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Afshan Iqbal
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With many social issues existing in our daily lives, Patriarchy is still dominating. Although, we’re in the 21st century, we usually see a woman being told to do things as per a man’s wish. Patriarchy is simply a disease that is persisting in our society and no matter how much we try we won’t be able to curb it until and unless it is healed from the roots. The main cause of patriarchy is ignorance. Patriarchy is present in every household. We might name it as something else but it is there and we are ignoring it. It is present among us in so many ways like a family being identified by a male and not a female and the concept that a man is supposed to work outside and be a breadwinner for the family while a woman should work inside and take care of the household.

In a household when a boy is born, he is given toys like cars, balls, cricket sets, etc. As he grows up, he is expected to take interest only in sports or careers like engineering, piloting, finance and so on. It is in the mind-set of society that God has made males for these solid tasks. However, when a girl is born, the first toys she gets is either doll or a kitchen set, she is likely to behave “like a girl” and only focus on learning how to cook or clean which sets a base that when she grows up all she has to do is work in the kitchen, take care of her family and do household chores. Even if a girl is allowed to work outside it is limited to a certain parameter. She is stated to pursue teaching, nursing or to work in an environment where there is hardly any encounter with males. She is considered “too emotional and sensitive” for hard work. Similarly, when a boy wants to pursue higher education, he has no restrictions in choosing his subjects or institution but with regard to a girl it becomes a matter of debate whether or not she will be allowed to study further and even if she’s allowed where she will study so that she remains behind the curtains of the societal judgement.

Certainly, times have changed and women are soaring in every field. When it comes to a workplace, sometimes there are traces of women falling prey to misogyny. When men witness women doing better than them, they hardly accept a woman’s leadership and as a result she is required to work in a tactful environment where her opinions do not matter as much. We see women juggling through the demands of work, family and society every day. Being a woman is strenuous, they get opinionated at every point and this society always finds reasons to judge a woman on the basis of her looks, speech or personality. We often hear statements like “you’re a woman, so sit straight, talk politely, dress properly, don’t put your perspectives because nobody is going to listen to it” and what not! Women are considered either “too young or too old” for most things, for instance marriage where a man can decide whenever he wants to get married and nobody will judge him but when a woman decides to marry late, she gets a label. Women still have a night curfew and are expected to complete all the tasks before sunset because it is a preconceived notion that women cannot protect themselves and there’s an underlying stigma of being sexually assaulted if she stays out late for work or anything else.

The truth is patriarchy affects every one, it is a curse to society. A man is affected by patriarchy as much as a woman. Due to patriarchy, men become victims of social stigma that they have to be the breadwinner, carry the responsibilities of the family and they have to be stoic, strong and non-emotional all the time. This stereotyping of male and female has caused many problems in the society and will continue to be a big threat if it isn’t treated from the core. As a society, we have to learn, unlearn and relearn a number of things and that can only be possible if we change from within. Though, it is a relief that the world is changing for the better, now there is awareness of patriarchal norms in the society and men and women are working together to make this world a place which believes in equality and empowerment of both the genders uniformly.