What is Law?
Published in Daily Times Pakistan.
Law – such a usual everyday word, a word we all know and we all follow- but what does it really mean? What does it symbolize? And why is it significant – if it is significant?
Law is the foundation, the basis or the building blocks of a civilized society. In reference to the business world, if you considered the civil world a business, law would be the mission statement that leads to the fulfillment of the business vision. So really Law is a set or body of procedures and principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration of justice. I think Ronald Devorkin has the right idea, law is an “interpretive concept”, lawyers and judges perceive the facts, evidence and case before deciding which law can be applied where. Every law (accept a few exceptions) have loopholes, that can be used to go around said laws. Therefore the way the designated laws are perceived decisions are made.
A negative perception of law could be that it is a means of oppression. Ensuring that the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. This Marxist approach can be considered valid in the case of third world countries like Pakistan. This is true because the level of corruption has reached heights beyond our imagination. It’s interesting how the laws active in a country/community tells you a lot about that area’s culture and values. By looking at what they perceive lawful/unlawful or just/unjust, really helps you interpret their mindset. This is why I compared the Law to a mission statement, it gives you an understanding of the brand and that therefore facilitates you to reach your end goal –your vision.
Law can also be considered an egg vs chicken situation in association with crime. “Law is a description of a direct link between cause and effect of a phenomenon deduced from experiments and/or observations.” Cause and effect: Newton said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, therefore to every crime there is a law and to break any law is a crime. Could a pre-decided set of rules created to annihilate all inappropriate practices actually lead to more crime? It’s seems law is a paradox.
So then what is law? How can it be defined? Law is a set of rules and regulations passed after conscious deliberation and analysis of the people and the society said to administer justice by the state or in the way of the Sovereign (i.e. Shariah). Like every other verbal or written communication this is also perceived and interpreted differently by different people therefore making it an interpretive concept.
In conclusion, Law is of the people, by the people and for the people.
Published on WWF Pakistan’s Blog
People say the woods are scary, I hear them whispering about it when they’re passing through. I never understood why, maybe it was because they didn’t know it as well as I thought I did. It was the only place I’ve ever called home. My daddy brought us to this part of the forest when the elder called for our species to grow. They used a very hard word, something like extension or extinction – mommy said he meant us deer were dying out. So I left my friends behind and followed my parents all the way here.
It seemed we were the only ones here, until my daddy went looking one day and came back with a few females. I didn’t like them; they made my mommy made angry all day.
One day the three of us decided to search for something extra yummy to eat. I was so happy, jumping and racing both of them, chasing butterflies. Sometime mid dinner, daddy got away to check on something and didn’t come back. When mommy and I went back home, the female deer were whispering about him running away with someone. I really didn’t like them, I wish the elders hadn’t ordered daddy to find them. Mommy didn’t talk to me that night, she was very sad. She sat by the pond all day. I missed my friends; with daddy gone there was no one to play with here.
Days passed, daddy didn’t come back. Mommy tried very hard to play with me but it just wasn’t the same. After daddy, mommy was in charge, she went in search of more of us just like daddy used to. Leaving on her excursions, she would would give me instructions on how to get by. That made me feel so grown up – finally a grown deer.
As time went by, I grew. I understood things better, met different creatures and animals, some I wish I hadn’t. One night, I accompanied mother on her expedition to find more of our family from other forests but this time around we faced an unexpected surprise. He came out of nowhere, with big antlers and a mean, vicious face. He had captured her and there was nothing I could do. My antlers weren’t anywhere as big as his. So just like that my mom was gone.
I walked alone that night for the first time. The darkness was daunting, the sounds terrifying. I was alone, a lonely underage deer with no idea what purpose or existence meant. I stopped in my track and tried, tried to find an answer. But I was clueless; I couldn’t recall a single conversation with anyone about what to do when something like this happened.
This was it, this was what those people meant about the woods being scary.
Gender Equality? #DontMancriminate
Published in Daily Times Pakistan.
It’s the era of women empowerment and feminism is at its peak. Even third world countries like Pakistan are passing bills prohibiting domestic violence against women. Could the resurfacing of the #DontMancriminate campaign be because of bruised male egos? Or was the battle of the sexes coming to an unjust verdict?
In late June 2015, Maggcom (The Indian online lifestyle magazine) started an online campaign called #DontMancriminate, which aimed to promote equality for men and women alike — with the emphasis on men. As nothing on the internet ever dies, this campaign has wormed its way out once again.
The call for gender equality is becoming more and more sexist over the years, in the most unique ways. The arguments feminists make against men and the patriarchal society we live in are rebutted by the “manists” and their concerns. The foundation of feminism and manism is not to promote gender equality but to create a foundation for each gender to say they have been wronged. So is gender equality possible? Has gender discrimination decreased, or is it all just a façade?
Women are perceived to be timid, vulnerable and fragile due to historical oppression they faced. Today, crimes against women are rising and the only thing people do about it is argue whether it’s because the girl wore provocative clothes or whether the boy just desperate? The argument becomes a manist vs feminist cry fest. The feminists claiming that all men look at women with devious eyes and Manists’ claiming that the male gender is stereotyped to be criminals or bad.
Today, there is a growing trend of objectifying women in leading multinational advertisements. It is quite obvious and not at all subtle as it once used to be. Objectivity is the main concern of all feminists; in fact it is the main point that wins arguments against manists. Women are strategically placed in adverts to either come off as seductive or be a tad bit revealing. This has become very common not only for adverts referring to fashion or makeup but for beverage, snack and technology adverts to name a few. Manists counter argue that men face objectivity too and whilst that may be considered true, it is not nearly as common as that with women.
This may seems like a small point but it says a lot about people and society. These advertisements are tailor made to appeal to the target market and since we are the target market it seems we will only buy a product if a female is portrayed in a particular way; which in turn really exposes the reality of our narrow-mindedness. The points raised by the ‘don’t mancriminate’ campaign are great. It is perfectly justified to demand that females wait in line, or carry their own heavy weight etc if gender equality is what we’re aiming for. But with laws also passing to oppress wives and other sexist perspectives society owns it is very clear that in this fight for gender equality, personal biasness and at times spite seem to shadow the word equality. We may be going far in our fight against gender discrimination, but folks we haven’t moved an inch in our fight for gender equality. So if we aren’t achieving or frankly even aiming to achieve gender equality then what are we really trying to achieve?