Acid attacks, like rape, is one of the most atrocious crimes against women. The pain aside, the assault has a permanent impact on the victim, with emotional trauma that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Yet another woman was attacked in Lahore on Tuesday, and is lying on a hospital bed in critical condition. Huma Shahzad, a 24-year-old lecturer in UMT Lahore was travelling in a rickshaw in a busy bazaar when two unidentified men on a motorcycle threw acid all over her face and upper body. Her life has been turned upside down in a single instant only ten days before her wedding, and one can only wonder what malicious thoughts led her assailants to this point. How do people like her attackers justify their actions to themselves and function normally on a daily basis?

The hatred and misogyny behind throwing acid on women is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. The worth of a woman is seen to be calculated by her beauty and ruining the face is seen as the perfect way to make her worthless in the eyes of her family and the rest of the community. This objectification leads to the formulation of stereotypes which also has a negative impact on the status of women in the social order. Our misogynistic society has no issues with the way women are treated, because no matter what most people say on the surface, they have double standards for the sexes, and will defend these views self-righteously claiming that this is the way nature intended it to be. Recorded history displays nothing but the most blatant and heinous signs of patriarchy, and clearly civilization has not developed enough to move past these odious principles that attempt to justify unnatural stratification.

150 women are attacked by acid in Pakistan every year. As is the norm, the laws that are supposed to protect women against such brutality remained unused and only exist as a means of telling the world that we are against the idea, when in reality we are all complicit by not being able to stop inhuman acts that are designed to maim and torture. Most will read about it and be horrified, but will move on a minute later. The women that are attacked are not given proper rehabilitation or any aid from the government or anyone else, and are expected to function as if nothing were amiss. And yet, for them nothing will ever be the same.