Goddess or a Gaali: do I really exist?

In an abstract world, I am a Goddess and a voucher to heaven; in a real-world, I am a body of flesh and bones; for my family, a source of honor, for a stranger an attraction.

In an abstract world, I am a Goddess and a voucher to heaven; in a real-world, I am a body of flesh and bones; for my family, a source of honor, for a stranger an attraction. An evil for preachers, art and beauty for poets. I AM A WOMAN who has everything but nothing. If a woman has this highest value, why I see this incongruity? Why I am not beyond my body?

Though I am claimed to be held in high regards I have rarely seen this concept being practised. My worth and my value has always been judged by my very parts of the body-flesh and bones- defining my whole existence. I claim to be a human, sometimes I wonder if I really exist? A man can be man without me but does that work the same for me?

A man and I both open eyes to the same world but to a very distinctive life and experiences. Even before birth, we are treated very differently. When his fetus is found out, mother feels herself over the moon. If I am found out, her downcast eyes seek her ground to hold, she finds a lonely spot and cries for hours. Even before birth, I have declared a culprit. (In some worlds, she is aborted)

A man and I both open eyes to the same world but to a very distinctive life and experiences. Even before birth, we are treated very differently.

Soon after my birth, a burden of honor and great values is put on my shoulders and I am expected to carry that burden to the day I die. Throughout my life, I am treated like a child who needs to be corrected, tamed and reproduced to the society. I spend my whole life in Do’s and Don’t. I am induced guilt and shame by telling how weak I am. Fear of losing honor or brining disgrace to my family throttles even my genuine dreams. My existence becomes conditional. My brother could be a human without me, but I can’t be a human without him. My identity somehow is thrown overboard under a laden of heavy expectations. I become an honor of my brother, my father and my family. My whole life I am taught only one thing, “my life and my existence belongs to someone else”.

When I start growing, I could see my parents getting older with carrying panic and fear in their eyes, fear about my future and the burden of honor. My brother can have various choices, for me, marriage becomes the only refuge. I am expected to get married, procreate and die. No sooner I hit puberty than I am handed over to another person. Even though I carry a little voice in my marriage, nonetheless I am believed to live up to the expectations of every person. MY DREAMS LOSE IN THE SHADOW OF RESPONSIBILITIES.

My husband is hailed as my new empowerer, bringing another burden of honor and great values. In this strange world, I could eat, sleep and maintain my mobility, but I am often given a little voice on my own life. My husband can abuse me, physically and mentally however, being a good daughter, sister and wife, I am expected to suffer in silence. I strangle every voice inside me lest I bring disgrace to my family. Getting divorced or committing suicide is tantamount to bringing a bad name to my family so I choose to suffer. I suffer until I die or in my older life, my husband starts treating me like a human until that I will have to put up with every unjust because I AM A WOMAN AND THAT’S WHAT WOMEN DO.

My society claims to be a defender of values and culture but puts a huge obstruction over my mobility. I can have anything but behind the four walls, outside the four walls: I am relegated to a body of flesh.

With marriage, procreation becomes a mandatory, a sine qua non to prove my worth. If I give birth to a son, I can be treated like a Queen, by contrast, birth to a woman-child would reduce me to nought. I will have to please my in-law just in case they can’t make mind for another woman. My existence is again conditioned to another being, a male child. I will have to procreate a son. I can have eight daughters, I would still be expected to procreate because not having a son will endanger my own life. I AM A WOMAN THAT’S HOW WOMEN SURVIVE.

My society, who claims to be a defender of values and culture, puts a huge obstruction over my mobility. I can have anything but behind the four walls: outside the four walls, I am relegated to a body of flesh. Upon leaving home for studies I am ogled and raped, if I leave for grocery groping and harassment becomes my reality. In extreme cases pursuing a job earns me nasty appellation or even killing. My space in my society is equal to zero, despite half of the population, I am nowhere. However there is only one place that I can be found more than men, a place where despite being absent I could witness my presence fiercely, And it’s contumely. Be it bickering over trivial things or fight for bigger reasons, my name is used relentlessly. “Sister and mother” is the only lethal abuse that could end up in a bloodbath. Rest, I can be used to shame other men’s for their weakness or to remind someone of one’s abject worth.

عورتوں کی طرح باتیں مت کرو — وہ عورت سے کیا کم ہے؟

Yes, I AM A WOMAN, SWINGING BETWEEN TWO EXTREMES OF BEING GODDESS TO AN ABJECT GAALI.

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  1. Aiman Abbasi says

    You spoke my heart, I have three brothers, they are loving and caring. Still I feel a distinctive behaviour for women in our family. When my younger brother comes in the room where we are sitting, everyone expects me to stand up and leave my seat for him. Only because he is a “male” and I am female. I wish we have more such great blogs. / and thank you Aware Pakistan for discovering such talented people.

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