Let me breathe

By Ramish Khan

You can never think of the hefty weighs I am bearing with a weak shoulder. I hide my panic scars of brutal attacks because I’ve extreme fear of being judged or being treated wrong after all I am a woman right?

Surrounded by filthy, sullied and ill-starred mindsets, I am unable to do whatever I want to do. 

It scares me when I think about those innocent souls who were subjected to ill-treatment, violence and abuse by the predators wearing the mask of men while struggling to accomplish their dreams, aspirations or to live their lives.

You have already snatched my fortitude and cut my wings to fly. It shattered my hopes of living when I came to know the bitter reality that I am a girl in a society where I can be a victim of anyone at any place. I am not safe at school. Should I stop learning? I am not safe in the office. Should I stop earning? I am not safe anywhere, because everywhere there are wolves in the disguise of men. They never let you breathe freely. My every breath is cursing me of my gender with extreme shame that I have no safe zone even after death.

Every day we erupt with outrage over reported incidents of harassment, persecution, ill-treatment as well as sexual, physical and psychological violence against women.

You blame a girl for walking alone you call her mischief monger, impudent, and give her the title of “heinous women” or many more for standing steadfast and battling for her rights. You blame women for everything; why don’t you blame those predators who snatch the self-esteem, dignity, strength and courage of women for having the spirit to stand alone without any external force?

You criticise a girl for doing a job. Why don’t you question your shameful obscurantist and patriarchal mindset of restraining a woman from going outside her home and work as a backbone of her family?

People are burning under the “fire of fear of daughter and sister” because of the pathetic and pitiful situations occurring with every passing day. If a girl isn’t safe in her home, how can we expect her to be safe in society? These are because of the squalid mindsets and poor preaching of the people around.

First off accept the bitter truth that you can’t treat a girl or a boy the same way. We are not the same; happiness for having a baby boy isn’t the same as having a baby girl; boys make their parents proud as they come into this world, but a poor girl is confined to limitless boundaries to make their parents proud.

We create differences from day one when a baby is born. These distinctions are the reasons to make women fragile from the inner side. But in fact, women are the strongest and resilient creatures who could manage to survive adversities after knowing the bitter truth of the society. We are not the same either; it’s the air of the West or breeze of the East; we face hardest things, or the challenging situations but still hide them because no one believes that a girl is spotless or sinless. She fights the cruelest battles, she sacrifices her dreams, remains confined to the boundaries set by the society because she is a girl.

You cut my wings and now ask me to fly. But let me say that I don’t have the energy to walk even. You never allowed me even to dream my dreams because I am fearful of the snatching of my dreams.

I burry my potentials and live aimless life because dreaming big dreams is only a dream for a girl where she isn’t safe.

Let me clarify that this is not the story of my parents being so overprotective or fearful for their daughter. It’s the depiction of the common perception, attitude and mindset of society and parents about girls. And this fear compels the parents not allow their daughters to do whatever they wish or whatever skills and capabilities they have.

Every daughter is not safe; most of the sisters are victims of your thoughts and actions; they are frustrated with the rules you impose on them to limit their mobility; every mother is not safe because of her gender; everyone isn’t safe; you are not safe; I am not safe.

Stop this disgusting thinking and let others’ daughters breathe; swallow your lust and die with the shame and pity so that every girl and woman could live with dignity, confidence and walk freely. Stop suffocating women and girls and let them breathe.

Ramish Khan is studying Public Administration at the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University Rawalpindi.

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