The False Contrasts of Women Empowerment in the West and Discrimination against women in the East

( When Western women were deceived into proclaiming rights equal to men, the concept of “ladies first” also eroded from their social construct. I have travelled in England and have seen women standing in buses while the men remain unconcerned. In our country men still leave room for ladies in buses and trains and offer them their seats. Western men tell their women you are our equal now. If you get the chance to sit, do it otherwise I will. The women there are tossed about and nobody cares. Nobody talks to them unless they have a good reason (sexual connotations). )

An Urdu text taken from the Facebook page of a group called MainPakistaniHoon (I am a Pakistani) from Pakistan is a testament to exactly how misguided Pakistanis are.

Not only are they blatantly subversive of political dynamism, evaluation of obsolete traditions and the subjective analysis of traditional behavior, they are also extremely misguided.

Apparently women asking for equal rights is wrong because in the West men do not leave their seats for women who board buses and trains because of their equal status. That is their excuse? Really?

It would have made a tad bit of sense if certain facts about the position of women in our society weren’t overlooked or swept under the rug in the guise of “dangers of feminist agenda” and “propaganda of the West against our traditional lifestyle”.

I can cite all the reasons why we should all ask for more rights, equal rights but that isn’t the point I want to be making right now. Here goes nothing, O’ ignorant one:

  • Only a quarter of the seats, sometimes even lesser than that, in our buses are reserved for women, and men never leave their seats for us anyways. They are constantly barging into the ladies compartment taking up space and even if they don’t women have to stand as well.
  • A mother trying to simultaneously pull her shawl over her head to keep it from falling, juggling between the bags of her children, each one of the two walking beside her, is trying to make it to the bus stop in time. The problems here? She can’t run because that would be inappropriate so she settles for a brisk walk. Nobody is going to offer her a hand because those are her kids, her duty, and she is their mother so of course she can handle it on her own. As per societal norms she cannot even ask for a lift without risking her reputation.
  • Transportation all over the world suffers from the “too many passengers, not enough seats” bottleneck and who gets to sit in a bus doesn’t determine the nobility or equality quotient of the people of that country.

And just to drive in the whys and hows of gender discrimination that is so prevalent in our society let’s consider something as universally celebrated as education and scrutinize how we dissect and remove a vast majority of people, solely on the basis of their gender, from the academic discourses.

It is still not considered an equal right by birth, a privilege lent merely to a fraction of females, to receive proper education. Most don’t. A lot of communities believe in segregation and while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, communities rarely invest in all-girls or all-female schools and colleges. There are considerably more coeducational and all-male institutions. This means, due to a default social construct, a lot of girls cannot go to school. A lot of girls are pressured into taking the easy subjects and going for easier degrees. At times it is a lack of faith in their intelligence or their capacity to make use of their academic ventures and sometimes it is to move past the formality of educating them as quickly as possible so they can be wed at a suitable age. It often happens that families consider it a burden to pay for a girl’s fees, her color pencils, her notebooks and her tennis shoes, manifestating as taunts that secretly kill her ambitions driving her to abandon her studies. Many a times, girls have to go home to do household chores and help raise their siblings, which is a full-time exhaustive job. People may not decide over or admit to gender discrimination, they are most effective when they simply create circumstances where it becomes tiring, impossible and as a consequence an unattainable goal for women to be properly educated.

So yes, we must continue our fight for equal rights and not stop until a boy, a girl, a transgendered person, a man dressed as a priest and a girl in a skirt can all use the privileges of traveling by bus equally without fear of contempt, without worrying about their appearance and certainly without fear of judgement.

Give women the right to education, the right to travel independent of their male associates, the right to marry of their own choosing and the right to work. Give us that and we will gladly stand in the buses of Europe to travel the world and master it using our bodies and intellect; a disposition only men in our societies are born with.