Leering – the ever young fad of Pakistani men

No, I am not looking for a fight here. And yes, I know that there are many gentlemen out there. But. Sadly, there is just not enough of them in my country.

Though things are considerably improved over the last few years, but it is still considerable unthinkable for girls/young women to venture out alone after dark. The poor thing will be stalked, leered at and eve-teased! Actually, the night factor does not make a difference. This will happen either way. And Burqa or no burqa, that still makes no difference. The girls is but a sexual object for a common Pakistani man.

Take this article by Kamran Shafi. [I do sometimes, feel that he complains a little too much but on this count I cannot but nod my head to his piece.] Consider:

In short, the Land of the Pure is as inhospitable a place as any in the world for women tourists, particularly farangi women tourists. Let me look at it through the eyes of my old friend Katrina, and new friend Jo, who visited us from New Zealand just two weeks ago. For myself, I can’t even begin to tell you what a difficult time I had taking the two around in the Islamic Republic.

There was no place we went: Peshawar or Lahore or Islamabad the Beautiful where the two ladies were not stared at incessantly. The starers were not only your ordinary man on the street but also policemen, and in one case army soldiers travelling in the back of an army truck on the GT Road behind which we got stuck. You name ‘em, and they stared; oh, how they stared.

In almost every case, and I have upset fellow columnist Angela Williams saying this once before, the leerer’s hand strayed you-know-where; there to stay until my companions and I were out of sight. Complimenting the straying hand was the look on the Yahoos’ faces, bordering on something between insolence and vulgarity and tawdriness, a small mocking smile playing on their lips.

Yelch! Why is it that the Pakistani men cannot think of women as anything other than as sexual objects?! And yes, by and large these are ‘Muslim’ men. And yes, they cover up their women in a chaaddar or a burqa, but is that any good?! Every step taken by her is rigorously monitored by filthy eyes. You go to a crowded place and there is every chance in the world that you will be leered at, felt up or pinched! Why?!

For the life of me I cannot understand, where this comes from! Before you say that it is education, I would preempt you and say NO! Ever seen a group of young college boys, standing around the corner of a street or outside a girls college, indulging in “poondi”?! I have. Suffered through the ignominy! And this is just one sophisticated way of putting it. So no, it has nothing to do with education or the lack of thereof!

It has to do with our values and mores. For an avowedly Islamic society, we are shockingly devoid of even the most basic morals! Take the example of a typical college boy. While he will bristle and fume if his sister is ever teased or harassed, but it would perfectly okay for him to do so with another girl! Take this hypocrisy to another level. While many “pious” men would consider it sinful for a Muslim woman to pose in a bikini but they can easily leer the night away looking at bikini wearing non-Muslim women. What on earth?!!

It is a perverted hayaless mindset that prevails. And it is nothing but a social product of forced piety and haya. In our over zealousness, we have never looked to impart the very basic norms about human dignity and respect to our children. Therein, lies the root of this problem. And that is also why I don’t see times changing. A sad fact of life in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.


13 thoughts on “Leering – the ever young fad of Pakistani men”

  1. ..Actually, I happen to be an American woman, blonde, green eyes, very fair-skinned, and petite(not at all the so-called American stereotype-fat), and yes…MARRIED, for 15 years now, to a very devoted, caring, and loving PAKISTANI sunni man. But you guys know what? He kind of hates to take me to Pakistan(we have been many atime to visit his family, who adore me, and likewise)due to all the STARING, LEERING, and disrespectful comments towards me-even, my God, trying to cop a feel at times!, that occurs when we go out in Khi, Islamabad, wherever. He almost beat a guy up once! So yes, sorry men, but in Pakistan is where I have felt most threatened of possibly being raped than anywhere else….if I were to venture out by myself, let’s say. Even ealking in his parents very nice res. area(K.D.A. Officer’s society)I saw men driving in their cars, business suits, etc. turning around to STARE at me, almost stopping their cars as they did so…thankfully, I was always with a family member of my hubby’s… and this level of harrassment has never been the case except in Pakistan, and I have travelled and lived extensively in many places. Sure, men ogle and leer and say stuff everywhere; but guys what we women have to go through in Pakistan and in India(from what I have heard) is just scary…never had I felt actually openly physically threatened by possible sexual attack of some sort as when I was there…very, very unnerving to say the least. I know there are many many many decent Pakistani men out there, after all I married one didnt I?, but truly, it is off the scale, the amount of staring and lewd behaviour I recieved personally in your country. And yes…I wear shalwar Khameez when in Pakistan, with dupatta.

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  2. well im very sorry 2 say that most of the ladies in pakistan r educated and yet ignorant..khufaash is spot on…i m here in EU… U CAN read about some very dreadful stories concerning sexual harassment on women and children…if a man is staring @ ,..ignore…if that doesnt works…wear a burqa…and if still doesnt works…shoot yourselves..i dont know why some paki ladies r never happy…all they lament about is men ..because they never got one..most of them r NGOs or journalists..its time u hags got married…happy nikah.

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  3. Oh please! Pakistani men are the worst!!!! I traveled there for a week and finally understand why Pakistani women MUST wear the burqa. My God, these men have the dirtiest eyes. They are completely shameless dogs! It is very true about them being protective of their sisters and ok with oggling at other women. They are hypocrytical to say the least. In Western countries Pakistani men chase after white women or any non-muslim women like bees. Only to use them for sexual pleasure. They would never consider marrying the girl. Also for the guys that marry devout muslim women…they’re out sleeping with multiple non-muslim women doing their dirty deeds while their wives are praying five times a day at home! Such a barbaric culture. I would never go there again!

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  4. well said khufaash
    It is however true that in the West people don’t stare non-stop at women in public even if they are naked. credit must be given where credit is due.

    All in all a great post, exactly what i have been “ranting” about.

    However, if a woman does not like being stared just wear a burqa.

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  5. Well women are not only considered sexual objects in Pakistan, in other societies same is the case. I think you should take notice of the aids run on TV and also the provacative ways in wich women are protrayed on mass media all over the world. Similarly, if you take notice of sexual harassmant, there are 2.5 cases of sexual harassment reported every minute in USA.My source is FBIs official report on seexual harassment published in 2002.

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  6. And i have just describer one scenario which is almost OK (about ‘jaiza’). There definitely are others and some of them really intolerable.

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  7. I donot reject what you stated about the common man totally but I ‘d disagree with the conclusive remarks presented by you.

    I was myself first time shocked when I saw a group of boys doing almost the same (a bit over) ‘poondi’ in my university here in EU. I was shocked to see because I thought they dont have any less of ‘contacts’ available and so they should be a bit less frustrated (or at least ‘d show less). And the human respect and laws about that are apparently better here than in Pakistan. But all these didnt help them being any better.

    The reasons of staring and ‘poondi’ are probably different. I think it is more out of surprise. If you see foreigners in Pakistan, it is at most of the places strange and so invite for a ‘jaiza’. Many Pakistanies have experienced the same in EU also in the areas where foreigners are not in big numbers, like Finland.

    I am of course not saying ke everything is great here and we are better than any other people but we arent worst either. There are good people and there are bad ones. Some have got good ‘pervarish’ while others have failed to somehow understand the human respect.

    And the last thing, you know there are boys doing ‘poondi’ when they themselves are with girls (friends or sisters). And quite surprising, these girls just think ke their friend or bro is just shareer. They dont go mad there.

    We need correction. Agreed.

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  8. This is so true and especially disconcerting for outside visitors who are not accustomed to such attention. At home these are probably all decently behaving brothers, sons and fathers but once theyre in the bazaars. or buses or anywhere public, its just shameful and very sad

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