Having A Choice Is What Matters
Being a social sciences student, spurning discrimination, racism, ethnocentrism, overt nationalism, blatant extremism and every other characteristic embedded In me were things that were always there, studying ABOUT them only furbished the despise. Quite surprisingly, being a woman I never really considered ‘gender’ as being a hurdle or progress towards humanity. This was something I LEARNT. Obviously discipline of Gender Studies taught me this. Being born in a family where only female dominance prevailed, five sisters and a very strong mother with just male presence of my father, an education oriented, politically driven Sindhi family who look upon a woman as having an equivalence of seven Koran, I only knew about the edges that a woman had in a society. Or maybe I was too young to look beyond this.
It’s pretty much a distraught that in reality beyond the ‘fantasy land’, a world persists where discrimination is embraced at all costs, at the cost of losing human lives in fact. The world is a place where social structure allows only the ‘dominant’ entity to set rules for the dominated portions. Men have always dominant women, accept it or not. Maybe women like to be dominated, I mean considering a woman ‘me’ I don’t mind being dominated, but certainly NOT at the cost of losing freedom. In a world where women are not allowed to drive (Saudi Arabia), women die in the name of honor killings, (Pakistan) women are subjected to genital mutilation (Somalia) where are not allowed to have an abortion (Afghanistan, Chad, Egypt, Iran etc), where women are not allowed to wear Hijab (France), where women are not allowed to go without Hijab? (Iran, Saudi Arabia) how do we expect of a better world or an egalitarian world where everyone has rights to live, empower and live to their fullest potential?
Actually all of the above came from a simple debate that I had over tea today with my mother. My mother was talking about the kind of clothing women carry and how it shouldn’t affect others even if the society is doing it and how religion draws out a shield and stops you from going over your boundary, I objected by saying it’s just YOUR choice whatever it is. I was arguing on how people try to cover up everything they do by saying religion stops them. I mean why play with religion wherever you feel you want to? I said I don’t know I can’t find my sanctuary on this one by saying religion stops me, because I am not sure what future holds, I may wear anything that suits me. My mother objected by saying you shouldn’t say cause you never know what your husband ASKS you to. I literally snorted back saying I won’t stay with someone like that. My mother outraged after this and we all know what happened, being a typical mother my mother lectured me for an hour. She said you can’t live your life finding one after another, because you won’t find anyone better and that being a divorcee is not good and what not.
I sighed and found retreat writing this. It’s US who have created a world that has reservations made for everything you do. Be it a bikini or a burqa, it’s not really your choice is it? I will speak for women for once, we don’t want you to allow us for running elections for presidency or make us wear miniskirts, the point and plead is to let us do what WE want. Driving on Saudi streets or being allowed to have an extra marital affair or not being mutilated won’t really make us happy. Having a CHOICE is what matters. Maybe we like being oppressed, but just allow us choice to do so. Maybe I want to be divorcee; I mean what do you know?
Now wonder why we got the chance of being educated. We weren’t supposed to right? This is what my mother thought.