You ain't no princess

Why is it 'sexism' only if men do it? At what point was the term hijacked, and rewired to work only for women?

Faraz Talat November 11, 2011
In wake of the ceremonious lambasting of the Y-chromosome, I believe I have a right to mount a defence. Now that Pandora's box has officially been opened and the first stone has been cast in the battle of the sexes, dare I put my own two cents in?

In the past, I've often defended women in our present social milieu to the point where I fight to keep my own men's club card from being revoked. I'll lay my cards on the table and admit up front that I'm a feminist. I can sense eyebrows being raised at the concept of a male feminist, but that's the way it is.

Feminism is about gender equality, and the entire movement would be self-contradictory unless it caters for the rights of both women and men. This is why I'm compelled to say the following:

Why is it sexism only if men do it?

At what point in history was the term hijacked, and rewired to work only for women? In no universe can I call the Pakistani women "a desperate being" without inviting the pointy end of a stiletto to the vertex of my skull. If I deny myself the guilty pleasure of constructing negative stereotypes about women, can I expect the same treatment in return?

While there is simply no excuse for chauvinism, men do not have to be sorry for being men. Wanting to be in the company of a girl, or even multiple girls, is not a behavioral trait indigenous to Pakistan. A young woman may cut her way through a horde of creeps using a chainsaw if she has to, only to find out that Prince Charming is a non-existent entity. However, it's not all bad to settle for Prince Charming's less sought-after cousin, Duke Goodenough.

Pakistani girls need to stop wanting to be "looked after" all the time. If they grow up (if ever) expecting to find a man with the strength of Hercules, the face of Apollo and the wit of Dr House, a suckerpunch of disappointment is what they rightfully get.

Guys are not perfect, and neither are girls. In all likelihood, you'll end up with a partner expecting to lean on you as much as you want to lean on him. In other words, you'll find half a Zorro whom you'll have to complete by becoming the other half yourself.

Stop being damsels in distress, and start opening your own damn doors. Any relationship with one party depending wholly on the other is a disaster waiting to happen.

For our own sake, we need to steer away from the Utopian concepts of macho, steed riding men and beautiful, sandwich making ladies, and learn to accept each other for the imperfect individuals that we are.
Faraz Talat

The writer is a doctor based in Rawalpindi and writes about current affairs and societal issues.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


insight | 12 years ago | Reply feminism is a tricky road what the author expressed is a superficial analysis, if we accept the author on his ideals we have to look at the history to compare it with society who followed the same path. in Americas and Europe the women image is so tarnished and mangled by the quite frank and understanding society that the image of a western female is quite appalling at a close look. the niceties of the east and the due considerations, the handling of our females like china dolls......these advantages we provide to females in the east they are non-existent in the cut the argument short......the moral depravity that have emerged in the west is because of the ideals that the author has expressed..........the females when given equal standing.....get exploited........the are not given their due consideration because to western man ...the females are just another male a means to end..........and in case of females a profitable end and highly exploitable.........the road to feminism is littered with female exploitation namely prostitution.
Adil | 12 years ago | Reply You are proud to be a feminist. Im not amazed, i know u have ur own benefits to look for, and your outlook also supports the kind of views u have. Further i am not surprised. This "time" has already been prophesized in Islam and such like people and such issues poping up in these TIMES have amply been told to Muslims through Ahadeeth. So Faraz keep making efforts, it wont damage the religion, rather people like you compel many non-practicing Muslims as well as non-Muslims to revert to true teaching of Islam / Islam. Thanks
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