Hello Readers! Today, I am here to talk about the much hyped Aurat March, its slogans, everything that has been happening on the internet regarding it and what the youth of Pakistan (both men and women) has to say about this movement.
A trigger warning: Before you go further reading this, please proceed with an open mind, with the intention of understanding it and not just arguing against it. Also, I am here to have an open dialogue with you folks without disrespecting you, and I expect that you do the same!
Disclaimer: As you may know already, I have a very strict policy to block batameezi and any kind of hate speech. So refrain from sharing your opinion unless it’s constructive criticism that can added to this discussion.
So, do you remember how slogans like ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ & ‘Apna Khana Khud Garam Kerlo’ went viral on the internet after last year’s Aurat March?
This time around, even before the Aurat March of 2020 happened, ‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ is being discussed at dinner tables, on WhatsApp groups, on Facebook feeds and forums and by basically everyone who watched the video of the infamous Pakistani drama writer, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar who ridiculed a female activist on national television when she tried to persistently stick to the ideology that a woman should have complete autonomy of her body and the decisions concerning it.
It’s been almost 5 days to this incident. Since then we have been witnessing a great divide online amongst people who are for or against the slogans, and basically the entire movement of women empowerment and gender equality.
I, myself, have indulged in debates, gone through all and every length (severe migraines too) to explain and defend the meaning and importance of feminism, the slogans, phrases and demands that women have been and will be putting forward each year for their rights. The biggest hindrance that I have been facing in my debates is the misogynistic mindsets of people (both men and women) who are trying to abolish this movement altogether defending it with the help of culture and/or religion.
Before the big day tomorrow, I thought of putting the last nail in the coffin by taking this discussion to my blog, have an open conversation with you folks where I, along with a few others, will share why we feel this movement is extremely essential to bring a change into our world, starting from households to the outside world in terms of politics, economy, workforce, societal structure and all aspects one can imagine.
If you could change one thing about the world for it to become a safer place for you or for women around you, what would that be?
I asked this question from both boys and girls, living in Pakistan and overseas, belonging to different social and economic classes and here is what they have to say:
Answers from Men:
‘I would want them to have all kinds of freedom that men do.’
‘I would love all men to have empathy towards women, that’s all’
‘Stop staring at them to the extent of making them uncomfortable’
‘Editing the religious facts which says women are only made for Ghar ka kaam etc. and updating it according to the time and age’
‘Mandatory Self-Defense Courses for all girls’
‘Better education for everyone who that less effort is utilized in policing the society because everyone will know the rights & wrongs’
Answers from Women:
‘The mindset that compels me to be the weaker gender; even if I’m not, I have to showcase it this way.’
‘For people to be more accepting of each other. Be it for their sexuality, belief system, mindset, ANYTHING.’
‘Acknowledge our presence. Acknowledge that it’s harder for us at times. Acknowledge that the balance is off!’
‘Make men more sensitive towards plight of women in their own homes. Sometimes even the most educated, loving & caring man is unable to comprehend that his wife needs his help with household chores’
‘I want a world free of casual sexism. The sexism that very casually takes place in our homes while discussing politics, sports and feminism (the irony) in our drawing rooms…’
‘I will change parenting rules; girls and boys do not need to be taught that they are girls or boys’
There were so many more entries and so much more that people wanted to contribute and EXACTLY FOR THESE REASONS (AND MORE), WE NEED AURAT MARCH!
What’s triggering and emotionally taxing for me (and so many others) is the fact that people who are condemning the slogans and this walk for women empowerment don’t bother to show the same enthusiasm and rage when cases of child molestation, rape, domestic violence, child marriages or more disgustingly heinous crimes come forward or happen in their own households.
It’s very recent that women have been given liberty to voice their concerns openly and stand up for themselves. Don’t take try to take it away from them, in fact be a part of it!
For those who are already participating, have indulged tirelessly in debates and discussions, I want to thank YOU for your efforts and for contributing positively to this movement. I promise you it won’t go in vain!
Thank you for patiently sticking with me till the end, I would love to know your stance on this.
Until next time, See YOU around!