The Aurat March has stirred heated debates among the males of Pakistan, who see the daring march aided with ‘provocative’ and ‘inflammatory’ slogans inscribed on placards and brandished by very smart, confident women in the face of TV cameras, a great challenge to their diminishing power. The Aurat March was taken out simultaneously in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad on International Women’s Day on March 8. This scribe reached out to opinionated male circles to get their version on the placards. Here is their point of view.
Commenting on the slogan ‘Tumharay baap ki sarak nahi hi’ one of the most male chauvinist persons of the Lahore city, challenged the woman activist that the all roads were made by their forefathers, so technically the roads were of fathers. He added the woman was just telling other women that her father had also equal share in roads. When asked what if the women were seeking equal space on roads, which are now mostly male-dominated, the males’ rights activist roared, “Tell them, all roads are for males, just like shopping malls are for females.”
A male language teacher was asked to comment on ‘Agar daupata itna pasand hi, tu aankho per bandho’.
“Whose eyes?” said the teacher, reading carefully the slogan on the placard. He said he never pestered a woman for her daupatta alone. “Yes, I do stare at women for their beautiful dresses and looks,” he smiled.
This scribe contacted three eminent professors for comment on ‘Aurat bacah paida karne ke machine nai hi’. All of them refused to comment. Our investigation reveals one of them had three marriages, while the other two had six children each. They said they neither reject nor accept the slogan.
About ‘Ao, khana sath banaye’, one recently-married man said on the condition of anonymity that his family had consistently been asking his wife to show her cuisine skills in the joint family system but to no avail. “In fact, this slogan is my demand to my dulhan,” he sighed. When asked if he was ready to share kitchen chores with his wife, he said, “Why not? Hopefully, she will share her salary with the family too for kitchen expenses.”
The poster inscribed with slogan ‘Maan hun, behn hun, gaali nai hun’, a soft-spoken trader of Lahore’s posh area said his parents have been abusing him in the name of male characters.
“O khote ke bachey, Ulo ke pathey, and so on would be showered on me on minor mistakes when I was young,” the trader cried. “Don’t you think the male folks have an equal share in the abuse department?”. When asked who used foul language more for him either males or females, the trader chose not to respond. His abuse, his story, his will.