Hey Kaniz! You should be on strike against Madam; comments rendered by our male colleagues when the covid test of our female boss’s father came positive, she was isolated by the administration but did not guarantee leave. Well, I do agree with the said proposal, however, its ambit is not restricted to covid only, in Pakistan, being a feminist means you are answerable to all individual acts of women also, though the said act was not an individual even.
Posting videos, banners individually portrayed by young girls in aurat march are projected as something flagrant violation of customs or offensive to religious sentiments etc. On the other hand, no one ever bothered to consider political movements and their leadership’s abusive comments, indecent remarks that clearly violates someone’s dignity and privacy and are considered as slip of tongue, forgiven on the pretext of freedom of expression. No one ever considered that these women are highly naïve; no political training was a part of the social construction of their gender as their ambit was merely restricted to the private sphere.
This does not ends here, merely talking about feminism costs us a lot at workplace, our ideologies are challenged on every step we take, heavy tools that males can’t even move single handedly are expected from us to move alone if we say anything related to gender based discriminations, highlighting the discrepancies and resultant injustices inflicted upon us remain unsolved unless we play a “women card”; a solution more often presented to us by male colleagues. Though, initially one may condemn such practices, however, when one sees the ultimate solution lies in playing emotional games or creating hurdles in routine work of higher management is yielding the solution of one’s problem, what an ordinary working woman will do? Though males also employ such strategies and off course, who can deny the issues related to their bloated egos and followance of hierarchy, still no one says why you came here if you can’t tolerate this etc.
Amidst everything, the most lamentable part of this debacle is projecting and isolating women exclusively those who raised their voices or made their way out like men do against each other. If end justify the means, then why this rule when applied in our case violates the sanctity of opposite gender. Not every woman has stamina to stand against injustice, more often they will adopt the second route, playing the card of being helpless though true also in majority of cases as they are contributing on two fronts; private and public sphere. Factually, what principle stance of equality is going to pay them if they are working whole heartedly and still not reaping the benefits of it?
This anecdote does not end here, both these categories are played against each other, already in minority at workplace, these rifts further alienates them and cause false consciousness among them as Karl Marx highlighted once. More often we women, ourselves, unknowingly become part of this politics, it’s purely a capitalistic approach who prefers women as labor, as they are easy prey to be exploited because of their vulnerabilities and needs. Their fundamental rights of day care and maternity leave are given as leverage and consequently, they are not given promotions on higher management positions.
Aurat march is necessary to recognize all these miseries and attempts of capitalistic as well as patriarchal souls to divide us and thus eliminate us eventually from decision making bodies. Fighting about our rights and speaking for all those who can’t speak and communicating their voice to power corridors is jihad in my humble opinion. It provides us forum to share our experiences and limitations and its plausible solutions employed in different spheres of life. My motto for aurat march is “let us not ashamed of ourselves, of our bodies, of our opinions, let us celebrate womanhood”
When I was born, they declared me an angel
Perceived as an angel, I was brought up
Suddenly one day, my innocence became a crime
Do angels commit crime?
Angels are worshipped
Since when they become objects?
To be touched, to be played
I remained silent as
Angels don’t question,
they doubted my silence
Suddenly I became a human