It’s been a depressing couple of weeks – there are no two ways about it. From the opposition to the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2021, to the shocking number of rape, assault, and harassment cases in the past two weeks alone, Pakistani women have found themselves spiraling into a pit of despair.
Amidst all this, Amna Baig, fondly referred to as Amna Appi shared the following tweet
Half of my workload would vanish if men just stop harassing women. But till then, expect us to be there for you, ladies!
— Amna Baig (@amnaappi) July 7, 2021
This was met with the question, ‘What would women do without men?’
What wouid women do without men?
— Kala khan jadoon (@Kalakha96452183) July 7, 2021
There are many obvious answers to this, and the fact that this was posed as a question goes to show how some Pakistani men simply don’t understand the kind of threat they pose. Of course, we can get into the whole, ‘men-aren’t-the-problem-patriarchy-is’ and ‘not-all-men’ aspect of things, but let’s center this around women.
Men have, after all, had the stage for far too long.
Women took to share their take of what they could do if men weren’t around, and it’s all kinds of heartbreaking.
Live without the constant fear of being harassed for what they do, say or even for existing? And maybe not worry much about the crimes they could potentially be victims to, just for existing. https://t.co/ZhSOkWj2LW
— Politically 'Can't Even' Batman (@DarkKnightCares) July 8, 2021
— Mehwish jabbar🇵🇰🇵🇸 (@gypsyFemay1427) July 8, 2021
Anything & Everything! https://t.co/SYlwzbihSI
— Natasha Kundi نتاشا کُندی (@NatashaKLondon) July 8, 2021
It’s not surprising that women would list a plethora of things they’d do if the fear of men wasn’t holding them back. What is heartbreaking is how these are basic things, like being able to walk around freely, or simply existing. The fact that we don’t already have this, in 2021, is beyond comprehension.
Within that same vein, more and more women (and even men) came forward to share their thoughts
walk to the nearest market alone, on a windy night, to buy my favourite ice cream.
cycle my way around the whole city.
sit at a dhaba at 7 am and have chai paratha while listen to 90s songs https://t.co/LuIzNxOxTC
— tabĀrka. (@thyrotoxicosis_) July 7, 2021
Walk in the park safely https://t.co/GjUMsnVMSE
— Bissmah Mehmud (@bissmahmehmud) July 7, 2021
Go out without getting harassed or sexually abused , don't gonna be controlled by man, whatever their ridiculous opinions aren't gonna shut us, live our life in our own way, https://t.co/wtFSRP6Eq6
— 𝓢𝔂𝓮𝓭𝓪 𝓲𝔃𝔃𝓪𝓱 ☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ (@syedaizzah) July 7, 2021
know peace <3 https://t.co/50jSVh7epV
— halsies fruit, hers 🍊 (@esotericroman) July 8, 2021
It's as simple as walking alone at night without any fear. https://t.co/12KaxjbFJE
— The feather lady🧚♀️🌈 (@asterorchidiris) July 7, 2021
not be followed home from school everyday https://t.co/4jbSNAhz4s
— . (@ihatemywujood) July 7, 2021
not get groped in public spaces https://t.co/4jbSNAhz4s
— . (@ihatemywujood) July 7, 2021
There is so much labor that goes into simply existing as a woman. Perhaps, most men don’t understand. Maybe because they don’t need to, or because the status quo favors many of them. However, simple acts that men take for granted, like sitting at a dhaaba drinking chai without being ogled at, or traveling without being groped or harassed, are mere pipe dreams for women.
What about that doesn’t sound alarms?
Idk about other women but I would go for a walk without clutching a small knife in my hand at all times and turning around at the sound of every car/bike https://t.co/UWpFn5xDan
— Landay ki feminist (@la_vie_en_toast) July 7, 2021
I'd have significantly better mental health, independence, and bodily autonomy for starters. Screw you https://t.co/E5hWTJeiSr
— brown daal (@browndaal) July 7, 2021
take a walk whenever we want, sleep under stars, read on a bench in a park, ride a bike, run on empty roads, stop in the middle of somewhere to watch a sunset, stay outside all night and watch a sunrise, just exist freely safely without fear of harassment assault and rape https://t.co/fXUpD1cB2T
— 望 (@dosthoevskyy) July 7, 2021
As one Twitter user pointed out, men could also benefit from the crumbling of patriarchal structures that lead to toxic masculinity
It’s not only women, some men might also benefit from not having men like you, who judge men for basic emotions like sadness and being in love, around. https://t.co/x5pCJ1XiH5
— Rohah A Shah. (@Lolaa954x) July 8, 2021
There are tales of pain in every woman around us. From a very young age, we’ve had to face abuse or harassment in some form or another, to the point where we wonder if our pain is valid and is worth talking about, because someone else has it worse. But our pain is valid, and it is real. Flimsy laws and men of power can’t change that reality.
They can ignore it, but they can’t change it.
What are your thoughts on this? Share them below in the comments.
Cover image via images.dawn.com