We often wonder what went wrong with this country: why do we not produce any thinkers, writers, critics, scientists?
It’s plain enough. When entire generations upon generations are forced to aspire to be nothing more than engineers and doctor wives, this is exactly what happens. Women in Pakistan – who dominate men in studies and universities – are taught to aspire becoming homemakers, rotimatics, washing machines, punching bags, sex slaves, and unpaid house help. Even the working women. And that rare community that aspires to be something more – such as PhDs and CEOs – is vilified as too headstrong, un-marriageable, too intelligent.
It’s a modern witch hunt.
I don’t know how many young girls follow me, but hear me out: aspire to be Ada Lovelace, whose brain was more than merely mortal. Aspire to be Rosalind Franklin, without who we’d never know much about DNA. Aspire to be Rosa Parks and do away with the norms of “staying silent” because that’s how things are. Aspire to be Marie Tharp, whose ocean floor mapping was laughed off by male colleagues only to decades later be proven right. Aspire to be Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart and Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson. Aspire to be Hypatia and Artemesia and Nur Jahan. Aspire to be Fatimah Jinnah and Begum Liaqat Ali Khan and Bi Amman.
And if you should aspire to be just another Mrs Khan/Siddiqui/Jamal, make sure you’re not wasting your one shot at life and greatness. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with raising kids and babysitting your husband if that’s your kink, but for the love of God, don’t make it the only thing you’re doing with your life.
Written by Noor Us Sabah Tauqeer