Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pukhtun Men, Double Standards, and Respect for Pukhtun Women

Pre-post: To all those who will now start saying, "Stop generalizing": I don't expect you to get this. Besides, does saying "You're generalizing" solve the problem? If not, what's your point? Stop denying this happens because you see it on your FB feed every time you log in and you see it on Youtube videos (girls' photos as background pictures to audio music), and you (most of us) just watch, maybe read the disgusting comments about the girls' looks/bodies, and our job is done. Speak against it. Also, saying, "There ARE exceptions, you know; not all Pukhtun men do this" acknowledges that they're only exceptions--not the norm; it acknowledges that the majority with access to these pics/Internet actually do this, but there's a small minority that sincerely respects women. I'm not talking about the ones who don't do this, obviously. I'm talking about the ones who do.

Double standards exist everywhere, I know, but I've seen an unbearable amount with Pukhtuns (because, silly, silly me! I expect them to be so much better than all other people in the world!). And, yes, I know the following happens in other racial groups too, but I'm "singling out" Pukhtuns because, in case it's not obvious already, I'm a Pukhtun myself. I see no logic in taking on all of the world's issues and talking about every single problem of every single nation. You do that yourself.

Here's the deal, ok?

A few days ago on one of my FB accounts (I have two), this Pukhtun guy messaged me and said "hi, how are you?" I replied a couple of days later (deliberately) and said I was well, thank you. He replies instantly and says, "What is your name? Where do you live? Are you studying or are you married?" (lol :D like I can't do both!) I replied a couple of days later with, "Hm... too many questions at once. Why don't you visit my blog and have alllll of your questions about me answered, bro?" He replied, again instantly (freaky, I know, right?), with something fobby, like "Will you be my friend?" And I replied with:

"Well, let's see. If a male asked your sister such a question, how would you feel about that?"

It's not that I would have any problem adding him to my list (on one of the accounts), but it's just that I wanted to make him think about something. And I wanted to test how a random Pukhtun man was going to respond to my challenge. I've done that to a few other Pukhtun males, but they usually just say, "Don't bring my sister into this." lol.

Pukhtun men, like many other men, I'm sure, say things to us Pukhtun women/girls that would make them flip out if they heard a male saying to THEIR sisters, daughters, wives, mothers. Yet, they talk to us like we have no respect for ourselves. How cowardly. And they mistake this for "honor" (ghairat in Pashto). Pitiful, I know.

Anyway, so, guess what the guy replies with! He basically called me a slut (in Pukhto) and said that his sister is too respectable to use Facebook (LOL!!!), that he'd never let his sister join FB, that only slutty girls like me join FB, etc., etc. I was cracking up. Though I wasn't planning to respond anyway, he blocked me even if I would've wanted to :( So heartbroken, man. So heartbroken!

Why was this guy offended that I asked him how he'd feel about a guy talking to his sister the way he was talking to me? It's very simple, as far as I understand it. Let me explain.

Over the past few years, since like late 2007 till now, I have met many Pukhtun men online who practice too many double standards. And it's not like these  guys are illiterate as the guy I mentioned above: most of the ones I'm talking about, that I have personally conversed with and had big discussions about society, culture, religion, etc., are quite educated. [I'm going to be writing on this in detail, with examples and all, in a near future. Please stay tuned and be patient. Thanks!] But there's still something about them that makes them think that ANY Pukhtun female who will talk to men who are not directly, immediately related to her is close to being a slut. These same men "support" and "respect" us for what we Pukhtun women do (blogging, having intellectual discussions with them in public forums, writing pro-women poetry, etc.), but they would won't let their own sisters/wives be among us. The next time a Pukhtun man says, "I wish we had more Pukhtun women speaking up for women," tell him, "Good call - where's your wife/sister? Why don't you encourage her to do this as well, then?" He tends to shut up. [Again, I'll talk about this in detail next time, but you get the idea.] So you see, they themselves talk to women in ANY way they like, but if their wives dared to talk to men the way they talk to me or other Pukhtun women who're active on the Internet, their masculinity -- as fake and feeble as it clearly is -- would be challenged, and, of course, they can't handle that.

Let me clarify that this is not all Pukhtun men. Of course. It's never all. I know of a few Pukhtun men who respect me so much I know they'd kill any man who they found out was disrespectful to me. (No, seriously.) They're really kind and supportive. But those are few. Those are the exceptions.

Mostly, though, the ones who consider themselves "liberal" are like this: they think that BECAUSE I support women's rights so much and speak a lot on women's issues in Pukhtun societies, I must be okay with their approaching me in a way I find completely indecent and disrespectful. And that way is asking me some very inappropriate questions. I've blocked many guys who've done this, whether on FB or on any online Pukhtun forum, but the Internet world is unfortunately replete with them. The problem is that these guys are "educated" AND outwardly support women's rights, such as good education for Pukhtun women. Me, I used to respect any man who was like this when I first started joining these online Puhktun communities -- and then I realized that many of these guys were just fake. Their own wives, for example, are suffering in Swat, Pekhawar, Banu, wherever they may be from, while they come on these online forums and shit about the sufferings of PUKHTUN WOMEN and want "liberty" for Pukhtun women ... and you ask them what they're doing to alleviate the situations of their own wives, and their answer? This: "That's how our society works; there's nothing I can do about it." Hell yes you can, you dirty piece of shit!!

But, noooo - they'd rather live away from their wives (understandably for employment purposes) and (NOT understandably) cheat on their wives with younger girls with the excuse that "my wife is not educated so I can't have intellectual discussions with her" or "she doesn't want to be liberated, even though I'm trying to liberate her." What the hell? Really?!?! You can't LIBERATE anyone, you ass. She has to liberate herself. And what do you mean you've tried? How have you tried? Does she know how you talk to other women? Does she know that you have no respect for her whatsoever when you're physically away from her? Does she know that you don't give a damn about her health because, in your ass-ish opinion, that's just how Pukhtun women live and your wife is no exception?

My point is, the concepts of freedom, liberty, "educatedness," women's rights - all of these are completely misunderstood by many Puhktun men, especially the apparently educated ones. You can't call yourself educated when you think that ALL the concept of women's rights entails is a woman being sexually loose, being as open with any guy as she wants, tolerating disrespect from men, etc., etc. Though I have minimal conversations with Pukhtun men today (until a year or so ago, I talked with them frequently because I thought I needed to share my ideas with them desperately. That was dumb of me. I'm so glad I remembered this precious bog of mine, where most of my conversations with Pukhtun males are now public.), I'll never, never, ever understand what makes an "educated" man think that it's okay for him to use any terms of endearment with me such as "darling" or "sweetheart" or "dear," or send me hearts (lol - believe it!). They call me something I don't like once, and I warn them not to do it again because, just like their sisters wouldn't like it, I don't either! And if they do it just one more time, they're out of my list. I don't need such men in my friends list, even if it's just in the virtual world. Again, their reaction at the mention of their "sister" (I don't even know if they would have any sisters at all, but they usually have someone in their family/relatives they can consider a sister) is ALWAYS worth millions, I swear: they erupt! "How DARE you bring my sister in this?" What? What did I do? I only reminded you that you are never, ever to talk to me the way you wouldn't want any male to talk to your sister. What's the harm in such a reminder? And it's their response to this question that can tell you everything about them and tell you that they really have no respect for you!

I don't believe everyone deserves to be respected by default (respect must be earned), but I  certainly don't believe everyone should by default be disrespected. If you believe I have earned your disrespect, simply never interact with me. But you call me any word of endearment or talk to me in a way I don't like and tell you ONCE that I don't like it, and you insist on doing it - you're out. My living in the "west," the infidel, depraved west, does NOT give you any excuse to call me Dear or Darling or Baby or Sweetheart or whatever else, and it certainly doesn't mean I'll accept your approaching me in a way I find indecent and intolerable.

A Pukhtun male once told me that he is certain (he said he knows, actually, but I'll just say he's certain) that over 60% of Pukhtun men have at least once in their lives committed adultery, chances are with much younger girls. I asked him why he thinks that, and he, living in Pukhtunkhwa and knowing tons of Pukhtun men personally and having such discussions with him on a regular basis (he told me so), said: "Because most of them are married to women who are not on the same intellectual level as they, and so they easily get attracted to women who are on their level and turn to them for both sexual and intellectual satisfaction."

I don't know how much sense that makes, but that's according to one man out there. And from what I've seen of Pukhtun men online, I have to admit it sounds true.

Also, take a look at the following photos to see how these men (again, NOT ALL PUKHTUN MEN! Just a large percentage of them) treat and view women. Someone, please, please explain to me what makes these men think that because a girl's picture is public, they can make such filthy comments on their pictures ... or  that even they can share them with the world! You see, sometimes, I wonder ... is it only Pukhtun men who steal Pukhtun/other girls' photos and upload them to their pages for men to lust after? Or do other ethnic groups have equally backward men, too? And do these men not think about their own sisters/daughters/wives/mothers in these girls' positions? What if someone random stole their wives'/sisters' photos and posted them for the public to stare at and for sick and perverted men to comment on and say "hot" "sexy" "bootipul" "will u fraandship with me?" and "will u marry me?" to? :S

LOL. The same FB page that puts Pukhtun women's pictures on display and asks people to KISS and HUG them is telling people to "SAVE girls?"! What a joke. Oh exceptionalism ...


  1. @ Anonymous: You are welcome, I suppose :)

  2. Good write up. Revealing, liberating and eye opening.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Anonymous! LOL @ "revealing" :) Glad you find it eye-opening!

  4. You're right there's a lot of filth out there, but you can't expect everybody to be civilized. Confucius said "It takes 7 generations of prosperity to make a gentleman". Once again in relation to education, knowing how to read and write is not the same as receiving a moral education.

    Y U NO DO FRAAANDSHIP WITH ME!!! 0_0!!! *seven generations down the drain* Looool

    1. LOL! LOLLLLLZZ! Oh my Goodness, I'm laughing my heart out at your last statement!

      :D Thanks for your comment, man!

  5. Orbala, thank you for another enlightening post on Pashtun society...something I would know very little about without your blog! Interestingly, I met a new student at my university the other day who's Pashtun, from a village near Peshawar. I was quite pleased to meet him since most of the Pakistanis here tend to be Punjabi or from Karachi, so it's good to have some diversity. Also, he seemed like a very nice and down to earth fellow. He also mentioned that his real interest was in political science but his father had made him study engineering, something which is apparently quite common where he comes from. However, the reason I'm bringing up meeting him is because of a comment he made at one point: he said that in his interview for PhD admission, his future supervisor had asked him if engineering was something he was really passionate about. His reply to her (after first excusing himself for being so frank) was something like: "Engineering is like my wife and political science is like my girlfriend. You are engaged to one so you can't get out of it, but you really want to spend time with the other" (surprisingly, he still got offered the PhD :P). When he told me this, I just laughed at the time. But now after reading your post about the double standard, it makes a lot more sense! But why can't it be the wife who's the one they're in love with and want to spend time with? Why marry someone who's not on the same intellectual/emotional level as you (that is assuming it was their choice and not massively pressured by parents or whatever)? That's what I don't understand! Even if you've explained the reason, it still doesn't make sense...

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rehan! Sorry for the late response. Just now keeping up :D

      Yes, yes, yes!! Being pressured to study what your parents want you to study rather than encouraging you to chase your own dreams is a tragedy that many, many younguns, both Pashtun and non-Pashtun, have been facing for decades. Sorry to hear about that student - but what the heck, he sounds like ... well, I'd hate to be rude, but he sounds like a jerk. But then again, his response is grounded in social ideas that continue to plague us all.

      Forced marriages aren't uncommon in much of Pakistan and many other parts of the world. Parents tend to emotionally blackmail their children into marrying people of THEIR (the parents') choice rather than allowing their kids to have a say in the marriage or to choose their own partners. This is a affecting a lot of Pashtuns in the west, especially Pashtun females, and I'm currently writing a series of blog posts on it ... but dang it, where's the time!

      Thanks for bringing the issue up! I'd love to incite a discussion on it. In a couple of days, ka khairee.

    2. Rehan, being a Pashtun I know many things about Pashtuns men. Regarding women and sexual/romantic issue they often tell lies, exaggerate too much and most of the time they have no idea what exactly they are talking about. Due to partial and complete segregation of both the gender men are most probably less educated about women or dealing with women. The traditional Pashtun culture held in high regard (though very narrow-minded) the female gender and that culture is also transforming and rather degenerating.

  6. Pukhtun Men, Double Standards, and Respect for Pukhtun Women.... an eye opener exactly. It's happening as you stated most of Pukhtoon men are biased towards women education, development in career and advocacy for their rights.Apart from their wrong perception How to socialize and civilize them is also a matter of concern and I am happy to see, your eye opener blog in this regards. There is great need to change the perception but we should also encourage women and focus on the development (specially cognitive) of our Pukhtoon sisters...We have a lot of living examples of brave intellectual girls and women but I feel the language is a barrier in ideas transformation and exchange. I would also suggest If you can...please write in Pashto as most of Pukhtoon Men and Women are not fluent even can't understand the exact context of the writings in English. Stay blessed and Keep it up.

    1. Thank you very much for your input, Tahir! I'm happy to hear you found the post worth a read!

      Yes, most of the Pashtuns who should prolly be reading these blog posts don't know English very well. I haven't thought about writing in Pukhto, but I'll definitely consider it :) Thank you for the suggestion!

  7. I could relate to what you've written up there, double standards, so true with many men there, here and almost everywhere. I have so many "funny" stories to share, mostly about the proud and protective brothers.

    1. Welcome to my blog, Penguin! Glad to have you around :) I look forward to hearing those stories some time ... yeah? Just went through your blog - nice one! Will be reading it regularly now.

  8. I experienced that just by accepting random add from arab guys on FB...and I found this very disturbing, I had to clean up my friend list.

    Paradoxically, this behaviour is very widespread among muslim population...
    And not only in Internet, in real life too...
    When I visit my family in Algeria, I can't go out in the street by myself, I'm too scared. Even when I was with some female cousins and worse with my mom (OMG!!), some dude come talk to me and try to seduce in a really freaky way.
    And I'm like "don't they get that their doing is wrong in so many ways? Allah is watching them, aren't they scared a little?"

    I live in France I never ever experienced that from french guys, I was approach by arabs guys though, yet the western society is much more sexualized.

    So, I'm wondering if this flaw among muslim population is not caused by a lack of sexualization. I'm not saying we must sexualize it, no no NO NO!

    It's like these dudes need a stimulation...
    This really freal me out seriously, it's like our guys have a double-sided face, in one hand they're loving (or not)husband or brother and in the other hand they're these freaky pervert.

    Thank God, my brother was not raised like that, maybe because he grow up in France. I will make sure that my future son(s) will respect women.

    1. Salaam, Zeynab! And welcome to my blog!

      Thank you so much for your comment, girl! I couldn't agree more.

      You know, I've observed, too, that it's more common in Muslim cultures. My guess, and I'm sure it's very close to correct, is that it's a response to or a consequence of extreme gender segregation. I know this needs to be explained, but I'm too tired and hungry right now to explain it, so will just write on it eventually (although I'm sure you'd agree that extreme gender segregation is harmful to society in the long run). I mean, many of these men have never seen a non-related woman's face or hair, unless she's on TV or something. And so when they see one in person, they go crazy and get tempted by something as minor as her ankle, as a friend of mine likes to joke; or by her face or hair or whatever she's "exposing," that shameless girl that she is!

      I know what you mean about the sexualization part. It's like, they're trying SOOO hard to de-sexualize us that they end up sexualizing us instead, to the point that it destroys everyone, not just us.

      Good to hear you'll raise your sons in such a way that they'll respect women :) No matter what. Because unfortunately, some of these men think that their disrespect towards women is justified because "why are they showing their pics online????" :|

      Thanks for your contribution to the discussion, Zeynab! I hope to see you around more often.

  9. Nice one! You are absolutely right! I hate watching pakhtu videos because of the background pictures. Aw de khfgyan khabara kho da da Che most of these videos ke family Taswerona lagedali de. Hesok hom na ghwari Che de khpal wedding Taswerona pa yew online video bande post ke. And honestly no one cares that is why you see people commenting and watching those videos more than the ones w/o the pictures. Aw de ghyrat khabare Che rashe, de tolo na makhke Homda khalak khabare kawe. Sok Che de bal Khor aw mor Nashe respect kawali, how can they ever respect their own sisters or mothers?

    And Facebook? Zmong khalak harsa ghalat use kawe no Facebook ba sa Sahe use ke. I see people with 1000 friends, seriously? How come? I don't think anyone can have that many "real" friends.

    1. Anonymous! Welcome to my blog, and thank you very much for your comment!

      I just feel like copying and pasting your entire comment everywhere, LOL. It's so true!

      And ohhh my God, yes! Those same people who do that to these women are the first ones to talk as well! Dera da apsos khabara da.

    2. Thank you!

      Haha bas no reality da kana zka zma comment kha derbande wolagedo! I like your nickname! my fiancé sometimes tells me Che za dera qratumara yama hahaha

    3. LOL @ qratumara! Aao, za hu jo daqqa yama :p Marey, khog jwand dey, nor ba sa chal kao kana?! lol

    4. That is right! Btw, I didn't know I can pick a nickname haha so YAY! no more anonymous now I have a nickname! :)

  10. Your frustration is understandable. I have a habit of listening to Pashto songs from youtube and mostly the videos are made up of photos of which many should not be in a public video. And there are all sorts of comments, and if you ask these people to not talk trash, you open yourself to all sorts of abuse. I tried a few times and then thought its best to stay out of it because these people have no limits when they hide behind the internet.
    Having said that, I also think that in your frustration you are also implying that well meaning people who interact with you in the west, but who's own female relatives back in home countries do not come out in public, are equally bad, is a bit harsh. And I am talking only about well meaning people. there are many pashtun men and women who interact with each other openly in decent fashion in the west but do not when they are back home, I do not see any problem with that. I think we need this little hypocrisy to balance our lives, as we'll not (I certainly would not) want to be a completely open society like the west, where each individual is (mostly) living his/her own life. I got this feeling mostly from your tweets, and off course I may be completely wrong here- you may have not meant this at all.

    1. Thank you for your important insight, Topak Khana!
      Agreed - if you respond to the pics/vids with girls' pics in them, those who support them or enjoy them and who uploaded them will start abusing you.

      About your second paragraph, no, no, that's not what I meant. I was referring to those men *still online* (no one in person) who contact Pukhtun girls who they think are "available" and who they think will accept their extremely indecent proposals while having daughters and wives themselves, possibly the age of the girls they're contacting! So those are another filth among us.

      I don't think it's necessary for all or even most Pukhtun women back home to come out into the public. So I always disagree with the idea that Pukhtun women need to be sent out of their homes in order to make a difference. There are many things wrong with this proposal, as made by many Pukhtuns online, including the following:
      1. Why the hell are we still making decisions FOR Pukhtun women? Why not let them make their own decision? Why not let them decide for themselves if they wanna be involved in public or not?
      2. If we sat down and thought about the many, many issues faced by Pukhtuns today, we'll realize that they range from public to private to those belonging in neither of these categories. Depending on a woman's skills, interests, and time, she may be a better leader in the home or outside the home. But my thought is that she should be the one deciding this herself.

      The men I was talking about above are actually men living in the West who don't allow their wives much mobility but support the mobility of *other Pukhtun women*! Why is this? (Again, not all men are like this. God, I can't believe I have to point this out, as I know some Pukhtuns will complain. It's never all.) This mobility doesn't have to be physical; it can be intellectual, mental, and personal as well. This is why I'll never understand why the same men who support my blog and what they think is "my activism" (and I'm SO grateful to them for their support! They're very kind to me, and I've nothing against them personally at all) but when they say, "I wish more Pukhtun women do what you do," and I tell them, "Great - start encouraging your sister and wife to do this, too, then, to speak up, to discuss our problems openly, etc., etc." they always get offended :)

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope I was able to clarify myself.

    2. Oh, I forgot to address your last point (that of the West and individualism and all). Shucks that my tweets came up that way!

      No, I don't support many things that take place in the West, and I don't hope that Pukhtuns follow them. But I do believe that the West has many positive things to teach us, just as we have many positive things to teach them. I don't believe in complete individualism. I think it's ultimately a very unhealthy thing for society, and I'm constantly witnessing its harms in the West myself (but those are things that take place among my friends and other people I observe; it's something official necessarily). Among the Pukhtuns, as in much of the east, I deeply value our concept of family, our sense of togetherness, and I hope that we'll always, always value our families this way.

      HOWEVER! I don't think we can deny that sometimes, families, because of how much we value our "community" and "togetherness," can ignore a an individual's happiness only for the sake of other people, for the sake of maintaining a good reputation. You've to constantly conform to everything that your community/family/relatives/people conform to, or else, your family will get a bad reputation, and you will feel guilty for having done that to your family, who naturally want only the best for you. This is harmful. And a person can't dare bring up "happiness" in a topic because then she/he is called selfish. Not necessarily: for example, why does choosing a certain job over another (if both jobs are decent, respectable, etc), a job that YOU like versus a job that your FAMILY wants you to have, have to lead to other people's miseries? It doesn't. But can you dare choose the job of your own preference over your family's/others'? If you do and you mention that "but I feel more comfortable in this job; I feel like this is what I'm best at and would succeed it, and this is where I'm most happy," they'll say, "alaaaa! HAPPY? What about everyone else's happiness"? :| And you wonder how on earth your job is related to the whole world's happiness ...

      That was just an example, a very minor one for most people. But you get my point, yeah?

    3. Agree but if we want to have a strong feeling of togetherness with our families (I mean only immediate family) then we have to compromise a litte.
      On your first comment, I think its a step forward if there are people from conservative background who praise your work without passing judgement on your morals. I am sure it must be very frustrating for you but I think if you take a step back you will see it.

  11. Do you really believe that FB represents all Pakhtun Society? Do you have data that how many Pakhtuns use facebook? Are you 100% sure all those contacted you via FB were Pakhtuns?
    If not then why this blog?
    If you believe that 60% of the Pakhtun men have committed adultery then you are assuming that 60% of Pakhtun women are also doing the same? Don't you think its too much to disgrace this dignified sect of the nation with your blog?
    Please DO NOT share the views which are not authentic because the views of someone cannot be generalize on the whole society.

    1. Thank you so much for your visit and your insight, Saif Khana! Very much appreciated!

  12. Thank you for this, I think it will be great if you can get more Pashtun women on your side then trying to respond to those "Pakhtun guys" that have double standards. Good luck and be careful with the language you are using,because I am sure that has nothing to do with liberty,education, or women's right

    1. Thank you, Anonymous! :) And I appreciate your advice - yes, I'm working on my wording when talking to a mostly Pukhtun audience. Hard work, man, hard work!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  13. well i think that there is some mix picture of the pukhtoon society,may be on the internet these guys are as rude but in real life they are not so bex of various social real life the pukhtoon also respect the woman a lot,for example once i was traveling by bus a lady was sitting on her seat ,one man was smoking and blowing the smoke on her face,the man sitting on the other side noticed that,he at once stood up and slap at the man face,and asked dont you have any sister or mother at your home,
    also thats even common pakistani man problem not only pukhtoon but more in pukhtoon society that they would stare and gaze woman from head to toe,like if some has asked him to make a portrait or x ray of her lol.
    but i thin real education make a difference,as its a long debate no one can summarise it in few words and books have been written about that,
    but one thing you have mentioned that some one asking you for friendship,and you reply that would you allow your mother or sister that is more like abusing that person,although you are right,but still that sense rude,akward,
    like if i ask would your mother be my father friend or would your bhabi be my friend or would your sister be my friend,
    sorry sorry sorry i dont mean to say that in real sense these are just examples
    that how different words sense different and more abusive.

    1. Thank you for your insight, Anonymous! Much appreciated :)

      Indeed it's a more common problem and is not restricted to Pashtuns alone. Thanks for sharing that anecdote with us about a man smoking in a woman's face and another man slapping the hell out of him.

      It's also possible that our ideas of what it means to respect and be respected are not entirely the same.


  14. An 'educated' pushtun guy i once knew fell in love with me. he 'understood' that i was a liberal educated girl, and for him all my activities and thoughts and ideas were ok. Finally he began to talk about getting married, and that's when he started saying things like:
    - women shouldn't be allowed to work
    - hijab and niqaab is necessary for being classified as pious marriage material
    - a wife should never question her husband on any matter, because he knows best
    - having any, I repeat- ANY male friends either in the virtual world or in reality was an unforgivable sin for a woman
    I told him I'd rather not sin anymore and blocked him.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Anon!

      Yes! As long as they've no plans to marry you, they're going to disrespect you and think lowly of you--for just talking to them and interacting with them. To them, any female who talks to other men or is known by ANY males at all is no less than a whore.

      Sorry you've had that experience. It really stinks that they're like this :S

      Best to you,

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anonnie!

      And I LOOOOVE being a hyphenated American. I'll always love it :) Sorry you think otherwise.

      P.S. Try using foul language in any of your future comments (including the word "cum"), and your comments will not be published. Consider this a warning.

      I appreciate your readership and thank you for taking the time to read it. Always a pleasure to get more readers!


  16. Qratugai Khor...I read this blog at 4 in the morning in complete quietness and with concentration. I would like to make some comments. We Pashtuns particularly and muslims in general are caught between two worlds that are as yet strange to each other ( I would not say incompatible at this stage). For example your own assertion that you love our family system and its values, yet at the same time expect /judge people for moral/ethical standards that are applicable more to the western society; reflects this complexity. Secondly the blog seems to ascribe all that is inherently evil otherwise in human nature entirely to the "Pakhtun men' . In my view this by itself becomes similar behavior probably exists in any other society or ethnic group at our level of evolution.( Yet again the first factor comes in as you don't advocate to be fully evolved as in the western society). Thirdly, your blog initially misses out the reasons for such a behavior in Pashtun men ( there are several cogent reasons that come out eventually in the responses to comments, ike gender segregation, inappropriate or no education , technology diffusion without compatible educational/social /political evolution etc etc.Resultantly your blog comes out to be a harsh, out of frustration, judgmental and reactionary write up rather than a serious scholarly discourse on the issue. As to the women liberation issue and particularly men's role in it, let me give you an alternative view. There are hundreds and thousands of Pashtun women who go out daily to shopping malls, beauty parlors, jobs, markets, universities, schools and interact with a variety of men freely, but when it comes to women rights, advocacy, activism, how many do you find willing? The main argument is that it is a man's domain...and public interaction with mails is below their dignity or not morally right. What do you think of this phenomenon. Fifthly , have you considered the status of the institution of marriage in our society in comparison to that in the west? Do you honestly believe that more pashtun men are likely to have committed adultery or had relationship outside marriage than those in the western society or for that matter any other ethnic group? Do you think that in a rural society like ours such opportunities are comparable to those in more open societies?
    By saying all this by no means am I saying that you have identified something wrong...I fully agree with you that such a behavior exists and need to be highlighted. But my only point is that there are cogent reasons for it and secondly it is not as pervasive as you think it is or particular to pashtun society. And that women also need to take up responsibility for themselves. See they can't have the cake and eat it too. That is where I completely differ with you. The standards of respect set in the west in my humble view emerge from the concept of individualism...the fact that every person after reaching adulthood is fully responsible for what he or she does and how he/she conducts him/herself...there are obligations too with respect to other persons and society/state that the person has to be cognizant of. In that sense the contradiction that i initially pointed out needs to go away...we have to aim at evolution as a package and not expect to cherry pick certain behaviors while leaving out others. My apologies already if my points are further all honesty I really appreciate and value your work..
    PS.If I was the guy from whom the question (that would he allow his sister)was answer would have had two parts. First, that of course, it is my sisters own decision..just as i did not take permission from her, she is not bound to take it from me... Secondly I would have asked a counter question that did the person asking this take permission from his/her father/brother? But resorting to abusive language is of course absurd and must be condemned just as you did in the blog...Deepest Regards....from Riaz/Farhad Papin.

    1. Pa khair, Riaz Gwala,
      Thank you for your detailed response!

      Just to clarify - this blog and my posts here aren't intended to be scholarly, researched, objective analyses of anything. Whenever they are a product of some research I've done, I do make a note of that. But this specific one certainly wasn't such, and it doesn't need to be. It's important that we understand that ordinary Pukhtun women like me do have rights, feelings, and expectations, and when our rights or feelings are violated, the best thing to do is to point out, educate others about it, and express ourselves. That's what I'm doing in the above piece here. No need for anything scholarly on it. Writing isn't always about scholarship. Sometimes we need to say things like they are - so double standards, lack of respect for women in our society, etc. need to be discussed as they are.

      I appreciate and am thankful for your thoughts that it would be up to your sister herself to make her own decision! Few (Pukhtun/Muslim) men think like that, so that's really refreshing to hear!

      Thanks again for your comment!

      ~ the qrratugai

  17. to be frank, pukhtoons are not civil and we are yet living in a hindu country(i'm from India) we are very tribal in nature. our people are murderers and tit-for-tat policy is still practised. people in rampur calls this "pathan ka badla" that a pukhtoon is a violent creature not fit for otherwise mellowish Indian society. our men are very orthodox and also are sex fanatics as well as violent. that is the truth. I believe, it is our tribal traditions, islam and many small cultural things which makes us medieval and tribal. but, on the other side, we have liberal people. look bollywood is ruled by our people. guess why? we have a highly educated and civilized, Indian culture integrated pukhtoons who are very liberal and progressive. hope it is true for Pakistan also.
    the biggest fault is: pukhtoon consider boy as his child, girl as a property and liability. also, the extreme patriarchic society suppresses incest that pukhtoon men forces their women into. the women are considered similar to animals in pukhtoon society. it is the truth. very barbaric people many of us are. women are suffering or put into prostitution after husbands ditching them for fresh meat.
    PS: my great great grand father came from northern pakistan in some small town in hills called bannu.

  18. An eye opening read.
    Thank you very much khoor for such a brilliant blog.

  19. Qrattugai Khore. Salamuna.. Thank you for your response. On a lighter note, you seem to have picked up the harshest sentence from my comments " Resultantly your blog comes out to be a harsh, out of frustration, judgmental and reactionary write up rather than a serious scholarly discourse on the issue." And I must hasten to add that it definitely is a little too harsh and judgmental and my profound apologies for that. The point was not to resist the argument itself but the way it was conveyed and you have amply clarified why you think it is required and I fully accept that at times things need to be said without concern for their scholarly quality. Having said that I would definitely like you to respond to two issues that I pointed out. One, the inherent dichotomy of wanting the best of the west while still advocating for the best ( in someone's or say your opinion) part of the eastern values as I pointed out in the initial paragraph. Secondly my assertion that there is as much need to educate the women to stand up for their rights and to take responsibility as there is need to educate the men on their obligations with regards to women.

    Pa der dranavi. ao qadar
    Riaz Papin

  20. I think we all have some bizarre elements in our collective character but in case of women, yes it is mostly true that a Pakhtun would love to sit and chat with your sister but would never allow his own sister to sit with you.

  21. I couldn't agree more regarding the double standards issue.

    1. Thank you for your readership and comments, Dr. Sadia! :)

  22. yeah agree to some extent! but not every one is like that XYZ guyz which u have come across but yes! it is the sad reality.


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