Pakistanis need a new kind of political force to sweep the nation, and no, not another sycophantic NGO or dissident party. I think it's time for a party to represent men. Allow me to introduce the manifesto of the Man-Made Movement (MMM), not to be confused with the dissident Jamaat-i-Islami offshoot ‘Majalis and Maulanas Rock Movement.’
The party shall be run by the Council of Man: members are to include movie star Shaan, rocker Ali Noor, cricketer Shahid Afridi, celebrity George Clooney, golfer/womaniser Tiger Woods, and man of the hour Ijaz Butt. I nominate myself as communications director and chief councilor of the MMM.
The first issue the MMM will address is the paucity of bills defending the rights of men. After all, there seem to be a lot of bills floating around to empower women and safeguard their rights, and I think men ought to get in on the action as well. For instance, we could do with a Men’s Anti-Bazaar Bill, which would outlaw forcing men to roam bazaars with womenfolk for it would be deemed an affront to a man's emotional condition.
This will be followed up by the Men’s Anti-Bazaar (Room to Breathe Amendment) Ordinance, which will allow for more space dedicated to men in shopping malls. We envision spaces teeming with gaming arcades, Kabaddi rings, indoor football and cricket fields, and more. This will address the socio-psychological phenomenon by which men get bored while their wives shop, and feel pathetic following their womenfolk around (and we can't let them go out alone… that might compromise their morality and our manliness!).
There are other issues, too, for which the MMM will advocate. Man-ic depression, for example, should be recognised as a medical problem and a curative special vacation is to be legally established. After all, which man wouldn’t go nuts working fulltime and managing his wife and children all at the same time, without frequent breaks.
A Man Rehabilitation Centre should also be established. Men will be re-taught the basics of fight club, will be shown how to blow smoke rings, given the chance to brush up on Kabbaddi skills, and be beaten to a pulp on a daily basis and conditioned not to cry in response. For extra fees, complete emotional detachment courses will also be included.
The MMM will also advocate for a permanent five-day work week. Yes, we know women feel as if they contend with a seven-day work week, balancing professions with caring for their homes. But we still demand shorter working hours. If we get an extra day off, we'll be less irritable, work better on our communication skills, and help out more with the house work… maybe.
Unlike other political parties that make false promises, the MMM will actively champion the development of infrastructure for the betterment of our constituency. For instance, in the arena of sports, we would like to sponsor and host the first-ever Man Olympics. Contests will include burping and eating show-offs as well as tests of endurance to see who can watch sports for the longest time without falling asleep. To ensure the success of such events, we’d like to occupy all seats on the parliamentary committee for sport. And while it may seem corrupt (mostly because it is) we will be taking free tickets to all local sporting events. In exchange, the party guarantees support for any legislation related to religious morality.
The MMM also has an eye towards boosting Pakistan’s economy. We promise to work for subsidies on foreign electronic equipment such as big-screen TVs, Play Stations, and cars (no Mini Coopers or any other feminine looking cars; a proof of manliness certificate will be required, listing the copious number of cup-holders, ashtrays, tinted windows, and noise-making gadgets).
Above all, though, the MMM promises to work endlessly and tirelessly to guarantee that Pakistani women be given as many rights and privileges as are legally permissible. Female empowerment, we believe, is the highest priority of the MMM manifesto, for no other reason than the more rights our women have, the less they will whine. And the less they whine, the more we can enjoy our cricket matches, TV shows, and video games in peace.
The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.