Pakistan’s classical literature: female voice, imagined and real

Aware of reality of woman’s historical situation, they are out to challenge the prevalent class structure and patriarchy: The Dawn

No doubt man has an unbreakable bond with female voice. The first thing he hears is female voice, the voice of his mother when he is unable to even open his eyes as a newly born baby.

For many years the same voice, affectionate and soft, remains the magical voice for the growing male child. But as he grows up, he begins to be attracted by another voice, the voice of his father, firm and emphatic, that has a tinge of authority emitting an unmistakable sign of soft power.

Slowly and gradually the voice of affection starts receding and that of authority becomes loud with its alluring reverberations. It’s not that a male child in the process of growing up stops hearing the female voice. He does hear it but develops the habit of taking it less seriously as he sees and experiences important matters of family and social life being decided by the patriarch’s voice in ‘full throated ease’. Affection pitched against power loses its pull. The phenomenon is socially structured rather than natural. It’s a product of long historical process driven by undeclared war between genders the end of which is still not in sight. What we see is fully entrenched patriarchy and its dominance taken by men not as a social construct but as a socio-biological reality.

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