Mother, sister and wife.
I don’t watch TV much these days, but I took a gander at it today and saw this program on a cable channel called OneTV or something or the sort. It was the first Pakistani ‘reality TV’ show I’ve seen. I am shamelessly reporting here that I found the program gripping and couldn’t stop watching.
The show consists of a mock courtroom with a ‘judge’ who arbitrates between conflicting parties before an audience. The conflicting parties on this episode were a couple (husband and wife), the husband’s mother and the husband’s sister. The mother and sister did not get along with the wife at all,
and these three women were the conflicting parties. They were flinging all sorts of accusations and counter-accusations at each other. They all seemed like normal human beings (Jerry Springer comes to mind here, so I stress on using the word ‘normal’ as a qualifier) but when it came to getting along, they turned on each other in the most vicious way. All three of them were incredibly petty, but the sister was the absolute worst, and brought out the worst on in everyone else. The wife seemed like a good person who was genuinely trying to get along, but the sister really needled her and brought out her ugly side.
The sister complained that the couple went to their own bedroom soon after dinner and didn’t spend time with the mother. The wife complained that the sister took her stuff and never returned it. The mother complained that the wife didn’t take café of her. The poor husband was sitting quiet most of the time, and could hardly get a word in. He was truly caught in the middle. The three women’s grievances didn’t really have any substance, but if I were to lay blame, I’d blame the sister and mother duo. They had defined a role of the wife of their only brother/son as one providing infinite servitude and attention. Her primarily role in life was to be at home and serve the interests of the mother and keep her house in order. Any deviation from this role in the slightest way was unacceptable. The two couldn’t find it in themselves to allow the wife to have some degree of independence in determining the nature of her own life. This was particularly small-minded of them because the wife worked as well to contribute to the household budget and also needed to look after the kids. She didn’t have much time left over to attend to the mother’s every need.
I have a question for all Womankind…. Why are you all your own worst enemies? Seriously, if you want to ruin a woman’s reputation in this country, you only need to drop a suggestion or two in a few women’s ears and before you know it, the rumor has become a fact and everyone knows it. I’m not being sexist here, believe me. I’m all for giving women more rights than they enjoy in our country, and I used to get really hot and bothered whenever anyone suggested that women were in some way socially inferior to men. This attitude of mine began to erode when I spent 24 days on my Gyn/Obs rotation and saw how the wards were run and how the female doctors working there treated each other and their patients. It was very dispiriting stuff and my conviction that women were better
(not just equal) than men at managing their lives in a more peaceful fashion began to get shaky. Since then I’ve always noticed how, if a man and a home is at stake, women can sometime act like cats, practically urinating around their territory to mark it off. Woe to the woman who tries to cross over into territory that doesn’t belong to her.
Men are beasts, I’ll be the first to admit that, but women can be very ugly too. Maybe it’s just the whole human race. Allah said it in the Quran: we were all created weak. I guess we’re all