When my driver picked me up from work yesterday, he was accompanied by his young daughter, whom he’d just picked from school. She’s an adorable little thing. She’s 5 years old, and a real charmer. She likes dolls, frocks, and cartoons. She likes to go shopping for DVDs with me sometimes, I buy True Blood and Spartacus, she picks out Tom & Jerry and Dora cartoons for herself. In short, she’s a normal little girl.

Her school, however doesn’t think so. They don’t think she’s a child. They think she’s a proper Islamic woman. I say this because part of her uniform is a vee, or a dupatta. I kid you not. In fact, the vees I wore at school were less in width than the dupatta-ish thing she wears, spread across her tiny little body to cover herself.

Why is this child, and other little girls, being forced to cover herself? Why should she? This is typical of our society. We teach girls, nay, brainwash them as children that their body, their God-given body, is something to be ashamed of, that the way they were created by God is wrong, that somehow, they are so incredibly flawed that they must cover themselves.

We do not, however, teach little boys, or even our teenage boys, that it is wrong to stare at a girl in a lewd fashion. We do not teach them to respect women. We do not teach them to lower their gaze. We do not teach them that there is more to a woman than her breasts. Because, after all, boys will be boys. They have nothing to be ashamed of. They’re only behaving naturally.

In the meantime, girls must hide away behind their chadors and their dupattas and their hijabs. They are sinners, not just for being born female, but also, for allowing men to sin by exposing themselves to their gaze. This is why, after all, girls get raped, isn’t it? Because they don’t cover themselves properly?

We cannot say that this is something that only occurs in government schools. My own school was a private school, its low-quality education notwithstanding. We used to have an annual party every year, and each time, our teachers would instruct us to wear proper decent clothes. Labouring under the assumption that this meant formal dress, some of my classmates showed up in jeans and kurtis, some in capris, some in sleeveless. They were immediately chastised by our teachers for ‘not dressing properly.’

How dare they? You might ask. What gives them the right, you might demand. When their mothers don’t have an issue with it, who are they as teachers to take umbrage?

They dare because of us, because of our society. Because we as a collective whole think the way God has made us, is something we should be ashamed of.

Growing up in a conservative family, I was one of those girls who’d wear her dupatta like a good little Muslim girl. I don’t now, because if some guy wants to stare at my rack, well, that’sĀ  his sin, not mine, nor is it my responsibility. I’m lucky to have enough exposure to the world that I understand my body is nothing to be ashamed of.

But what about Maham, and all the little girls out there, who aren’t so lucky?

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Comments
  1. Zain says:

    You are full of shit!

  2. Zain says:

    You cant blame religion for the problems created by the society. Its not right, just because things around you may seem to be shitty doesnt mean you can blame religion for it.
    Are you an atheist?

    • Ghausia says:

      Who says I can’t blame religion? Does freedom of speech mean nothing to you? Run along now, little troll.

      • Why are pakistani conservatives so insecure that a criticism of what is essentially something wrong with SOCIETY looks to them like someone is attacking their religion?

        • Ghausia says:

          Because according to them you have to just follow the book and the mullahs blindly, ignoring all the Quranic quotes that tell you to think and use your own mind and shit. And if you criticize Pakistani society, SURELY you’re criticizing Islamic society.

  3. Zain says:

    That was a very general statement. Of course you can blame religion because you are one of those who doesnt want to be proved wrong.
    I mean there are liberal Muslim countries where women are not forced to wear a hijab, the religions the same, different societies.
    But i guess you wont agree to that either.

    • Ghausia says:

      I’m not talking about other Muslim societies you dumb fuck, I’m talking about Pakistani society as a whole. Don’t try to disguise your troll identity by pretending you’re here for a discussion.

  4. Zain says:

    you are clearly missing the point. you are accusing religion for all the wrong in the society instead of blaming the people who misinterpret religion. You are a worthless fuck, who does not want to accept her mistakes.
    I really want to know you better. What do you have up against religion?
    Molvi sahab beating u black and blue as a kid? Getting ur ass kicked by some kids from the madrasa? what is your problem? I really want to know!

  5. CaffeinatedBliss says:

    Re-read the blog Zain. She never once mention religion, but the schools, people and society in general.

  6. Kim says:

    It never fails to make me laugh when fundies drag religion into everything and prove your point, all the while throwing filthy language about in a very UNreligious manner. Dolts.

    • Ghausia says:

      You should see the comments I trashed, the troll was completely losing his shit. šŸ˜€ Get this, I blocked him from commenting on my blog, so he posts a comment with a DIFFERENT email address. Dolts indeed.

  7. Zain, I would kindly like you to read the following:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    And stop attacking someone for a point they never even made.

    • Ghausia says:

      I don’t think he’d understand what that article is talking about dude, after all, to him the written word is unimportant, as are writers. Never mind the fact that the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Renaissance, etc. was composed of writers and intellectuals and their mighty quills. Plus, he studies at Baqai, soooo…

  8. Aamna says:

    Good post. Our society needs to go a long way to achieve tolerance and granting basic freedom to all. Don’t worry about the trolls, they’ll always blindly drag religion in everything. A least they provide a few laughs šŸ˜€

  9. Oh, I just remembered a video. I thought you might find it, ah, blood-pressure-raising. Your line “They are sinners…for allowing men to sin by exposing themselves to their gaze.” reminded me of it.

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