It’s actually kind of funny how randomly we can come across misogynistic view points. The general perception is that “if people are educated enough, they will not propagate misogynistic view points”.
Surprisingly, or not, that isn’t always the case. Misogyny has this way of creeping up in our lives in the most unexpected of manners.
Who would have thought that a little harmless trip to the Maritime Museum of Pakistan can turn into a huge lesson about how common misogyny in Pakistan is?
The naval museum lies on Habib Ebrahim Rehmatoola Road (Karsaz Road) in Karachi. It covers a huge landscape and is designed in a manner that helps the onlookers interact with pieces at display and serves as a educational treat for them.
It is an absolute wonder because it entails murals, and paintings, and weapons and screen computers. To add to the beauty, they also have Daphne Class Submarine, the minesweeper, PNS Mujahid (M164), Breguet Atlantic aircraft and a wooden barge that was given to the Naval Chief by Her Majesty during the 1960s.
What more can one possibly ask for?
However, a Facebook user came across a framed message at the Museum which shocked her a lot
Take a look at this picture:
She then mentions how such views effect our culture overall
“My family and I went to the Pakistan Maritime Museum today after years. It was a fun, fascinating trip, until we saw this. This is what unabashed misogyny looks like, approved and framed and given a place of honor by our own Pakistan Navy. This is disrespect of women made acceptable on an official level.
This is what we mean when we say that your casually sexist joke exists on a spectrum of abuse. This is where our jokes end up: on the walls of a museum for the nation to learn from. This is how we have built our grotesque culture where women are dismissed and dehumanized and laughed at…and then worse.
Schools are frequent visitors at this museum. Children are going to see this nestled between a model of a submarine and a map of Pakistan’s coast, and they will memorize it like a lesson. Like truth. My eleven year old sister and ten year old cousin were with us too. They absorb things instantly; they are creating themselves every minute. We try hard to teach these kids that they can be anything they want. We tried hard to keep them from seeing this today. When a young girl goes on an educational trip to this museum, she leaves having learnt this: she is the butt of the joke, and the whole country is laughing. For shame.”
And she is not the only one who is outraged and surprised. Take a look:
While many pointed out that it was just a joke and that women should learn to loosen up a bit, here’s what’s wrong with this:
An institution which represents culture and history and is also representative of some of the most courageous and intelligent people out there, such a message coming from under their umbrella only goes on to reinforces the misogynistic viewpoints that people have in this country. If our own institutions cannot grant women the status of an equal being and indulge in promoting stereotypes, then the future of this country should look a little shaky to everyone. And that, is something that should bother all of us.
What does it take to be a little more careful with our words? How can we not see that we’re hurting the sentiments of someone and playing into the hands of stereotypes when we call ourselves educated? What kind of precedents are we setting? And is joking around more important than using the privilege that we all have to work towards something better?
If not then, let’s just go back to sleep!
Shahzeb Khanzada Just Lectured General(R) Musharraf On His Extremely Sexist Remarks And That’s Absolutely Brilliant