Manhood is a source of pride. It may mean different things to different people, but the word has a very significant connotation for every man. Within our patriarchal son-worshipping society, manhood represents power, influence and dominance. The caretaker role is alien to the Pakistani perception of manhood when understood in the context of gender relations. “Boys will be boys” mindset gives leeway and enables impunity, which grooms our males from the cradle. Parents boast of allowing their 10-year-old boys to drive a car so that they can surpass peers. Boys are not told to pick up after themselves or to clean their rooms, as these menial tasks are reserved for girls. Male children are allowed to bully little girls to further encourage the natural aggression in them. If a teenager shouts at his sister or breaks something precious to her, her mother tells her not to worry because it’s male nature. If boys have failing grades in school, their natural inclination for sports is proudly presented as an excuse. Boys are not held accountable for their actions. Prevalent in Pakistani society, these attitudes are stepping stones to become entitled men. Such men cannot control their urges because they were never reprimanded for their actions or taught self-discipline-crucial for becoming an honourable gentleman as opposed to just being a man. Patriarchy is nature’s design. However, in Pakistan, patriarchy is morphed with misogyny. Societal dogma weaves a narrative whereby men are held superior to women in strength, intellect and piety. This notion of male superiority reduces women to infantilised objects who need to be patronised and controlled. In the spiritual context, men are taught that women will form a majority of hellfire because they are ungrateful, sinful and emotionally unstable temptresses who lead men astray. Confirmation bias in religious preaching embeds misogyny in the male psyche as God’s plan. Women cannot be entrusted with positions of leadership. A man’s testimony by law carries twice as much value as that of a woman. Sons receive a lion’s share of the inheritance, as opposed to their sisters and mothers. Husbands are allowed to beat wives etc. The list of religious teachings degrading women is long. Chastised for clothing, a woman is even blamed for tectonic shifts in the earth’s crustal plates that cause earthquakes. Any woman outside the domestic turf is viewed one-dimensionally: as an object of seeking pleasure. All this segues into the binary of good women and bad women. Good women are placed in their true turf, which is inside a man’s household. In the home, they are glorified maids and sexual partners who completely lack body autonomy, since wives are a man’s tilth whose job is to unconditionally service his needs. The bad women are those claiming public space or entering professional life or those who have not entered their marital household. Such women are seen as a menace to morality and the social order. Any woman outside the domestic turf is viewed one-dimensionally, as an object of seeking pleasure. Premarital relationships with girls is a feather in a male’s cap. Many times, this extends to extra-marital relationships. The onus of all sin always rests solely upon the woman as she is judged for dating, unlike the man, because boys will be boys. This impunity given to men opens new frontiers of misogyny whereby a woman is judged endlessly. She is judged for her clothes, her speech, her facial expressions, her demeanour and every minute aspect of her behaviour. A woman is labelled as a shameless western stooge-who lacks feminine modesty and a sense of honour- for standing against misogyny, and demanding her rights whether at home, at work, or in public space. A working woman is seen as selfish and neglectful of her household duties. A single or divorced woman gives off prey vibes to men who feel entitled to exploit or abuse her-as men are absolved of any moral responsibility since boys will be boys. If a female is harassed, groped or even raped then she is blamed for it. The woman is condemned for breaking the rules. The two cardinal rules are about clothing and stepping out of the house without a mehram male. Additionally, she is seen as one with a loose character and no sense of honour who invited trouble. The gropers or rapists usually completely evade accountability. If the sexual abuse is extreme then the men are grudgingly condemned, as the few bad apples amongst the righteous and superior species. Any semblance of power a woman can ever experience is, thus, only as a mother. She remains insecure and weak even as a home-making wife till she gives birth to male offspring. As the mother of a boy, she is expected to practice internalised misogyny and mete out preferential treatment to her son while subverting her daughters. Husbands additionally expect wives to do all the housework and never help out in even raising their children because it is unmanly to do so. There is a whole body of Islamic teachings countering all these objectionable chauvinistic behaviours. However, they are the inconvenient truth never told by our quote-mining clergy. Family is the backbone of society. The very foundation of Pakistani society and its culture is, hence, misogynistic and chauvinistic. The real world is seen as the domain of men, where a woman is only tolerated if she gratifies the male gaze, feeds the male ego, serves him and satisfies his manly desires. Our men also believe that shy, obedient and breathtakingly beautiful virgins await him in paradise. Worldly women are, thus, only a subpar temporary substitute for them; offering no real value. Cherry-picked, full of half-truths or twisted religious teachings relating to gender, these constructs reinforce the entitlement that is already nurtured from the cradle when the male child is raised to be a prince. These chauvinistic concepts are centuries-old. However, a new variable has disrupted the equilibrium of the chauvinistic and misogynistic Pakistani society and put it in a tailspin. That variable is a national obsession with pornography. Our men rank number one when it comes to countrywide porn viewership. Wendy Malz, the author of “The Porn Trap,” explained the various problems arising from porn addiction. Pornography changes brain chemistry. The ill effects of porn extend to every aspect of a man’s personal, social and professional life. Her research was conducted on western males who do not additionally share the psyche of Pakistani men. Our men believe that the entire onus of sin falls on women. This impunity allows them to freely indulge in porn without any fear, shame or guilt. Viewing women and children as sex objects; judging women primarily in terms of their body parts; disrespecting women’s and children’s needs for privacy and safety; being insensitive about socially and/or sexually harmful behaviour; loss of interest in intimacy with the wife; becoming sexually demanding and/or rough in sex; having difficulty in connecting love to intimacy; feeling sexually out-of-control and compulsive; increased interest in risky, degrading, abusive, and/or illegal sex; and sexual dysfunctions are all manifestations of pornography-induced damage. This is why we are seeing a dramatic rise in sexual misdemeanours against women and minors. Women are being molested in broad daylight among crowds and in a recent incident, by the crowd. Minors are being kidnapped and molested. Women and children are not safe at home either as cases of sexual abuse by their close relatives including fathers, brothers and uncles, is on the rise. Last but not the least, even necrophilia is becoming common when dead bodies of young females are being secretly exhumed for availing of forbidden sexual pleasure. Friday sermons are the optimal tool for social engineering as they can teach men how to behave around women. However, our clergy is the raison d’etre of misogyny due to their religious innovations. The state needs to take charge and subvert these trends with an iron fist. Pornographic sites need to be blocked in Pakistan and state of the art technology must be employed to block VPN usage. Naked or provocative images on social media and web adverts must be blocked by manipulating the algorithms. If the technology does not exist then it should be invented on a priority basis. Violators must be jailed and fined. All men structurally benefit from patriarchy, misogyny and sexism of our collective consciousness. We are fortunate, however, that we still have good men in our midst. It is the responsibility of good men to call out toxic masculinity. Righteous men and woke men must educate and inform. It’s high time we tackled the elephant in the room. All men subscribe to misogyny to varying degrees. They need to challenge their deeply held beliefs, question their biases and withhold their contribution to a culture where one gender brutally oppresses the other. The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.