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The Sita Syndrome

Published Sep 07, 2012 02:06pm


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Well behaved women rarely make history.” I saw this on a wall in an office I frequented for work and it always made me smile. There’s some truth to it.

There are people like Amelia Bloomer, who refused to conform to barely breathable items of statuesque costumes. Princess Abida Sultan who has many photographs from pre-partition in riding gear, strongly showcasing that being a woman wasn’t going to stop her from enjoying the finer things in life.

Then there are women like Jane Austen, the quintessential lady, who spent their lives and legacies filled with wanton love. The image of Fatima Jinnah, who shadows in the history of Pakistan as the caretaker – the unmarried sister dedicated to the cause of the man who fought to make our country, always in the crisp white gharara with a dupatta perched ever so slightly on top of her head.

But of course you know all this, you’ve seen, read more likely than I have.

You’ve also seen the portrayal of women in both Pakistani and Indian screens. There was the Shehnaz Shiekh from Ankahi, a clumsy yet lovable girl who finds a job and falls in love with an older man who is not emotionally available. And Sana, Ms Moin’s character did this all with short sleeves and a stole-like dupatta slung like a scarf. All on 1980’s PTV.

Later, Ms Sheikh as Zara in Tanhaayian, a young girl who matured into a willful woman and made enough money to buy back her parents house lost to debt. Managing to fall in love eventually with her best friend who nurses her back to health. And Marina Khan, later on in Dhoop Kinare, a young doctor, keen to move up in her career, often snubbed by an older woman played by Badar Khalil but a strong woman nonetheless.

And across the border we had the Sri Devis, the Rekhas, the Meenakshis, and then the Madhuris which led the centre stage to the size zero, slightly emaciated leading ladies of today. From Indian cinema, we learnt the following:

1. Always dressing in white makes you pure; no matter how many men you have had sex with, before marriage. 2. If you add elbow-length churiyan to it, you may make a better score for the prospective mother-in-law to see her heirloom bangles (which she loathed at age 18 as well) on your arm. 3. The demure, wistful eyelash flutter speaks miles of your chastity and innocence which demarks you as the proper desi girl which is every mother-in-law’s dream. 4. Wearing shalwar kameez or a saree automatically makes you proper, even if under it you are wearing violently animal printed Victoria’s Secret lingerie. 5. The modern girl always wears jeans. That makes her a ‘fast’ girl. Unacceptable to mother-in-law’s and men to take home. They are only good for one thing, and men will use this ‘fast’ girl as a test drive to get to the real girl that Mommy likes. Oh and Fast Girls also smoke. And are sometimes shown with a glass of wine. 6. You must, as a woman, bear all the zulm and evil in the world, just like Sita did, for you will be rewarded. Patience has virtue after all, and bearing the burden of mistreatment, cheating and/or alcoholic husbands, mother-in-laws that set you on fire, etc. means only one thing: Keep quiet, and keep calm. Bhagwan will in the end of the film give you a happily ever after (usually with the same man who has run to the Church/Temple/Mosque/Gurdwara to repent few million times and now is a changed man).

Now, you come to modern day Pakistani TV which has lost the elegance of the No Touch Romance value, but has  the characters of Khirad from Humsafar, Dureshehwar from Dureshehwar, the sisterly pair from Mera Naseeb and so on and so forth all have the same thing in common:

1. White dupatta: The symbol of chastity, purity and innocence 2. Keep calm and bear the burden of zulm. The righteous shall win in the last episode. 3. Good women don’t stand up for their rights 4. A good woman also doesn’t have the audacity to answer back. 5. A good woman lets the elders make all the wrong decisions for her. 6. A good woman never wears anything but full-sleeved shalwar kameez. 7. A good woman always interacts with a Fast Girl in jeans which makes you realise that all Fast Girls must wear jeans. Or that any western wear must obviously denote the amount of Evil Fastness. 8. A good woman is always shown in namaz, because Fast Girls have no notion of prayer or God. Since wearing jeans took away the morality and replaced it with a cigarette (because good, devout men can smoke, but women cannot). 9. A good woman waits for the right to be done to her. And always stays quiet.

And then a few days ago I forced my friends to come see the latest Saif Ali Khan movie, Cocktail thinking it seemed rather contemporary; and modern day Indian cinema sometimes does brace reality where the 10 song-n-dance numbers don’t always have outfits changes. So this movie is a classic plot, 2 girls, 1 guy. All living in the same apartment, everyone knows that is a recipe for disaster.

Boy falls for the modern girl, they sleep in the same room. The other girl is a FOB (fresh off the boat) and still adorns to her shalwar kameez and long sleeves. She is demure, she has the flutter of innocence and eyes that look down only. Boy then falls for the White Wearing Goddess, because he realises that because she’s always covered, he’s more intrigued by what’s under it, rather than the stunning Deepika who wears short skirts and dances like there’s no tomorrow, and no party starts till she gets there. Boy’s mother shows up, The desi girl is presented as the girlfriend rather than the actual girlfriend herself because the boy (who openly talks about his sex life with the modern girl) is scared of his mommy’s reaction. Long story short: desi girl wins, modern girl fakes a smile but realises she now wants the home, tries full-sleeved clothing and wants a mother-in-law to love her too.

Perhaps I’m being pedantic. Here’s my point: As a modern woman, who was duly educated by her family beyond their means, and as a woman who was raised to have her own voice, understand her rights in Islam, in marriage, and as a citizen of her country, I am enraged.

How long are we going to stand back and watch modern women shoved around because of the Sita Syndrome we’ve come to accept? Women do not have to be dressed in white and in full sleeves as a proof of chastity. Women do not have to stay in a crappy marriage or accept to be viewed by rishta aunties who come and comment on her appearance, that which must be acceptable to their sons. I say, send me a picture of your son first, and ask him to come meet me and I will see if he’s good enough for me.

If a woman smokes, that is her choice, but by having a cigarette it means she’s looking for an escape or just likes the nicotine high not because she can’t pray, or be a devout Muslim or not have any morals at all. Modern women choose to dress in whatever they feel comfortable. Wearing 9 yards of fabric in 30-40 ?C year round isn’t really convenient and anyone who says so, is utterly lying.

And modern women, for all you boys-hoping-to-be-men-one-day, can just as much take care of home, build a family and give your children and your parents more well-rounded attention because she is more aware of herself and what she can do. So, the next time you let mommy pick a girl, rather than the one you’re dating because after all, if she can date you, or be with you intimately, what does that say of her character? But more importantly, what does that say of your character as a male who will give into his “adolescent desires” and exploit a girl? But alas, she should not give into desires, because she’s a Cyborg, wearing the Sri Devi outfit from Chandni.

Accept it, face it. Clothing, professions, and choosing to smoke or not are not the paragons of virtue. Those, are within you.


The author loves all things typographically correct.


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Alia Chughtai is typographically correct and right aligned.

She tweets @AliaChughtai

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (93) Closed

Xalop Sep 09, 2012 12:47pm
And here is one for you man! Do not comment on posts that are not relevant to you ;).
nana Sep 08, 2012 03:27pm
why women's progress is defined by how they describe their and their partner's "bedding" habits. Why Shakuntala Devi (Human Super computer) is not considered role model for women? Why not Kalpana Chawala, a role model? It seems sex talk and pictures sell and Dawn has also fallen to this level. Seeta raised 2 sons independently who could defeat her husband Raam in battle field. How many of so these model girls raise a child, in-fact they do not take care of themselves also once the limelight starts diming.
anwar Sep 08, 2012 01:18pm
Why is women liberation is always debated to be synonymous with the lesser number of clothes that they can wear? If wearing less clothes was a symbol of liberty then i guess Men should have been roaming naked as they have been liberated all these thousands of years of civilisation... It needs to be understood that by wearing less clothes it is the women who present themselves as a commodity and in consonance with their Male counterpart's perceptions of them.. I feel women who go around their daily chores as a house wife or as a professional and still make a mark for themselves in this male dominated world, all the while wearing sarees or while salwar kameez or for that matter burqa are much to be appreciated rather than the thinly clad women proclaiming their liberation by the choice of their clothes...
aj Sep 09, 2012 11:09pm
No point at all. she got paid for it. Making fun of Indian culture is latest fashion.
SA Sep 08, 2012 03:42pm
Beautiful article Alia. Very well written and the truth, which is often very hard to admit to.
msa Sep 08, 2012 12:38pm
Well written article....reflecting the thinking of modern/fast girls...I dont contradicts with the arguments presented.. character can not be assessed based on the wearing? But no doubt that these perception are built overtime and do also bear some realities. we have strong roots in our culture and something alien will need time for acceptance of society but to bash your culture and norms to just show that you are modern is really unfortunate.
AbdulShek Sep 10, 2012 09:35am
perfectly right..What kind of freedom it is....
burhan Sep 08, 2012 12:31pm
Well said!
Mohammad Ashraf Sep 08, 2012 08:18am
It is an excellent piece but takes into account the mainly urbanized people. Write something about those living in rural areas with hardly or no education. How they deal with such situations. I think it will be informative and educative.
vijay, chennai, India Sep 08, 2012 11:17am
@S.Khan, go ahead, smoke, drink, party, wear skimpy clothes and also sleep with different "Women" before getting married...........
Saad Farooq Warraich Sep 08, 2012 06:24am
What the writer professes my have been true in 80s & 90s... but times have changed. Though the aura that has been created around white clad feminine figures by 80-90s TV & cinema is hard to ignore, acceptance of companion who dresses differently and has different tastes is endemic in contemporary Pakistan. If someone has still not realised it, i may put it in words that people are looking for companions whose presence augments them not just aesthetically but in all spheres of life. Hats off to the writer for summarising the salients of "sita" chrachter, but as a learned laureate she ought to realise that such commercial enterprises are focussed on masses whose immediate environment still sees and idealises much that has been topic of discussion in this blog. However the connection she has made between lingerie and shalwar kameez is incompatible since social norms and personal life re two different animals... completely different zoos.. the only thing common is that they are being fed the same fodder.
Nasir Sep 08, 2012 10:42pm
A very well composed article and author has successfully managed to communicate her points with logic, convinced me for one, too late for my selection of wife, but rest assured my daughter will be taught real morals and choice of attire,... will be hers alone.
Hafiz Sep 08, 2012 07:58am
I said it already..
Farhat Khan Sep 10, 2012 04:14pm
It's matter pf personal choice, leave people alone.Enough preaching
Farhat Khan Sep 10, 2012 04:11pm
You have no clue
Kumar Sep 09, 2012 06:07am
comment is longer than the article :)
Nasir Sep 09, 2012 01:14pm
The Sita syndrome which is a reality in Pakistani society is solely the mindset which have caved in to Hindu culture for centuries. Most of the Muslims of the Sub-Continent have been influenced by Hinduism and even though they are called Muslims but are really not in practice. For a modern Muslim women you see examples of Ahmadi Muslim women in the West and in Pakistan. They not only dress gracefully but are educated and assist in any country' s economic growth. One example is of a German born Pakistani Ahmadi woman who is an architect build a beautiful mosque in Berlin. Now how many of you will allow a woman to build a mosque in Pakistan? Smoking cigrettes, drinking alcohol, or wearing jeans while you can be a taqwa shuar AKA modern modest religious women is absurd.
gp65 Sep 08, 2012 05:19am
Why so defensive? Despite all claims of independence the blog comes down to plaintive pleas to elusive Prince Charming to approve of you though you do not meet the stereotype. IF you learn to like your own company you will never be lonely for a single day in your life. You don't need random other people's approval if you are comfortable with yourself. Those who like and respect you, will stay in your life - the rest will self select themselves out. This is not a suggestion to be thoughtless or insensitive to people you truly love but not be hostage to the need for approval.
Satish Sep 08, 2012 05:03am
Doesn't Foreign Minister fits into the scheme of things above with traditional but exotic clothing? eh! Dawn gives really nice articles!
generalcuriosity Sep 08, 2012 04:57am
For a moment I thought I had landed on the Tribune website.
WSE Sep 08, 2012 04:53am
I like the article very much. Girls should have the courage to do what is right for them. Keep your standards high and accordingly you get what you hope for and dream about. I however do not recommend or appreciate the smoking habit mainly because of it's health hazards. Even in Western culture women who live within the boundaries of certain decent limits that are acceptable by society, end up earning Respect. It all depends what our priorities are, if living with Respect and dignity is important then women normally conduct their lives accordingly despite all kinds of Freedom. Because she is a woman therefore she should put up with abuse and zulm, women themselves need to be strong enough to break that cycle or no one would. Get out of the zulm no matter what it takes. Do not allow anyone to treat you poorly, stand up for yourself and your children and never give up.
Pradip Sep 08, 2012 04:01am
First off, Kudos! .... for a) thinking out loud for others b) being bold and c) making an excellent case for smart women with a mind of their own - with humor and elan.... I married a "white" woman and without asking my parents permission (so I can - not so well understand the mommy syndrome...but my parents were also fairly accepting...of course, I wonder what would ensue had I married a "black" woman...oh well). I can still recall much to my amusement, my wife's comments earlier in our marriage about the "pure" girl in saree and not so pure in jeans - in the few Indian movies she had watched so reading your column, made me roar with laughter. Keep it (the women in our societies) shall overcome!
rana Sep 08, 2012 04:32am
Are you trying to soften your writing with a generous helping of India and "Sita" bashing? Why could you not stick to criticizing your Pakistani culture only. Explanation is obvious. You people are all hypocrites.
A Khan Sep 07, 2012 02:58pm
It will take decades to change stereotypes in the society. Mindset changes require continuous struggle and introspection. In addition to normal education people needs to be continuously educated for social and moral aspect of life. That includes respecting everyone
ML Sep 08, 2012 07:49am
I haven't read the entire piece but I have to take issue with your calling Jane Austen's life 'filled with 'wanton' love'. The dictionary definition of wanton is 'a sexually immodest or promiscuous woman' - I would like to point out that neither Ms Austen nor any of her heroines can EVER be accused of promiscuity or wantonness - quite the opposite in fact!
nana Sep 08, 2012 03:15pm
seeta did not chase raam. seeta raised her two sons (who founded Lahore & Kasur) independently.
Bhupendra Pratap Singh Sep 09, 2012 03:02pm
Ms Alia, You wrote From Indian cinema, we learnt the following: Always dressing in white makes you pure; no matter how many men you have had sex with, before marriage. & From Pakistan TV White dupatta: The symbol of chastity, purity and innocence. your language shows you have different opinion for the females of India & Pakistan. Why so ?
kamaljit Singh Sep 08, 2012 08:06pm
100 % correct.
Garib Manus Sep 07, 2012 05:25pm
As my boss would say, "So, tell me somethin' that I don't already know..."
Piyush K Sep 08, 2012 12:54am
The author seems to be dying to do all the non-sita type things... very desperate and spreading a wrong message..
Muhammad Ahmed Sep 08, 2012 07:13am
It seems like author is forgetting that most of the soap operas are for aunties and they have gone through an era where they like to relate to defined ideals of modern girl and "saadi shareef larki". People are looking for stable relationships and only guys and girls who are unable to leave economic and social security of their families tend to get married according to old customs. I also think author is forgetting that media is just serving the need of its audience which seems really torn between realities of roshan khiyal aitadal pasandi and seeking a balance of religious identity of character representation to appease the audience.
Gauhar Sep 08, 2012 07:11am
Nice Alia, Well written article. The INdian cinema you mentioned was of 80's. Things are drastically changing now in Bharat. Even a homely girl of Salwar kameez or saree is more expressive about her sex life. Regards
Pradeep Sep 08, 2012 06:51am
If wearing a 9 yd saree is uncomfortable for today's lady in 30-40 deg C, is wearing a burka from head to toe in the same temperatures comfortable? The saree is infinitely more comfortable.
ranveer Sep 08, 2012 10:19am
very true .....but hardly any male of subcontinent will accept it...
Arvind Sep 08, 2012 09:45am
A puerile article, lacking depth and sophistication.
Abdullah Hussain Sep 08, 2012 04:33pm
Here comes your hidden chauvinism. A woman is a very sensitive creation needing respect & love in all parts of the world. What did you mean by your country & my country? India is definitely the best of best country of the world, if that makes you happy.
abc Sep 07, 2012 08:32pm
Incidentally, Ms Alia Chughtai is also wearing a white dupatta in the thumbnil photo herre. does she want to imply that she is the symbol of chastity, purity and innocence.
Azad Sep 09, 2012 03:34pm
Well articulated, objective and thought provoking article. A long way to go to accept this reality for our society but it was an effort in the right direction, love to read such articles. Everyone should strive to help in educating our innocent minds in objective and scientific manner because our children have been thought and are being thought in subjective and subliminal manner based on rhetoric and falsehood.
pathanoo Sep 08, 2012 07:13pm
Rayne Sep 08, 2012 06:11am
Alia, do note that the complete Sita narrative has Rama spending his life in depression, pining for what might have been, while Sita presumably Lives Happily Ever After with Mom Earth, without a male figure making her life miserable with his doubts and self-doubts. You feminists ought to take solace in that. ;-)
shoaib @5hobi Sep 07, 2012 09:56pm
These "Great" ladies that you have mentioned, are no role models for muslim ladies. Hazrat Ayesha (RA) , Hazrat Khadija (RA) are the ladies to be followed by muslim women. Your perspective is flawed. Also Men and Mother-in-Laws have right of choice.....
Rome Sep 07, 2012 09:53pm
Sorry sister but you're not going to change a thousand years of primitive thinking with a simple column. But I feel your pain.
Md Imran Sep 07, 2012 09:31pm
I want 5 mins of my life back !
aaa Sep 07, 2012 09:11pm
I wish reality was as innocent as you have quoted. Dramas and films are not meant to be taken seriously. Hell with the girl many marry still for dowry, hell with the girl many marry still for her father's post or his status in the village whereever he is. Ok so we are getting a bit modern so what lets get a girl who has good looks plus earns well. More earning more mother in laws or boy is attracted. I dont get it why do people want to get stuck in certain things they have heard what about what goes around you. Open your eyes humans are humans they go for what suits them.
Javed Sep 08, 2012 05:34am
So the article.
Zafar Malik Sep 09, 2012 09:38pm
Customs and traditions are produced by the specific needs of a society and its socioeconomic conditions. Conflict arises when society changes but some people who are afraid of change, do not want to move on with time. This resistance creates the war between new and old. Eventually the "new" wins because it represents the needs of a new society. PURDAH, and many other practices, which are being promoted in the name of Honor or Islam are just relics of a feudal age. In this world where women beat men in every school or university examination, perform the same tasks, from flying planes to compute programming just as good as men, how they can be inferior to men? let them claim their rightful place in the modern world.
manghirmalani Sep 08, 2012 06:06am
Excellent write up
Nobody Sep 10, 2012 04:23am
I don't think it's so much a woman's bedding habits as much as the option of having a choice. Choice is key. Whether a woman wants one partner or multiple is no longer to be decided by men or society. I wouldn't call the simple idea of bedding multiple partners progress on a personal level, but it's the CHOICE that's the independent part. A capable adult can make his/her own choice, I think we can all agree on that!
El Cid Sep 08, 2012 11:36pm
Where Muslims are concerned: The behavior of wise and successful women of a Muslim household is ideally based on Sura al-Ahzab (33:32-35). These verses describe the seven characteristics every Muslim woman should try and model herself on--There is an equivalent command list for men which must be met before the onus falls on women. The commands good women are to follows: 1) Have God-consciousness (taqwa): Adhering to Allah's commands, avoiding His prohibitions inwardly and outwardly. 2) Do not speak softly, seductively, or subserviently...but speak firmly, assertively, confidently, resolutely and forcefully with men not of the household...thus avoid being objects of manipulation, seduction and desire for those whose hearts may be diseased, harbor lust, and a mind planning deceit and exploitation. 3) Don't go out without being modestly covered and without good reason, as your household is your refugee, abode of peace (dar AL-Islam). It is the place where a believer can control his/her environment
Shabut Sep 10, 2012 06:36am
Showing off more skin does not make you more modern. To correct one thing does not mean you adopt another wrong one. I have lived in the western society for most of my life and no matter how much freedom woman has in this society, in the end it has always been portrayed as a sex symbol. I have seen the hypocritical side of the so called civilized and modern societies as well where it is absolutely ok with the fathers if their sons mess around with other girls but when it comes to their own daughters they even have reservations and become more protective and rigid. Let's not get carried away with wearing short sleeves and what not. Lastly about one of author's comment "Wearing 9 yards of fabric in 30-40 ?C year round isn
Umair Khalid Sep 10, 2012 07:45am
Nice post!
Ali Sep 09, 2012 12:01am
whatever exist makes the topic. I do believe India still exist somewhere by the border of Pakistan and Hinduism as well in many countries. What you cant control stop complaining about and it is absolutely normal to talk things as you are reading Pak news. Thanks for mentioning it though.
Atif Sep 10, 2012 09:21am
so here is one for as well. Do not comment on comments that are not relevant to you.;)
Atif Sep 10, 2012 09:22am
so here is one for you as well. Do not comment on comments that are not relevant to you:)
devika rani Sep 07, 2012 04:18pm
whats wrong with sri devi's white outfit in chandni?? she looked equally hotter in the yellow sari in the same film and the red sharara, why no mention of that? sniff! smell of jealousy all around
El Cid Sep 10, 2012 11:37am
S Khan Sep 07, 2012 03:07pm
Go ahead, smoke, drink, party, wear skimpy clothes and also sleep with different men before getting married, see if that makes you happy.
Atif Sep 10, 2012 09:23am
Thanks for directing towards the right.
Cyrus Howell Sep 07, 2012 07:40pm
That is the way it must be. When a woman realizes a man "is not good enough for her" and cannot make her happy. She must move on in her life. If you want her, now you have to kidnap her.
B.Rao Sep 07, 2012 03:28pm
Even in India we have seen many cases where a girl (woman) is looked down upon if she is fast. Change should come from the men. If a lady is educated and starts working, she should not stop even after marriage. This way she is independent, and can keep her chin up. Society will ultimately accept the change if she is assertive enough.
Prafull Sep 07, 2012 07:38pm
Excellent. Both boys and girls should be trated equal. After all are human being.Making it equal by law is not going to solve any problems of women.First of all instead of Sita syndrome title should be no more Islam or Shariat laws applied to woemen only. There shall be no honor killing nor burqa.Jeans come much later.
doraha Sep 09, 2012 07:24am
Alia: Brave. Excellent article. I liked it. You tried and did well to expose hypocratic attitudes.
s khan Sep 08, 2012 02:08pm
Ask any of your non-muslim friends if they heard of them.
Manu Sep 09, 2012 06:41am
Did you even understand the article?
kamaljit Singh Sep 07, 2012 03:12pm
Superb commentary on the state of mind of our SAAS (mother in law) and let us see what happens to our future SAAS who is now Fast- girl, when she takes that roll.
salma Sep 09, 2012 07:07am
The writer forgets to remember that in "Moderation" is the key to successfull life... clothing as well as in other matters as well.. Perhaps that is not one of the virtues that author wants us to emulate.
rs Sep 07, 2012 06:53pm
"I say, send me a picture of your son first, and ask him to come meet me and I will see if he
Mohammad Ali Gaad Sep 07, 2012 03:12pm
Is this neoteric girl who supports nudity and wear short skirts, its probably wrong to apply whats new and unsuitable for we Especially for Muslims. Isn't that sounds better that we should fallow our Religion,why we are up to British`s product.
Jay Sep 09, 2012 06:40am
What is the point?
aij9 Sep 09, 2012 06:41pm
Bottom line of discussion is to get rid of inner impurities for being a role model of excellence or perfection..
Saima Sep 07, 2012 05:36pm
Well said! couldn't agree more. Give me the Zara of Tanhaiyan over the utterly useless, no backbone Khirads of today any time!
abdul quddos Sep 07, 2012 03:26pm
Sounds like the rant of someone who got dumped by her boyfriend.
shankar Sep 08, 2012 12:46pm
I am not sure about Pakistan but the urban middle class in India is very different. Most girls are well educated, economically independent, career oriented and very clear about their partner choices. Most of them also resist work place romances effectively and are allergic to the concept of living with their in-laws. A few admit to being slight social drinkers but very few smoke. Caste barriers are crumbling, though inter-religious marriages are a little less common. Divorces are on the rise. Most girls want to meet the boy for a few months and get to know him before saying yes. Love marriages are encouraged but most children do not seem to have the time and opportunity to do it. It may also have something to do with the fact that not all girls are as pretty as Sridevi and not all boys are as handsome as Saif Ali Khan! While most girls are very confortable in Chudidar/pyjamas, the slimmer ones also sport western clothes quite as easily. Though most girls look extremely elegant in saris, many find the tying too complicated to master.
jen Sep 08, 2012 04:55am
An adolescent girl talks like this only. Dont expect to be treated like sita if your behaviour is more like a whore. so the girls mean to say they exhibit a prostitutes behaviour but still men have to believe that their outer presentation has nothing to do with their inner virtues? only women will think like this....disgusting.
p kumar Sep 07, 2012 05:03pm
good but difficult language.some simplicity will help
GoodNews Sep 07, 2012 03:14pm
It seems menial to talk about only appearances or cosmetic things and not the real vrtues... 1. White dupatta: The symbol of chastity, purity and innocence This must be coming from your fancy but in the real world you don't find any white dupatta at all. So no one is chaste or innocent in your definition these days. Burqa or Hijab is a symbol of chastity but not a guarantee of chastity. No hijab is not a guarantee of no chastity either. 2. Keep calm and bear the burden of zulm. The righteous shall win in the last episode. No one teaches to bear the zulm anywhere. It is only the arguments (for arguments sake) is not healthy. So if you think your arguments can bring good then go ahead and give your input but if you fear that your argument might cause a fitna or more arguments than you shouldn't respond even if you think you are right. This is the teaching of Islam and not anyones fanciful thoughts. 3. Good women don
aaa Sep 07, 2012 09:23pm
Being well behaved or behaving badly has nothing to do with history is takes alot more abilities than that to make history. Rather than following what is the newest trend clothes, interior of the house, colour trends, haridos, vacations, professions they make their own thinking and lead. They dont follow the already existing best brands they themselves are the brand whom people follow.
hwi Sep 07, 2012 05:09pm
Nice, very different and open write-up. Finding it here in Pakistani media is strange. Most of what you mean is true; you have to only browse through international magazines published in India like 'Cosmopolitan' to learn how urban males openly declare they would never take home the girls they have live-in relationships with for years. Seriously no woman who is 'emancipated enough' to lay her hands on mags like 'Cosmo' can miss this point on Male Indian Hypocrisy. But dressing in white is not seen as symbol of purity in the south where head-covering (of any type) or white clothes are associated with widowhood only. (even then its only in films; in daily life, widows don't dress in white anywhere in India anymore). Not even for prayers this is done in the south (both head covering and white clothing). I see a lot of similarity in cultures between northern India and Pakistan. Similarly another striking thing about south is, women here enjoy more independence than their northern counterparts, are far more into academics and professional careers, but dress conservatively only. In the state of Kerala, women outnumber men and matriarchy has been prevailing for centuries with women inheriting properties, not men. Ofcourse things are changing slowly everywhere. Boldness and independence so need not have to be already associated with one's grooming nature. Finally don't judge India or entire India to put it right, with Bollywood films. None knows of Shahrukh Khan in the south where Rajni Kanth and Kamal Hassan and Mamooty and Chiranjeevi are the heroes always.. Please watch our films to understand where women's progress really lies in. Besides all, its easy to give sermons when you have not yet stepped into that role in your life; its any woman's desire in any part of the world always to see her son in good hands (of a good girl) who can feed him up well and raise a good, healthy, happy family in a good home environs. Finally any sacrifice is okay so long as we have a happy married life, happy home with children who can grow up into good citizens. That's the point. I know gynecologists and chartered accountants who are women who gave up careers for the sake of their families. I invite you to read Sudha Murthy (Infosys founder's wife)'s story (which might not apply totally here) to understand what it means about women's true emancipation.
hammad Sep 07, 2012 02:17pm
well researched and well written
Krishna Sep 08, 2012 01:00pm
Dear Alia... very good article.I think women are suppressed more in your country than in India, thanks to your home grown terrorists and religiously intolerant people.
V Kumar Sep 09, 2012 07:42pm
Pointless rambling...
krishnan Sep 08, 2012 12:39pm
let us stop this indo pak syndrome in everything.she has been fair - though films may not reflect the ground realities.
kdspirited Sep 09, 2012 03:08pm
Bravo! great job. There are increasingly more jeans wearing supposed fast girls who are well educated and self assured then ever before. They dont need men who need momies to pick a girl for them. They have lives and they are truly living them to the fullest
Vikas Sep 07, 2012 03:50pm
Why do you guys bring India/Hindu gods in everything? Not leaving us even after 65+ years of separation.
Sue Sturgess Sep 07, 2012 03:48pm
The modern woman must educate her sons to eliminate such old fashioned values
Samir Sep 07, 2012 02:37pm
Great article.
rs Sep 08, 2012 05:27pm
Get over yourself, you are neither that important or that special!
junaid Sep 07, 2012 03:15pm
nice read, i must say u r right
Shilpa Sep 08, 2012 06:00pm
Nice effort by author to highlight the issue of women's own choice.The societies atleast in India accept career oriented modern women as wives in families easily as long as women are family oriented but it might take centuries for the acceptance of independent women who live life on their own terms as that happens in the west.
Nobody Sep 10, 2012 04:20am
So essentially a woman should spend her prime years sitting inside four walls, producing babies and cleaning and cooking.
BRR Sep 07, 2012 06:35pm
Every society has its taboos, hangups and hypocricies. It is just that some have more of it tha others, and some are very quick to censure and punish. Pakistan seems to be one extreme where punishment can be honour killings. The west in general is more lenient on human behavior and accepts more varieties and is less eager to censure. India is somewhere in between.
Ina Sep 12, 2012 10:49pm
Indian films show couples, unmarried or otherwise, engaging in sex. Pakistani TV shows do not. The author is comparing the messages sent out by the different media.
Ina Sep 12, 2012 10:58pm
That seems a little confused. Incidentally, western women are often surprised that modest sub-continent women flash their mid-riffs when wearing a sari. So it is all a matter of perception. Sub-continent societal norms mandate that modest women shall wear saris or shalwar-kameez-dupattas or burqas or chadors or hijab. No-one in Western societies is forcing women to wear shorts or mini-skirts in sub-zero temeratures, any more than teenage boys are forced to wear T-shirts and thin jackets in such weather. A blind-eye is turned when men behave promiscuously and no judgement is made of them on the basis of how they dress. So sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander and women should not be categorized according to how they choose to dress.