Five Social Stigmas That Affect Our Society
By definition a stigma is a ‘mark of disgrace’ that puts people in a difficult position because of some falsely set standards. Unfortunately these stigmas eat at the core of our values and also drive some people insane. If we look at them closely, they are feeding our society to become more rigid, more insensitive towards people. Let us have a look and remind ourselves that we need to be human, we need to see others as humans too.
Men will shake their heads in disapproval if this post points out the stigma of divorce for women in our culture. It is true that both men and women suffer at the hands of insensitive society in they want to remarry. However, the mark of disgrace that divorce brings for women is more than what men face. No one wants to marry a divorcee. But most men want to marry more than once, or just dream about their privilege to do so as the Prophet’s sunnah. How ironic that we forget all the times Holy Prophet (pbuh) married divorcees and widows.
Not Yet Married?
Women come with an expiry date. This is a common preconceived notion that unfortunately the women in our society have sowed with their own hands. For whatever reason if a woman in her late twenties is unmarried, studying or working, people will gossip. People talk, make their predictions about the future of ‘such’ women. They try to look into her personal life; all the men she might be friends with, her ‘unrealistic’ career goals, the rate at which she is getting ‘independent’ and more.
A man unmarried even in his 40’s is still fit to marry a girl in her 20’s because oh well a woman always looks older. Hmmm let us imagine a man in his 40’s, his sagging stomach, the receding hairline. BUT all of that does not bring down his worth. However a woman above 25 is god forbid, what is taking her so long in tying the knot?
Who doesn’t like children? Especially in our culture and society, majority of the couples don’t ‘plan’ to having kids. They are exceptions and that is their personal choice. But this social stigma hits those hard who face this day in and day out, not just from their families but from every tom, dick and harry. I think, if a random person in the street could stop you, they would and ask ‘kitnay saal hogaye shadi ko, koi bacha wacha nai hai?’
Islam specifically tells us to mind our own business. It very clearly tells us not to be curious about other people’s lives even if they happen to be your own brothers, sisters and children. There are limits. You cannot pressurize them into doing something that is not in their control.
Daughters as the only children
It is very typical of humans to want what they don’t already have. There is something extra of this in Pakistani society. Like it or not, even today in the 21st century, when most men say they want girls more than boys, somewhere deep inside they also want at least one boy. We have a very common concept of ‘ is baar bhi beta hojaye tu, meray baitay ke bhi dou bazo bun jaye ge, ‘.
Interestingly, in Islam it is the opposite. Our religion specifically mentions people with daughters to be in Jannat with the Holy Prophet pbuh. The Hadith is so detailed that it points out the man with daughters will be as close to the Prophet as one’s fingers on the hand.
However, we believe in ‘babay’,’taweez’,various ‘totkay’ and some out of this world miracles to produce a male offspring. Very conveniently we forget the science behind reproduction, and more importantly the verses from Quran that quite clearly states it is Allah’s will to give either sons, daughters or nothing.
Itni Piyari Nahi (Not so beautiful)
Itni piyari nahi is by far our most favourite, and go to phrase whenever we see a girl. Be that girl in a drama, a film, on the street or sitting in front of us as a potential bride for our brothers and sons. We choose to forget the level of handsomeness or ugliness of our own brothers and sons. Our society takes it upon its biased shoulders the burden of commenting on every girl possible. In our society, sadly, most women have the guts to analyse another girl/woman from head to toe. If she does not fulfill all the beauty requirements, she is rejected then and there.
Now let this sink into our system. Let us for once absorb all of the above and reflect are we doing justice? Are we being humans to other humans?