khayabane Bahria. As me and my friend looked at her, each other and then the time, the person in question withdrew a total of 100,000 Rs from 4 different ATM cards. She was not exactly looking like in an emergency either as she shifted from foot to foot in a shall we say â€œrelaxed mannerâ€ Now please tell me my dear readers what would a girl want that amount of money for in the middle of the night??
The answer to this can be found in a multitude of places on Saturday night, where the vibe has definitely changed from a hush hush under the table drinking one to a loud, boisterous screaming while doing lines on top of the table one. Not that it is only the females of our land which are involved in this, but the shock that the females are in fact as much part of it as the men are! I have also been informed by a young lady at one of these â€œdusk to dawnâ€ events that I am not â€œwith itâ€ which is to say I do not know what the hell is going on. Indeed I do not! Could someone please explain to me how and when was it that our desi eves let all caution go to the winds?
I personally did not ever realize that there would be a day when Pakistani females would be partying with such impunity. Please do realize I do not begrudge them this existence nor the freedom, but must we go about things in such a manner?
This lowering of the status of our females is not something native to urban areas only by the way. Gone are the days when villages were the upholders and breeders of virtues. The Khaits and Khalyans of our land are now also privy to many trysts within their sight. Obviously the cities are an advanced level of this disease as the bus stops of this entire nation have become what bars in the western world are used for â€œpick up pointsâ€. True that man are always blamed for such nefarious activities but such is not the case anymore. Yes innocent women are preyed upon as well, but only because more than a few women actually love and respond to these vile attentions.
It has now come to a point where with each passing season the virtue of our women folk seems to be shrinking much like the length of their kamizes, the pressure on a males eyes is getting about as tight as the new fangled shalwars which seem to be eastern cousins of the straight fit trouser. Yes ladies it is hard to concentrate on the road when one can see displays of skin through side slits.
I must admit there are advantages to such independence and devil may care attitude. First of all many women in this nation have taken on the role of breadwinners and contributors to the family income pool. This is not only a commendable achievement but something to be proud off. These respectable citizens are however being undone by those of their gendar who are engaging in â€œnefarious practicesâ€ not only in offices and corporate environments to get ahead, but also engaging in these â€œactivitiesâ€ on the side to keep the boss happy. This is leading to men thinking anyone who steps out of the house to earn a decent living is fair game, which is certainly not true!
It is often alleged that men are selfish, arrogant chauvinistic pigs who would prey on a woman as soon as they get a chance. These days though it is the female of our land which is the one preying and doing it with total impunity I might add. Remember there are always alternatives and decent ways to have fun as well as work. We need not stoop to gain credibility. As a female colleague of mine recently said â€œI was brought up with values which I am proud of, they are me and I will not deviate from them for any amount of money or advances in job positionâ€ for an instant it made me proud again of our women, and it can be sustained as a Oscar Wilde once said
â€œA manâ€™s face is his autobiography a womanâ€™s her work of fictionâ€
P.S Before my hanging is called for by all my liberal and feminist friends, i would like to add a footnote to this write up 🙂 I was told to write and approach it from a typical Pakistani’s mentality so please forgive a generalization or two!
Published in the May 31 08 Issue of AAGAHI, with “The News”