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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

………..if you love me!

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Every body in this world loves to his or her family in his or her unique way. This looks very ridiculous when one defines love as the definition of love is perceived very differently by each of us. After all we all are human. Our perceptions are unique and valuable. However, when it is the true love, it does not matter how you are going to display it.

For example, one could buy a new care for his beloved one, the other could buy a ring, and someone could just buy a flower to express his intimate love. Even one can express his love by different ways in one’s  life at different occasions. There is no ambiguity in this definition at all.

The second way of expressing love is through gestures, attitudes and behaviour. When one is caring, helping and behaving nicely to his beloved, it is the expression of love. There are ,no doubt, thousands of expressions to show love to your beloved ones. And many of us adopt a unique way to express their feelings of love to their beloved ones. We don’t find this information contradictory and confusing at all.

The third way is very strange and negative. Some people among us think they love someone when they :

Expect care from others,

Expect respect from others,

Force others to follow them,

Motivate others to imitate them,

Make others to obey them,

Help others to make them obliged,

Speak with them to give them company they need,

Even love them in charity,

Teach others the ways they like for them to adopt,

Try to influence others by their thoughts and beliefs,

Want to see others as per their own wish and desire,

And think they are superior to all whom they love the most.

In short they  think they love their fellows, that is why they are supposed to guide them in the way they think is better for them. They never leave their beloved ones free to choose; rather they limit their options by hook or crook . They never care for others aspirations, dreams or skills; rather they expect total surrender to their wishes from them. These people think they are in love with their beloved ones and this is the true expression of their love for them. So much so, some of them cross the road of humanity and dignity in their perception of love and become perpetrators of sexual, emotional and psychological abuse. There is no excuse for them, as they don’t know the definition of love. This is absolutely a crime, an abuse and a selfish human act that should never be ignored. Please perceive the love of your beloved ones in these lines; otherwise the next victim of abuse could be you!

In how many ways you can Hurt others?

For the people who just don’t know how to behave badly; for the people who cannot think of taking revenge from their enemies; for the people who are not so much daring to declare their attitude in front of others; for the people who are not capable of saving their selves from their fellows; and for the people who want to give lessons to their rivals but just cannot!

It is hard for good people to become bad; it is also hard for them to behave rudely with anyone (friend or enemy). Such personalities just do not know how to do that wrong thing. They are not capable of doing bad or wrong things. They feel hurt inside and take revenge from their enemies in dreams. They are not brave enough or they are too shy to show their attitude. But they are disturbed inside and that disturbance becomes their constant stress.

So if you are one of those people; pl note the following things and try one of them to see the results. Hope you will get some relief out of even reading such tips:

  1. Do not make eye contact with your enemy; it will hurt them severely.
  2. Never start the conversation from your side. Wait until they start speaking. Wait and wait. It will hurt them a lot.
  3. Keep/look yourself busy; especially when you are sitting with your enemies. You can use mobile net or tablet for keeping yourself busy.
  4. Keep your appearance a tidy one. Your grace will kill them!
  5. Keep smiling and think about your friends when you are in your rival’s company. You can talk with your friends on phone at that particular moment to get some confidence.
  6. If you are a mother or father of a child; then engage with your child actively at the time your enemy is around.
  7. Simply leave the place for any good excuse and get rid of the situation you do not like at all.
  8. It is usually better not to invite them in your house or not to go to their home as well. Instead arrange a party in some other place to meat each other ( if it is very necessary).
  9. They are like barking dogs; you cannot stop them but can avoid them by silently passing by them.
  10. Such relationships are like wealth found in the commode that you neither can pick up nor can ignore. You have to look at and leave it there as it is! You do not even need to bother about them! Or they are like shit (in the form of persons) found in your toilet that need to be flushed (from your memory). In any case you have to deal with it – there is no other way out.

The severe mistakes you need to avoid in such cases are:

  1. You being their friends, try to pretend good
  2. When you over react and smile and maintain eye contact!
  3. When you invite them to your home or go to visit them for humanity sake!
  4. When you expect them to be as good as you!
  5. When you hope they will change and become nice to you!
  6. When you spend time, money and energy on them!
  7. When you become overly nice in front of them!
  8. When you start doing things for them!
  9. When you ignore their mistakes and think they will never happen again!

So please avoid the mistakes mentioned above- usually people do in maintaining close relationships. Decide once what you want to do and then act wisely. It is better to perceive the situation earlier than keeping regret for the whole life! Exceptions are always there so be wise and vigilant for the actions you are supposed to take in any particularly worse situation!

How can you improve your chances of being abused in an intimate relationship:

We all are victim of abuse in one way or the other in our life from someone at some particular point. Though we don’t fully understand the abusers in our society and could not recognize them at first glance; yet we could feel a little discomfort in their presence. We, in one way or the other, feel compelled to do something, guilt, being overly criticized, ignored or controlled or pressurized in our heart while confronting/obeying someone’s commands. This is known as abuse- more specifically emotional abuse. It is, in most cases, the abuser’s responsibility to have a check on his/her attitude and modify his/her behavior accordingly; yet it is also the abused one’s personal obligation towards his/her self to respond appropriately while being abused.

How can you trigger the abuse in your life – here are some examples that would suggest new angles to see the situation and make you alert in advance:

 The abuse would multiply if –

 You look too simple to deal with. When people think you are too good, too simple, and too polite; they will feel no threat in abusing you as much as they like.

  1. You ask with silly gestures and childish attitude- you are welcoming the unnecessary comments and the possible abuse from the black sheep.
  2. You are fulfilling the demands of the other person unnaturally; in this way you convey the message that you are the most obedient servant of him/her.
  3. You cannot say ‘no’ to someone who is crossing limits in dealing with you.
  4. You convey by your attitude that you never feel being degraded or humiliated or in other words, you welcome the abuse in your life.
  5. You keep silent on matters you should speak up or at least speak to someone to help you out.
  6. You remind others through your reactions that you have no self respect, self esteem and dignity to preserve so they can cross limits whenever they feel like.
  7. You never keep others in limits or you have no ethical limits to follow for yourself. You are not a man of principles.

 You ignore the abuse  in the first place, then it grows, and grows till the point, it is out of reach. So you should be very careful in dealing with an abusive relationship when it starts.

These are the simple guidelines to prevent abuse or abusive relationships in your life forever. When one is simply ignorant of the causes of the disease; he/she would never be able to carry out the precautions in advance. Thus, you are now aware of the disease ‘abuse’ and can put some checks on it in future. It will save you from many psychological and emotional disorders like depression, anxiety, guilt, hypertension, stress, sleeplessness, and ultimately suicidal and destructive tendencies. The most important is that you would be living an ‘abuse free’ life – a happy life.

Thanks

Improve Your Perception For A Smart Choice

We all live a busy life and find no time to make decisions with complete peace of mind. Always we are in a hurry to do something, to take some action/reaction and then regret while having no choice later on! When you go for shopping, you are fascinated by different things in shops and many times you go for a thing that look prettier to you at that particular moment. There are many things that you, do not like today with that intensity for which you have bought them a few years back. You are again in the vicious circle of looking for something new everyday and keeping your regrets alive each day!

Here is a simple tip for you to consider before going for a shopping:

a. When you are overwhelmed by a product to have an instant buy, stop for a moment. Think if it is 100/100 in your mind – means you are completely in love with it! If it is that much adorable, then it will carry only 70 points in your mind after a week or so.

b. If you think that a product (you want to buy by heart) carries 70 points out of 100 in your mind, then understand that it will only hold 50 points after a week or so.

c. If you think the product is equal to 30 by 100; then it is better to leave it as it will leave you with regret after your purchase.

Now think about emotional, intimate relationship decisions. In the same scenario, when you see someone with great features; you are passionately overwhelmed by the product (boy or girl). This is the time to analyze it with caution. You can carry out a little judgment instantly and look for its value in numbers.

a. If the person carries 100 by 100; think after 10 years of marriage, the number will be reduced to 70 or so.

b. If the person carries 70 by 100; after 10 years or so, he/she will reduce his charm by 30 percent and hold only 50 out of 100.

c. If the person is keeping 30 or so marks in your heart out of 100; then please do not go for it. Leave him/her alone.

In most of the matters, when you are in between and could not decide anything for you; it is always better to leave that particular thing for a safe decision making.

My numbers are not exact; variations are always there and depend on the persons particular needs and choices criteria. However, these numbers convey the caution that we all could apply in our day to day decision making struggles, from buying a glass of water to looking for a partner to live with forever!

Thanks

Why Don’t We Always Do Good And Have Good In Return?

Have you ever noticed that your mother behaves differently from what you expect from her?

Have you ever felt that your father is not as encouraging as you expect him to be?

Have you ever thought that your partner is not behaving as nicely as he/she should?

Have you ever had a feeling that your children are not as much caring as you want them to be?

Have you ever observed the attitude of your partner being totally strange for you?

There are many moments in your life, when you simply could not clue for the opposite behavior of your friend or acquaintance. You remain speechless and surprised to know that your friend is totally different from what you are expecting from him/her.

Although there could be several reasons for others indifferent behavior to us; yet one of those reasons is our misjudgment and misperception of our relationship on both ends. Whether we are not according to our friend or our friend is not doing as per our wish; both are configuring the relationship puzzle in totally a wrong way.

Relationships are never equal in nature. Your father is your father and he will behave as a father due to his nature of the relationship whereas you are the son who being a son could not behave like a father! Being a daughter, you always remain a daughter and could never behave like your mother. Mother on the other hand remains mother and could never behave like a daughter. Same goes for every kind of relationship. We can become parents and friends with our children, but we cannot leave our parenthood to become friends only with our children.

Children expect the quality of love and care from parents; parent would never expect the same nature of love and care from their kids! For example, for kids, to ask for water and food is a gesture of their understanding, that they still are dependent on their parents, whereas their parents asking water or food will convey the message that they love to see their children being independent and caring. Parents show their affection through various ways of care, whereas children show their love through their childish demands and funny ways.

In couples, similarly, wives show their love through cooking, cleaning, and dressing up for their husbands, and husbands show their love through buying food, luxuries, and gifts for their wives. Thus the both partners hold different manners for their expression of love. So much so, both have different physical attraction points to convey the same message- love.

Therefore, to expect from someone the same nature, the same attitude, the same feelings as we hold for them or in return for our deeds, is a big mistake. We are never same in any of the worldly relationships; rather we are parallel and comparable in some of these. When we do something good for someone in our own specific way; we should not expect the same from him/her. He/she might behave differently on the same task; but could show his/her affection on some other task in his/her particular manner. Therefore, to expect the same thing from someone is never achieved in relationship studies. We are being compensated and rewarded differently in a different manner in return for our love, care and affection. Sometimes, we are not rewarded at all; due to the same reason in fact. This happens due to our multi dimensional brain and its capacity to be flexible and rigid in several areas of our choice and leaving others unattended and ignored consciously or unconsciously.