Over the past few years, with the new wave of feminism, Pakistani women have been finding empowerment through various mediums, especially social media. This isn’t to say this didn’t always exist – perhaps it did, but there is more of a dialogue around it now. Moreover, the same echoes the various sacrifices and courageous acts of women across the nation, who stepped forth and put everything at risk all just to resonate one message – equality.
Regardless, it is unfortunate that there still remain many of us who question the notion of women working at all, and that brings us to what I wish to address. Freelancing groups on Facebook are common in Pakistan. Men freelance, women freelance. It’s a great way to earn money.
However, some men are too worried about married women doing freelance work – so much so, that one man shared it as a query on one of these groups:
While the group may be private or closed, I came across the post in a tweet and I was left infuriated, much like many women who came across this on Twitter. It’s an absurd question, deep-rooted in the notions patriarchal values have propagated.
Ahh, marriage. Men don’t get married, do they?
The troublesome belief that a woman should be home-bound, before and after marriage, is a problematic belief rooting from the prevalent sexism in Pakistan. And of course, this is no way means that a homemaker is any less of a superhero than a working woman…or that there is any less on her plate. It all has to do with whether she is one by choice.
Coming back to freelancing; if you’re not on a long-term contract with any given employer and work at your own pace and convenience, you’re technically a freelancer.
This gives you a certain degree of autonomy over when and how you work, freeing you of the 9-5 bounds. With the rise of social media and technology, this becomes appealing to more and more people – emphasis on people – men, women and everyone else included.
As a student, a woman, and a freelancer, I can say with certainty that there is no other job that is more convenient, pleasurable, fruitful, and empowering for individuals like me, whose personalities don’t work well under authorities. Furthermore, as a full-time student, I could not imagine a better way to make an income while also staying on top of school work.
As for marriage – we all know its common tradition in Pakistan for people to eventually get married; men and women.
While many of us still expect women to cease their entire career and enter the contract with a blank slate while the groom conveniently just adds another individual into his life, it is becoming increasingly unlikely for that happen as society advances. And of course, there remain a large number of women who become homemakers and take care of domestic work…and we’ll assume that these were the people this dude was addressing. In this case, who wouldn’t mind making a side-income? If anything, freelancing makes it all the more easy to make a quick buck while also staying on top of domestic work!
The whole “who will take care of the children” culture is getting pretty old now…and it is vital to break stereotypes in order to eliminate it.
Freelancing comes with a wide range of experiences, exposure, and self-direction. It opens doors for creativity and allows many of us to discover our true passions and actively pursue them (while simultaneously making money off of it!). In the era of digital media, it is absolutely ideal to find a job that allows you all of this (and more!) and I wouldn’t quite have it any other way. And this should-men-should-women debate is getting pretty old, no?
So here’s your answer, dude-who-asked-if-women-should-freelance. Any questions?