Whom do we Blame?
So much has been done to render ‘No’ as a cliché, that giving it some space in a patriarchal vocabulary is to suffocate the word over and over. So, it stays on the edges of our mouths and existence- unaccepted, unrecognized; forever familiar with its situation of being stuck in an unending loop where the society sustains, nurtures the very evil elements that it pretends to punish. Nobody questions the owner and factory workers when the products turn out to be repetitively significantly flawed. Everyone relies on the owners and factory workers who, when the damage done by the products is pointed out to them, reprimand themselves for a moment or two and dedicate the rest of their time to conveniently separate and reassure themselves, because confrontation might mean accepting, correcting or even replacing the machinery, and wouldn’t it be risky considering the tables could be turned?
Which again is a laughable assumption given the tables are not in the condition to be turned anymore. Deep down everyone knows it. Yet, for the sake of illusive certainty, the blue pills are swallowed, the truth is thrown out of the system and the entire blame is put on the products that attracted too much attention. These products- the culprits. These products- the future factory workers. These products- dazed and confused, because all they did was to do what they were designed for. They were nourished in an environment that promised them heroic victory once they learned to treat a three-dimensional human as a two-dimensional trophy. And of course, there were decades and decades of training that numbed or rather lulled their senses into a hypnotic trance.
In other words, the casual abuses directed at women who might not even be a part of the conversation; Plots of all those movies in which stalking, sexism, harassment, toxic behavior was inexplicably justified and romanticized with the help of music playing in the background to further redeem the hero; The lyrics of catchy songs which reduced the heroine to a mere object of desire; and plaything who entertains the hero and satisfies his every fancy and whim; And above all, the aggressive outcome of it in the form of tragic news, met with a chuckle, a frown but vast indifference, eventually drained the meaning out of the language.
So, what was a ‘No’ when it came from a person who was just supposed to smile and play along? Hung over on the delusional beliefs, they played the songs in their head while imitating, chasing, teasing and then torturing, attacking, raping, killing, when the reality threatened to cancel out what was previously promised to them. The root of the said rage and outburst were never the victims or rather the length of their dress, but the patriarchal mindset which regulated, manipulated and suppressed the emotions accordingly.
- Abeer Laiq,