Part 1: The Trouble in the Pakistani Family Construct Deserves De-Construction
All right. Included henceforth in my life mission is to engage hearts on the subject of women. Rather, the Feminine Principle, but let’s, for ease of conversation, begin with women – as in the “sex: female” specie.
There is hardly a need to set the premise. We all know. “One way or the other, women are inferior.” Men & women both believe it. It goes to everybody’s credit.
In the queer Pakistani mother-son relationship, the absurdity crosses all barriers. Here is my reductionist analysis:
Brought up on grandma’s yarns spun around an inhuman notion of chastity, the typical Pakistani woman wears a notion of piety as if it were a chastity belt (Wikipedia that!). Result? Wedding night unpreparedness which is just a manifestation of a larger attitude of inter-gender hostility.
The man brings hostility to the table – rather, bed, and then of course the dining table – too, but his training’s origin lies further ahead in this simplistic model.
Estranged quickly from their husbands romantically and as socio-cultural partners, such women draw an immense sense of significance from their children – especially the sons. This is the quintessential drama in the unenlightened Pakistani family. The son is tied to the mother, and rewarded with a princely treatment by Mama. He is taught lord-supremacy over his sisters, bullied by their own mother who creates a theater of (self-)pity. He grows up to bully the mother, the sisters, and eventually, his wife.
He is also fed notions of women’s inadequacy and – here it comes – an unnatural notion of piety that his mother and sisters supposedly practice. No, they are not dirty women and they don’t have periods. He takes his attitudes to the bed and the table. The drama continues.
Thank God for media-driven enlightenment in recent times. Before that, even urban families perpetuated this myth and even a “periodic” backache was a taboo.
Layers upon layers of dogmas and taboos then kick in to complicate this tale. But this is the basic psychological construct of the problem.
In March this year (2008), I encountered a young woman who was brought to a shrine I was visiting at that moment. She was crying uncontrollably, and her body was twisting. She was declared to be possessed.
I got intrigued and my intuition said she could be helped. I inquired the family about her. During my interrogation about her age and marital status, the otherwise trembling, shaking, and feverish young girl’s eyes met mine briefly – and her soul seemed perfectly sane and indeed calculating at that moment. I made a note of that.
I learned that the 19-year-old had been married a few months earlier. On the day of the wedding, she was, according to her female relatives, possessed by an entity while she was getting ready at the beauty parlor.
“Entity or auntie?” I thought. I could bet my tabaaruk ki mithai that the young woman who seemed to have little knowledge of the ways of the world was given a quick & dirty short course on sexual education and the tyranny of the in-laws at the parlour by some disgruntled lady. The result? The bride-to-be’s mind decided to create a psycho-somatic condition – the mind seemed to be completely controlling the situation, while the woman was unable (or unwilling) to take charge of her condition.
My advice to her family was to take her to a kind and sincere female doctor who could ally her fears and give her some much-needed education – as well as to surround her with positive-thinking people who would help her settle mentally into a new family.
Overall, I don’t have much sympathy for this cultural hogwash, though. Here’s the deal: the best way to deal with nonsense is to discard it rather than chart a strategy about “correcting” it. Let’s just shed the myths. Let’s see reality as it is.
Women aren’t half baked. Trust the fact that God has enough time and energy to complete women, and Allah indeed did that and then some. I mean what do we think? Allah was going to create unfinished things called women so men would keep on complaining all the time and women themselves would engage in self-pity? Isn’t this embarrassing? Why would Allah do something for which there is neither a reason nor a proof? If Allah is interested in unreasonable design, why have we been repeatedly invited to study the signs?
Let’s not advice God or creation or design or evolution on what’s incomplete or inferior. When we look through any of these lenses of belief, and it will be obvious that such a proposition is preposterous to existence.
Let the Pakistani men and women be released from this misery each inflicts upon the other, and neither can cope with.
Let humans be free of myths about sections amongst ourselves.
Let’s know that Allah is Beautiful – and so is Hu’s Design.
I do think that this phenomena used to occur some years ago, however do you think it still does??? From what i see around me the younger generations seems to be quite aware of their lot in life? Perhaps the possessed female was actually interested in someone else and not scared into possession?
hai..nahin faisal, it definitely happens even now..
our generation seems to be a bit different,but maybe..like..5%?
the remaining are alllll the same.
The elders still have this messed up way of thinking,
where if a damaad spends one eid lunch at his in laws, they call him a ghar jamaiee… come on dude. The mother is “supreme”…the mother must be obeyed at aLLL times, no matter what
these mommas boys just make me SICK! they cant take a stand for the women they marry…
theyre too busy being married to their moms!
Of course I am only guessing when I agree this probably still happens in Pakistan, because it wasn’t so very long ago it was a view prevalent in the UK. As I was growing up, ‘goodness’ in a woman was automatically linked to chastity by my parents’ generation, and this in turn deeply linked to the Christian church. Goodness knows how many women were left sexually scarred by this view; I could perhaps be very brave and admit that it has affected me too.
The UK social theory was that traditional views were blown away by the cultural revolution of the 1960s, but talking to many of that generation, what was happening in London passed them by. So the first real steps towards genuine equality happened in 1975 when the first act of parliament was passed which made women equal in the workplace. It has taken almost a generation for this equality to become the norm rather than the exception. (The Anglican church joined in about 10 years ago by allowing the ordination of women priests.)
It has always been my view that a woman needs to be financially independent to have any hope of being socially and sexually independent. But more than that, they need to believe in their own equality. This is where there is still much to be done – on a worldwide scale.
yes ma’am, how right u are
and how well you’ve said it..
*It has always been my view that a woman needs to be financially independent to have any hope of being socially and sexually independent. But more than that, they need to believe in their own equality. This is where there is still much to be done – on a worldwide scale.*
I cannot agree more
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