You would think that living in the 21st century (where women are already fighting to break the glass ceiling) that we, as brown women, wouldn't have to face sexist remarks from our own people. But unfortunately, the progressive mindset stops when it comes to our own Pakistani women (and dare I say other South Asian women).
We are seen as a threat to the Pakistani culture for expressing ourselves. But. Let. Me. Stop. You. Now.
I grew up in a country where female infanticide was at an all-time high and women were frowned upon for "disgracing" the family name for having a female baby. People claimed that the family name ends with a girl when a girl gets married. Honestly, do you even know how biology works?
The child's gender has nothing to do with a woman. But maybe you would already know that had your mothers been allowed to go to school. Maybe that vicious cycle of gender-based abortion would have ended. Maybe the words "female infanticide" would not have a statistic attached to it, with a target right over our countries. And now here we are- the new generation of women working to end the sexist remarks of a patriarchal society. By the way, female infanticide is still a thing, and will always be until we are educated.
My father raised me as 'his eldest son' and my mother made sure I was educated as much as I wanted to be. So please, do not sit there and tell me (and all the other brown girls): "Being a doctor is too much work. You will be old. Your hair will grey. No one will marry you. Why not just settle down?"
That is not YOUR choice. That is MY choice.
Do not ask me preposterous questions like "Women are surgeons too? HOW?"Do not tell your daughters not to eat because "they should be dieting because boys don't like fat girls." And lastly, don't tell your daughters that they are "not supposed to dress that way because that's how boys dress." My parents did not leave an entire continent altogether for you to impose these bylaws on me. My parents did not leave their home behind so that I can sit here and play dress up for a boy.
We live in a society where the phrase "log kya kahenge?"(what will people say?) is a killer of dreams. That is outright preposterous. Do not try to alter the way in which your daughters express themselves just to impress a boy. No, that is not how this works. That is not how this should work.