Public spaces in Pakistan have largely been dominated by men – be it buses, dhabas, pedestrian bridges, or streets. Going out in the wild (yes, WILD is the word for such places, in some cases) isn’t an easy thing for women. A simple walk from college or workplace to home can be a dreadful experience.
Here are things that you can relate to if you’ve ever tried going out in a public space as a woman:
1. You cover each and every corner of your body to avoid unwanted eyes.
Chaadar mein chup jaungi tou dikhungi nahi.
2. You make sure that you look down on the ground the whole time you’re walking.
Make zero eye contact with anyone.
3. You try and keep your pace fast to give yourself a head start if you need to run.
4. You ignore every sight and sound that may be distracting.
5. But still constantly scared of a man coming and groping you.
6. There are people passing comments but you are not sure how to react to a cat call.
So mostly you just ignore and move forward.
7. You might even sometimes entertain the thought of somehow pulling out all the eyes that are dissecting you.
8. You feel so comfortable if a guy is accompanying you.
Phir chaahey who 14 saal ka bacha hi kyun na ho.
Hate this so much. The 14 year old can protect the 34 year old somehow just because he has a penis.
9. You always have something in your hand so that you can use it as a weapon if needed.
A water bottle, keys, purse – anything would work.
10. You wish an accident upon the bikers jo puri gardan morh ke dekhtey hain.
11. You pray so hard that no car follows you because cars walay barray log hotay hain and the public usually remains silent at their actions.
Especially if you’re on a sunsaan sarak.
12. If you are in a bus, you hope to find a seat as soon as possible because the men won’t stop brushing against you.
13. You know if God forbid something wrong happens, you will be blamed for it and might not be “allowed” to go out anymore.
Here’s hoping all our ghairatmand brothers in the world actually grow some ghairatmand balls to play with rather than playing with women’s bodies in public places.
Cover image via: Minimaza / dailymotion.com