Over the past few weeks, MardMarch and AuratMarch have been THE topic of debate in Pakistan, with people on both sides waging a Gender war against each other. Both movements have been subject to criticism, satire and at times, unfair representation. But fear not avid reader. We are here to shed some light on both sides of the picture. So grab your thinking caps, and read on.
To start off, let me just state that I firmly believe that the MardMarch has stemmed from a lack of understanding of the AuratMarch. Having said that, the AuratMarch itself was pure evidence of “Good Idea, Bad Execution, Worse Interpretation”. So both movements have their flaws, and have been blown out of proportion.
Contrary to popular belief, not all feminists are bad. There are those, ofcource, who believe that “Men are the enemy”, and then there are those who believe that men and women deserve equal rights. Both beliefs have reasons behind them. The “Men=Enemy” school of thought exists for a reason. Every woman in our country can claim to be a victim of Harassment and Abuse, whether it was in school, college, university or a professional workplace. Imagine that. To live a life where you are CONSTANTLY in fear, looking around to see if a “man is watching you”. So yes, the problem is absolutely genuine.
Furthermore, we can not discard the fact that issues like Rape, Violence and Discrimination exist. These are serious matter that need to be addressed at a grass-root level, and if you were to point one good thing about the AuratMarch, it would be that they are atleast raising awareness and bringing these issues to the foreground. While it is obvious that women who are ACTUALLY facing these issues may not be taking part in the rallies 100%, they ARE being represented. They are being told that it is okay to talk about these things, that it is okay to express yourself in bad situations. A study by NSVRC suggests that 63% of sexual assaults in the US are never reported. That itself is an alarming enough situation, and deserves our serious attention. Imagine how bad it must be in Pakistan!
Now that we have the FUNDAMENTALS out of the way, lets see why the AuratMarch became its own enemy.
Simple answer: It became a joke due to the placards. But here’s the problem, if you think about it, each of these Placards actually do have a story behind them. This leads us back to our conclusion that the IDEA was right, it was the EXECUTION that made people mis-interpret the meaning.
For example, the placard that says “Khud Khana garam kar lou” refers to cases where women were beaten up because they did not serve hot food to their husbands. Now that is resulting to women saying we are not doing it anymore, you do it. But this has lead men to say that both genders have certain responsibilities, and warming up food is yours, why are you ignoring your responsibility, but I am supposed to honor mine.
And THAT is the reason why the MardMarch exists. Not because men are discarding the FUNDAMENTALS of the issues, but because of misinterpreted reactions to the placards! Its not about saying that the serious stuff does not exist, its about “dividing responsibility” and “creating equality instead of female dominance”. And that, dear reader, is the biggest result of the AuratMarch; Creation of Misinterpretation.
The problem lies on both sides. Women wrote their placards in the simplest, most straightforward manner, and men are deriving the wrong meaning from them. To be fair, people favoring the MardMarch are not WRONG here. Their points are valid. Equality is important, and the placards at the AuratMarch failed to symbolize that, save a few.
That being said, there ARE placards that made no sense, even when we thought about it. But I would like to give these placards some benefit of the doubt that there is a story here that the writer of these placards is trying to express. Then again, its heartbreaking to see such a good movement having these weird slogans which harm the ACTUAL fundamentals. To save from bad-interpretation, I will not show these placards.
One thing is for sure, most of these women were not out for fun. They were out to raise their voice, and it is their right to! It is about time that we as a nation understand what women go through. But its the “way” that voice was worded, it gave the wrong impression to simple-minds. And well, negative comments and bad interpretations get more viral, right?
But on the other hand, the REAL picture was never presented. Just take a look at THESE, and you’ll see the fundamentals being executed perfectly.
So thats where we are today. Men are reacting to placards with their own, and women are not telling the story right. Whereas the reality is that Feminism IS Equality.
But as always, we leave the question to you. Why do you think the MardMarch exists? What are women doing that is leading men to take this stance? Leave your comments down below!
To paraphrase Gandhi’s “Live and Let Live”, I think we need to focus on making this hashtag the next trending thing.