Empowered Am I Not?

They say women of today are empowered, but are they really? We are told how to dress, how to talk and what to do with our lives.

We spend our youth days living with our parents and living under their roof means we have to follow their rules. I know so many girls in my country who want to wear jeans but are not allowed to do so because you see “decent girls need to dress a certain way”. Your jeans are too tight, your shirt is too short, lower your dupatta and cover your face, if someone touches you it’s probably because you dressed a certain way. If you ever get raped don’t you dare speak up and get justice, instead, hide it for it’s a shame that you have faced. Don’t wear too much makeup or you will look like an auntie. Too much base will scare others away. You need to do your makeup so that you look fair, for you see, how will you ever get a man with that tanned skin?

Lower your voice they say, women don’t talk back. ‘F*** this’, but oh no - what kind of a woman talks this way. Don’t you ever raise your voice or scream or abuse for you see you aren’t allowed to express any emotions at all. Oh! Let’s not forget, don’t you ever talk so much or you will be labelled as too confident and too clever, how will you ever find a good rishta then? No matter what happens to you, don’t you ever speak up, bear it all in silence for women are meant to endure pain with patience.

Oh God, woman, what are you doing holding those cigarettes? Don’t you know only a man can smoke?

Education is very important. Complete your degree so that you can get married. Don’t ever follow your dreams and passion instead get respectable jobs like becoming a doctor or a teacher for those professions will definitively get you approvals, my dear. Get a good degree so that you find a good man. It is best that you become a doctor for such women are most in demand. If you have any ambition, please kill it right away for all the years of your hard work are for a man to take away. Sit at home and cook, just do the dishes and all the house chores. All those years of studies and hard work were not meant to make a career but to find a good man to marry.

Don’t you ever tell him about your past, for when you show him your scars, he will surely run away. A man only wants a woman who is pure and untouched even if he isn’t much of a saint himself.

When you are married and living under his roof means you have to follow your husband’s rules. Quit your job and stay at home. Don’t even talk to any male family member because he is too insecure. Don’t dress up pretty, for he gets jealous when other men look at his woman. Forget about your family - they mean nothing. Concentrate on your husband and his family, after all, isn’t this all you ever wanted?

If your husband beats, you bear it in silence for if you ever take a divorce, what will the people around you say? Your husband only beats you because you deserve it, even to the point that you lose your child. Let everyone blame you for being a clumsy woman who had a miscarriage. Don’t you dare tell them anything for your marriage is ever so perfect!

Kill all the dreams you ever had to become a mother only because your husband is impotent. Let the world call you an infertile woman, how else would you ever satisfy his male ego? You can’t adopt, for what good is any child if it’s not your own.

As she washed his clothes, she knew that smell was unfamiliar, she knew it was of another woman. But she couldn’t dare to confront him for that would definitely raise havoc. For any woman is afraid of those three little words (talaq) that would destroy her life for good.

Women have no home it’s either the father’s or the husband’s then how can ever call them a homemaker?

Isn’t it amazing how much the world has changed for we see women empowerment all around? So here I ask you, empowered am I not?

Believe me, everything I just told you is what is best for you for we live in a society that plays by these rules. If you don’t follow them how will you ever get married and have a happily ever after? For that is what every woman wants, a man to make her world whole.

My name is Fartashia Asim and I am from Pakistan. I am aspiring to be a writer. I believe in writing articles that touch your soul and inspire people and change their perspective about life. I believe real change can take place when we can actually change the way another person thinks. I believe in writing about social issues to raise awareness and, little by little, open people's minds and contribute to bringing change.