1. Schooling of children: It is readily acceptable, it is never to late to learn and get an education. Joining for Master’s and Doctorate at a later is considered normal. Sure there is no ceiling to learning but shouldn’t there be a floor. Toddlers require the love and care of their family and not early education. It has become a norm that babies join schooling around 2 years of age and it is mandatory to getting to a good pre-school. I have a 8 month year old son for whom I have to start applying for school. I was told by a few that am way too late to start the application process and I should have started when he was born. Again if I don’t get my child in early my family may have this at the back of their head; what may people think. I believe this madness should be stopped and the right age should be either 3 above or 5 above just like how it is a requirement in the States
2. Expensive attire: It has become a norm mostly among women to wear expensive dresses for even small family gatherings. Sure it is their calling but the motive is not just because it is their lifestyle, rather it is because if they wear something cheap they would be looked down on by other family members. Wedding dresses also start from approximately 100k. Sure a dream wedding is only once and you want the best there is to offer, but again if the consideration is to get approval from the guests, then it should be a No! No! I believe you should rather spend on something worthwhile like honeymoon or you can also help in reducing poverty.
3. Marriage problems: Women in Pakistan in both rural and Urban areas have had to face considerable issues in their daily life’s. The idea of a men being the provider and the women being trapped in the confinement of the household is preached unanimously. The good thing is that due to education and awareness some of the issues do not pose an intensive threat as compared to the past. Women face problems when it comes to getting married, Seeking divorce, getting educated, going out alone or going out late, in their work life, and if God forbid cases like rape and harassment arise, they are ridiculed even though they are the plaintiff and not the one being accused.
4. Outlook of life its self: Children pre and post adolescence life have always had the issue of doing what may be considered right by others. As a child and as an adult I always had to face comparison to any ideal individual and criticism for my actions keeping the notion in mind that how they may be perceived by others. I had spikes as a hair style and my pants used to be low, and I remember my mom always taunting me to get my hair down and pull-up my pants as she thought my aunts and uncles would not like it. Looking back at those days I have this realization that my behavior was a complete rebellious outcome. I used to make sure to do something that was not causing any harm but may be not appropriate for some people who may judge me.
Regardless of what stage you are at this thought of what people may think haunts every Pakistani. The idea is to mould every individual in a way that they stand up to the expectation of others. This way of life is passed down to the new generation and their children also have to go though the same horror.
5. In-laws: In our society like any other, once married a woman moves in with her husband and they either live alone or with the husband’s family. She is required to treat his family as her own and is treated as part of the family. This all seems ideal and acceptable by all stake holders. Well now let’s look at it from a vice versa perspective, the husband is required as a norm to maintain a dominant status and not engage with his in-laws beyond what is necessary. If he is on friendly terms with his wife’s immediate family or extended, he is looked down on. Shouldn’t the same stance be taken for both the spouses, if men and women are treated equally. If a husband stays over at his wife’s place for one night it may create havoc for many where as a wife has to leave everything behind. There is no justification for this only the idea of what people may think makes the husband and the people he knows second guess his move. If a wife has to accept her significant other’s parents as her own, the husband should do the same and ignore the social pressure.
6. Career choices: An individual choosing his or her career may also be derived from what people will think. A girl opting to choose a male oriented role such as a outdoor sales person or considering the new trends a personal taxi captain may face many issues. Same as a guy choosing fashion designing may be ridiculed. This makes people second guess their passions. A girl who works in the event management, earns an honest living but has to pull in after hours may be given a cold shoulder even though she has nothing to feel ashamed of.
Career paths for many are chosen by their parents as what may proliferate their name and respect and not as per what their child would be happy with. It is also a standard that men need to be up and running in the morning for work and women should stay home and take care of the household duties. I had a friend who earned a decent living working from home, his families main problem with him was that he should go outside and work because the neighbors may get wrong ideas about him slacking and not making a living.
7. Buying Decisions: Buying decisions for some may depend on how they would be considered by others. A business man making good money may not settle for a cheap car as he would think he needs to flaunt his wealth to be taken seriously. A friend of mine had to buy an expensive car as he was not taken seriously when he showed up for meetings in his economical vehicle. Women buy expensive clothing to feel a sense of belonging among their peers and families
8. Boys and Girls cannot be friends: Considering the Islamic school of thought, boys and girls being friends is frowned upon. If the clause was just religious I would not have a problem with it, but the story here is a bit different. Families don’t allow their children to be friends with the opposite sex because of social considerations. If your daughter is out with a friend who is a boy and both have good intentions on the table; still parents would have an issue. The main thing here is intentions, if the perspective is religious; there is no compromise there; but if the thought is such that other people may get a bad idea, well that is wrong in my book. This justification to keeping family respect and values intact has lead to a very dark path for many boys and girls. To keep their honor families in rural areas have often resorted towards honor killing.
— Anushka Malhotra (@Anushka2901) September 13, 2017
Stop creating walls around yourself. Put barbed wires instead. Allow them to see you. Talk to you. Just don’t let them get any closer.
— pnkj (@AskThePankazzzz) July 11, 2013
We should be walking in the shoes of others for inspirations, rather our society chooses to ridicule the one who stands out. Considering myself and my culture we all are to blame for this social stigma. When people say “Log kya Sochenge” i.e. what will people think; we are the people who are constantly judging. As a Muslim we are taught that no one but God can judge you for your action and intentions, then where does this societal bias come in to being. Well truth be told we all are judgmental and we mock or criticize something that does not go as per our values and beliefs. Weather we are born and raised in the western society or here in our home town, end of the day our cultural heritage puts these biasness in our mind. An instance would be when we see a boy and girl walking alone or having lunch, the first thought that pops up is that they are a couple. So to start with we all are the culprits and also the ones who suffer. I believe that we make good decisions or bad ones, but we should learn from our mistakes and move forward, not be tagged as a social pariahs for life. The other conclusion as per my analysis is that people just over think things, sure there may be a few judgmental folk, but the rest are not that concerned. We subconsciously believe that something may be wrong in general and don’t go for it, but blame it on what others may think. We should do as we please with zero thought towards how what we do may be seen by others. If there is ridicule let it be, but yes saying it is easy but the people who have to go through it don’t have such a solution. We look for gratification and acknowledgement from people, an instance would be posting on social media of your every move. If we go to a good diner why do we post pictures of the food; are we trying to make people jealous or are we trying to look a bit better in their eyes. As a society we should be uplifting people to reach their full potential, rather than cutting of their wings. We also need to start focusing on the hooks and crannies in our own life and stop looking at others for making our self’s feel better or ridiculing them for their actions. End of the day the bottom line is that whatever you do, whenever you do and where you do it, there may be people standing behind just to judge you and criticize, but that should not affect you. People may have a lot of time thinking about you or thinking of you, but that should not matter. Reach for the stars and retaliate this mindset so that the generations following ours do not have to go through the same subject.