photo courtesy of yasmine
I’m really disheartened that the focus of some Imams, after the gruesome murder of Aasiya Hassan, is on marriage mediation and conflict resolution. While I don’t have a problem with either of those, once there has been violence within a marriage, these are just not an adequate selection of options. Prophet Muhammad permitted and even presided over the divorce of Zainab from Zayd, then married her himself to remove her stigma, making her one of the most revered women among Muslims everywhere. Zainab’s reason for wanting a divorce? She didn’t like Zayd; she wasn’t in love with him. She didn’t find him attractive.
So, tomorrow we’re leaving for Islamabad, God willin’. My husband’s stomach is all Pakistanified—he’s having the true experience, poor guy. I’m wondering if we should cancel our delayed Northern travels altogether, but he’s really keen to go.
Yesterday, after much repeated insistence, we were given enough liberty to go out around town with Dinu Bhai. Everyone’s terribly protective and feels responsible for us, so sweet as it is, it’s a bit difficult to act like an adult. Also, this idea of going out wandering without a particular purpose has limited currency here. The idea is that you (women or mixed gender groups) go out with a particular purpose. Only men seem to just hang around in public space in Hyderabad. It’s pre-feminist revolution: men own the public sphere. Even fairly overt and dramatic affection between men is tolerated in public, while even minimal affection between sexes, even spouses, is just not seen and, I’m told, not tolerated in public. This is generally accepted as an appropriate exercise of modesty. I suppose affection between women is generally alright here, but because women are generally only in public with some business, you just don’t see it.