Why women march

The writer teaches philosophy at a public university.

Aurat March is coming, and so is the endless process of trolling and vitriol against him. It has been discussed countless times what Aurat March does not stand for. We have repeatedly said that this does not represent misandry or the sinking of family life or our (non-misogynistic) cultural values. What we find more interesting is the lack of public debate about what he stands for. The bad publicity he gets for a few signs outweighs the constant themes he tries to push, as his claims don’t make the news juicy. Then let’s discuss what it represents.

Aurat March represents above all an equal world for all genders. Misogyny works in all sorts of ways in our society. There is a very dark and visible face of misogyny that we all know and hate, despite having accepted its perpetual existence as a necessary evil in society. We can see how women and other genders are treated, with catcalling being a very common phenomenon. Similarly, workplace harassment is endemic in our society. From an early age, we train our girls to avoid places that are potentially dangerous for them. They are rooted in the idea that this society is sick and all we can do is protect ourselves from it. What we don’t understand is that society is made of us, and if it’s sick, it’s time to look inward and take responsibility for fixing it as well.

Slowly and gradually, we make it clear to girls, and to others, that bullying is the fault of women. So whenever a woman is bullied, she internalizes the guilt, she questions her own actions – what was she wearing, was she laughing too much, was she being too friendly? It takes her a long time to come out of her guilt and realize that being bullied has nothing to do with her, it’s the culprit who answers, not the victim.

When she comes out of this phase, society makes it nearly impossible for her to seek justice. His first fight begins at home. And if she’s lucky enough, and those close to her understand her, then the other obstacle is the courage to face the world, to seek justice. This is probably the hardest part of the whole deal. This is because society shames her and her family. A family must go through the ordeal of proving their innocence and justifying their presence in a place where they have been harassed. They are accused of bad education. One can only wonder that these questions are asked, for example, of a father whose daughter has been murdered in cold blood and that there is no doubt about the crime of the culprit. If his father is questioned about his character in court, then surely it is a sad situation.

But his fight does not stop there. The main tactic used by this system is to delay the process. The endless bureaucratic process of filing a complaint and having a hearing (let alone obtaining justice) breaks the courage of many victims. And even if she perseveres in this tedious process, she may never get justice. Our society allows the powerful and the wealthy. A powerful culprit can get an early release from prison after stabbing a woman 23 times.

The victim should consider themselves lucky when they finally get justice. But the price of this justice is too high to discourage many victims. Justice for her always remains to her disadvantage in a society based on gender inequality. This dirty face of misogyny is one evil among others against which, I believe, Aurat March is determined to fight. It is also an answer to those who ask why women parade.

There is also an invisible misogyny; a face that we are rarely able to register. Patriarchy is part of our daily life. The tedious life of a woman, all the micro-aggressions she suffers, is completely invisible to us. Whether it’s being discriminated against at home, being watched for her choice of clothes, being seen as an unintelligent creature, being subjected to unequal pay, her whole position in society is framed by a patriarchal worldview that portrays her as an emotional, sensitive, weak, unintelligent creature who is unfit for public life and in need of constant supervision and protection. This is why people hate Aurat March because it is about women claiming the streets and marching for their rights. A woman whose “legitimate” place is her home should not take to the streets; his modesty does not allow it.

Most of us who are part of this unequal society are raised by society to view this inequality as a law of nature. But when we ask women to name instances where they have felt discriminated against, it is clear that these injustices shape the very existence of women in society. Take the fate of a woman who works as a domestic or day laborer, she has to work long hours for meager pay. A student who travels in public transport or a woman who works in an association or who occupies the streets without being accompanied by a man, have innumerable experiences of discrimination. Women have developed mechanisms to tolerate these attacks, secret codes to feel these attacks.

Similarly, his domestic life is also marked by these discriminations. When a woman enters public life and works outside the home, she experiences the double pressure of outside work and domestic work. A man’s work ends when he comes home, but a woman’s work begins again when she comes home. Above all, her domestic work is not even considered work. In such a situation, she is either forced to quit her job or become physically and emotionally exhausted. These issues may seem trivial, but they highlight the constant pressure a woman feels in society because of her gender.

Another gender discrimination that is completely invisible to us is the plight of the daily life of the trans community that is completely invisible in our society. We pretend that they don’t exist, and it is because of this pretext that we totally ignore their daily tasks. It is only recently that their identity has been recognized on official documents. One can only imagine the hardships an individual must endure who is not even recognized as a citizen by a state. Although remarkable, it is only a small victory; the realities on the ground are very grim. Transcommunity is discriminated against everywhere to the point that the means at its disposal to make ends meet are derisory and laborious. It’s as if their sex is their crime, and they are eternally punished for it.

This invisible misogyny in its many forms is not only endemic but also pernicious, representative of a deeply rooted gender bias. But Aurat March, in my opinion, does not have a myopic view of misogyny. He understands that women of different classes, ethnicities and religions are discriminated against in different ways. He understands that a woman who works for daily wages has no social security and is the most vulnerable to the excesses of this patriarchal system. He understands that the problems of a woman who belongs to a religious minority are very different from those of a woman from a majority background. It takes into consideration the inequality of opportunities in terms of health and education enjoyed by a rural woman compared to an urban woman. I think it’s this intersectional struggle against misogyny, patriarchy and class that Aurat March represents. And he nicely puts his fight for an egalitarian world into perspective.

About Leslie Schwartz

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