Pakistani Men & Women Breaking Stereotypes

heading-styleIt is generalised in a sweeping statement of sorts. Stereotyping comes as easy to us as perhaps breathing. While being predefined no matter what you say or do frustrates us all, stereotyping is perhaps so intoxicating, we all not only engage happily in it, it has also become the only way we speak. No conversation is complete without a little peppering of stereotypes.

1. Women Can’t Drive

If you ever happen upon a motor accident, or a scuffle going on about a possible one en route to work, you will unequivocally hear people grumbling from everywhere, bitterly ruing the day they taught their women how to drive and directing all their road rage towards the fairer sex. Men in our society just can’t accept a woman taking any kind of control even if it is the steering wheel! Such chauvinists…Here I go, stereotyping men now. Do you see how easy it comes?
However, to dish it straight, it is not only women who don’t drive well and every motor accident is most certainly not a woman’s fault. Thinking or vocalizing such thoughts is incredibly foolish, not to mention extremely childish. Specially not in a place that is celebrating its very first and very capable woman taxi driver.

 Defying The Stereotype

POWER STEERING: Zahida Kazmi is hailed as Pakistan’s first female taxi driver. Tough as a nail, this wonder woman first got behind the wheel in Rawalpindi during the uber-conservative regime of Zia-ul-Haq, to fend for her family of two sons and five daughters.


2. Women Look Good Only In The Kitchens

Ask men, and even some females – a woman’s place is in the house, and invariably in the kitchen. While this idea is getting a little old, and a lot of people – men, women, the youth included are vocally rising and acting against it, we will still find some uncomfortable with women being really hardcore, going side-by-side of men and more often than not – beating them at their game.

Defying The Stereotype

HARDCORE: Meet Syeda Ghazala – the first female police station head of Pakistan. She is not only heading a team of roughly 100 men, but is also actively training the first batch of female commandos to fight terrorism in KPK. Ghazala, and the women like her certainly are forces to be reckoned with.


3. English For Urdu

The youth of this land is so divided in their choices of personality they wish to adorn. You are either camp A: the accented-English speaking desi burgers, or camp B: the Urdu, street lingo loving bunkababs.
Unfortunately, the acceptability of people into crowds has largely become dependent on linguistics. People will only be impressed by your ABCs and flawless prowess over English is your surefire way to popularity and acceptance, opening doors of the grandest drawing rooms for you. But if you make one mistake or grammatical error, you will not hear the end of it. And forget about speaking proper Urdu to begin with, in some cases people find it cool if their command over Urdu is not great.

Defying The Stereotype

YOUNG BLOOD: Ali Arman is a young Urdu poet of our times hailing from Rawalpindi. His prowess over three languages Urdu, Punjabi and Pothohari is so supreme, he writes passionate poetry in all three. The most striking thing about this literary genius is that he resides in the UK and is the editor of The Mosaic Journal – a bilingual magazine with both English and Urdu literature. His poetic works have also been translated to English, French, Spanish and German.


4. Fair Skin/Dark Skin Conundrum

Unfortunately, beauty in Pakiland is heavily dependent on the colour of your skin. If you are a desi Snow White, you will be loved by all, sought by all, rishta galore! However, if your skin tone lies a little to the other side of the scale, no matter how beautiful your pair of eyes may be or how perfect your sharp nose, you will fall a little short of the definition of beautiful. We are a nation genetically more brown than white, it’s about time we own our inherently sexy skin.

Defying The Stereotype

DARK AND GORGEOUS: Amna Ilyas, leading Pakistani model and Aminah Sheikh, leading Pakistani actress, are breaking stereotypes of beauty and becoming role models for dark skinned girls of Pakistan. Three cheers to those like you!


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