Traditions or Abuse in Disguise!

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From centuries people have been learning about relationships and experiencing all kinds of abuse in their day to day life whether personally experiencing or through knowing about others’ stories. There are many kinds of abuse-child abuse, old age abuse and female-child abuse with various types: emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial and mental abuse. People usually low in power in any aspect face such kinds of abuse. Like a land load owner will threaten his workers of hunger and tortures them; a brutal husband would threaten his wife for being not so obedient and caring due to having super control over her life given by the society and law; a rude demanding sexual person could humiliate any child of his choice due to his greedy, inhuman and frustrating emotions and animal instincts. The abuser finds pleasure in his abuse as he wants to control his victim as per his wish and desire. There is no way to convince him or her that they are being wrong with their victims and they are not going to listen to you in normal circumstances.

            When I talk about female child abuse in Pakistan, people give me a shut-up call that all of this is shit as they respect their traditions, culture and values. They firmly believe in their traditions whether they are so valuable or not. Just like the people of some regions in Africa where people fed young girls unhygienically and over load them to make them beautiful! It is just like those people who let their daughters to have sex with someone special to clean them before marriage (e.g. in some regions of Africa) and they don’t realize that it could be dangerous to their health as well. Female genital mutilation is also an example of so called cultural thing that is against the universal human rights. People do not follow the guidelines of the scientific research going on in the world; rather for most of the time, due to their vulnerability and extreme poverty they are totally helpless in finding another solution to their problems. Usually under pressurized cultures, weak gender that is women is always a target. In many societies of the world where female child abuse is very common; it is also the fact that they are extremely poor and malnourished societies of the world.

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In Pakistan, people are not always so much poor to decide about their daughters; however they are still maintaining their deeply rooted traditions – I don’t know why! Girls are subject to leave their parents’ home forever after marriage and boys are thought to keep with their parents, perhaps to take care of them in the old age. Girls are not given any skill to earn their living as they are thought as husbands responsibility. They have to ask for the money from husband from time to time, day  by day, monthly or whenever they feel it is the best time to ask. The husband has got an authority over them – he decides what a wife should do for him, what a wife needs, what a wife should eat, what a wife should live like and what she should not do forever! The divorce is not an easy task from both sides: society pressure and law. Moreover, they are not welcome in their parental home after divorce. So girls have to bear it all while remaining in silence. The destiny for them is that husband should be nice otherwise you are as unlucky as a person who is sentenced to death!

How can we discriminate between men and women on the basis of gender?

Courtesy to Google Images

 

Gender roles have been described as society’s shared beliefs that apply to individuals on the basis of their socially identified sex. Stereotypes can be conceptualized as the descriptive aspects of gender roles, as they depict the attributes that an individual ascribes to a group of people. Agency is often cited as the defining characteristic of the male stereotype, and communality as the defining characteristic of the female stereotype Whereas men are thought to be more agentic (i.e., independent, assertive, decisive), women are thought to be more communal (i.e., unselfish, friendly, concerned with others). Values (Halstead & Reiss, 2003) as, “ the principles and fundamental convictions which act as general guides to behavior, enduring beliefs about what is worthwhile; ideals for which one strives; broad standards by which particular beliefs and actions are judged to be good, right, desirable or worthy of respect”. Taken together the concepts of gender roles, stereotypes, and values, we can synthesise the concept of gender stereotypes, especially in Muslim, Latin American, and Black African societies, as being the product of religious and cultural patterns often are transferred from one generation to another through values and beliefs which underlie attitudes, behaviors, and norms

 

PAKISTAN was placed at 148thout of 149 countries in gender inequality index, as per the World Economic Forum report, 2018. Gender role discrimination is quite evident in the pictorial form of textbooks assigned to primary schools in Pakistan in which women are seen as helpers to men while doing various house hold chores, field works, or supporting their men while working at home (Agha, Syed, & Mirani, 2018). The main thing is that they are not doing something out of their will and desire rather give service to the men in their family. ALSO, a wide gap in general mobility between genders where women are half as mobile as men has been observed by the researchers (Adeel & Zhang, 2017). Additionally a severe gender disparity has been observed in children enrolment rates that are not significantly related to household income which implies that overall boys are preferred for higher education than girls irrespective of the economic status of parents (Quayes & Ramsey, 2015). In the same context, women are not generally encouraged to pursue a career, and their income related needs are hardly met by their own efforts ( Shah, & Baporikar, 2013).

 

Pakistan is a country where we celebrate sorrow feelings (like the custom of rukhsati in marriages), pains, and sufferings of the other vulnerable people. Pakistan is a country where we enjoy taking part in others helplessness, selflessness, and dependency. We provide opportunities to feel embarrassed (by teasing them physically in supermarkets), we provide sentiments to feel shame, to feel guilty and to feel harassed. Pakistan is a country where we love to kiss someone even at the cost of her dignity, willingness and approval. We are basically pathetic minded people and we don’t react upon others emotions appropriately- a kind of schizophrenic or in other words mentally sick people!

Usually, parents show the way to their kids and tell them, say

         Don’t don it, it is not appropriate to your sex

          Girls should stay at home

Boys should play with boys

Girls should know how to do house chores

Boys should look strong and resilient

Girls should help their mother in the kitchen

Boys don’t need to learn knitting or sewing

Boys don’t shout

Girls should behave nicely

Boys don’t play with dolls

Girls don’t play outside

Girls don’t complain

daughters are guest in their parental home

and much more alike

It is so simple! when something is not appropriate due to gender identity – it is not appropriate actually. Our way to analyse it should be appropriate. We should tell our kids a different reason to do something or not to do something. We should not focus on gender in any way.

When we see the broad picture, societal pressures, parental attitudes, religious themes, and overall cultural settings combine to depict the sorry picture of gender discrimination in the society of Pakistan. It is not one single person’s fault, or duty to bring a change. It is each one of us if we are live, and if we can think, we are liable for thinking so. We need to be punished for thinking so- when we go for it by choice!

I request the parents of our society to deal with your kids fairly and equally. You are not allowed to discriminate among them on the basis of their sex except choosing color blue for boys and pink for girls. You can still choose various outfits to identify your daughter and son distinctively; you can still choose a haircut for girls and another for boys; however you should not go beyond it. Gender discrimination is not harmful in any way– but according to UNO guidelines of human rights it will become harmful when it will limit them from gaining personal abilities, restrict them from pursuing professional careers, limits the access of equality education and health, prevents them from making choices about their lives, results in violation of human rights, restricts them from enjoying fundamental freedom of movement with peace and security, and when these discriminatory beliefs underlie sorrow and grief in day to day family life.

Freedom, independence, powerful acts of decision making, free mobility, and strong ego could also be the ornaments of the women, as well as men. Women can exert their true will and make choices based on their own desire rather than to the sake of the family, culture, honor or any other fake idea or belief. In other words, women can decide what they want to do in their life, till how long they want to stay with their parents, when they want to get married, to whom they want to get married, to whom they want to get married a second or third time. In total, they can decide about their life freely and without having any social pressure in an ideal situation.

Traditions and customs should not be practised on someone’s freedom and right to live fairly. When you say, someone, to be quiet on having pain, to be patient and do sacrifice, you are not follower/preserver of a tradition (nice women sacrifice for their family), you are not making her a true legend; rather you are a perpetrator and exercising a devil. In other words, you are making their life miserable and torturous- that is a crime in itself.  

For the women who usually feel guilty, and miserable, it is not easy to make them understand that they need to change their reaction from feeling guilty to feeling aggressive, annoyed on the apparent mis justification and mistreatment. Though it is unlikely that we change our mindset in an hour or so; however, we need to speak, think and reflect until neurons in our brains start working on such communicatory pathways and take information at the conscious level to act physically. This is the first step and it is the most crucial one in certain cultures like PAKISTAN.

Harmful gender stereotypes, rigid constructions of femininity and masculinity and stereotyped gender roles are a root cause of gender-based violence against women and put them at risk for various kinds of psychological and mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and stress. To eliminate gender-based violence against women, it would be crucial to transforming discriminatory gender norms and stereotypes into fair and equity-based traditions and norms that promote non-violent, respectful and equal gender relations between men, women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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References

Rhoodie, Eschel, M. (1989). Discrimination against women a global survey of the economic, educational, social, and political status of women. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Mirza, I., & Jenkins, R. (2004). Risk factors, prevalence, and treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in Pakistan: Systematic review. British Medical Journal, 328(7443), 794. https://www.bmj.com/content/328/7443/794.full

Khan, M. M., & Reza, H. (2010). Gender differences in nonfatal suicidal behavior in Pakistan: Significance of sociocultural factors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 28(1), 62–68. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1943-278X.1998.tb00626.x

Ali, N. S., Azam, I. S., Ali, B. S., Tabbusum, G., Moin, S. S. (2012). Frequency and associated factors for anxiety and depression in pregnant women: A hospital-based cross-sectional study. The Scientific World Journal, 2012. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/653098/abs/

Khan K.S., Rafique G., Bawani S.A.A., Hasan F., Haroon A. (2015). Social and Societal Context of Women’s Mental Health, What Women Want, What They Get: Gap Analysis in Pakistan of Mental Health Services, Polices and Research. In: Khanlou N., Pilkington F. (eds) Women’s Mental Health. Advances in Mental Health and Addiction. Springer, Cham

Agha, N., Syed, G. K., Mirani, D.A. (2018). Women’s Studies International Forum. 66. Pp. 17-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2017.11.009

Quayes, S., & Ramsey, R. D. (2015). Gender disparity in education enrolment in pakistan. Asian Economic and Financial Review, 5(3), 407-417. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1678797188?accountid=14116

Halstead, J Mark & Reiss, Michael J. (2003). Values in sex education. London and N.Y. : Routledge Falmer.

Shah, I. A., & Baporikar, N. (2013). Gender Discrimination: Who is Responsible? Evidence from Pakistan. Women’s Studies, 42(1), 78–95. https://doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2013.736284

Tazeen S. Ali, Gunilla Krantz, Raisa Gul, Nargis Asad, Eva Johansson & Ingrid Mogren (2011) Gender roles and their influence on life prospects for women in urban Karachi, Pak0istan: a qualitative study, Global Health Action, 4:1,DOI10.3402/gha.v4i0.7448

Pakistan second worst in gender equality: WEF. (2018, December 19). United News of India (UNI) [New Delhi, India]. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A566261610/STND?u=ustrath&sid=STND&xid=e61f3084

Eagly,A.H.(2009). The his and hers of prosocial behavior: An examination of the social psychology of gender. American Psychologist, 64(8), 644-658. 

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.64.8.644

Eagly, A. H., & Mladinic, A. (1989). Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Toward Women and Men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(4), 543–558. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167289154008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts That Matter!

When you are going out for a walk or for any trivial thing, what is usually in your mind? Very simple, you think about things to do next or things going on in your life at that moment. Sometimes, some kind of information is so strong that you even cant focus on your present talk- this time the information hidden in your brain is stronger than all other confounding factors. Let’s say you have been told that you are going to be a millionaire- should you see the world around you in the same light or very differently. Definitely very differently. Your all vision to see the world including trees, flowers, grasses, landscapes, seaside, buildings, roads or even a look on your own close family members will be changed for that moment! And what next- you will smile and react on the information with great gestures. You might be very pleasing, happy and satisfied in the coming few days at least! You will be under the influence of this informational background until you get some other unconscious thoughts to interrupt this one. Then you will be again under the effect of that specific thought. And the circle of unconscious tutorship will never end until you die!

This is a very powerful technique if we utilize it in our learning paradigm. We must encourage our kids to learn more and more not because of the motivation of getting some rewards or not having punishment incentives rather because in the mind there is something powerful to guide them in the way they should. It could be a thought that you have to do it for the sake of your dignity, respect and honour; or it could be a thought that challenging kids are always winners or leaders, or it could be a belief that you have to prove that you can do it by tomorrow. It might not be suitable to the young pupil; however, it will be must strategy for the teenagers. For the young pupil, there should be something to achieve practically- other than an abstract concept. They should be given a title to prove themselves what they should look like. They would happily imitate that personality/model in real life. Moreover, it should be unique to maintain the integrity of the child. It should also be relevant to the child’s personality. It can be an odd idea or can be any complex concept that a child may grasp, accept and internalize. One would need to juggle around to find a strategy to deal with the child’s unconscious mind so that he could start living up to the high standards(usually set by parents or teachers). It looks very simple- but indeed it is not that easy!

How can we give feedback in the shape of unconscious​ background?​

 

We all know we have a conscious and unconscious mind and we all deal with our mind continuously all the time. It is very much clear that without mind, we cannot survive. The things we do with our choice, like or dislike are always considered part of our behaviour and the things that form our experiences, on the whole, become part of our memories. We live a life with motivations, aspirations, accomplishments, disappointments, worries, appreciations and total satisfaction/dissatisfaction overall. In our day to day life, sometimes we just don’t want to do something and we think our mood is off. We don’t feel thrilled to do something. Many times we don’t know the reason behind those low mood episodes and sometimes we exactly know what is the reason behind our depress mood. Our depress mood is the first sign of our depressive life in case it continues and we don’t do anything to stop its occurrences. So, suppose we don’t know the reason for our upset mood- in this case, we cannot do much help to uplift our spirit. Whereas, when we know what is the reason behind our low mood and our reason is someone else’s behaviour with us- then, in this case, we are again in the helpless situation. You got it, that in this case that significant other would need to resolve the issue. If I tell you I am angry with you and don’t tell you the reason for that – how will you react? If I tell you, that you are worst- what will be your reaction? On the other side, when I tell you that I love you, what will you feel like? On listening something positive your all day will be a great time of your life – and you will do many things with feeling love right inside your brain. So we can say that, sometimes, some people create our unconscious with their loving words, gestures, statements, language, behaviour or whatever the way they choose to say that they love you. And on the other side some people, all the time remind us that we are bad and thus ruin our lifetime

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For the people who belong to the ‘difficult’ category, and who make other’s life miserable with no guilt, I have no advice. For the people who are in that abusive situation, and facing such people in their life on a daily basis, at first, stop being stupid by thinking that you are dealing with humans. Such people are unpredictable, miserable to deal with, and highly toxic. Believe me, they don’t need even your attention span for a second! However, if you have to deal with them, be careful and be aware of your safety exit roots!

LIFE SAVING DRUGS – THREATS TO LIFE!

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I wonder why we struggle for something important to us. Though it is the pure way to express ourselves in the best possible manner; it is not always justifiable. Actually we are slaves of many things starting from our dreams, desires, aspirations, obligations, concepts and perceptions to our customs, culture and religion. We can tell a lie to our friends, parents, and relatives, but we know what is truth inside us. We know we are following a path of our own choice.

Unconsciously or consciously we are running towards our set goals. In this journey we never stop. Starting from our birthday, when we cry for our favourite toys, dolls, and cars until the day of death when we only yearn for a healthy body! At times we are hungry for food, and the other times we are happy for our newly bought luxury car. People forget about their dreams after they achieve them and start dreaming again! We are human, so we do the same.

The point is that why we do all of this stuff ? Do we really really need it? Can we live a happy life without something we desire very deeply in our heart? Should we strive for the success or for the peace hidden in that success? Are we not wasting our time by engaging ourselves in worldly affairs? Is there any power to save us from cruelties of life miraculously or we are just believing in supernatural powers to feel protected and secured?

Whatever is the case, we are not ready to leave our mind-set for any trivial reason. We want to experience the reality and check about the laws ourselves through our own experiments. We don’t like short cuts; rather we want to struggle hard to find the truth. We are like young kids who want to check if the fire burns or not. How can we behave wisely in our childhood?

You know what is the first thing in life- important to all of you whether you are young, adult or old? The very first and foremost thing in life is your own peace of mind and satisfaction over all. Until or unless you are not satisfied with whatever you do; you will not stop running around. At the same time if you are happy, satisfied and at peace; you are there already where each one of us want to reach. Now its up to you, how you get that eternal peace – through adopting the ways that most suit you or through following the paths of other successful humans.

The most important care in this self examination is that you should not keep negative goals with you in the first place. The negative goals are never meant to get the same positive results. So if you want to become rich and then happy; you are basically negative in your approach. You need to mend your thought and say that you want to become happy- might be through riches or other sources of nature. In this way, you are totally positive in your basic approach towards life.

Keep it up and be happy!

Envy for being Your Daughter!

I love my daughters as much as I love my sons. I could never imagine anybody gives any harm to them in any form. I will always protect them. There is no excuse or reason why could not I listen to their heart and support them in life. My first priority is my kids and then others.
One of my daughters is married and living in her own home that she bought a few years back. She can come to see me anytime and the same is with me- I can go to her house anytime. My son-in-law often visits me and helps me in house chores just like he helps his mom in his parents home. We don’t mind visiting each other many times. We don’t follow any custom in this regard. Daughters and sons live their own independent life. They get married by their own choice and live in their own independent home. Though they can live with their parents; anyhow it is usually not very practical. It all depends on the circumstances where one chooses to live! Our sons are brought up just like girls. They don’t feel shy in doing house chores and helping their moms and dads. We don’t discriminate among kids based on gender. Girls can have as many friends as boys. Girls can move freely everywhere in the country. Girls are secure and happy. They know how to follow their dreams and parents never stop them rather help them in achieving those. We don’t spend lavishly in marriages. We, men and women, enjoy the freedom of choice, abundance, care, support, and dignity while living together. We even don’t discriminate between professions; for us, all professions are equally valuable. A sweeper is as respectable as the head teacher. I will not mind if my daughter ( a doctor) would choose a boy ( only high school pass) for her partner. We are quite open minded people. We don’t force anything on anybody. Everyone has his own weaknesses and strengths so we should tolerate each other differences. Yes, we don’t allow someone causing any kind of harm to anyone: psychological, emotional, physical, financial, social or sexual. We protect each person from being abused. We live happily with each other or don’t live with abusive partners. There is no need to be quiet and sacrifice. Our society is full of love, respect, harmony, dignity, freedom, happiness and growth. We celebrate our development together. We enjoy life fully!

These words are not mine. These words are words of almost every women in the UK. I met a new person each day and find that she is so much happy, secure, free and rich. We, living in Pakistan, couldn’t even imagine such a luxury in life. No drama, no trauma, and no abuse at all. If you find some news contradictory to what I said- they are not many. Most of the women are living a peaceful life from all backgrounds. So, should we ever give our traditions and customs the second thought to modify to the overall good!

Should money be the root cause of all​ happiness!

 

 

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I always cherished wealth as something beautiful, alluring and mind-blowing thing to feel proud of. I have never thought my life ahead without my pretty, ambitious desires, wishes, and aspirations. I thought it is the only form of happiness one could achieve by hard work and motivation. I thought I need to have a rich background if I want so and so….

Now I feel I was 100 percent wrong. People still would not feel like me – as it is very hard to realize what it is in the actual sense. Let me give you some examples:

A person dying from any trivial form of cancer would be ready to give his all belongings to you in return of his health!

A person who wants to become a parent would be much likely to spend all his wealth to fulfill his/her ultimate desire!

A person who is crazy for being socially acceptable and popular artist, would not care for his wealth in case he needs to spend it lavishly to achieve his goal!

A person who wants to settle down abroad might empty his all bank balance to create a life of his own choice!

Anyone who is crazy for someone or something could sacrifice much more wealth than he realizes for that very cause. Nothing wrong with it.

In short, we, basically, follow our desires, aspirations, and inspirations in life after fulfilling our basic needs of food, health, and shelter. And we are always ready to spend on such wishes, no matter how strange they are in the eyes of others. In other words, our wishes or needs (not basic) are our bosses who control us and make us think about them. We for most of the time are under such influence and for a very short time act wisely. It creates a vicious circle of desiring and fulfillment – after one wish always there is one more. Should it ever stop! Just like hope, such desires never stop, rather should not stop. The only thing we could do better is to control these loops through planning wisely. We can focus on our long-term goals and leave other distractions at all. After fulfilling our basic needs, we should not be controlled by others: marketers, business men, customer seekers, or any other entrepreneur. These people would never let us follow our real goals and distract us from achieving them by hard ways. Therefore, it is our duty to carry out all that is needed to follow our goals of life and spend money in the right direction, not anywhere else.

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Thus, money itself is not helpful in any way; rather it provides us ways to satisfy our needs – need to fulfil our hunger, need to have a shelter, need of dressing up, need of maintaining social status, need to learn, need to become a healthy person, need to explore the world in depth, need to get married, need to get trained and need to earn more and more. It implies that if you are a needy person- you would need money and at the same time you would not need money if you are satisfied with your life overall. If all said above is true, whom, you guess should be the wealthiest person of the world!