We are a very opinionated nation, and we make sure that we are heard loud and clear. The louder, the clearer actually. To those who feel we’re way too blunt, let’s pin one thing down – we weren’t taught to mince words and we don’t have a thing for political correctness. Deal with it.

We are also not very big on always making sense, especially, when it comes to issues that we are sensitive to. Everything we talk about has a religiously or a politically polarizing angle. Hence, the response and reaction reflect said sensitivities, and the world may go to hell if it burns.

The real issues that really matter to us are the ones that need to be discussed:

Oh sure, he is very talented but is he Sunni?

A few months ago, some Facebook page that obviously had nothing better to do than to make up stories for its survival, posted a totally useless question regarding Pakistan television’s rising star Osman Khalid Butt. Why useless? Because it did nothing to question Osman’s skills or merit as an actor but rather invited discussion over his religious beliefs.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a page, a person, a channel, or any entity in Pakistan has opened up someone else’s personal beliefs for public discussion merely for fun, to get back at or for shock value. It happened to Muhammad Jibran Nasir not too long ago. It happens with anybody who either challenges the status quo in any field or is gaining fame for something positive.

You want to discredit someone’s lifelong hard work? Just opine on how you think he/she is a member of [insert unpopular belief]. In fact, just say the word Qadiani and watch the fireworks. If we can trash a Nobel Laureate for that crime, we can bury anyone alive. And if, unfortunately, the accused is not Ahmadi, then move on to mention Shia. No? Accused is a Sunni? Ok, what type of Sunni? Touchdown! Now, you may proceed to nitpick till kingdom come. The accused is as good as convicted and gone.

Oh sure, it’s a national tragedy but it happens.

I heard this when Malala was shot (she was still a good girl back then). I heard this when APS slaughter happened. I heard this when Kasur rape tapes emerged. There are always well-meaning patriots who tell you how your area/country is not the only one where these atrocities happen.

‘I mean look at America. 2345ghutbsnxx67% rape there. 786594opliknq5888% gun violence too. They also had slavery just about 8 months ago. It only ended when Obama signed a bill. But they don’t defame their nation like those screaming vicious parents of dead kids or raped kids or enslaved kids! They’re all doing this because they hate Pakistan.’

It doesn’t end here. There always is concern over what the liberals (aka the candle mafia) are doing. Or rather what are they not doing this time. And of course, why is that person that we don’t like much is doing getting involved in an issue that we don’t want to tackle? Cue: Reham Khan was thrashed for her role in speaking out for the children of Kasur. I mean really? You need a permit for that?!

Oh sure, there are no bare necessities but we need more Metro because progress.

This targets, but is not limited to, the current government, of course.

There’s no food, power supply, water supply, jobs, schools, gas, security, competence, intelligence, freakin roads to drive freakin Metro on but we need more of just that Metro!

Who needs dams, drainage systems, planned cities, hospitals, anti-terrorism forces that actually terrorize the terrorists and not the citizens for a change, competent police, judiciary that delivers justice, a land free of feudal lords and parasitical leaders – we have Metro. That’s all we need. Can’t you see how beautifully the floors sparkle when the first rains of monsoon flood the Metro stations? In fact, whoever mentions flood control must be sentenced to a 1,000 lashes. That’s a new farmaan still being drafted (and you didn’t hear it from us).

Metro – It’s a cure-all thing our Prime Minister has come up with. Like Burnol and toothpaste.

Oh sure, we respect women – until they opine.

And then, we turn to an ugly shade of misogyny.

Pakistani women are highly esteemed as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives as far as the proverbial respect goes. In reality, all these women performing all these roles are constantly fighting the pressures of a horribly misogynist societal mindset. Most women give in. They prefer to stand by their men since that’s where the security blanket is coming from. In fact, it is these women that do the most harm. I’m guessing Pakistani women would do better if the misogynist women of our country took note of what the hell they’re up to!

Back to what I was saying, an opinionated woman is a threat. Be it Mawra Hocane (we all know that story) or Aunty Pakistan.

We just want our women to be nice, good girls who may only think/dream/say what the Master (father, husband, son, brother) approves of. Those who break these rules, those who are supported by men and women who help them break these rules have invited war. And they will be attacked fiercely.

Oh sure, pedophilia is on the rise but it’s the women who need hijab.

I’m not even going to get into the religious aspect of how much and why women are supposed to cover up. Instead, I will briefly touch upon what religion demands of men in terms of hijab. Men are ordered to control their urges. Men are ordered to lower their gaze. Men are ordered to respect women.

I can’t believe that even after Kasur, even after a rape video going viral at the expense of the victim’s everything, even after revelation of how rampant bacha baazi is, even after stories of goons stripping down innocent girls because they or their families refused to be sold into bondage or marriage or such, some of our cultural/religious experts have the audacity to come on TV and demand that it’s the women who must be covered up, that Valentine’s day be banned, that it’s the movies of some other countries causing all this chaos.

What stupid pills are these guys popping?

A 14 year old boy – a boy – threw himself under the train after being humiliated by the police when he reported his rape. Should that boy have been in a burqa too to avoid rape? What about the boys in Kasur? And the 5-year old boy raped by the Imam inside his own mosque? This one is just too full of irony to be ever not be shocking. By the way, how sexual is a five year old anyway – regardless of gender?

80% (actually make that 99.99%) of our women wear some form of a cover-up – chador, burqa, dupatta – so, exactly why is there emphasis on covering the women more and only women while the men continue to gloat indiscriminately? Truth is, none of this would make an iota of difference if the men of our society aren’t taught to behave themselves. The only cause for rape is the rapist. That is all.

Like I said earlier, we are an opinionated nation and we like to speak our minds. My only wish is this privilege will extend to all of our nation and be practiced with responsibility. Discussion is healthy but arguments for the sake of arguing never bring healthful change.