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Mera Jism Meri Marzi: I'm a Woman, I've Come Out of Closet

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I feel compelled to write and express my legitimate opinion on this much-debated topic. It comes with many names, to mention a few, feminism, woman empowerment, me too and why not (hehe I mean she she  🙁).

However, I am still learning this phenomenon and I am sure that I will learn better for my good. I am a woman and to every woman, this topic should matter because rights have never been presented in this world in a silver tray, there has always been a nasty fight for rights and that is the only way how you get your rights recognized. So, if this becomes life and death then bring it on because we are not sleeping anymore.

We have awakened to our rights, our existence, our respect, our integrity, our voice and yes, our bodies.

We have awakened to our rights, our existence, our respect, our integrity, our voice and yes, our bodies. These bodies are ours and we have to guard these bodies containing our hearts and souls. We have to watch our bodies treated better because these bodies are the embodiment of our rights.

Everything starts with the body, my right to life, liberty, property, dignity, respect, integrity and autonomy. It is everything to me, without the body I am nobody. So hear me clear the next time I say this “Mera Jism, Meri marzi” because it is this body that has given me my existence and I should be the one exercising control over it.

I belong to the men of the house and I have to take care of this body for them not me

Unfortunately, I have been condemned to realize that this body is mine and also that everything related to this body is mine. I am made to believe that I belong to the men of the house and I have to take care of this body for them not me. It is funny how I am controlled by the misogynists of this society but the law does not hold the males controlling me responsible for any violations that my agent body does. There I pay full price but it is the men who live through me, I breathe but I do not have any identity, I use my father’s name and that becomes my identity.

I am the carrier of the respect of “the name of the family” and yet I do not have any respect. How should I feel about it? Should I euphemistically smile and tone down a bit? Or say it out loud that I feel disgusted and I am not okay with it. How did it become such a big deal in this country when one poster in the woman march last year said “Apna Khana Khud garam Karo'' (Serve yourself the food to yourself) when the song “Ain’t your mama” by Jennifer Lopez has been watched 722,306,569 times and liked by 4.1 million people? Why cannot women in this part of the world have their own seats to sit rather than waiting for one to be free? And how should I feel about this one that I do all the labor but I cannot say that I work, I feel tired but I cannot say that I am tired, I feel insulted or mocked but I cannot say that I am insulted, and innumerable things that I feel in this body but do not say because I do not own this body.

I should feel responsible for this body and this slogan “Mera Jism, Meri Marzi” only affirms that my body is my responsibility and not my father’s or my brother’s or my husband’s or my son’s or any bystander’s appearing to be a man. I am responsible for this body.

It is time that women start acting rather than waiting on some heroic savior because that ain’t coming if there is any. The men will think and act from their perspective so it is alright if you tell them how you feel about something and how you want to be treated. It is okay if women are using the Aurat March to express the hostility they harbor against the men because they have been in the closet for a long time and now it is about time they come out of the closet and be who they are not what they are told or what seems pleasing to the men or obliging to the misogynistic culture.

Women can and they will say and project anything they like or feel because they have a right to do so. They are under no obligation to please the men because they have a responsibility to please themselves. They are responsible to take care of themselves. Never have I ever heard of any campaign launched in the favor of women which educates them about their rights that you can say no when you do not feel like, that you can afford to have an opinion without seeking approval of a man, that you can sit for a meal cooked by you and not stand and serve, that you can order what you like and not eat what has been ordered, that it is okay to say it is not okay, that you are not made to wait on the men and you have a life entirely on your own.

It is such a shame we never had such campaigns because we do see campaigns for children, they are warned against the rapists, the pedophiles that it is not okay if somebody is touching you even if that someone is your relative but the most unfortunate thing of all is that women have never been warned or told that beware men can manipulate you, 

It is such a shame we never had such campaigns because we do see campaigns for children, they are warned against the rapists, the pedophiles that it is not okay if somebody is touching you even if that someone is your relative but the most unfortunate thing of all is that women have never been warned or told that beware men can manipulate you, anybody who is approaching you, does have an agenda, that you are good even if you do not be courteous, that you are not supposed to serve or smile, that you are not supposed to tolerate and say yes to everything.

Your job instead is to look after your own interest which has got to be independent of the interests of the men. You are not property, you are not a tag or badge, you are not a slave, you are not a less fortunate race. You are not a woman because you serve, you are not a woman because of you slave, you are not a woman because you behave, you are not a woman because you listen, you are not a woman because you believe. You are a woman because you are! You have absolutely nothing to prove, no characteristic can label you as woman, there is no shame in just being a woman and not the one who serves, who exhausts, who proves, who cares, who loves because you are still a woman without all these jobs.

Enough of the freelancing for those who do not care for you, who do not even acknowledge that you have a body of your own, who do not care that you are a human and who fool you and make you someone you are not. It is time you take control because the master has screwed you up. It is time that you stand up because you can and you have to otherwise you will be treated as the powerful treats the powerless.

The dynamics between men and women are no different than those between the ruler and the ruled. You give in to the power of the chosen one and your rights are well taken care of but in the case of a usurper, your rights are violated. The government certainly has different agendas than those we immediately have, it is only when we create enough outrage and drama that the Government takes notice of our issues, in all other cases the government does not care. If a man has been invited to form a government in a household then it is his duty to provide fundamental rights to the subjects of that government, he is a servant in the capacity of government but when you forget the responsibility that comes along the title of a provider or guardian then there is no way but to overthrow such a government. The men rather than guarding the rights have taken control even of those things that did not belong to them in the first place, so ladies, it is time to give them a heads up that we see and we know, enough already, do not push us over the edge because we are so done and we will not tolerate any joke at our expense or any inequality or injustice.

We will speak, speak till your ears bleed because we have heard enough and there is another side to your story that you should listen to.

Lastly, a very shameful thing that has come to my observation is that whenever a woman has tried to speak about her rights, she has been labeled as evil and the role that she was playing at the time she spoke up suddenly became evil, like that of a mother-in-law, a daughter-in-law, a land-lady or a boss.

We as a society (women included) hate powerful women because we cannot get our heads around the fact that a woman can have rights and with rights to come to Authority (demands) and every woman who demands does not become a bad woman, she is a woman who has something to say, unlike many women who do not speak. In our nightmarishly ignorant society, women who stay quiet or who speak a man’s language are understood and respected, for all the other women there is no respect, they are evil, devilish and witches because they say not but offend and speak not but demand, guilty as charged (a devilish she she  🙁 ).

For a society like ours a woman has to play big, play smart and vigilant because of you woman, you are already being discounted. How long do you want to play to your disadvantage?

Disclaimer: This fight for women's rights is against a bias that men hold against women, it is pure bigotry like any other, the class difference, the caste system, the white and black race and so on. To tell you the truth ladies, you are in for a long haul! Peace out.

The writer is a woman and she has toned it down,
played safe or else it is her life at stake for the night is dark and full of terrors.

Nazish Irshad Bhatti

Advocate High Court

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