Extreme misogyny or mere hatred

Who are these people and how is their moral scale so different from any other reasonable human being?


Zorain Nizamani October 18, 2021
Zorain Nizamani

Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) was declared guilty of murdering 13 women in Manchester, England from 1975 to 1980. Edmund Kemper, from 1964 to 1973, was declared guilty of murdering and dismembering 8 college teenage girls in California, US. David Berkowitz (The Son of Sam) killed 6 and wounded 7 girls between 1976 and 1977 in Brooklyn, NY. All these individuals had one factor in common – a prejudicial attitude towards females. But what inculcated such hatred in their hearts?

Only a month ago, a TikTok star was harassed, assaulted and violated by 400 men near Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. The victim was present at the location for recording an independence-day video message for her TikTok followers upon which myriad men surrounded her and groped her incessantly until she was forced out of there by some humans. Various videos have been circulating on social media which further prove the barbaric conundrum that the poor lady went through.

Let us question ourselves here. Who are these people and how is their moral scale so different from any other reasonable human being? Why do we consider these acts as immoral, vindictive and disgusting whereas they consider them justified? It is no secret that such individuals would be reciting the mantra of enforcing religious duties in their homes but when it comes to the opposite sex, the ‘religion’ card is flaunted around coupled with unapologetic victim blaming.

According to statista.com, in 2017, Pakistan’s total literacy rate was 57% (those who can read and write). Hence, does education inculcate values and morals or are values and morals derived from religion? As of 2021, considering the conventional Pakistani society, it is evident that morals are not necessarily derived from religion because if they were, atheists would be carrying out heinous acts throughout the world. The matter hence falls upon education. As of 2020, according to Unicef, Pakistan has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world and thousands of ghost schools and teachers. Moreover, the quality of education imparted in government schools is abysmal. It is also no secret that in 2020, the cases of domestic violence rose by a staggering 200% during the pandemic.

Therefore can we shrug off the fact that women are routinely denigrated, despised, segregated, raped, mutilated and murdered? Is it safe to say that in fact, it is natural for men to hate women? Imagine a society where women are kept secluded in their own homes, forbidden to go out even for shopping, only permitted to mix with strangers at ceremonial occasions? Doesn’t this remind you of Pakistan under Zia?

Amongst an ocean of uneducated and religiously ruled masses, it is nearly impossible to put forth logic. It would only lead to what is called ‘pombos enxadristas’, a Portuguese expression which refers to a futile argument as akin to playing chess with a pigeon that when it realises that it is losing due to lack of logic, it defecates on the table, drops the pieces and simply flies off, claiming victory.

The long-term solution to this ongoing issue is unequivocally mandatory primary education and mass awareness regarding the rights of women and girls. But for such education, the government needs to provide the necessary infrastructure, teachers and proper curriculums. Unfortunately, whenever the issue of education is brought up, the government puts forth its usual rhetoric of lack of funds.

The Single National Curriculum has also failed at its initiation for being a product of a misogynistic and sexist mindset. In 2021, where the global wage gap based on sexes is being eradicated and women’s participation in the commercial sphere is increasing, the SNC was advocating for a housewife to be a submissive being.

It is time that the state and its institutions take a step towards rectifying this escalating situation where women are being killed, harassed, assaulted and depersonalised every single day. Pakistan not only requires stringent legislation for domestic violence and harassment which promises severe repercussions for the perpetrators but also rigid implementation of such legislation which punishes and deters criminals. As a product of failure to protect women, our very own Peter Sutcliffes, Edmund Kempers and David Berkowitzs are standing outside our doors, waiting to pounce upon any chance they get.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2021.

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