The destiny of women has always been shaped by the members of a particular society. Each woman is the preface of the man’s mentality. Bothering to ask women about their feelings has been a taboo. The women are dubbed with terms defining them as fragile, disobedient, week and uneducated. Historically, women have been seen through the lens which has often objectified them. Women are stereotyped as being unequal to male.
According to Virginia Woolf, women are the most discussed animal on this globe and she has never been asked to tell about herself. She is discussed in every man’s personal conscious and unconscious mind and is judged by the way a man carries the message to others about her. In Pakistan, she has been stereotyped to be a ‘maid’ (jhadoo poncha laagne wali). In the nineteenth century, the woman was not allowed to contribute to the literature by using her name and was compelled to write under pseudonyms (male names). Women have been a part of the globe. She has been discussed mostly; she has been analyzed, dissected, and speechified by the patriarchal society.
So shrinking becomes the space for women when they reject an unwanted proposal. The vitriol goes beyond the limit leading to isolating women from the social order
Similarly, in the last Woman’s march, some slogans went viral. One of the most viral statements was “mera jism meri marzi”. Following the statement going viral, people started sharing their personal views. Primarily, dominant was the only one-sided view.
Women have never been given a chance to talk. If a girl desires to spend her life according to her views, society starts opposing her. So shrinking becomes the space for women when they reject an unwanted proposal. The vitriol goes beyond the limit leading to isolating women from the social order. Welcoming such a rebellion is the acid or rape attacks followed by the rejection of proposal!
As Virginia Woolf puts it: “in each of us two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man’s brain the man predominates over the woman, and in the woman’s brain the woman predominates over the man”
Male has become a cultural and societal standard. Women, by many standards, have become a symbol of an asset. In short, women are expected to sacrifice their wishes too often that they accept marriages against their wishes.
Media, with a myopic lens turned towards issues of women, has stereotyped the women the most. The foremost issue which needs to be addressed as frequently as possible is the objectification of women in media. Most of the drama serials, films and advertisements are riddled with the concept of ‘objectifying’ of women, which has led to strengthening certain stereotypes in the real world!
The contrary subjects make a big difference for the community of women. The theories of feminism exist and they are studied. However, women have not been given due importance compared to male in society. Starting from the dumping of baby girls to being subjected to domestic violence, she has been taught to be silent. Historically and literally, she has never lived for herself because she has never been allowed to think for herself. Currently, women have started raising voice for their rights though.
Women of tribal areas still fear from husbands and do the way they are instructed. In Baluchistan, educated girls, with master’s degrees and Ph.D., are vehemently told to surrender to the stereotypes and wishes of their parents. They respect their customs and it is named “frailty” of women. The story of every girl is almost the same but it is depicted according to the mentality of the ‘third’ person.
Women are defined by prejudices for which patriarchal society and the norms and creeds will always be held responsible. It is a food for thought that, despite technological modernization, women are forced to bow down. Women are still considered reproductive machines. Interestingly, men are not bound to respect and love women whereas women are expected to respect male without excuses!
Nevertheless, it is time to rewrite the pages of history and modify the dominated perspectives which overshadow the rights of women. The time has come when the appearance and beauty of women will not invite rapes and immorality anymore. However, the inner strength and beauty of thoughts will free the women from traditional and societal norms that have shrunk the space for women in every walk of life!
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.