After reading Fifty Shades of Gray, we never thought we’d read a more nonsensical piece of writing. But hats off to Umnia Shahid’s articles, we were proved wrong.

Her crusade against feminism isn’t new, though her latest column has stirred the pot a bit much to the joy of all misogynist forces in the country. We wouldn’t be surprised if the CII actually presents her articles as evidence to back up their criticisms against the Women Protection Act.

Ms. Shahid’s writing is full of tripe but let us thank her first for bringing the topic of feminism to the table. Let us take this opportunity to talk about feminism. To define what it is and why we, the WOMEN, need it.

Well, for one thing, if you’re a woman who thinks you matter – you’re a feminist. BOOM! There. Welcome to Hell.

But before you die of fear of the label, let’s take it further. What exactly is feminism?

Feminism is “to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”

It is the belief that women are and should be treated with the same intellectual and social equals as that of a man. Everyone thinks only women can be feminists. Nothing could be further from the truth; both men and women can be feminists.

Yes, there are some differences and women are certainly designed differently from men but these differences are not what should determine where a woman can stand in a society in regards to capabilities and civil rights.

Feminists are dedicated to fighting the ignorance that leads to ridicule of women as a lesser being.

That is it. That really is all there is to it.

Some argue that feminists are just men-hating women. They want to put men down. Eat them alive. They want to cheat on them and be called progressive. They don’t want families. They don’t want homes. Just be the boss of all the men.

All this would be inaccurate if you keep the definition in mind. It is just about equality. And no, not the equality that some bring up in regards to giving up a seat, or opening a door. That is just basic courtesy and does not fall into this argument. We’d expect a young woman to vacate her seat in honor of an elderly man as well. If she didn’t, she’d be rude.

If you read the aforementioned definition 10 times, each time you will come to the same conclusion. Feminism is the right for a girl to go to school just like a boy. If the female is as qualified as her male counterpart, then to be paid the same salary. To be given the same opportunities. Homemakers can be feminists too. A mother who chooses to take care of her children and stay at home because she made the choice for the good of her family, can also be a feminist.

Some stats to consider - In Pakistan, honor killing is at an astounding 1,000 per year (just the reported cases) where the majority killed are women.

Recently, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Oscar winning documentary A Girl in the River that explores the subject of honor killing was screened in a university in Pakistan. Reportedly, the male students started cheering and clapping when the father killed his own daughter, in the presence of their female colleagues. What do you call this utter disregard of human decency if nothing else?

Women have to live within a strict structured honor code otherwise they are killed for violation. In the cases of Karo Kari, it is nearly always the woman who gets punished.

If a man says NO to a woman, that will usually be the end of it. But in many cases if a woman says No to a man, acid may be thrown on her to punish her. Even policemen in Pakistan who are there to protect everyone have been guilty of this crime. In the West, many times, Revenge Porn exists where scorned men post women’s intimate and personal pictures on the Internet as revenge and as a means to humiliate her in front of everyone. All this is due to the fact that women are not seen as equals.

So when one says that they don’t need feminism just simply because they don’t personally go through these issues is really bizarre.

If at all they are living a comfortable life it just shows how far feminism has gotten them. The fact that women can vote, go to a school, that a woman can be a country’s leader, it is all attributed to the struggle of feminism over the years.

The fact that there are women scientists. The fact that Dr. Mavalvala was part of the team that discovered gravitational waves. The fact that Zubeida Apa comes on TV and gives ‘totkas’ telling women how to be better housewives. The fact that there are female doctors and professors. The fact that women can drive. The fact that women can write and be published.

Yes, Ms. Shahid. The fact that YOU were able to write an article in a newspaper, albeit an idiotic one, is all due to the struggle of feminists over the years. You should thank them for all the right reasons.

There is no denying that there is crime against men, but feminism does not belittle that or throw that to the side in favor of its own. Feminists simply concentrate on women more.

Having said all that, let’s look at Miss Shahid’s article and analyze, perhaps, even try to answer her questions. Here goes:

First things first — I want to acknowledge your efforts. Yes, I do. Because your version of modern feminism has made me sympathise with men and stand up for their rights so much more than I ever did before. Thanks, modern feminism. You’re performing one terrific service.

Why, darling, you’re so welcome. It’s perfectly OK to sympathize with men where and if they’re wronged. In fact, one should. If you don’t then you’re not human and we, the feminists, don’t want you around.

Let’s clarify something once and for all — women have issues that men don’t and men have hitches that women don’t because women are dissimilar to men and men are completely unlike women. Yes, that’s about it. I’m done. Half of you feminists can go home now. I unscrambled the dilemma.

Go home now? Uhm…no. If that argument had solved anything in the world of oppressed women we might’ve budged but it didn’t so we won’t. Pray tell how does the fact that men and women are dissimilar solve any of the women’s issues related to say domestic abuse, rape, pay inequality, education, honor killing, marriage and more? Are you saying that because men aren’t like women, they WILL beat up women because ‘boys will be boys’ or they are entitled to?

For those of you who are still not swayed by my argument, I now bombard you with a couple of questions: did you know that hundreds of Third World boys are viciously murdered on a daily basis but all everyone (including media and feminazis) talk about are the girls who are kidnapped or tortured. Am I suggesting that women’s issues should be ignored? Absolutely not! My point here is — both men and women’s issues need consideration and deliberation.

So, you’re furious because men’s issues aren’t talked about. OK fair enough. Please, talk about it by all means but do tell how does trashing people who have brought up women’s issues to the front help with highlighting men’s issues? Ever heard the wise saying that working for someone else’s failure won’t make you successful because the only way YOU will be successful is if you work for it? Do talk about oppressed men but not at the cost of trashing those who talk about oppressed women. That won’t help your ‘meninist’ agenda.

Did you know that Third World boys make up possibly more than half of all sexually exploited children but we’ll never know for sure because feminism makes certain that most statistics and studies conducted are about girls!

Yes, because they are FEMINISTS. They work for ‘femmes’ by default, hence, the title, DUH!  Read this line about 5 times maybe then basic common sense might seep in.  Maybe perhaps you could take the first step and instead of complaining about what the feminists are doing to help women, do something to help the men? Perhaps compile said data on said crimes and help humanity thrive and make this world a better place to live in for all. I mean the feminists are just concentrating on women. Since you are not one, you could do the Bismillah for men? Amen to that!

Dear feminists, embed in your mind that not everyone wants to make the same lifestyle choices as you. Not everyone has the same constitutional views as you. And this may surprise you, but many women who confine themselves to societal norms don’t believe they’re oppressed at all. Stop implying that women need your help just because they’re the weaker gender. You couldn’t be more erroneous.

Agreed! Not every woman wants to be educated because schoolwork is hard and learning is tough as it leads one to think outside the box and a thinking woman is not a sellable commodity. Not every woman trapped in an abusive relationship wants to get rid of her abusive husband because divorce is such a stigma, she’ll be buried alive anywhere she goes so why not tolerate the grave in her husband’s house plus if there are children involved, it’s better to let them see and learn the same behaviors because to even comprehend the psychological damage abusive households do to kids needs some education but mom never went to school and dad couldn’t care less or why else would he be abusive so… yeah. Not every woman wants to report rape either because how will she or her family bear the victim shaming and demonization? Not every woman wants to report honor killing because she’s either dead or related to the killer and wouldn’t want to end up dead by reporting it. Not every woman wants to report job harassment as well because she wouldn’t want to get fired and be wrongly labeled a slut as she needs a job, if not this then another, maybe to feed her family because there may not be a man in her life who earns for her or may be the man in her life needs her to earn for whatever reasons. Pray tell which ‘societal norms’ do the feminists stand up against that are so valuable for you to protect?

And assuming that women are the “needier and feebler” gender is extremely immature. In summary, women can think for themselves, as can men. You aren’t the boss of mindsets and it’s not up to you to decide which gender needs more reflection. Fact is, your own mindset is in need of an overhaul. Your movement couldn’t be more flawed — and that’s still an understatement.

That’s what we feminists say to the men. To the men who try to control women, oppress women, try to tell women they can't think for themselves, make them believe they are weak and feeble and needy and cannot take care of themselves. So, your point is….?

Oh, magnificent! So, basically, you care about how men can be easily and falsely accused of physical abuse and rape and not have their word taken by authorities, even if the woman was in fact the perpetrator who framed him. Is your ‘movement’ also concerned about how men are still always expected to be the primary breadwinners due to societal expectations; are still expected to manoeuvre under the rubrics of ‘valour’ in an ecosphere of alleged parity; are estimated to be brawny and hard-hitting, and subsequently, very often, won’t be solaced either as kids or adults. So, you’re also telling me that feminists are deeply affected by how men are relentlessly enforced with bogus notions, such as being privileged and advantaged, even though we all know countless women who could be termed as the same. Are you telling me you agree with the statistic that women are chronically encouraged to enter male-dominated fields but men are persistently deterred from entering female-dominated fields? Also, how, thanks to the grotesque actions of a minority group of psychos, men are assumed to be possessed with the rapist gene?

Gosh you babble a lot!

I’m sorry, is that how you talk to your kid’s doctor when he refuses to check you and tells you to go see an adult people’s doctor because he is a pediatrician meaning is only licensed to see kids and not adults? Because that’s what you sound like right now – HEY FEMINIST! WHY YOU ONLY TALK ABOUT FEMALES? We are not sure how many times this needs to be written before you get it but er… because ‘feminists.’ But to answer your idiotic (we are being polite here) questions – yes, we sympathize deeply with oppressed men, and no, our movement isn’t concerned about men because FEMINISM is for voicing women’s rights but we’d love to be invited to a men’s movement that doesn’t squash women in any way or form or manner. Kapish? Your argument is like people dissing AA on why they don’t talk about juices.

Feminists are not ‘oppressed’; oppression occurs in countries where deviating from the common ‘limits of order’ results in execution and torture. I don’t recall feminists ever being callously thrown in prison in this generation due to their incessant bashing of men, do you?

No, genius, feminists aren’t the ones oppressed because they are the ones who have broken the shackles and now know how not to be oppressed. Feminists may not be thrown in jail for their crime of deviating from the common ‘limits of order’ but WOMEN certainly are executed, tortured and thrown into jail. And to stand up for those women who are wronged in such ways is known as feminism. A concept so scary to you, you probably don’t even know what it means.

While feminists nonchalantly label men as autocrats, there are gazillions of men (along with women) serving in NGOs and Peace Corps, trying to prevent the actual abuse of women — all while preserving fundamental human rights. Statistics are heavily imprecise on male domestic abuse due to men not reporting these crimes — in fear of being emasculated by society.

Yes, hats off to all those men. And believe it or not, those MEN are all feminists, which is exactly why they are working for women’s rights and raising a voice to bring awareness to issues that matter to women. Learn a little from them please. And think about why men suffering from domestic abuse don’t report it. You said it yourself – for ‘fear of being emasculated by society’. Why? Because patriarchy. MEN are the supposed masters who control women so if the tables are turned in a situation, it becomes shameful for a man to admit it. Our society has labels like ‘Zan Mureed’ even for men who are simply good to their good wives.

I don’t doubt that women and children can be or are abused by men, but I ask you, how many men are paying for a child that was spawned from an unfaithful woman?

I’m not even sure what this means. Are you applauding the men who unknowingly nourish illegitimate children? Because chances are if the husband knew the kid was a bastard, the wife and kid would be dead. In a culture where a girl is killed on her first night in the marriage bed on mere suspicion of not being a virgin, you think a husband like hers would spare a wife who’d cheated on him? What on earth are you talking about?

To end this argument and to lay the fear of feminism to rest once and for all – if you think women are people too and deserve equal rights as men, we hate to inform you, you are a feminist.

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.” ― Cheris Kramarae