There is no place in Pakistan for men who do not consider women their equals

Published: June 14, 2016
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The acrimonious display of chauvinism by Hafiz Hamdullah in a talk show is rightfully being condemned in all quarters of the media. However, we need to go a little further in examining this overt manifestation of a rot that is deeply entrenched in our midst.

To start off, Hafiz Hamdullah’s failed attempts at intimidating and shouting down Marvi Sermid are a continuation of his past behaviour during televised debates. It also seems the pious senator reserves the worst of his bullying for the fairer sex. And this is the crux of the issue – I believe the honourable Hafiz was apoplectic not because he was being challenged but because it was a woman who was standing up to him.

He seemed incensed that Ms Sermid was not yielding to his commands. His extremely sexist expletive and threats to summarily disrobe Ms Sermid are a further confirmation of his shameless misogyny and the cause of his anger.

It would be easy to dismiss Hamdullah’s behaviour as an isolated instance; unfortunately it is anything but. Khwaja Asif’s tasteless insult of Shireen Mazari and the Council of Islamic Ideology’s vacuous proclamations regarding treatment of women are recent examples of how women are viewed by too many in Pakistan.

Something repellent has, for far too long, been stalking the nation in the guise of religiosity and patriotism. If we do not hold those nurturing and perpetuating regressive social mechanisms accountable they will continue to block all avenues to civil liberties for women and minorities.

Ms Sermid set an example worth emulating. In refusing to submit to bullying and elaborating on the incident on social media she exposed Hafiz Hamdullah’s true nature.

There is no place in a liberated self-respecting country for those men who do not consider women their equals. These self-appointed sentinels of faith and country must be exposed for the protectors of misogyny and ignorance that they are.

Let us all follow the example of Ms Sermid and not give an inch to those who would dictate morals to others and not have the common decency to unequivocally condemn and oppose a crime as monstrous as honour killings.

Ms Sermid has been shot at, harrassed and her character repeatedly attacked. Despite all this she has continued to raise a voice for women and minority rights. Not only is she more courageous than her opponents she is far more faithful to her values as well.

Khusro Tariq

Khusro Tariq

The author is a Pakistani-American Psychiatrist currently pursuing training in Jungian psychoanalysis. He blogs on Huffington Post on matters of psychology, faith, politics and poetry. He tweets as @KhwajaKhusro (twitter.com/KhwajaKhusro)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Rohan

    Then Pakistan won’t have any menRecommend

  • Keyboard Soldier

    Shariah law is the key here. These mullahs are only reflecting its teachings.

    Either declare Shariah illegal or follow it.

    We cannot blame the Molvhis for following the Shariah law.Recommend

  • rationalist

    “There is no place in Pakistan for men who do not consider women their equals”

    If women are serious about this, you have a bigger problem than just in Pakistan. Sharia doesn’t grant equality to women.Recommend

  • Bhatti

    Women could never be equal to men. They both have different roles to play.Recommend

  • Fahim

    Who are you to say that there is no place in Pakistan for X, Y & Z ?Recommend

  • Guest

    “There is no place in a liberated self-respecting country for those men who do not consider women their equals.”

    Unfortunately that is not Pakistan and men who consider that women are deserving of the same respect, dignity and opportunity as themselves are rare and endangered. Though not as endangered as the women who claim these self evident truths, these women are hunted by a pack of dogs. We have a long way to go.Recommend

  • babu

    “There is no place in Pakistan for men who do not consider women their equals” says the liberal extremist who doesn’t even live in Pakistan. LOLRecommend

  • Jayman

    “There is no place in Pakistan for men who do not consider women their equals”
    Whole of Pakistan (and India) will be empty if this criteria is used.Recommend

  • Despicable

    Marvi Sarmad has finally achieved what she always wanted. She survived for so long and the credit goes to the poor TV Channels Staff.Recommend

  • Arsha

    Who defines these roles. My life is very precious to me and is a God’s gift to me – who are you to tell me what I should or can or cannot do. What have you done for me to command that right? I do not accept your dictates which I find oppressive. I want to live my short life in a way where I can be true to myself because my conscience is my true moral compass.Recommend

  • Khwaja Khusro Tariq

    Kindly compare the State Bank figures for total tax revenue received from patriotic Pakistanis living in Pakistan to foreign exchange remittances from overseas Pakistanis. When the two are at least equal, you may actually have a point. Recommend

  • siesmann

    One thing is for sure.There won’t be any mullah left in Pakistan.And that would be the best for Pakistan.Recommend

  • LS

    Your tribe is a minority… There are maybe a handful of true liberals in Pakistan, while a lot of them pretend to be liberals and rest are just the hoi polloi. So you are DEFINITELY not in a position to dictate terms to anyone let alone asking them to leave…Recommend

  • MR.X

    And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them People dont have the guts to say that Quran is “bad or something” . They blame our Mullahs, These people are hypocrites and say they are true muslims when they make fun of our Quran. Patriotic pakistani does not supersede being a muslim. Or does it??Recommend

  • Bhatti

    “who are you to tell me what I should or can or cannot do. What have you done for me to command that right?”

    Lol!Recommend

  • SamSal

    That’s why the reasonable minded people are against the imposition of sharia law in Pakistan.Recommend

  • SamSal

    More power to you!Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore
  • Alexa Han

    You’re right. Women can never be equal to men because we surpass them by leaps and bounds. Women who are educated and earn their own keep LITERALLY don’t need a man anymore. So please, feel free to MENXIT yourself from this planet :)Recommend