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Abubakar Cheema recently wrote an article for Parhlo spewing his ignorance all over the internet but I’m going to take his incomprehension as innocence and try to answer his questions because maybe there are a lot of people like Abubakar Cheema, who spend a lot of time on the internet hating on ideologies and movements they have no idea about. So this is for all you Abubakar Cheemas out there.
Q.1 DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND THE MOVEMENT YOU ARE DIEHARD SUPPORTERS OF?
Umm… Do you understand the movement you are attacking? Feminism is not about lowering ‘male rights’ and no feminist would not go for that. The reality is that man feels so threatened by an independent woman he feels his ‘right’ to dominate and police women about what they should do with their bodies and their lives are being taken away. Well no, you do not have that right and the fact that you think you can tell women what they should do or not do to empower themselves is in itself ironic.
Feminism fights for equality of the sexes, meaning where men are discriminated against for example toxic masculinity, patriarchy, and predetermined gender roles all negatively affect men as well. Since male vs female discrimination is highly disproportionate, naturally the fight needs to be too.
Q.2 DON’T YOU THINK THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE THE RIGHTS YOU ARE DEMANDING?
Is the right to education, the right to hold property, work and vote the only rights women should have or are they the only rights men have? Is the right to step out of their home and not be catcalled and harassed not a right? Is not being slut-shamed for working late not a right? Or just getting the same privileges and facilities as their male counterparts is not a right? Or equal pay for equal work, not a right?
Let’s talk about the basics, education. Female literacy rate is 45% against male literacy rate that is 69%. According to the Punjab Education Commission, school dropout rate of girls rises significantly after grade 5 and more than 40% girls are taken out of school after grade 8 and you have the nerve to tell a 10-year-old girl to go to court if she is not getting her right to an education? These statistics become even more appalling once you get into them, the difference in the quality of male vs female schools, the difference in basic school facilitates and you can just go on and on.
The right to vote, are you aware that only in 2013, women in Banu and Dir were not allowed to cast votes? Are you aware that in Interior Sindh, NICs were taken away from women before the Election Day so they do not vote? Your utter ignorance is just appalling. You think women who are not allowed to step out of the house can just step out and walk to court?
You have no idea what it’s like and you dare to tell them to just go to court? I think the words ‘No, uterus, no opinion.’ is perfect for circumstances like this.
Q.3 WHERE IS THE ‘STRONG AND INDEPENDENT WOMEN’?
Exactly, where are the strong and independent women? That’s exactly why we need feminism. You just answered this question yourself.
Q.4 WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PROVE THAT WOMEN ARE AS CAPABLE AS MEN?
Yeah, let’s talk about blue collar jobs, your house maids, the people who work night and day, cleaning our shit for wages below the minimum wage rate. The house maids which first clean your house and then goes home and takes care of their own houses, did you forget about them?
Do you want to see more women work blue collar jobs? Look at the agriculture sector, in fact, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, there are as many women working on farms as men and for lower wages while working twice as many hours as men on farms.
The percentage of women working in the construction and manufacturing sector is increasing every year according to the same report. You talked about women not actively taking part in the military but you didn’t mention that women are restricted from participating in the active duty combat operations by the male generals.
Q.5 DO YOU REALLY THINK THE PATRIARCHY IS THE PROBLEM?
I seriously doubt you know what patriarchy is because you made absolutely no sense. Really, you are making an argument from history, that men have been in control, so what? That’s exactly what needs to be changed so what is your point? It is from patriarchy from where you are demanding rights? What is that even supposed to mean?
You said why don’t women get into the decision making the spot? Thank you! That’s exactly what feminism aims to do. If you really look inside there is a feminist in you as well.
Most women want to join white collar jobs? Like A) where is the evidence to that and B) So? Do white collar jobs not make any contribution to the society? Also how many years have you spent in mines and digging dirt that you are attacking women?
Also, you completely ignored the fact that most women work in blue collar jobs, not white collar. Especially, in Pakistan.
Q.7 WHY IS THERE SUCH HYPOCRISY IN YOUR MOVEMENT?
Patriarchy is a vicious circle that affects everyone. Including mothers, hence feminism talks about the issues in parenting as well. The fact that you are ignorant and only see what you want to see does not make the whole movement hypocritical.
Q.8 WHY DON’T YOU START A MOVEMENT FOR ISLAMIC RULE?
According to mainstream interpretation of Islam, women can’t go out of the house without a male guardian let alone travel, women get less share in inheritance than men and women are impure and disgusting when they are on their periods, so yeah these are just few of the reasons why a feminist would not go for the mainstream Islam.
The only thing you see is a woman’s clothes, hence the need to mention it here because it all starts with and ends with a woman’s attire. It’s 2017, stop telling women what to wear, you don’t get to enforce religion on anyone.
Q.10 WHEN DO YOU THINK THE NEED FOR FEMINISM WILL BE OVER?
Most Pakistani feminists point towards the West, false. West isn’t the standard.
Again, if you are delusional and ignorant enough to know what western feminism is, still fighting for you have no right to attack the movement. Equality of genders has still got a long way to go, even in the west. Sexism still plagues this entire world. Reading on the issues will help not ranting on the internet.