Dream Crazier, because a woman shouldn’t have to second guess herself!

Published: March 2, 2019
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We’ve spent too much time internalising the way we feel. This ad is telling us it’s time to stop.

Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. Every time a woman does something that society has predetermined for men, she is deemed crazy. Crazy for thinking she’s good enough. Crazy for thinking she can. Crazy for thinking she has a purpose.

This Sunday, Nike released an ad titled Dream Crazier. Serena Williams narrates the ad, depicting a spectrum of bosses. And no, I will not call them boss ladies, because that term discounts the female gender. These bosses stroke through the screen, charge through fields, smash their rackets on the ground, rhythmically move through rings, scream, run, jump, cry, laugh – these are real women. This is womanhood at its core. This is what the world should be appreciating.

“When we’re too good, there’s ‘something wrong with us’. And if we get angry, we’re ‘hysterical,’ ‘irrational,’ or just being ‘crazy’.”

The world is so streamlined into believing that a woman who acts out of the ordinary is crazy, but this is what ‘crazy can do’. It can empower. It can defeat. It can pave the path towards change.

Girls, who cares if the world deems your dreams crazy? All these female athletes, ranging from members of the US Women’s National Soccer Team, to fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, to gymnast Simone Biles and snowboarder Chloe Kim, at one point during their career, were dismissed. But they pushed through. They fought to the finish line. They made crazy dreams viable, tangible, so close you could hear them. So if someone tells you that following that path, reaching that goal, cracking that ceiling is too far-fetched – ignore them. They are your dreams. Claim them before someone else does. Rise above all the sexist jokes, the misogynist commentary, the mansplaining, the idea that we cannot do as much as the men in our lives.

When it comes to sports in Pakistan, the idea of the masculine and dominant male plays a large role in celebration. We want a strong man, a tough man, a man oozing with every stereotype we cookie cutter him into. Women in sports are deemed unworthy and unable to compete as well as men. But this video shows otherwise. We have numerous women like Sana Mir, Maria Toorpakai and Hajra Khan shining in the sports sector, where’s their recognition? When will our populous start giving them the respect that’s well deserved?

Dream Crazier portrays a facet of society that we need. We need to accept that women are just as good, just as tough and just as strong as men. We need to stop putting them off as docile creatures of the wind. We are here to fight. And we are here to claim our rightful place.

Crazy or not, we’ve got this. If this ad was anything, it was empowering. Being a woman is an everyday battle – we’re pushed aside by certain stereotypes, tagged by ridiculous notions surrounding gender bias and told that we aren’t enough. But not anymore.

You’re allowed to feel angry without being called ‘irrational’, you’re allowed to dictate the terms of your life without being labelled ‘unhinged’. It’s your world, your moment, your time to take up space.

I hope this ad reaches the men of Pakistan who are still consumed in their regressive thinking. I hope this helps them understand. I hope it gives power to all the women out there constantly battling for their voice to be heard and be recognised. We’ve spent too much time waiting to be given space, but our bodies deserve space. Our voices deserve loudspeakers. Our fires cannot be put out by the archaic patriarchy anymore.

We’ve spent too much time internalising the way we feel. This ad is telling us it’s time to stop. There are so many women out there who, when trying to step over the societal hurdle of what women should do, are called “crazy”. But this ad delineates that nonsensical paradigm.

So if you’re a girl that’s emotional, that’s loud, that’s fierce, that’s an encapsulation of what society says you shouldn’t be, embrace it. Be wholly girl – that’s the only way to move forward.

Maheen Humayun

Maheen Humayun

The writer studied Literature and Creative Writing from John Cabot University in Rome. She is the author of the novella Special. She is currently a sub-editor at Tribune. She blogs at karachiiloveyou.wordpress.com/ and tweets @MaheenHumayun

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