The following is the voice of a Pakistani girl, curious about her surroundings.
” I wake up in the morning feeling like a lady, as the day passes by I hit the city.
with a pocket knife in my purse purse, to save me from the perv pervs.”
These are my favourite lyrics, to this song which I don’t remember by whom, maybe it was my own creation but what do I know, is that I am just an ordinary Pakistani girl, who isn’t even that pretty or smart for that matter.
I do not feel pretty but I do feel mysterious, not in a self-indulgent way but in a more self-loathing manner.
Let me describe myself, I am a batameez girl, I never cover myself up when I leave the house, I wear my tight straight pants, with this really short kurta. You might have seen others wearing the same, actually, it’s in fashion. And a piece of cloth which we call a duppata over my shoulders, you know, ‘just for the sake of it’.
When I leave my house, it has to be in a car, if not, in a rickshaw which comes to my door. One of the servants is usually sent to get one because I can’t step outside my door, Mom says, “log kya kahae gay, javan larki ghar k bhar sarak per?” (What will the society think, when they see a young girl, from a decent family walking on the road), you know it depicts my family’s reputation.
And if I do have to walk on the road, on some rare occasion I see why my mum and my family are so careful.
A friend of mine once told me that when she was at a bus stop this guy stared at her for 10 minutes straight, which seemed like an eternity to her. “But who asked her to commute through buses, she should know better. Creeps are everywhere we should be more careful,” an aunt of mine suggested.
But she is from a poor family, she can’t afford all this. So should she just sit at home?
Well, why do you care, not like she is someone you know right?
But another girl in my school told me, that there are many types of perverts;
Some pass by you when you are walking on the road or maybe shopping and touch you, some say sleazy lines, especially the ones on their bikes and in groups, popular words being MASHALLAH, come along, need a ride, how sexy.
Even people in their cars give unwanted invitations,
Social media harassment is the easiest, on FB, insta, email.
Mobile phones are so in too, dirty, naughty messages from unknown calls.
But why should you care? Hasn’t happened with you yet right?
“We friends once went to this park, and this group of boys followed us around the whole time, sat on the same rides and at the end one of them groped her. We all wanted to die on the spot, she couldn’t stop crying but one of our friends created a scene.She screamed and shouted at the boys, who in return laughed. She threw things at them, which attracted attention, people gathered but the boys escaped laughing all the while.”
“You girls shouldn’t have come out without a guardian,” one of the uncles remarked.
That did scare us a lot, what if we were raped, thrown acid on or kidnapped?
We should have just kept our head down and walked away, we all want to get married someday. Who would marry someone troubled, marked or ugly? We need to be careful.
I have to teach my kids to be more careful of the society, tell my girls to stay at home at much as they can. To behave well and never get in trouble, to cover herself more and maybe not dress up liberally. I do not want her to feel like an object that I do.
Because frankly, there is more shame in rebutting then keeping quiet, right?
If you find nothing wrong with the story above, rethink and re-read. If the voice of this girl hasn’t shocked you and made you ponder hard then you may be the problem.