The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has done it again! In the happiest tidings of the year, they have decreed, amongst other things, that women can be judges after forty! As a woman, I am overjoyed. I didn’t do a law degree because I was skeptical of my career trajectory as a Muslim woman in a Muslim state. After all, not everyone wants to just practice law in courts and offices and NGOs, some of us have aspirations that go beyond saving innocent people and keeping children out of jail and working tirelessly to defend the wronged. I always wanted to be called Milord, wearing flowing black robes and an imposing pair of glasses. Like Ruth Bader Ginsburg… only desi style. And now I can! Being in my thirties, I have enough time to read for a degree in law and be all set to join the benches of the mighty, like that judge who kissed Mumtaz Qadri. I’m very excited indeed.

What is more, the Council says that when women turn forty they achieve a “mature age”. Joining the ranks of words like “decent”, a “mature lady” will quite sensibly and modestly lose the bloom of youth and vigour, descending into shrunken, grey, Miss Havisham like unattractiveness. She is like a widow in Indian films, clad in white, hair going grey, looking down in the mouth (undoubtedly needing dentures quite soon). The esteemed Chairman of the CII quite rightly points out that such ladies are patently unmarriageable. Quite right. It’s so obvious. So women after forty: decrepit, ergo unmarriageable. Excellent judge material, because everyone knows that after forty your eggs and ovaries and other lady innards dry up, so you can’t have any children and are quite free from all those strange emotions that would cause you to make bad judge decisions, like empathy or disgust. For instance, imagine someone in a lady judge’s court wanting custody of a child, or a murder case. The child’s future would obviously make any woman’s heart contract and eyes well up with uncontrollable tears, and a murder case, with all its terrible details about blood and who shot whom and all the awful violence would just make any young woman swoon. But not a lady after forty. A forty-plus woman is a woman of steel. You could never persuade her with emotions, that thing women are so susceptible to be overpowered by. Even women who fight over lawn prints are just being too emotional, because they are so young and foolish. You’d never catch a forty-plus woman even within ten feet of a lawn store. Forty-plus women only wear khaddar or plain marina.

Children would also involve conception, another disgusting and immoral thing for old ladies to contemplate, let alone be party to. Men are eternally youthful, vigorous and fertile, so that isn’t a conversation one need have at all. Just look at the late King Abdullah, he reportedly married thirty times and had more than forty children. What a dynamic man, full of gusto, living till the amazing age of ninety. He obviously knew how to live life well; otherwise he wouldn’t have made it so long. I for one am really looking forward to this after-forty life. I don’t know what I’ll do with my husband, because he will obviously be so disappointed at his wife turning into an old, legal-savvy bat… but what to do? The CII has already said that the Marriage Law has been “a waste of time”, because technically in Islam nobody—and by that I mean men, of course—need ask their wives permission before marrying again, so I suppose he can seek greener, younger pastures quite easily. I wouldn’t mind. It’s his right, because he will be young his whole life and how awful for him to have to put up with decaying, eyesore, me. I suppose I’ll be too busy with my booming legal career to care anyway. The children will be grown up too, and maybe less prone to falling off chairs and splitting their chins and bleeding everywhere. Heaven knows I fainted every time there was a bloody face or worms or dangling teeth or raging midnight fevers. Everyone knows mothers are so soft and gentle that the amazingly graphic and disgusting travails of child-bearing-and-rearing render them utterly incompetent to make any real, rational decisions. Which is precisely why they have no business dealing with the law on such an important level.

That privilege should be entrusted to men, who always are so sensible and level-headed. Just look at how our assembly and parliament sessions are conducted, with all the men sitting so decorously and listening patiently to everyone just like they do in England in the House of Commons. I’m certain that whenever anyone brings a lota to an assembly session it’s because their wife handed it to them on their way out and they absent-mindedly brought it along. And if some of them try to hit the other it’s really just a way of expressing their esteem, like a hug, but just a really tight and painful one. And of course there are all those nice men judges who let all the misunderstood freedom fighters out of jail and let rapists off the hook and put the alleged victims in jail instead. Alleged of course, because there’s no knowing women, having trysts with several men at the same time and then crying rape. Even the CII knows this, because they know that there’s no knowing when women want to be married so men should just go ahead with it. Women don’t know what they want, other than to be married and make shami kebabs. Heaven knows I don’t know anything either, only how to be an obedient, pretty wife and nice, fragrant mother. Which is why I’m so excited about my forties. I’ll finally have a chance to be someone, and it’s all thanks to the CII!