Image credit: Leshuimat
On that post, Faisal.K of Deadpan Thoughts wrote a comment that I was likely to find plenty of "western" toilets for my son to use while we were in Pakistan. He also said "
And I was like - YES! Exactly! (except I still did come across a lot of squat toilets - but still YES!)
One of the worst ways this problem manifested for M and I was when it came to Pakistani women. He's not one. Of course. But whenever I had questions that pertained to Pakistani women, in the beginning, I still only had him to ask. I ended up elbow deep in one man's version and memories of an entire people. Luckily my husband had some small bit of diversity among his friends, so I did know that there was more out there to explore. But you know what he didn't have - not at all? He didn't have an female friends. It was years before I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the Pakistani woman's experience. Or what I did know was what had trickled down through M - a Pakistani man's view of the Pakistani female condition. Which was perhaps worse that not knowing anything.
That is decidedly NOT the best cultural resource available. Your (and my) husband doesn't know much about what it's like to be a woman in Pakistan. My husband once told me that his sister wasn't allowed to drive or take the family camera to school on her last day because she was naive and might break it or lose it. When I asked him how his sister felt about these restrictions - she's a doctor for God's sake, responsible for human lives but not trusted with a digital camera - he said she was fine with it. NOW I think, maybe she is/was, but how the heck would he know? Pakistani men, especially in or below my husband's socio-economic class, don't always have much interaction with women on a daily basis. In my experience, this can lead to very skewed, inaccurate portrayals of Pakistani women's lives. I have at times felt that Pakistani women and I had nothing in common and would probably never make any kind of lasting connection, (or worse, that some of them were out to get me) but thanks to a few amazing women I met who blasted that perception out of the water and helped me see things from their side. I came to appreciate even Aunties . Well, not all of them. Some of them really are judging every move I make. But some of them are really lovely people who can teach me a lot of things! Because things are better when I have a more accurate, fuller picture things.
However, I still haven't figured out how to get M to stop complaining about the prices of things. (It's been more than a decade already, what the heck does he expect!??!)