This is the story about girls who`re not girls. Girls who can`t run around. Girls who can`t play. Girls who all the time have to give a second thought to what they`re doing. Girls who can`t laugh hard in public. Girls who`re not worth it if they don`t know how to do cooking. Girls who have to cover themselves before they step out of the door, because they`re girls and they can`t make themselves look pretty in front of boys and men. Girls who`re yelled at because they leave the house for a couple of minutes. Girls who aren`t allowed to do this and that, because they`re girls. Girls, but not humans.
I`ve been in Pakistan this year. Not only once, but twice. My last time was years ago, and I knew on purpose what was ahead of me. Or, maybe I didn`t. Or else, I wouldn`t have been writing this. I have seen and heard things which just aren`t suitable for my poor ears. I hear a lot of rubbish, and happily I`m not one of those who bow down and do as I`m asked to if I don`t like what the person in front of me is saying. But unfortunately, not everybody`s got ears like mine.
I was there due to two weddings, and the first night I and the other kids were playing outside. The “grown ups” were sitting inside, talking for what felt like 10 years, so we decided to go outside and play a little. In front of the house there`s a big space. While playing, some of the grown ups showed up and said we can`t play outside, because “girls shouldn`t be running around.” Excuse me, but what the hell? Pakistanis are too busy thinking about honour and respect, and according to them it`s a shame if someone notices us girls running around, playing. Seriously? That`s just pathetic and silly. Shouldn`t a thirteen years old girl be allowed to have a little fun? And it`s not even the kind of fun you usually think about when we mention the word “fun”. Why do we always have to hide ourselves away and not live the life we want to? This time we weren`t asking for too much. We just wanted to have some fun and laugh together, but nopsey dopsey. That`s not okay. It doesn`t look good on a girl. It doesn`t look nice. What if older men and young buys see you that way? Oh, yeah, then it`s a shame for the family and much whispering might take place. That cannot happen, you know, because then we`ll loose respect and honour. Oh, and you won`t get married. That`s way more important than children`s development and needs. Oh, and you won`t get a man if you don`t know how to cook.
God, this makes me ghastly irritated. I totally forgot this exists in Pakistan. There`s so much shit there, and I don`t care about what people who love Pakistan, think. I`ve seen this with my own eyes, and no matter what these psycho people say, it`s neither good or healthy for them. Already the first day I met bunches of garbage around the streets and ways, little kids as beggars and people who survive by selling bananas. This is of course sad, but it`s shocking how people live in this. They end up defending their own country and say “Everything`s best here”, while I`m about to go all like “No, not really. Don`t get me started”. Best? I have to laugh. I`m not saying this “just because I`m from Norway”. I`m saying this because I use my own brain and think independently.
I`ve met several girls in Pakistan. Some I know, some I don`t. I know their lives to some extent and my own in Norway, but they can`t understand what exists in Norway because they`ve never been told what exists outside. They don`t seem interested in my life, because I express things like “But it`s not like that in Norway”. They can`t understand it`s not like this in Norway. When I say I go to school for free at an age of 18, they can`t understand that. They have no plans to visit any other country than Pakistan at this moment, and I feel so sorry for them who`s stuck with a life like that.
This doesn`t only speak for the girls, but right now it`s about the girls. I`m so freaking tired, and then I really mean freaking tried of the treatment girls get in the country I am from. Fine, Pakistan is Pakistan, in their opinion. But then I should also be allowed to say Pakistan isn`t a good country to live in. Oh, yeah. It`s maybe not a bad country for those who don`t care about human rights, feminism, education, marriages, animal welfare, the environment and peace. It might not be a stupid country to live in for the girls who say yes to be married to a random guy just because their parents want them to. It might not be an awful country for the extremists who believe religion is everything and nothing. It might not be a bad one to breathe in for the immoral people who say sanitary and clean water is important, but still throw garbage everywhere and in no man`s land.
It saddens me when I see how people here and in other countries don`t appreciate what they have. At least you`re able to go to school, learn new things every single day and become something. At least you can play around, at least you can live more.
I just hope things change one day. This isn`t about what Islam wants, this is about humanity. About lives. Girls are girls and boys are boys, but they have one thing in common: They`re humans. Start treating them like some too.