Women are always the misplaced subjects of a nation’s honor. But what is it about a pregnant woman, in particular, that riles up the ghairat of people in India and Pakistan alike? Accomplished Indian Tennis player and one of Pakistan’s many national bhabi’s, Sania Mirza, recently graced the cover of Brunch magazine. Mirza, the wife of Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has been the subject of criticism one too many times. Sometimes for her choice of attire, other times for her nationality and pride in being an Indian. But the criticism she received for this cover just takes the cake. While a lot of unpleasantries were hurled at the force of a woman Sania, one particular comment surfaced numerous times. People were really interested in knowing where her ‘sharam‘ was. They were also quite worried about why she was doing a photo shoot when she should be resting. Oh, sorry, not ‘worried’, just overly and unnecessarily critical of Sania’s choices.
The comments revealed a general mentality of men and women alike, who pretty much treat pregnant women like they are suffering from some sort of ailment that requires nine months of hibernation. Women are treated like fragile objects who should be confined to a bed, safe and secure from the world’s gaze should people by chance get a whiff of the pregnancy. A pregnant woman is not ill. A pregnant woman’s body doesn’t have some additional honor attached to it that should protected at all costs. And becoming a mother certainly does not mean one attains society’s expected levels of solitary confinement and ‘sharam’. The only thing pregnant women in the public eye need protection from is the unnecessary scrutiny from random judgy strangers on the net. Here’s a thought: stop adding to the stress of pregnancy and impending motherhood by not being a misogynistic troll to #SaniaMirza?