Mental stress in girls from teenage to adulthood

It’s all about restricting choices

As a girl, I am a keen observer of people’s behaviour with girls while living in the same society, in fact living in the same home. The society in which we are living has double standards for girls and boys. No one made this society but we ourselves, and the clear image of our thoughts is reflected in our acts and behaviour.

Islam sets the limits of both males and females, but females, especially young girls, are treated like robots, as if they have no feelings, no emotions, no right to give an opinion and no right to choose anything for themselves, and have no right to make decisions on their own. A girl or female who goes outside her home to study or work, has to prove herself on her own behalf. The major supporting system which gives her strength, which makes her confident, is her family, specially its male members.

If they give trust to her, she feels like she can fly over the skies and can face every difficulty with ease because she feels strong. But when she is mistrusted by her own family she breaks. She feels herself a miserable person of society. Our families have double standards for their sons and daughters. They do not restrict their sons in anything but they set a dozen restrictions for daughters. because she is a girl.

They raise their sons as if they are the lions of the jungle. This gives them permission that they can do anything they want, and even break all rules and regulations which are prohibited universally and religiously. No one will ask them why they do so. If their daughters ask for their basic rights, they start scolding them that they are rude and have no sense to talk and they are advised to make do with what they are getting. Why is this not so for boys?

Unnecessary obstructions from any girl’s house made her mentally tortured. It’s not just the end, and this is the tragedy of our society. We do raise our sons like lions, but we forget to teach them basic things such as how to live, how to talk with females and how to respect them, even with their mother and sisters, how to take care of everyone’s self-respect and how to keep oneself in already set limits; so we make them savages.

We do not raise our girls like warriors so that they feel confident, face society bravely, and feel strong. We do not teach them how to survive in this cruel society, how to protect themselves, how to face the problems alone, how to take big decisions for themselves and how to tackle the opposite gender if they harass them. This is because we do not want to see our daughters independent. We want to see them dependent on their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

Even after any mistake, if any doubt will come to the male members of her house, it will be her end on the name of their so-called Ghairat (honour), without knowing the truth and without giving them a chance to explain, they are killed by their own family members.

We torture her mentally at every moment, asking why are you doing this, from whom did you get permission to do this, you have to sleep at this time, you have to awake at this time. What should she do if she can’t sleep? She wants to see a movie or drama at that time when the rest of the family members want to sleep, why are you forcing her to sleep if she doesn’t want to? She has no right to go outside with friends, she has to remain at home, so why are we not allowing her to stay at home with her own will on her choices.

What is the actual definition of Ghairat? On what premises do we define it? This Ghairat comes up in every girl-related issue. Where, by forgiving the daughters for any mistake, by lovingly understanding to tell her there is a need to forget what happened, by giving her a chance to explain herself, and where there is a need to resolve the issue with patience, we didn’t do it. Why do we not give space to girls so they can also breathe in the open air?

We raise girls to make them more sensitive than they are. From childhood we set a girl’s mind: you do not need to study more than basic, if she studies and gets higher education then mothers tell them, “you do not need to do a job, remain at home, you have nothing to do at all. What will happen if you get higher education? You will just wash dishes after studies, so why would we spent money on your studies?”

She had no right to wish. She does not even have the right to tell her likes and dislikes. She does not have the right to choose a man for marriage. She has no right to refuse a man because she does not want to marry him, she does not like him, she does not get good vibes from him, nothing at all, there is no right for her. Mothers do emotional blackmailing her by saying “I gave birth to you; I have more right upon you than anyone,” fathers by saying “My honour is upon you, you have to take care of it more than anything else,” brothers by saying “Hamari Ghairat ka masala hai (It is a matter of our honour)”. Why would we not say this to our sons that “You are also holders of our honour, you also have no right to misuse the in,dependence and trust given by us, I have more right upon you more than anyone, why? These are the double standards of our parents, siblings, family and even society because we together made this society with our own rules and regulations. Where we have the power, we make decisions for others. We play with others’ emotions. If we have power, we think we are deities.

Every reader, after reading my views, must think I am against all norms which are given by our religion and society because society also works and follows those regulations and limits which our religion allows us, that I am an Islamophobic personality. What if I am facing this too? But the truth is that I am not! I am a true Muslim girl and follow my religion from the core of my heart and stay within those limits which are given by our religion. If all of us study deeply our religion we have come to know:

How should we treat women? In which manner do we address her? How much love, care and affection must be given to her? What are her basic rights? What is her own right to her life?

She can choose what she wants, she can refuse anything because our religion gives her the right to do so. She can marry with her own will and choice. She can show her likes and dislikes and nobody can force her to do something. Then why are we doing so? Why don’t we give her choices? Why do we make egoistic problems when she asks for something, when she talks about her choice in case of marriage? We impose our decisions on her without thinking this is the matter of her whole life, no matter if she is happy or not.

We torture her mentally at every moment, asking why are you doing this, from whom did you get permission to do this, you have to sleep at this time, you have to awake at this time. What should she do if she can’t sleep? She wants to see a movie or drama at that time when the rest of the family members want to sleep, why are you forcing her to sleep if she doesn’t want to? She has no right to go outside with friends, she has to remain at home, so why are we not allowing her to stay at home with her own will on her choices.

Those who are facing this pain, stress, anxiety and mental torture every time, they know what the actual pain is. Sorry to say, but not everyone is capable of having and raising a daughter.

Zainab Naveed
Zainab Naveed
Zainab Naveed is an academic researcher and youth leader with more than three years of acting volunteering experience

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