On Cocooning Women

I see all these posts on my Facebook about Hilary Clinton fighting for feminism and empowering girls and I wonder when will Pakistan actually start working on such goals and agendas.

But then I laugh.

Our country doesn’t give a shite about women.

And since we are the “Islamic” Republic of Pakistan, we really don’t care about our women.

I wish I could say otherwise but I have never really read anything in Islam that may have made me think that it believes in empowering women. Is it just Islam though? Or is it other religions as well? Is a woman only that- a being made out of a man’s ribs?

Is it my religion? Or is it your religion too? Or is it the society? Or is it just the way it is?

We don’t bury our girls at birth. No, now we have grown way out of such barbaric practices.

We raise them as captives, imprisoned in a box. And they grow up only to break out of one box and to enter into another. We may not treat them like slaves, our fathers don’t always beat us with a stick or induce any physical harm, but the way we raise our girls isn’t fair either. We teach them to be good wives and excellent mothers because after all, women are natural nurturers. We don’t teach them to dream. We don’t teach them to be extraordinary. We don’t teach them to be kind, compassionate and to be good humans, above anything else.

We keep our women in cocoons. Bloody cocoons that really serve no purpose. We think we are sheltering our little girls by restricting them from leaving their households or controlling their lives. But no, this isn’t sheltering.

In fact, you can’t really shelter anyone from the hardships of life. Everyone needs to feel love, loss, sadness, happiness on their own terms and need to experience them for themselves. You don’t live their lives for them. You teach them to stay strong, to fight and face those hurdles right on.

I was eighteen when I started working at a hotel. This was too unusual as a) in Pakistan not a lot of girls work at the age that I started working at and b) a hotel is considered a negative environment.

People might have thought I’m dumb because I didn’t know how to talk or what to do. There was a time in Lahore when I wasn’t allowed to step out or go out on my own. I wasn’t allowed to talk to boys on my cellphone. I wasn’t allowed to go out on dates or out with my friends. All I knew was within the walls of my home, where I was safe. I look back and I think that girl couldn’t have dreamed of working at a hotel. Ever.

And I’m not saying going on dates is necessary but things like that, small things, like going out on your own to the bank or to board a plane or living on your own, they do really make a difference. Experience is the best teacher, nay?

And I needed all those things. I needed to step out in the real world and realize that nothing is all hunky dory. That people are liars and cheaters and yes, men will hurt you but there are those who will love you deeply. I needed to have all these experiences for myself and I never would have had them if I had stayed in a box.

I see these young beautiful girls who have so much potential settling for less. Settling for a house, a husband who doesn’t really get her and lots of babies. But she settles because she doesn’t know her potential. No one told her. And society and parents and relatives would go crazy if she rejected a proposal like that.

It breaks my heart because it’s such a common thing in Pakistan and I don’t think we will ever put a stop to this.

It’s a terrible thing to say but if I were to stay in Pakistan all my life,  I would wish I don’t give birth to a girl. Because I’m scared I would be just like all the other people I had around me, when I was young. And maybe I too would become a part of the institution that is obsessed with “cocooning” women.

Isn’t teaching them to face hurdles better than keeping them locked up? Why don’t we teach our girls to be tough? To stand up and fight for their rights? Why don’t teach them values other than growing up to be excellent wives and mothers? Why can’t we just let them have their own experience with love/sadness/happiness? Why can’t we  just let them go?

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9 comments

  1. PREACH to the people.
    I think a lot of that can be said for women around the world. I’m not especially educated on Pakistan, but I think the same could be said about women in the western world, ESPECIALLY our mother’s and grandmother’s generation.
    NO COCOONS!
    Butterflies only 🙂

    Like

    1. Hey Elizabeth!
      Thanks for commenting. It’s even sadder that the same thing happens even in developed countries.
      You’re right- only butterflies! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree – no women should be cocooned and everyone should have equal rights!

    Free like butterflies, yep! 🐝 <~ oh darn! I couldn't find a butterfly emoji… Just pretend! 😜

    I hope all is good with you, my dear. Long time no speak! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Amanda!
      Lately I have been feeling frustrated because of all the limitations here and I felt like letting it all out! Thanks for reading Hun ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. It was a very passionate post. Also got me thinking. Yep, I feel inspired! So, thank YOU!

        And I’m sorry to hear you have been feeling frustrated 😦 it’s good to let it all out. Blogging is like therapy!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks! It makes me happy that I have inspired you. I have been feeling the exact opposite but anyway thanks!
          Blogging is like therapy indeed! I feel like in need to do more of this therapy..:)

          Like

  3. Leave the country.
    As pathetic it is to say something like that, it will no less pathetic for you to settle down one day for less.
    Because while India maybe changing too, I know that it will take some decades before it reaches a point where men and women are treated equally. from what you said, Pakistan has always been patriarchal and maybe that is way it will always be
    So leave, and reach the goals you are want to.

    PS: this is probably the only post of yours where i haven’t laughed my ass off

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for such a strong feedback!
      I know and I’m trying to leave. Still me leaving doesn’t really solve the problem right? And sometimes I think we can’t change anything at all. We can’t change the way our society thinks or how religion works here.
      Haha yeah I can be serious sometimes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No it doesn’t. But ask this: What would it take for the nation to change?

        Okay looking forward to the serious non zareen like posts 😛

        Liked by 1 person

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