A Proud/ Vain Woman

a proud vain woman

When was the last time you felt proud of yourself? Did you ace a test or manage not to flunk this time? Each individual has their own special set of skills and a unique scale for measuring it. However, none of the usual rules apply to you if you are a woman living in Pakistan. Your sudden burst of pride was probably born of a simple joy and crushed before you had a chance to acknowledge it properly.

The plain truth of the matter is that a Pakistani woman is supposed to feel no pride whatsoever. If she ever shows any inclination towards being pleased about an accomplishment, it must be vanity. The Masters degree she just received does not reflect upon her own hard work rather her parents’ generosity. After all, she cannot be allowed to have an actual job because that would throw suspicion on her character. The son she gave birth to after nine months of a difficult pregnancy is a gift from God and hopefully, will inherit nothing from her. Cooking is not rocket science. The feast she lays out at dinner table everyday is obviously the result of having too much time of her hands to watch cooking shows. Being offered an opportunity to move ahead in life is clearly a cause for concern or more often just a nuisance for everyone who has to adjust their schedule for it.

A Pakistani woman has to tread carefully and show no confidence in herself. Why would you check out your hair in the mirror before leaving the house? You aren’t a movie star on a film set. Going to the university with some lipstick on means you are trying to impress someone. Random people will stop you in the hallways and ask if you have recently gotten hitched or worse, they might gossip about your alleged affair with a notorious professor. “Look at her walking in her 3-inch heels as if she’s a supermodel on the ramp!” She hears the carelessly tossed out comment as she rushes to her next appointment. Apparently, it is unacceptable to wear high heels unless you are a celebrity or forced to attend a lame family wedding or one of “those” women.

People seem to believe that if he is a man he must be accomplished. Let us look a specific case. He has barely managed to pass high school and attached himself to the family business. He is the shining star of the family and a constant source of pride for his parents. If he says it’s important to go on that trip with his friends then it is surely no inconvenience. He must have a flashy bike or car because he has places to go to. So what if his qualifications aren’t that high, if he says he wishes to live in Europe then he must be supported with every last coin they possess. Years of going through low end jobs and leaving his family broke has not dulled his radiance. When it is time to find him a bride she must be the “fairest in the land” and have a good degree too. After all, that is the least they can do for their son who has made them so proud with his countless accomplishments. A man running his hands through his short tresses a million times a day is okay. He must look good every day so his suit with those perfectly coordinated accessories demand nothing but praise.

So you see dear friends, at the end of the day we cannot ignore one of our community’s fundamental rules: Her pride is shameless but his vanity is expected.

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6 thoughts on “A Proud/ Vain Woman

  1. Your sentiments here seem more like a rant born out of some personal experience that seems to have frustrated you greatly! I, however, agree completely. But at the end of the day, can’t we just get rid of these meaningless traits and stop judging people, both male and female, by the way they dress or what car they drive or the amount of money in their bank account or the job they hold? And let people be defined by their actions or the words they say.

    Ours IS a patriarchal society, make no mistake about it. Some people I know, even in this day and age rejoice at the birth of a son and are somewhat despondent if they have girls. They discriminate, that much is true. The boy goes to the best private school, the girls go to the local high school or one of those numerous other cheaper ones that have cropped up in recent times. It is quite unbelievable, I agree. And it makes me sick. Guys get away with a lot in life, but not all of them do. You’d be surprised what guys who aren’t born into privilege or don’t hold high end jobs have to go through.

    I think the reason women are treated as they are or looked upon as no more than objects of desire or homemakers is because it’s been programmed into us from a very young age. Ours is a conservative society. The homemaking mother dotes on her son and husband and pretty much sacrifices her life for theirs. She gives up her professional degree, her social life, her hobbies for them. Very rarely does this make either of them acknowledge the trials and tribulations she goes through for them. A lifetime of service goes unrecognized by the husband, so much so that there’s no acknowledgement of it on his or her death bed. The son then gets married. A lifetime of service from the mother then makes his robotic mind translate that to mean that the wife will be the same, and that’s where the whole trouble is.

    My point is, sons need to be raised better. Girls need to be raised like queens. Men need to realize and acknowledge the part women play in their lives, from conception in her womb, to the man they become, and be more respectful of their mothers and their sisters and their daughters and their wives. Let women grow as people side by side with men. Then we’ll be a happy place.

    P.S: I kinda get the feeling this blog is meant for women but I just stumbled across it on wordpress and couldn’t resist leaving a comment. And today was the day Qandeel Baloch was killed too, which gives your blog a whole new meaning! She was one of the scorned, and probably had a hard life, which led her to reacting the way she did. Hope she rests in peace now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for taking out the time to read write such a detailed comment on my ages old post. I have just logged in (I forgot my password). A friend of mine just said, you need to write again. It’s been too long. I agree. Just been overworked. So, expect regular posts from now on. You are right at every point. You are spot on in your observation that this is my personal experience and every single woman on this planet. Even the most privileged women have to face this. I know men in our elite class are just like those in the lower class, who they claim are cheap and uncivilized. Many of my closest friends happen to be men and I am currently researching into why they are not like the general variety of men, not just in Pakistan but around the world. I guess it’s all about their upbringing but in some cases, I have seen men who are trying to change the primitive mindsets of their mothers. So, maybe it’s just the mercy in their souls? This blog is my venting ground, as you have gathered. I am not trying to please anyone. This is one side of the story and I don’t intend to show both sides because honestly, the other side, the side of men and women both, who refuse to treat another person as a human being, is all around us. I know most people are sheep. They don;t really see how the “norms” affect us. My first post was actually not in favour of women but in favour of nice men, who have bad luck with the ladies.This blog is not just meant for women. It is for truth seekers and those who seek to learn so they can change because they don’t like the world as it is now. You’d be surprised at how amazing and powerful this generation of women is. I have high hopes that we will have a generation of kind men in the future. P.S. I was devastated by her death too. I am glad you said that. Stop by anytime and thanks again 🙂

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