Humans have inhabited this planet for a long time now and life, as we know it today, has evolved over the course of time. Different cultures and beliefs have found a home in different corners of the world, but one aspect, which has almost always remained static, is the domination of man over matters of the world.
It has always been man who has pushed the boundaries of history to evolve with the pace of man’s developments and discoveries – at least this is what we are told. It is man who had the leisure and the space to think about the intricacies of life and shape the life form accordingly, because women have almost always had menial roles to play.
But despite his achievements – space travel, capitalist society, wars, globalisation, and technological advancements – he would have never anticipated that in the larger scheme of things, there would come a time when one of his own creations would alter the course of history.
The global political regime is in an upheaval with an apparent rise of the alt-right and nations wanting to move back to Mercantilist policies (starting from the United States itself), but what is even more important is this online global movement which is altering the layout of the society altogether. It is making its way to the nations of the world due to the interconnectivity provided by man.
It was not until October 2017 that the world realised the power of the Internet. The me too movement started out in order to highlight the prevalence of male privilege in the society, which results in sexual harassment and assault. The impact of the movement was so huge that it was not just limited to the country of its origin. Women from all corners of the world chimed in to highlight how their mobility is being fractured due to the actions of man and these incidents then go on to curb women from achieving their full potential.
Labelled as an attention-seeking tactic at first, the movement has been able to push for several concrete actions to ensure that men no longer have the argument that they have no control over their raw instincts to save them. A man who is capable of running the world is also perfectly capable to understand the respect for another person’s boundaries and their freedom to live as they please.
The trickle down effect of the movement was so huge that even countries like Pakistan – nations that are still developing and so deeply engrossed in orthodoxy – saw an online movement pushing the society to see people for who they really are and stop trying to make excuses for men. The controversial case of Meesha Shafi has found no closure because the society is too shocked to understand how a family oriented man can violate people. Some are even under the impression, despite claiming to be protectors of faith, that women must be violated if they do not follow the honour code handed to them by the men of the society.
Although this movement was marred by the political developments in the country but as those tensions have subsided, this conversation has made its way to the Punjab Bar Council for printing a misogynistic comment – one that questions the capability of women.
All of these conversations are a result of the connectivity that the Internet provides. Social media platforms have become a source of safety for individuals wanting to come out with their stories and people are being held responsible. One great example is that of Patari CEO, Khalid Bajwa, who was ousted for his misuse of authority.
Man may not realise it at this point, but the Internet is slowly but surely pushing for change in societies. Conversations, which were once labelled as women drama, are now being heard. Laws are being made and it might just be the fear of being labelled as a violator that might push for women’s space in the society.
The question, however, is will man set the basis of a matriarchal society or will he let go of his made up ego due to years of domination to understand that these are two peas in a pod and meant to work together? These successive developments will lay the course of a new world order – one that he may be able to control but we all know, emotional intelligence has never been the forte of man.
The writer is a member of staff.