What does it mean to be a male in our patriarchal Pakistani society — to be an overbearing monster?
In the not-so-Islamic Republic of Pakistan, one recent sickening case was that of a husband permitting a relative to whom he owed money to sleep with his wife. When the wife disagreed, the situation exacerbated into a rape case.
Where does one begin to highlight the multiple tragedies in this story?
Yes, the rape. The woman’s husband used his ‘soulmate’, his lifelong ‘companion’, the mother of his potential children to pay back a loan. To the husband and the relative, she was a material object; her rape was used to settle the money that the husband owed. It will be news for many such men when they learn that forceful sex is a crime even if done by a married partner; if either partner refuses intimacy and is forced, by all means it is considered rape.
Ergo, what does it mean to be a male in our patriarchal Pakistani society?
Is it to be an overbearing monster?
Yes, it sometimes does and this is evident in many such stories that make it daily to the media, as well as in those stories which are kept hidden. Being a brother or a father can mean being the murderer of your own sister, daughter or wife or robbing her of her rights. The publishing of two such stories on the same day (June 11) — of this woman’s rape and that of the murder of a woman and her lover by the woman’s own two brothers — should serve as strong evidence on how vast such issues are in Pakistani society. Two individuals who had instilled in them love and compassion were murdered while two brothers whose hearts and minds were filled with anger and hatred lived.
Bravely, the woman who was raped to settle the loan, gathered enough courage to report her rape to the police. Thus, hopefully, this Pakistani wife can set an example for other such women (and men), married or unmarried, who are rendered helpless. Our hope now is that justice is brought to the woman’s husband and his relative, the two men who heartlessly raped the woman. Unfortunately, we will probably never hear of the case again and these jahils (illiterates)will likely somehow be excused.