Of casual sexism…

I am sexist. Deep down inside, I have always been sexist. The awareness of this introspective fact has come only a couple of years ago. Since then, I try my best to not treat sexism callously, and to correct myself whenever I feel I am wrong. I take pride in calling myself a feminist.

Though I have realized that most of the world treats the word ‘feminist’ as negative since they believe that feminists hate men. That is untrue. Feminists believe in gender equality and equal opportunities for boys and girls.

I will speak up for a little boy’s right to wear pink as much as I will speak up for a little girl’s right to play street cricket.

Sadly, I often come across examples of sexism so carelessly and deeply rooted in our system and vocabulary, it shocks me to the core. And more often than not, I have to carefully choose whether to point out the misogyny or bigotry in a statement and risk being labelled an angry feminist or to just let it pass and think about it for hours.

Today, I saw a picture on my Facebook Timeline. It’s a picture of Waseem Akram with wife Shaniera, who seems to be the only female in the entire bus full of cricketers.

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I’m not ashamed of being called an angry feminist for my reaction after seeing this. I actually am an angry feminist. Because this picture hits too close to home.

If a man accompanies his wife everywhere, he is protective.

If a wife accompanies her husband, she is chipkoo (smothering).

But of course. As a woman, you have to earn the right to be anywhere. You have to justify it, you have to justify your existence. A wife has no place with her husband’s friends. Does she have the capabilities to actually hold a conversation about cricket with these legends? She must have forced herself upon him. Insisted that she sit right next to him. Not that he might have actually asked her to come along. Even if he did, what kind of man does that? He should have some ‘balls’ and put her in her place.

It doesn’t end with this picture. Our vocabulary and humour constantly degrades females.

Don’t be a girl. Be a man.

Girl equals weakness. Man equals strength.

Aurton wali harkatain mat karo, mard bano!

Aurat equals negative. Man equals positive.

Tum meri beti nahi, beta ho.

Beti equals burden. Beta equals liberation.

So yes, this angry feminist would like you all to kindly think twice before you use such jokes or phrases so carelessly. Because this angry feminist is fighting everyday. For her right to be a wife. For her right to be an entrepreneur. For your right to be whoever you want, wherever you want, without society poking it’s disgustingly long nose in your matters.

But just in case you don’t, in the words of Peggy Carter, from every single girl you ever picked on:

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6 thoughts on “Of casual sexism…

  1. Hiba says:

    I’ve been wanting to write about these things you know… But every time I try I just end up getting to angry and frustrated to ever go further on… Thank you so much for writing this post.
    Preach! 😀

    Like

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