Living in oblivion is better than being conscious of one’s mere existence 24/7. Ignorance is one thing- bad as they say it is, but oblivion can be a blessing in disguise. Being a woman in a developing country can be really troublesome. Not because the society is patriarchal, but because feminism is a constant reminder that a woman is inferior. The constant discrimination that is reaffirmed in tens of ways. What does being oblivious to this fact do- it brings a serenity in the life of a woman, the waters seem calm, there are no waves, not even ripples on the surface or underneath.
Does the oblivion hurt???
Going a few years back into history, just before Partition would be a good idea, women were pretty much independent in making decisions regarding their homes and children, but when it came to making major decisions they were made by men. Many women were not educated and hence financial matters were mostly dealt by men. Not trying to sound very partial here; but that did entails some disputes regarding property distribution. Earlier women were not ‘told’ they were central to everything, or everything revolved around them, which made them realize that men of the family also had rights and responsibilities. Rights which needed to be fulfilled by women, and responsibilities which women needed to see were fulfilled by men. This created a balance- in which a woman automatically gained an authoritative position; without even realizing it. The oblivion always put the woman at home, work or doing both duties, in an authoritative and responsible position.
Did women at that time lead horrible lives? Not many women say they had horrid lives- but they did have huge and bigger responsibilities. They fended for bigger families, cooked for larger families, for friends, friends of friends and relatives. They sewed and clothed a number of people. They saved money on a regular basis. They had better home policies of honesty, integrity and respect. Some even had harsh punishments for kids who strayed from norms. Were their lives horrible?
Did they have time for themselves? Little I must say. For their work/career? Some were excellent career women! Astonishing as it might sound, some women were great disciplinarians, obviously girls schools/colleges had female staff and that staff had families of their own. But majority women stayed at home. Am I saying that the woman of today should stay at home- definitely not! But if she leaves the house, then she either should be capable to manage time too well or she should share responsibilities.
What has realization brought to women in Pakistan??
Currently women talk, media displays and the world backs with figures. What we see is that a woman’s health deteriorates, she thinks about her position, considers it, reconsiders it and then rethinks it in the grand scheme of things. All this puts a lot of stress on the fragile being. Should education about the self bring stress- should it really bring stress of this level????
Acid cases were rarely ever heard of. Rape and abduction of women has always been there but has not grown proportionately. Some eras saw women eyeing fashion as a way of expression, but no major increase in rape and abduction while the current era sees the same fashion statement as the very cause of rape and abduction. Quite interesting.
What about her position at home? She tries to handle the responsibilities, trying to keep her status as a ‘liberated’ woman, a person who has realized her position in the society. She tries to make others fulfil their responsibilities, giving them the impression that she ‘deserves’ a liberated respect.
As for sharing responsibilities with the significant other half while working- too little on that front, she is not ‘able’ enough to do it. Sometimes she goes overboard in delegation, and sometimes takes on too much. Why is this a big problem for her? Most of the time she ends up tired and sometimes too tired to do anything besides rest!
So is the uneducated oblivion better than the educated realization???
Does our formal education leave a lot to be desired? Or does a lot of knowledge coming in from different sources need to be questioned before being ‘believed’ in???