Women are the weaker sex – so what?

Published: May 14, 2011
SHARES
Email

Women are the weaker sex, so men feel the need to assist them in even the smallest of tasks.

The pervasive staring can be annoying and so can a look on some mens’ faces which says: “she’s just a woman.”

While most Pakistani women are victims of inequality, abuse and threats I believe there is a ray of light that often goes unnoticed. In my experiences, many middle-to-upper class women in Pakistan are delicately handled -like valuable, glass objects. They are respected at least outwardly and even allowed to disgrace men in public for initiating eye contact.

In spite of the blatant prejudices, should such women appreciate the small advantages they are given in the Pakistani society?

On the bus

My journey towards exploring the gender issue began on a chilly, windy December evening in Canada, at Union Station, Toronto’s central railway station and the hub of the city’s massive transit system.

The bus was scheduled to depart at 9:20pm. It was 9:18pm, and I was nowhere near the bus platform. I began to run. But as it was December, there was sleet all over the sidewalk. I was still reeling from a hard fall on the snow, and I didn’t want to risk wrenching my back again. I tried to pick up my pace. The next bus wouldn’t leave until 10:10pm. I finally made it, panting and yearning for a vacant seat.  But all the seats were occupied, and I had no option but to stand in the bus for 45 minutes. Being a woman did not make me an eligible candidate for priority seating.

I realised that men in Canada are not culturally accustomed to offering women their seats.  I would not have been standing, if I were in a similar situation in Pakistan.  Perhaps, if the bus was crammed with the elderly. But no young, healthy man would have remained in his seat.

At the time, I remember recalling back on those Pakistani buses that have a section at the front dedicated solely for women. This example is just one of many I have noticed – observations which have made me adamant that women within the Pakistani society are bestowed with covert advantages that women living amongst an equalitarian society are not offered.

On the road

While I was shopping at Gulf market in Karachi, a middle-aged woman was walking with her young daughter.  A man must have grazed his arm across her daughter’s shoulder as he tried to get through the busy street, which at that time was crammed with pedestrians so people had to literally watch their every step to avoid bumping into passersby or being hit by others’ shopping bags.

The mother screamed frantically,

Tumhe sharam nahi aati badtamiz, tumhari maa bhainee naheen hain?”

(Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself you ill-mannered man? Don’t you have a mother and sisters?)

The man apologised, trying to explain to the lady that he had no immoral intention of touching her daughter and clarified that if he had any such purpose he would have fled, rather than confronted the scene.  But the lady stood by her indictment, and in the midst of an entire audience of shoppers humiliated him, until he had nothing more to say. In fact, all other men around her supported this female whole heartedly (who knows whether out of will or just to conform to social platforms) and began accusing the perpetrator of felonious conduct.

I am in no way suggesting that this man was innocent. It was possible that he was. The point I wish to relay here is that if a woman was in this man’s shoes, would she have been put through such a dilemma? Absolutely not. In fact, she would have been apologized to by the man, whom she intentionally or mistakenly met shoulders with.  What other countries provide a woman the privilege of humiliating a man in public for grazing past her shoulder? If a man behaves similarly in the west, women are more likely to accept the apology and not make a big deal out of the situation.

Wherever you may go

Banks: Similarly, if a woman enters a bank in Pakistan or any other corporate office and if there is an extensive line, all men will respectfully make way and let her line up first. Isn’t that a privilege?

Airports: are another place where Pakistani men seem to extend their generosity.  Whenever I’m standing near the conveyor belt at a Pakistani airport and don’t opt for a porter, a man always offers a lending hand when I’m trying to pick my suitcase. I have travelled to a few countries, and never received such treatment at any other airport! Such privileges may seem petty to a layman, but trust me they have their bonus.

Markets: Not too long ago, for example, I witnessed a female family member argue with a shopkeeper over the price of an item in a Karachi shopping mall. After negotiating with the shopkeeper for five minutes, and not reaching a settlement of any sort, this lady left the store with the item – without paying the asking price. As I walked out with her, I looked back at the shopkeeper – the poor fellow compliantly kept the given cash in his pocket, without uttering a word of annoyance. If a female attempted to do any such thing in the west, she would most likely be charged for shoplifting!

To me it seems as though this code of conduct is embedded within the social makeup of the country. Women are the weaker sex, so men feel the need to assist them in even the smallest of tasks.  I think the question women need to ask themselves is whether they truly want to be treated equally to men in all aspects of life?  Or just fairly?

By writing this piece, I am no way suggesting that Pakistani women should be appreciative towards men for their insignificant favours. The point of this piece is to give readers an alternative perspective on the notion, and just something to think about.

By giving women these so-called ‘special privileges,’ men in Pakistan have only just scratched the tip of the iceberg. On a wider scale, our society still has a long way to go to realize and appreciate a woman’s full potential, whether it is in child-rearing or in the workforce.

Aine Moorad

Aine Moorad

A sub editor on the business desk of The Express Tribune. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada

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

  • swa

    bunch of senseless words……. women are harassed openly on streets in out country..we cant walk on the road without being pointed stared and shouted at… i come home from university from a very busy road in lahore and the experiences i have had………….. men even married when with their wives sitting next to them in their cars or behind them on their bikes never hesitate before making vulgar gestures to girls… what fancy pink and purple world are you living in?????????Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    I like the way you shed some light on our social Etiquette edge over western values when it comes to women.Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com/ Crazy

    this is what I wrote in final exam when I was in FSC, women should be given EQUAL rights, Nothing moreRecommend

  • swa

    as for the buses story… your vision from that faraway canadian land has gotten a little too pretty.. have you ever even looked inside a local bus in pakistan? i know how hard it is to stand all the way to university in the “women only” part of the bus… and the kind of things we get to hear on the ride cannot even be mentioned here….Recommend

  • Saad H

    I think this comes with the Pakistani culture. If you try to help a woman on the tube in London for example, she’ll probably take offence and accuse you being sexist. Recommend

  • Umber

    I extremely appreciate the alternate perspective and i quiet agree with it too.. I was in my Campus shuttle and due to some guest speaker session, it was jam packed and since summers have approached everythings become so stuffy, two girls were standing and right beside them some guys were sitting (who as i figured out from their convo were batch mates). One of the exhausted girlguy (it was a half an hour ride) asked the to at least have the courtesy of leaving the seat for girls. To my utter surprise the guy reply was…why?(generally in our shuttle guys leave the seats for girls)… why would i leave my seat just because you are a girl? arent we equal? i came here first and grabbed the seat…simple!

    You very righlty pointed towards the end ” the question women need to ask themselves is whether they truly want to be treated equally to men in all aspects of life? Or just fairly?”Recommend

  • arsalan ali

    that is the reason i like to live in Pakistan and likes the people of Pakistan. I hate those people who want to abroad and said “Pakistan ma kia rakha ha??”Recommend

  • Zaineb

    Your analysis of the whole situation is pretty shallow. A man, who got rebuffed by a woman for touching her daughter, might be innocent but men taking such liberties is not something unusual in Pakistan which pretty much explains that woman’s reaction. Same goes for the woman who was haggling over the price of some item. We are well aware of the fact that prices are not fixed in our part of the world. And, as per my experience, the shopkeepers do not condone bargaining when it entails a loss. They make it very clear with their tone and gestures and they will never allow anyone just leaving the shop with the item if they don’t want to sell that item.
    About what happens in the buses, you are quite right about men giving their seats to women. But about the separate compartment. Have you seen how small that ladies compartment is? And I think it’s not because of some special treatment they want to give women. It only represents the segregation between sexes in our society where intermingling is not exactly condoned.
    Similarly at places like banks, this may hold true. If you have been to daewoo bus terminals, they have separate queues for men and women because they have accepted the presence of women in public sphere but again to maintain segregation they have two separate queues. But my take on the issue might be wrong too.
    I agree with you about the privileges enjoyed by women at places like airports but I guess it’s pretty much true for other places too. Speaking from my personal experience, I was travelling once with quite a lot of luggage and I was offered help wherever I could not manage it. So, it doesn’t happen only in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    My dear Aine, well written, Just one pc of criticism, you did not put significant emphasis on where women in urban Pakistan mis use their power and position as the so-called weaker or fairer sex. Women are actually able to mistreat men, so easily and get away with it, its not even funny. For example just the other day at the cinema in Karachi, two ladies shoved me aside and que jumped me at the cinema shouting on my face that their movie is about to start and I should patiently a few more minutes, the sales girl at the ticket counter instead of tellibg them to be patient or stay in que also shouts at me that she will serve them first before I could even say a word. Had I or any other guy tried to do that, the staff would have called security, highly unfair and sexist behavior, so easy for women to misbehave with men and men cant even raise the tone of their voice.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    The question is, are all these surface chivalrous acts enough to make up for the horrendous acts of inequality and injustice that go on daily? It is the perception of women as weak that causes all these so-called chivalrous actions – it is the same perception that causes things like gang rape and karo kari and not educating girls and so on.

    Personally, you can keep your door-holding and line-skipping and bus-seat-offering, and give me a world where there is true equality, in the bigger issues.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    Deen Sheikh you’r right some times it does happens, and speaking of seats some time women are mistreated as well, like any bus passengers would tell you during the “Office rush” women sometimes can hardly get seats and men are literally hanging from ladies compartment an all, in Karachi, but obviously they don’t take seats in ladies compartment.
    There are some weirdos in every breed so some ladies act out of the way as well which is embarrassing for them and those around them.
    On the whole its better we respect them that way they will have some privileges here in our society. It can be judged safely that so called “equal rights” would bring their status a little down certainly. Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    It seems all you ladies wana do is whine, nag and complain about not having equal rights, u guys just want all the benefits and none of the strings attached that comes with equality. If u want perks, be willing to take the end of the stick also.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    If you ask me, the way Israeli jews use the Holocost and Anti semetism accusation cards to silence anyone critical of Jews or Israel, same way feministic women World wide especially thr educated middle and upper middle class urban Pakistani women use male chauvanism and history of mistreatment of women in society to silence men and mistreat them.Recommend

  • Iffo,

    To writer,
    nice, you should also use ur writing power to bring some positive change in electronic population.Recommend

  • Phatty

    To be honest, I agree with the writer and especially with the question she raises at the end:
    “whether women truly want to be treated equally to men in all aspects of life? Or just fairly?”

    I can bet the writer did not become oblivious to any of the cases of inequality going on in Pakistan, because at one point or another..every female in Pakistan encounters such disrespect, obstacles or whatever one may call it.

    But let’s not forget people, that there are so many sides to Pakistan. If there are those tyrannous men, then there are also those who truly respect women.

    As a girl, all I want is to be treated fairly. Because, let’s be honest here, men and women, no matter where in the world, can never be equal. There are always gonna be things that both genders can do, and things that only one can do.

    So yeah, fairness is what I demand. Recommend

  • Respect

    I do not like the part where the females want equal rights but slip away when some hard part comes. and all i hear then is “ladies hain ji” “we’re girls, we cant do that”.

    I remember there was this woman in the bank, she nailed everybody with her feminism and equality speech, by the time she had to be in the line and pay her bill, all i heard was “Sharam nai ati ap logo ko, ladies ko jaga hi nai dete”.

    All i say is give them equal rights and all the perks but they should equally take responsibility as it is in the west :)Recommend

  • Amna

    I am glad you wrote this article. I always think the same way and I wondered if anyone else ever noticed the special treatment that women DO get in Pakistan. Yes, Pakistan has a tremendous way to go as far as treating women fairly is concerned….but we have some really good things embedded in our culture as well.Recommend

  • T,

    I’d rather walk down the street without being ogled rather than have a separate queue. I’d much rather be able to stand in a bus without being groped or leered at rather than be offered a seat to sit down. I’d rather get equal treatment than have my suitcase picked up. These things are nice, I’m not saying otherwise, but they are nothing, literally nothing compared to the comfort of equality (or however close we can get to it in this world). Btw, that picture up there, it pisses me off. I am perfectly capable of opening my own car door rather than sitting and waiting like an invalid while a man rushes to open it. I’d rather men keep their petty little gestures to themselves. I want the real gestures: the equal pay, equal opportunities, equal treatment (minus all the hypocrisy in how men and women are judged and treated differently, and I don’t want any of the BS about how women treated a certain way for their own good in this twisted little society of ours) thankyouverymuch.Recommend

  • zaraafzal

    well a really needed article this time , i agree 100% women in pakistan hv all these privileges n shdnt take them for-granted … i LIKE it Recommend

  • parvez

    If you want a first hand view ask Mukthtaran Mai her thoughts on this. Recommend

  • Sadia

    Loved the article……very-well written indeed….Waiting for your next one….!Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    @ Deen, I realise that woman’s behaviour was annoying, but thats a problem with the pakistani population and not just its women – we’re always looking for a shortcut. Recommend

  • Rukman

    @Deen Sheikh: LOL. yes you are right, women take advantage of men..I think we should stop giving them these special privileges. They think they own the world, i tell you.Recommend

  • Sara

    Very true !!! And very well-written !!Recommend

  • Nada

    Agreed. I think we secretly enjoy these privileges…….. n yes the writer very rightly said that our society has a long way to go to realize and appreciate a woman’s full potential and that only some women in the Pakistani society enjoy these privileges …So men, buck up and don’t get too happy, you still have a very very long way to go.Recommend

  • Nada

    @Shumaila: Who said this makes up for the horror that most women have to bear in this society. The writer isn’t talking about the majority of Pakistani women here………… Maybe we need to appreciate men for the little stupid things they do, and this may help us gain more equitable treatment in more important areas of life….Let’s play with their psyche a little….Recommend

  • Sana

    Rather than always talking about HOW BADLY WOMEN ARE TREATED IN PAKISTAN… why can’t we shed some light on the some POSITIVES… there are some POSITIVES… and some upper and middle class women in Pakistan certainly do get to experience these privileges. VERY TRUE. Thank you for this. Recommend

  • Khan

    Paki women decide! … previleged or equals! … No more meray abbu night duty mana kertay hein! … No more maternity vacations! Jst go get an abortion! … No more cut the lines! Otherwise u will be hand thrown back… etc etc etc… AND yes u get to harrass men sexually as well! … Well thats wat ur equals do in pak isnt it! … afterall thats wat ur argument is all the time!Recommend

  • Nobody

    With respect to your own experiences, mine have been quite different. While the west in far ahead in terms of equality, I can’t say some forms of chivalry still do not exist here. I’ve had doors held open for me, heavy things carried for me (including at airports), and seats given to me by gentlemen, all without asking (and no I don’t think they’re sexist at all, rather I appreciate their behavior). On the contrary, I’ve generally not seen much of that in Pakistan, or other countries like it (not to say it doesn’t exist, just in MY experience, I haven’t seen it). I’ve seen more of the rude & crude sexist behavior by SOME, not all.
    I agree with some of the other girls here, I’ll keep my fair treatment/equality (within the realm of biological reality) any day over small gestures, much as I like those small gestures. ;)
    And furthermore, to agree with some of the guys on here complaining that women take undue advantage of this sometimes, lol sadly I have to agree. I know some girls who can be unfair in their expectations sometimes, and trample over the decent guys in the process. Fair is fair, and I won’t trample over any guy and his masculinity if he doesn’t ever trample over me and my femininity. :) Recommend

  • Emmeline Pankhurst

    As a perfectly able-bodied human being, I have no need to jump queues, be given a seat on the bus, or have my suitcase carried. You may give me your seat should I ever be a) ill b) pregnant c) injured d) handicapped e) very, very old. I frequently give up my seat for men in the very same circumstances (except of course pregnancy, which may be tricky for a man).

    Just give me my rights as a human being and let me look after myself. I have a brain and am more than capable of using it. Recommend

  • Sheraryar X

    Make me a sandwich woman!Recommend

  • Concerned

    Respected Women
    Can you specify what are your rights one by one for me to understand with empathy Please? Recommend

  • Hammad

    I wonder who let you out of the kitchenRecommend

  • H.

    To a very fair extent, this article sheds light on ‘some’ of the very positive, but less acknowledged and appreciated manners done by men. In my own experience, when I was in Pakistan, I was also offered with such privileges while I was out and about. While in a hotel, the manager gave us (me and my sisters along with mum) first priority while the a group of people, mostly men were already standing the line waiting to be seated, my mum easily got away with the whole bargaining and always won, the traffic police let us go with just a warning when our driver broke the signal, etc etc.
    But at the same time, my bottom was touched while I was out shopping, vile words and songs were sang to me by bystanders, I was winked at with that pervy smirk, and was a victim of the stares which would be enough to rape you if eyes could rape.
    However, since you’re only focusing on the positives about the Pakistani society when it comes to gender issue, I would partially agree with you for the reasons you gave, and partially disagree for the reasons I gave. Recommend

  • Majeed

    @Amna:
    ‘tremendous good things’?
    So, you are condoning the sexist behaviours by Pakistani women?
    The recepients of this sexist behaviour are
    your fathers, brothers, husbands and sons!
    And it is quite okay, isn’t it?
    The typical NAWALT (Not all women are like that)
    versus AMALT (All men are like that) argument.
    Feminism is the art of buttering the toast on all sides.
    Of having the cake and eating it too.
    Of the pot calling the kettle black.
    So, if you want equality / fairness,
    campaign for non gender biased social norms.
    Campaign for humanism.
    Not an exclusivist extremist ideological feminism. Recommend

  • Adnan Khan

    Women in Pakistan (esp the middle-upper-elite), are eating their cake and having it too. They want the fruits of feminism handed to them on a plate, without having had to go through decades of a Suffrage Movement. At the same time they insist on retaining all the perks and privileges under the eastern traditions of chivalry.
    .
    How many aunties can wake-up at 4:00am and use a shovel to scrape off hardened ice from off the curb and driveway, in minus temperatures ?.
    .
    How many of you have seen a sari clad auntie getting off of a bus, having her pallu caught inside the auto doors, the bus moving away with an auntie in tow, slipping and sliding in a mass of sleet and dirt besides the road ?. Yeah, not a pretty sight.
    .
    Actually, you only know how good you have got it down here, until you go and actually live abroad. I know of at least half-a-Doz aunties who look 50 at 30, with a handful of shattered illusions.
    .
    .
    Adnan KhanRecommend

  • Salma Afridi

    hmm, interesting. The question arises though why this ‘sanctity’ around women? Is a women’s body more precious in any way than a man’s?

    To me, here is where the ‘prejudice’ lays. By treating women just like men, a person or a society is accepting them on an equal basis. Why should that not be the right way to treat a lady?Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    I agree with you that these small acts should be appreciated, but the examples you state show how insecure a woman feels in Pakistan, even in middle to upper classes. What could have been an accidental brush with the girl resulted in an almost unanimous conclusion that it was perverted. It’s like stealing a mobile phone and giving the victim a toffee to cheer him/her up.
    Well not exactly like that, but hopefully you’ll get the idea. It’s hard appreciating the toffee when that happens.Recommend

  • Saima

    I was thinking the same the other day. Everyone criticizes the way women are treated in Pakistan, although there are a lot of little advantages women receive here that they would not be willing to give up and that they would not receive in any other country.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @Confused:
    that example Aine quoted, has happened to so many guys I know, infact it has also happened once in my presence in front of my own eyes, a slight unintentional physical brush in a very crowded market, lead to that guy getting incredibly humiliated insulted and mocked not only by the lady and family members in Question, but the entire market was shouting ‘baysharam, bay haya’ and people immediately come to the conclusion that men are always at fault and deserve the stick for it. Recommend

  • Anon

    Thank you, for sending the feminist movement back a few 100 years.Recommend

  • Fiza

    I wonder that although you quote examples of women having a specific place to sit on a bus, have you ever travelled in one? The amount of oogles and disgusting looks that one gets are enough for the experience to be a hardship if nothign else. Also, this is the same country that allowes domestic abuse, rape and burning of women to go unheeded.
    Have you ever tried walking down a street in Lahore or Karachi or any other city for that matter…I have…cars filled with men slow down, shout out leechering comments or even trying to harrass you by following you till you reach your destination.

    @ Adnan, having lived abroad and being a woman…i’d take shovellign my own yard, wearing clothes that dont get stuck on buses over the harassment we women face here. Recommend

  • http://www.noor-ul-ainhanif.blogspot.com Noor-ul-ain Hanif

    nice and very well-written!Recommend

  • Nabil Saleh

    This is a pretty outdated version of at least life in Karachi…may be the writer hasnt visited this part of the world in over a decade or so becoz have changed way too much now… and in no way for the better…sad but true!Recommend

  • Khan

    Good one. First I ever seen such writing from some female.

    In our society female gender is little be confused. They want to be equal with male and at same time also want special privileges as female

    Pakistani female has to decide whether they want to be equal with male or want special privileges as female.

    Both can not come together Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    I’m afraid as entertaining as this was to read, Pakistan is hardly a female-friendly country. These instances of chivalry that you outline are extremely isolated. Most of the time, we are subjected to lecherous leering looks, staring, and harassment. And if we as a nation did value women and treat them with added respect, do you think there would be so many countless cases of violence against women? These acts of superficial respect are pointless. And yes, as a Pakistani woman I would want to be treated FAIRLY and EQUALLY. Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    @Tribune Reader:

    Women mistreat men? Oh wait a second, thats right. Thats why women are gang raped, beaten, tortured and are made acid burn victims; because they mistreat the poor abused Pakistani men. Open your eyes, sir.Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    @Concerned:
    You wanted us to outline our rights?
    1) the right to walk freely with out being harrassed or stared at.
    2) the right to REAL justice.
    3) the right to complain against the injustices meted out to us.
    4) the right to equal job oppurtunities/pay/education
    5) the right of a daughter’s birth to be valued and celebrated as much as that of a son’s.
    6) the right to safety and security
    and of course i can continue listing ur rights if they still aren’t clear to you…Recommend

  • waqas

    every one is sharing his/her view on this gender division, every gender has its liabilities which we should know! we must admit that in Pakistan the ‘law’ is merely just a word of English, so we should from the beginning teach our children about the norms and coustoms , legal and illegal so that we make a valuable human being at ist and a sensible and conscience citizen in the broader spectrum.

    i wonder why people want their rights and not even care about their liabilities.Recommend

  • http://www.degesms.com Daud Khan

    this is the good way to share knowledge with other.Recommend

  • Emmeline Pankhurst

    @Adnan Khan:
    She could just sprinkle salt, or sand onto her driveway. In any case, shovelling ice and snow is excellent exercise and a good way to meet neighbours. You do not need bulging biceps to get along in life – you can find ways around physical problems. Perhaps a lot of this misogyny is due to the realisation of men that women are capable of competing, or even surpassing them in work and education. Imagine what could have been accomplished in all of these years had women’s brains been used for more than cooking, cleaning and googoogaga.Recommend

  • nadia

    @TribuneReader. when you mean “mistreatment” of men, can you please elaborate? can you name one case of a woman raping or sexually assaulting a man? can you give me one instance of a woman throwing acid on her husband’s face? are there any all-female jirgas that decide that a man should be sentenced to gang-rape and public stoning? i’m genuinely curious about the mistreatment and silencing of men you complain about.

    and to the aine moorad: the airport might have a separate line for women (not that is necessarily a good thing), but the last 8 times i’ve been in jinnah international a horde of men have been queuing there instead. i consider myself perfectly capable of getting my own luggage from the carousel but have frequently been nudged (read shoved) aside by men who are desperate to get their stuff ahead of anybody else. please do not confuse these petty, and often non-existent, “privileges” as something to be proud of. and if you still think that it’s ok to be the “weaker sex”, i suggest you take a couple of rides in the women’s section of the bus that you so proudly described in your blog.

    and if you DO want to talk about the positive then talk about women who are actually making effective changes in society. talk about women accomplishments in sports, politics, arts etc when the odds are stacked against them.

    lastly, the express tribune should take some responsibility for the content of the blogs. the staff should be embarrassed that such regressive and sexist content is being promoted by the newspaper. Recommend

  • http://www.citizensarchive.org Sarah Elahi

    @Adnan Khan:
    “They want the fruits of feminism handed to them on a plate, without having to go through decades of the Suffrage Movement”
    Oh, I’m so sorry we haven’t struggled hard enough for your highness to give us basic rights. Maybe after ten more years of trying, Pakistani women will be qualified to receive the fruits of feminism? Idiots like you are the reason patriarchy remains firmly grounded in the minds of upper-middle class men.
    Also, this blog was really badly written with massive, gaping holes in its logic.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @nadia:
    Ask Your bechara hubby/bf and ask for the truth, if he has ever been badly treated by you or any other female in his life. Ask for the truth, Khamoshi ka boycott!!!!!!Recommend

  • Samad

    Sarah elahi …I think the problem is some of our women don’t appreciate us. They aren’t expected to go out and earn. How many upper class worn contribute to the household expenses? Some middle/ upper have servants, they order servants around, shop, go to the salon and yet complain. We are not perfect but we work hard from morning to night just to make sure our wives and children are secure. Go live in the west, the spoilt rotten women Of Pakistan, will not be able to live a day there. Life is hard there. Go take the bus at 7 in the morning and go to work and then Come home and cook and clean then go to work again the next morning. You want equal treatment in everthing, I don’t think you’ll be able to do handle this forever. There are some good Pakistani men out there who need appreciation and kindness. Thank you writer for highlighting the other side… Brilliantly written.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    @parvez:
    Mukhtara mai RAN AWAY FROM A LIVE TV SHOW i wonder why??Recommend

  • nadia

    @tribunereader maybe i’m being a little hopeful here, but your comments are just too inane for them to be real. you’ve got to be kidding right? i mean, “khamoshi ka boycott”????? but if you ARE for real, stop avoiding the question and put an end to this so call “khamoshi” yourself. tell us what bad treatment YOU have suffered at the hands of your scary and cruel gf/wife. Recommend

  • Saad

    @Sarah Elahi:..one of the best-written blogs I’ve read ..it’s not maths that you need logic to figure it out… …… .. why can’t ppl some people( women) accept what is really going on in some of our elite circlesss….. some uppper n middle class women definaitely have everything going for them in Pakistan …. seen it time and time again…they get theirrrr vacations, servants, money, baby sitters, luxury — and some men seem to be tolerating all of their nakhras crap also….. the writer is not referring to all women at large in Pakistan, so they must be kept out of the debate, plz..Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    @nadia:
    My comments are very very real, I wonder if thas whats bothering you, in case your just being pathetic by using the same old ridiculous ‘history of female oppression’ trump card to avoid even acknowledging that such a problem exists. Problem is your unable to handle criticism while openly loving to criticise. Fy i posed the Q to u first, go ask the men in your life, whether ur bf, ur brother or father or husband and ask for an honest answer if they have ever felt mistreatment. If you realy are smart ud have responded with an innovative Q, instead of the redundant argument or slamming my own Q back at u.Recommend

  • sarahelahi

    @Saad:
    I agree that there is a great deal of unfairness going on when it comes to the treatment of upper-middle class and elite women. I never disagreed with that. But please, don’t say “it’s not maths, you don’t need logic to follow it.” Every good argument requires a logical thought process. The same argument could have been presented much more effectively if it had an angle (as opposed to being a general rambling on the subject) and a stronger conclusion. I’m not interested in debating the rationale behind the blog in a comments section.Recommend

  • Concerned

    @Leila Rage:
    1) the right to walk freely with out being harrassed or stared at… Ok fair enough
    2) the right to REAL justice……… whats’ REAL Justice
    3) the right to complain against the injustices meted out to us….What injustice is it some privilege rights…??
    4) the right to equal job oppurtunities/pay/education Ok we do have here
    5) the right of a daughter’s birth to be valued and celebrated as much as that of a son’s. Valid point 100% agreed
    6) the right to safety and security…… * Err..isn’t his same as you point 123 combined?*

    Now any thing else ..??Recommend

  • Adnan Khan

    Do common courtesies qualify as preferential treatment ?. Getting the door, yielding to the fair sex in public queues, public transport, or giving them the benefit of the doubt in public squabble. These are minor things. Men should do them, just as much for themselves, as for the women involved. Courtesy is a glue that holds a society together.
    .
    As Samad pointed out above, Pakistani women in the middle-class (and beyond), enjoy a lifestyle that would be looked upon with envy, by their western counterparts. Nothing to do all day, except lounge around, get fat and gossip, while the massi, aaya, cook, gardner, driver, etc take care of all the hard, sweaty, back-breaking work.
    .
    The real problems that Pakistani women (mostly poor from rural areas) face, are not from men, but from other women.
    .
    Behind every bride-burning, acid-attack, beating, karo/kari, watta/satta, sawara… there is a woman running the show. Be it her mother-in-law, or her nands (husband’s sisters). They raise their kids with their value-system, they fill their ears with fire against their new brides. They arrange for and celebrate when the bride suffers at the hands of their sons/brothers. And they are without mercy for their own kind. A vicious cycle of oppression, passed from one generation to the next.
    .
    If women really want to change how men treat them, then women have to change their attitudes first. Mothers have to raise them better, sisters have to back off.
    .
    And for gals who’ve lived abroad, you must know that: every 9 seconds a women is beaten in the US. Three are killed every day, one of whom, by her partner. 600 women are raped every day. So, things are not looking all that rosy out there.
    .
    .
    Adnan KhanRecommend

  • Emmeline Pankhurst

    As far as your “in the West” comments, you are right that these statistics are shameful. However, by recording these statistics and acknowledging that there is a problem, things can hopefully move in the right direction. It still remains, though that these statistics are a lot less bad than those of other countries. Amnesty International has a map of women’s rights. Perhaps you should have a look. http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11218

    Women in many countries in the West are outnumbering men in universities and are performing better on average. There is a pay gap, but it is closing. Goodness knows that there is some way to go, but overall the West is a good place for a woman to be. You might not have servants to wait on you, but at least you can be independent and in control of decisions affecting your life. Recommend

  • http://none.moc BP

    @T,:
    I’d rather have my separate queue than being ogled or worse, groped, and I am a man. I’ve had my share of being ogled by women, and a few men, and I didn’t like the experience.

    So, the solution seems to be having separate queues so we could both get into that of the men!Recommend

  • http://womanesque.blogspot.com/ Saba

    I wish I could agree with your optimistic outlook. I cannot, sorry. I was seven months pregnant on the bus that you sometimes have to take from the plane to Jinnah International Arrivals. All but one of the (limited) seats on the bus were occupied by men and nobody gave theirs up for me, except for the woman on the remaining seat. I remember being in a similar bus at the Riyadh Airport and a man gave up his seat for me (I wasn’t pregnant then). Pakistani men, in general, disgusted me then. Recommend

  • Saad

    @Sarah Elahi: I thought you said patriarchy remains firmly grounded in the minds of middle upper class men, you seem to be contradicting yourself. If that was the case, theitr women would not act the way they act….. Rather than rambling n telling me da wrong things in this blog, maybe women like yourself should write what’s really going on in these elite circles and offer men like us a more logical argument….with a stronger conclusion ofcourse. Recommend

  • http://habloid.wordpress.com Habiba Younis

    yes, women in this country also have the ‘privilege’ of getting oogled at in markets, harassed in office environment and abused at home.Recommend

  • A Beer

    I’ve rarely seen such stuff happen. I’ve been living in Pakistan from 5 years now and the first and last person to open the door for me was the manager of the firm in currently working in. Recommend

  • Rizwan

    @Umber:
    What exactly is a ‘girlguy’?Recommend