How Money Leaves It’s Mark
by Awais Leghari
Here’s another article I wrote a long time ago concerning the status of women in Pakistan’s society. I think you may find this to be a good read.
No matter how much we brag about women’s rights and atrocities committed against them, one thing remains certain with any doubt: We’re confused about the approach that we must take in order to provide a counter to the status-quo. And why is that? Here’s when sometimes sociology lessons are useful – it’s not about the mindset anymore, it’s not about the mythical conceptions about woman’s weak physical nature and it’s certainly not about her frail intellectual capacity (I don’t believe this anyway) – it’s more about how the money flows.
Theory of stratification clearly brings light to what we see in our society today; you have the upper, bourgeois and the middle class, where the status of women is much elevated, and then you have the lower,working, poor class, where parity in terms of rights is beyond imagination. If that is so, then is it fair to assume that men in the poor class think of women as their inferior? And the women in these unfortunate circumstances don’t have a soul and a mind to think beyond the boundaries that hold them back into the shadows of disparity? – And on a similar level, is the problem solved in the middle and upper class?
The answers to these questions are quite confusing, and they converge onto a strange indicator. The indicator is not foreign to anyone of us, but to believe that it causes such disparity in society in such ways seems very, very weird sometimes. What is it? – If you haven’t just guessed the obvious, it’s money.
The questions that I wrote above will probably meet an affirmative response from most of you, but there’s one anomaly: How then, do the poverty stricken men find their way to curse their brains and respect a woman higher than their own stature? And that’s not just because that these women present any economic opportunity, but it’s actually because they do respect them!
Turn back to history for a moment; the nobles in the society have enjoyed a higher status than the rest of the population, and the role of women was much different than what has been conceived of them in the lower sections of the society. I mean, ‘Taj Mahal’, a story of love is nothing but a reflection of a woman’s influence! And has anyone seen ‘Spartacus’, the television series? If you have indeed seen it, you’d testify to the influence Lucretia (Maybe she’s just too hot?) has over the political activities that her husband tends to engage in. How in the world is that possible? If a woman was no further than a slave of men, how could she find a way to transgress ahead of the social barriers that were cruel for everyone else?
If you haven’t just guessed the obvious, it’s money.
So, one part of the question is answered; women in a middle and upper class aren’t condemned to ill subjective conceptions of inferiority, but they’re more of equals, lending a hand in day to day affairs. But the case is otherwise when it comes to the lower class. The very thoughts that disgust every pocket in our brains are put to a practical display in this class, where a woman stands as a mere slave in society, the bearer of a child and a subject to be commanded. Give that woman money, and see how the scenario changes in a flash. Her man will be at her feet in no time.
Some people mention the phenomena like the ‘glass ceiling effect’ as a rebuttal to my argument, citing the fact that women in the corporate sector can’t progress beyond men even if they’re more deserving. That’s just another anomaly, but not one that holds no answer. Ask a man to stay at home and care for the baby, and your reaction would be that of a weird bazooka ready to pounce back with a hunch of laughter at the very thought. And now you still tend to call me a misogynist – women must go through the period of transition to an occupation that has been historically denied to them. Reaction of men to such a situation is not unexpected and it’s not something that should concern us to the point where we’d want to consider shaving off Merlin’s beard. The only thing needed is time, along with economic development and some good fancy, fashionable dresses.
And the women on top are innocent beings? (Wait – that sounded a bit weird)
Whenever substantial progress comes, it’s not without a man who has experienced the situation that needs to be changed. Similarly, what is the role of those women who are born with a silver shovel? Is there anything you know more of Oprah Winfrey’s endeavors that the world doesn’t know? Any endeavors undertaken by Hina Rabbani Khar (she’s in the hotspot these days) to change the status-quo? Grow brains people, you just can’t point towards these women and say that they’ve done something for you.
In order to initiate a change, the blessings must come from God himself – nothing falls in the shadows of hope. Once we have successful political stories pertaining to women from a low class background, only then we’ll be talking of the wheels in motion towards any significant progress.
Until then, who’s up for a welfare state?