I went to the Body Shop Islamabad the other night and inside I could see three men applying lipsticks. I was shocked to see their rather aggressive, in- your face mannerism and must admit I was scared for a minute. So much that I stopped briefly before entering the shop. Immediately I felt ashamed at my reaction.

You see, I am always saddened by the options we have under the Sex category: Male or Female. What if you are none? There is a third category of people that we tend to forget. People who are normal in every way, mentally, emotionally and so on. The only thing that is different is that God did not make sexuality clear for them. And before you know it, they are emotionally battered and disabled because we do not know how to live with them.

I sometimes wonder how I never see such children in schools or in offices. I feel bad that we do not mainstream such people… or just that we do not treat them as such, i.e. as people. To be made to feel inferior, abnormal, to be shunned away through no fault of your own is not only tragic it is a catastrophe that we inflict. I wonder how they manage to live without ID cards, without education, without job opportunities, without voting rights. Can they drive? (I guess not!) How do you live knowing you are not wanted or are laughed at? How would you feel if you were one of them?

I read somewhere that Islam grants them a high status but of course we don’t.[i] I have also read that some court rulings allowed for Eunuchs to be registered in government forms, as an E. I don’t know what the progress is there but I can only hope.

I wonder how my daughter would react to seeing such children. If she meets and interacts with them now, she will be far more tolerant and well, less judgmental than her mother. She may not hesitate to enter a shop where they are.

Their aggressive behavior reminded me of the usual saying that women make terrible bosses. Now I know for a fact that women have to work harder to be accepted in the workplace. That being a guy’s supervisor is the hardest thing for a woman for she is never accepted as such. She is discriminated against based on her age, size, dress etc so much so that she has to be aggressive, in your face to be seen, to be heard and to be noticed. It is common that the minute we are insecure and vulnerable we utilize such behavioral tools to demand attention and respect. These ‘men’ were doing the same. Coping with our inability to give them respect.

I have been taught to feel sorry for them throughout my life.

Now I feel sorry for myself.


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