Pakistani misogyny isn’t a new thing or an unheard phenomenon.
It’s rampant, destructive and the biggest slime ball against the face of the Pakistani society.
Misogyny is present across communities but Pakistanis suffer from it happily, without feeling any need for squashing it and without ever giving women their due.
Internalized misogyny has harmed women in a whole another way. It has legalized extramarital affairs, holding parents above wives by a huge degree, and treating women like glorified house maids.
Internalized misogyny has also given men the most cop-outs. Whether it’s cheating, domestic violence or enforcing a largely patriarchal system at home and work, internalized misogyny makes sure that men remain comfortable with their bodies, minds and souls. It also makes women feel the need for constantly justifying their existence.
Some common consolation/reprimanding phrases when a woman comes to her family with reports of her husband cheating include “excuses” for the man’s behavior. These phrases also invariably include a “guilt” button for the woman.
“Have you been giving enough attention/food/sex/respect/money to your husband?”
“Have you been talking back? No wonder he cheated”.
“Don’t you know this is in a man’s makeup? He is bound to cheat”.
“What can you do? Make peace with it. She’s the first one. If he has a wandering eye, there will be more. Don’t disturb your peace and just make a stronger connection with Allah”.
“Have you been praying? Not praying and not reading Quran brings this upon women”.
“Why are you worried? He made you his wife. That’s just a chippy on the side. She can never be who you are to him. You’re the mother of his children”.
“I know you’ve been cheated on. But he provides for you. How can you forget that?”
“Forgive him. You’re the bigger person”.
“Ask for his forgiveness. May be it’s something you did”.
“I know he’s an alcoholic, has gambled away everything and sleeps with prostitutes. But he’s your safe place. At least your kids have a father. Imagine if uh were a widow!”
I’m not surprised one bit that we have a show like Meray Pass Tum Ho where a woman is called worthless because she has cheated. The man she cheated with is married with a wife but he gets called a businessman. And then we say we don’t want feminism and we don’t want women to march for women. This is that eye rolling moment that we all were waiting for.