Men Explaining My Struggles to Me

“Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t.” A lot of women must be able to relate to what Rebecca Solnit said. It is true for both the personal and the professional space in Pakistan. It’s a widely, albeit falsely held belief, that men know more and are therefore allowed to adopt a patronizing tone to explain everything to their less-knowing female peers. Even things, as Solnit says, which they know less of than us. It has happened frequently at the workplace; and is sometimes annoying, other times infuriating, and once or twice outright offensive. Like a colleague explaining to you how minorities survive in Pakistan. A colleague, who is Sunni, Punjabi, and a man, explaining to me, a Shia, Urdu speaking, woman, what it is minorities do exactly, to survive in Pakistan.

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