Yes, men face gender discrimination too

Published: December 21, 2013
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With feministic values seeping into the core of our society, unconstitutional ‘family only’ areas, no recognition of domestic violence against men and reserved seats for women in the assemblies, Pakistan seems to be a feminist’s dream.

Out of the total 269 elected National Assembly seats, only eight are occupied by women. Yet, 68 women sit in the assembly, thanks to the 60 seats reserved for women. The oft-cited reason for this quota is to ensure that the assemblies, both national and provincial, represent the actual population of the country.

Domestic violence includes both mental and physical abuse. According to a study published in Scientific American in 2010, “While women do exhibit the much-vaunted ‘relational aggression’, men are more prone to all types of violence except one: domestic violence.” A 2006 study by the University of Florida, one of the first to include psychological abuse in their findings, revealed that “women are more likely than men to stalk, attack and psychologically abuse their partners”. While this may not entirely be true in Pakistan, where an overwhelming majority of domestic violence victims are indeed women, it is not uncommon for men in the country to suffer from domestic violence too.

Despite this, the recent Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill passed in Sindh focuses only on women, failing to discuss, let alone deter, domestic violence against men.

‘Family only’ signs are common throughout the country, especially in shops, restaurants and parks. These signs are often interpreted as ‘accompanied by women’. While a group of men will be denied access to such places, a group of women will not be treated in a similar manner.

Gender discrimination is fast becoming the norm in Pakistan and if not checked, accepted sexism might soon become expected sexism. Discrimination is not the answer to inequality, it is the cause. Empower women and give them equality and respect but sexism in all shapes and forms is wrong, whether it targets men or women.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Karachi bhai
    Dec 21, 2013 - 11:30AM

    Good write up, bit futuristic, it is ahead of time. We would face this situation in couple of decades.

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  • Aisha
    Dec 21, 2013 - 6:31PM

    “While a group of men will be denied access to such places, a group of women will not be treated in a similar manner.”
    You really ought to check your privilege. Women in Pakistan can’t walk on the streets, go to work or even schools without being harassed and free from the constant fear of rape. yet you have issues because you can’t eat at certain places. I feel sorry for your pain and struggle. Must be tough, man. Real tough.
    Pakistan really is a feminist’s dream. A dream where we give women reserved National Assembly seats, not as affirmative action, but because we’re scheming against the men to have special “family only” places for our kitty parties where we cackle at our sinister genius over chai and biscuit. And you and all your fellow underprivileged fellow men are not invited.

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  • Questioner
    Dec 21, 2013 - 8:08PM

    300 word articles? are we printing class assignments?
    It looked more like lengthy abstract, please put more effort, gather more data or at least write more than one paragraph to cite examples and arguments for your title.

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  • C
    Dec 21, 2013 - 10:17PM

    Yes, a country which has often been listen amongst one of the most dangerous places for women in the world, where rape victims hardly get justice and are often made the victims of stigma and cruelty instead of the rapist (look up Kainat Soomro to see how much privilege women have in this society), where victim blaming is common, honor killing is common, eve teasing is considered just “boys being boys”, where women are encouraged to give up their dreams so that they don’t harm their husband’s ego, where girls are encouraged not to go to school, where sexual harassment on the street and in the workplace is rampant, where women are considered inferior to men in every aspect of life, truly is a feminist’s dream. Thank you, dear sir, for opening my eyes to the discrimination men face on a daily basis by not being allowed to enter “family only” places (which were mainly introduced so that groups of boys would not harass women); truly, it is men who are severely disadvantaged in Pakistani society. As a woman, I apologize for you misery. Recommend

  • Muhammad Zakariya Al-Razi
    Dec 22, 2013 - 1:49AM

    This is satire, isn’t it? Please tell me this is satire. I mean who is going to protect all those poor men from all that staring and gawking and inappropriate comments from young hot blooded women when they are walking on the streets? Who is going to protect poor innocent men from their abusive wives who force themselves upon their husbands and use violence as a way to control their spouses? What about those hudood laws which…actually never mind. I think there is only one way to fix this problem: We should encourage men to cover their faces and rest of their bodies since women can’t seem to control themselves when they see the sight of a man. Men should cover themselves up or expect to me harassed in this place you called a feminist’s dream.

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  • Rida
    Dec 22, 2013 - 4:42AM

    He forgot to even ponder about all the privileges men have that majority of women in pakistan can’t even dream about in the pre-historically set regions of pakistan where the only law and religion are men.

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  • AF
    Dec 22, 2013 - 2:18PM

    this is an all time low for Express Tribune….like SERIOUSLY….khuda ka KHAUF kur yaar….its so infantile and ignorant that one can’t even think its satire or sarcasm…..

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  • Sheharyar
    Dec 22, 2013 - 9:50PM

    Tsk, tsk, tsk…. horrible to say the least. Seems the writer’s living in la la land and not Pakistan

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