Respect! For some the "Golden Fleece", which requires death defying tasks to achieve, giving one a run for their money or life. For others it's a "gene" thing, they just have that extra special chromosome to make up the DNA for respect. They are born with it. For the women in Pakistan, it's nothing short of the pursuit of paro by devdas, unending, depressing and excruciatingly painful to watch and comprehend.
In order to get a wider prospect of things in focus, let's first define for ourselves what, according to us, are the elements necessary for a women for gaining respect in the eyes of fellow humans. What exactly is expected of them to be successful in life or be respected in this world of male dominance? Or what are those essentials that will put them right even in the eyes of women who have happily and willingly put male chauvinism on the map.
When women's rights are discussed in everyday life we come across brutalities such as "honor killings" or "domestic violence" or "acid burn victims". These matters, no matter of utmost importance and most disturbing, are not what we are portraying in our media as matters to ponder on. On daily basis we come across icons depicting perfect lives for us on our television sets via advertisements.
These try to show us what is lacking in our lives that we ought to know about to make matters perfect. So let's take a look at some to get the idea exactly what we are trying to infuse in the minds of common public.
For example, according to one ad, a woman definitely needs to be "fair" to be successful. She needs to be fair so that she can get the man of her dreams, or to become a good matrimonial object, or even to get the job beyond ones wildest imagination. Let us ask ourselves, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO GOOD OLD MERIT SYSTEM OR QUALIFICATION? What we are portraying is that a women needs to use her sexuality in order to get herself some "places". Isn't that degrading to women as a whole? Are women, in the teeny tiniest meaning of the word, going to gain repute or respect?
In another ad we see a woman preparing meals from a well known brand of spice or cooking oil. The result? The man gets the tastes of heavens and the women gets "RESPECT, LOVE, AFFECTION". So what we are saying is that your personality traits don't matter, you're grooming, your education are a mere trifle in front of this art of cookery. The only trait needed in you to succeed in the house of your in-laws is making mouth watering treats. The saying is most probably true that the way to a man's heart is through the stomach.
But let's face it, in the long run a woman is not going to be remembered by what great service to humanity she did by baking that damn good lasagna. She will be remembered for what contribution she made to this world. For God's sake, she did not fill out an employment form, nor did she sign a bond. She married. She should be respected no matter what for being a human.
We need to change our 18th century outlook. It may take this generation or the next, but we will get there. Women should be respected. Their desires and hopes should not be trampled on thinking of them as secondary. This can be done if women change their attitude towards themselves. think themselves as human for a change.
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