Muneera Jamal

Muneera Jamal

A dentist-in-making who is a writer by passion.Her work revolves around struggles of women who are sacrificed to satiate the demands of the society.
Muneera Jamal

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The unusually loud clatter awoke me from my peaceful slumber; I could hear my wife arguing with my mother above the noise of rattling utensils, and I instantly knew it was going to be a difficult day.
“What a perfect beginning to a Sunday,” I mumbled under my breath as I hurried towards the kitchen.
I have been married for five years, and such brutal, insensitive brawls between the only two women in my life are a routine occurrence for me. My wife and my mother have never been able to see eye to eye, and in a desperate attempt to maintain peace I could be seen refereeing only to be instantly taken down for being in the ‘line of fire’.
“You have no right to reprimand me on how I choose to live my life, woman.” I hear my wife scream at my mother.
Her condescending tone made my blood boil. I do not have any issues with her having a different opinion, but I do have issues with how she voices it. We are two VERY different people, separate entities in terms of how we look at life, and what we want from it; forced to live together because our parents ‘thought’ we were perfect for each other.
“What is happening here?” I ask entering the kitchen.
“You stay out of it.” My wife warns me, pointing the rolling pin at me.
This is not the first time she has spoken to me in this manner. This is not the first time she has harassed me this way. The blue bruise on my left wrist still blanches- this is where her Chanel no.5 had landed when we had an argument over how her expensive perfumes are a dent in my savings.
As a child, I was told men do not cry and nothing stains masculinity as easily as tears. I grew up hearing “why are you crying? You are not a girl.” I always wanted to ask why so? Why couldn’t n’t men cry? Why is expression of sentiments exclusively restricted to women only? Are not men equally human. I never got around to asking those questions, and accepted without resistance that men were not allowed to cry, or ‘whine”.
Real men do not cry, real men do not hit women, real men do not let a women rule them; these are some of the phrases that people chant like a mantra all the time, and I want to ask, what do men do then?
If I tell anyone, I will be mocked. I know how the ‘patriarchal’ society functions. How many organizations are working for men’s rights in Pakistan? The answer is NONE; there are no organizations working specifically for the welfare and betterment of men in our country.
I want to scream out the pain that has accumulated inside of me in five years, but in our side of the world, men being victims to violence is still considered a taboo. We have people addressing stigmas associated with menstruation and we have women protesting on streets for their rights- and rightly so. However, while fighting for rights, people in our society emphasize more on gender discrimination than on gender equality. We need to educate our children for a better future. We need to discuss ‘rights’ in general and shift from focusing entirely on women’s rights. We need to acknowledge human rights, regardless of gender, creed and caste.
Just because you cannot see the flip side of the coin, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“Get your stupid mother out of my sight!” Screamed the wife. Abandoning my thoughts, controlling my temper, with muscles twitching all over my body, I led my mother out of the monster’s way.

** According to Atit Rajpara, President of Men’s Rights Association (MRA), “many Indian men have resorted to suicide in order to break free from their matrimonial troubles. The suicide rate of married men is extremely high and the ratio is growing by leaps and bounds every year.” (Dawn, May 21st, 2012)