Dear Pakistani men,
Since a lot of you think we hate your guts, let’s just start off by clarifying the fact that we don’t hate Pakistani men. In fact, we don’t hate men at all. You’re confusing us with misandrists – a group of people who are strongly opposed to men. Now, a lot of you have certain misconceptions when it comes to feminism, and we’ll get to clarifying those in a bit. But you know what? This isn’t about us. This is about you. So we’re going to keep this about you.
First things first: since a lot of you think feminism doesn’t advocate for men, let’s just address that right now. It does.
Equality main men bhi aatey hain. Actually, equality main sab genders aatey hain. Why are men not talked about as often? Okay, so here’s the thing. There are plenty of statistics, articles, and stories online that prove that we live in a patriarchal society. Toh ab scene yeh hai, that for there to be equality, women have to be brought up to the level at which you already are. Does that maybe make more sense?
That being said, the issues of Pakistani men are and always will be valid.
We know you face harassment in many forms as well – sometimes from women and sometimes, from within your own sex. You guys are taught to internalize your feelings because it’s considered weak for men to – well – feel. There’s a ton of male child abuse that goes unnoticed. Men getting raped isn’t even considered rape by many. Domestic violence is as real for you guys as it is for us.
There is a battle inside your heads and hearts and often, you may feel that the world around you is caving in. So you lash out in anger. Because that’s what our society teaches our men to do.
We get you guys, we really do. But meet us halfway and maybe get where we’re coming from as well?
Every time feminism is brought up, Pakistani men lash out like it’s a personal attack. Why? What are you afraid of?
Equality? Why? A lot of times, the argument that is made is that women’s issues keep being highlighted whereas men’s issues don’t see the light of day. See, your issues are valid. But you, yourself, take away from that validity when you try to overshadow the issues women face every day. You cannot yell louder to the point of incoherence to have your voice heard while women barely get to whisper.
Toh hamarey bhaiyon, zara chill kijiye. You matter, your voices are important and honestly, anyone who is a decent human being should identify as a feminist.
Because faida toh end main har kisi ka hai. However, if you’re still confused about what feminism truly is, do your research. And take your time. But don’t give into stereotypes or hyperbolic caricatures of feminists. Bohot faltu ke jhagre hogaye. And all for nothing, too. Because seriously yaar, we’re supposed to be on the same team. So let’s make that happen.
A Desi Feminist.
Cover image via: Six Sigma Plus