We are posting this provocative piece by Qandeel Sham, a regular contributor at the Pak Tea House. The views expressed here are Qandeel’s and the purpose of this series of posts is to examine the unspeakable problems of our society – sex or lack thereof, being one of them. As Qandeel puts it: “We keep our mouths shut; we’re good at pretence, all for the sake of social propriety…”
Further contributions on this subject are welcome.
I’m told by reliable sources that there are villages in Pakistan where Rs. 20-50 can buy you sex with a cow. You also have sheep, goat, dog, donkeys, etc. Others prefer their mammals more aquatic, and perhaps someone ought to inform WWF that zooerastia is the reason dolphins have become so endangered along the Indus River.
I like that term, “zooerastia;” because we are most definitely living in a zoo – apparently one that turns us on.
Now obviously there is something disgustingly wrong with a society that pushes a man to fulfil his sexual needs in the form of bestiality. It’s despairing to consider the depths of desperation that would reduce a man to it. And the blind hypocrisy with which everyone ignores the fact, knowing full well how widespread the act is. Skilfully pretending, for their entire lives, that there is no pink elephant in the room, is truly a marvellous quality unique to Pakistanis.
Then there is the jihadi aspirantwho sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, 72 virgins waiting for him at the end of the tunnel (the tunnel he is about to blow up with his Vehicle Born Improved Explosive Device, or VBIED). What propels a young man to become a suicide striker? I’m sorry to say the answer is Freudian, only juiced up by religious fervour. “Houris hamara muntazir hain”, whispered in a very shy, lovey-dovey fashion, is something you get to hear often by these young, virile romantics. I’d laugh, had the consequences not been so tragic.
Out of curiosity and considering Pakistan’s slide into suicide-bomb anarchy ever since the Lal Masjid operation – does all this imply that every blast to hit Pakistan, that kills innocent people, introduces 72 new virgins to heaven? It doesn’t appear to be a fair trade-off, unless those killed in the suicide attack (on Planet Earth) were the same 72 virgins already destined to heaven.
I also think that there might be a strong correlation between increased “Westernisation” in Pakistan and the fantasising of 72 virgins. The perceived impurity of many Pakistani girls – kissing boys or wearing sleeveless or not keeping their gaze lowered in public, or whatever – makes more acute the yearning for a more “pure” kind of girl. Maybe these radicalised boys believe that such “pure” women no longer exist in the Land of the Pure – at least not 72 of them.
A different, but still ugly, way that sexual frustration manifests itself in Pakistan is incest, paedophilia and ‘forced’ homosexuality. There is no doubt in my mind that just about every household in Pakistan would have a story to tell about this. I knew a gay Pakistani man whose uncle would taunt him for being a “bummer.” But it was the uncle who first penetrated him when the boy was 11 years old and when the uncle himself was 27 and not yet “arrangely” married off to a girl.
We keep our mouths shut; we’re good at pretence, all for the sake of social propriety. It’s really quite despicable. Someone in Pakistan needs to open their mouth and lambaste that dirty socio-psychological system which allows these things to happen and then condones it by pretending that it didn’t. God, how I wish there was a super-priest out there somewhere who could exorcise such damning hypocrisy out of a culture.