8 ways ‘13 Reasons Why’ throws you into pits of darkness and leaves you there

What would you do if you found out that your loved one was suffering? “I just wish I die.” These simple words, said in a moment of frustration perhaps, are taken merely as words. Sometimes, that’s what they are, but sometimes, they mean more. Nobody reads too much into it, but perhaps we should. I was really young when I found out someone close to me was self-harming. At that time, I didn’t know what to do because I was still a child. The person told me about the cuts, the bruises and the sleeping pills. I did what you would expect a ...

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Farah Khan’s #WheelchairDiaries are proof of her privileged class and ignorant mindset

While scrolling through my Instagram feed a couple of days back, I saw a photo where a prominent Bollywood celebrity sat on a wheelchair. The expression was confusing; it was more of a happy-go-lucky, strangely triumphant one, very different from what I would see on a triumphant Muniba Mazari’s face. Opening the profile where this photo was uploaded, I saw many more such senseless photos. The photos contain many Bollywood actors and actresses of the likes of Anil Kapoor, Javed Akhtar and Raveena Tandon, doing antics on a wheelchair. Some are shown singing on it, some posing on it, while ...

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Does Sonam Kapoor’s name change make her any less of a feminist?

I have often wondered about what feminism means to me, and there are still a lot of cobwebs in my mind that need to be cleared. However, the recent controversy surrounding Sonam Kapoor’s name change post marriage got me thinking again, as after she was criticised for taking her husband’s name despite being a vocal feminist, she justified the move by saying no one “told” her to do it; it was her own decision. Photo: Screenshot I for one have always been amazed that people cannot recognise the inherent patriarchy behind the practice of children being given their father’s ...

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In Pakistan, does #MeToo come with a desi tarka?

The #MeToo campaign was initiated by activist Tarana Burke, after she had a conversation with a 13-year-old girl who opened up to her about sexual abuse.  The victim: A 13-year-old girl.  The purpose: To give her a voice.  The concept was to create awareness, and give a platform to the victims when their vulnerability had been taken advantage of. This was sexual assault, a highly sensitive matter. The international movement was bound to come home one day, and of course, in a country where the Chinese don’t recognise their own Manchurian and where pizza has seekh kebab layered over it, we gave the #MeToo ...

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Is Priyanka Chopra the ideal choice for Pakistani-Muslim teenage superhero Ms Marvel?

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will be entering phase four of its production post Avengers 4, which releases in 2019. Only two movies, a Spider-man sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol III, had been announced for phase four, but recently, Kevin Fiege, president of Marvel Studios, while talking to BBC said that the studio was planning to introduce Ms Marvel to the MCU as well, and that the plans to do so were in the works. Ms Marvel aka Kamala Khan is a teenage Pakistani-American superhero. She was first introduced in 2013 as a young girl, who was inspired by ...

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Zainab Kay Qatil: Capitalising on the rape of a child in the name of raising awareness?

Four months ago, the news of Zainab Ansari’s rape and murder surfaced. The entire nation, our neighbouring country and international celebrities spoke out against child sexual abuse, especially showing sympathy for Zainab and her parents. There were several protests held all over the country in order to urge law and policy makers to bring the perpetrator of this act to justice; some even called for public execution. Feminist men and women alike organised vigils for the 7-year-old rape and murder victim, hoping that their prayers would bring her soul some peace. Even though the alleged perpetrator was sentenced to capital ...

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Will Facebook’s dating app be a dream come true for all the “fraandship” boys out there?

I have a new obsession; looking at memes on Instagram. Especially all the memes that spun out of nowhere after the Cambridge Analytica scandal are bound to make you smirk and think at the same time. Due to personal reasons, I had deliberately deleted my Facebook profile last year in October. I shared this profile with my husband for at least nine years, but he hardly used it and in the last three years, I wasn’t actively using Facebook either. So before all hell broke loose for Mark Zuckerberg, I had already decided that Facebook was probably too public, and it ...

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Is #MeToo doing more harm than good in Pakistan?

I am not going to start with a validation of how the #MeToo as a movement was so desperately needed to save us women. Frankly, my conscience could no longer bear witnessing the abuse of this narrative, most especially within the elite circles, to which all of us writing and commenting belong. Let me start by saying that women like me, like Aysha Raja, and like all those writing about the relevance of #MeToo, are born with the privilege of empowerment. We are, in most cases, as empowered as the men in our lives. I have myself seen women ...

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For Pakistani sportswomen, the challenge is much bigger than ‘smooth arms’ or ‘fair skin’

For this year’s World Radio Day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) picked a theme to encourage women in sports, and ran a worldwide campaign to promote sports culture in women. However, barring the issue of having a limited number of women in sports around the world, Asian women have an added dilemma to face, and that is the demand for women in sports to also look “glamorous”, so as to increase viewers’ interest in women’s sports. There has been a demand for attractive female presenters in sports, giving looks preference over knowledge and interest in the ...

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Cake: The tension between those who stayed in Pakistan and those who left for greener pastures

South Asians are an emotional people. We live and die by theatrics. Our visual and sound mediums are adored by worldwide audiences. Not just that, but we tend to weave emotional juggernauts into our everyday life, regardless of the situation. Given our emotional tendencies, more often than not, our cinema capitalises on tugging at our heart strings in order to make a hit movie. Such was also the case with the recent movie Cake. There have been dozens of reviews written about the movie in the local and international press, hence I won’t bore you with one more. What I do ...

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