50 shades of CII

Published May 30, 2016
—Illustration by Fahad Naveed/Dawn.com
—Illustration by Fahad Naveed/Dawn.com

Feeble-minded, simple and not-to-be-trusted because of our easily influenced nature, we, women, must be reprimanded, oppressed and shown the rod (both of the animated and unanimated variety) if we are to delay the tainting of our unadulterated texture.

We must be saved from the heathen scriptures of ‘western influence’, the polluted perception of rights and ideals, and the frivolities of freedom if we are to aid as the spare rib to our masters.

Or, at least that is what the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) would have us believe, after sneaking in some of their own craftily catered to commitments in the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill.

These include some, seemingly, fetishistic wiles such as the option of “lightly beating” your wife, to disciplining her for a range of energetic encroachments over the dignity of a man’s honour.

Also read: My uncle raped Jugnu in the graveyard to turn her into the 'perfect wife'

I have to hand it to the CII for finding a socially acceptable mandate for some very naughty leanings.

There are some men (and women) who have wanted to spank their significant others for centuries and have always disguised such demonstrations of distaste in psychobabble suitable for that period and social decorum (curing ‘hysteria’ and mental illnesses, for example).

Why should there be an exception to the rule here, when all manner of civil etiquette and standards have fallen upon the hunched and glutted shoulders of religion?

By conveniently using the Women’s Protection Bill as their whitewash for getting a few kicks, these bearded bastions of the pious and putrid have given us women some more hot air to turn our noses up against.

50 shades of halal, anyone?

What really bothers me though is not such antics in abasement but the other promulgations Sherani and his ilk are trying to slip into their recommendations.

Imposing a ban on breast milk substitutes and contraception for women without male sanction, and classifying abortion after the 120-day mark as murder, are just some clauses that terminate this comedy induced by ‘men just being men’.

I’m not even jolted now with breastfeeding made into law seeing that these bearded types have in the past issued curveball fatwas about women in the workplace being allowed to work with men only if they breastfeed them first!

Setting the stage perhaps for what is also a bit of a perverted predilection?

Mandatory hijabs and segregation of the sexes in schools after the primary level are just the beginning of this primitive attempt at partition between men and women, boy and girl.

Also read: How Pakistani organisations don't want to deal with pregnant professionals

How we are ever to adorn a sense of community and cooperation, neighbourliness and civility when we cut out one half of the populace is beyond my appreciation.

In addition, female nurses (there is no mention of female doctors because, well, who could imagine the independence of such a thing?!) may not tend to male patients. I guess one can forgive Sherani’s lot for getting weak in the knees when confronted with the possibility of the sexy nurse reverie coming to life.

Lest I forget, honour killings and acid attacks must be ‘investigated’, not punished without the chance of charitable exoneration.

Make no bones about it: the CII has declared apartheid against Pakistani women.

It has strung its senses between the dripping, uncontrollable urges of society’s failures — failures in protecting women since 1947 from the likes of these thugs who have never trusted the women and men of this country reaching a prevailing pact between their primal desires and heightened understanding of the statutes of a modern, civil dispensation.

To them, we women are good for only two things: lying on our backs or under our tombstones.

To them, we are easy access, morally sterilised yet demonic in our wiles.

To them, women are fresh meat when they are young and calmly discarded when they have maximised their potential in raising their sons and heating their food.

To them, we are an afterthought for which all thought must be tightly concentrated on delivering to us a colourless constitution.

Also read: 'Lightly' beating about the bush in 2016

The fact that the government has kowtowed to the extent that the CII is free to subsidise wholesale such recommendations means that the dialogue for such suppression is very much on the table.

Some people have termed this adversity as a ‘fear of women’ but, I just do not see it that way. It is a weakness for them, a stubborn, all-prevailing infirmity when it comes to us.

The male ego does not deal with shortcomings well and is known to overcompensate but it need not do so when it comes to the size of its privates but in the size of its heart.

Watch the video: Do Pakistani men condemn or condone wife-beating?

Following on the heels of the CII’s inputs in gender isolation, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) banned all electronic media adverts on contraception and their usage. However, within days of imposing the ban, Pemra then realised that promoting birth control measures was part of the national agenda and revoked the ban.

And thankfully so, for a country copulating at a contagious rate, we’ve already hit the population bomb mark. But the real victims here are women; it is their bodies that are being regulated by this enforced evasion of the availability and necessity of birth control.

It is our bodies that are forced to stretch, contort and tear open to birth a child; the man does precious little for us but he does have a little extra fun without the rubbery requirement of reconciling his resources with his responsibilities.

We’re being stretched to the substrata of a society in denial — in denial about the freedom and liberty our religion gives to the dispossessed, the marginalised and the ‘fair’, in denial about the purge this patriarchy is practicing on its women and in denial about the wants of a contemporary communal way of life.

The CII need not send its decrees from the high heavens of its own convoluted desires; it need only dissolve, as one Twitterati explained, “in acid”.



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