Stories about feminism

The psychology behind sexual violence

Countless women have been murdered in the name of honour and a number of girls are being avenged through rape for the crimes their male family members have committed. Underage girls are being married off to men thrice their age in compensation of any social embarrassment faced by the girl’s father or brothers. At the same time, there are constant reports of children being on the receiving end of sexual violence. A handful of perpetrators were caught when videos were circulated on social media, but most of them roam free. Sexual crimes and violence have been perpetrated against women and children in almost ...

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An open letter to conservative father and cricket icon Shahid Afridi

Dear Shahid Afridi, One must appreciate your energy, which helps you stay in the news despite having retired from mainstream cricket a long time ago. Be it charity drives, advertisements, special appearances in entertainment shows or simply your comments to the press, you remain in the picture. We still haven’t forgotten the flash runs you made which earned you the title ‘Boom Boom’. And recently, you created another boom with your book, Game Changer. Now some people are criticising the political comments you made over bigwigs in the cricket world. Frankly, you may know better there; they are not my concern. ...

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Why I ditched my chador

When I was in my teens, some 20 years ago, my parents would tell me to wear a chador (a large piece of cloth that is wrapped around the head and upper body) and cover myself every time I would go out of the house. I lived in a small city and my father was widely known. Each time I stepped out of my house, I would cover myself from head to toe, sometimes even the face if I was with my father, as he didn’t want people gazing at his daughter. I understood at the time that this was essential for ...

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The irony and hypocrisy of Shaan Shahid mansplaining ‘culture and respect’

For as long as Pakistanis can remember, Shaan Shahid has been a staple of Pakistani cinema. In the past, he was that guy in every Punjabi movie, and post-revival of Pakistani cinema, he became that guy who always ends up playing the patriot. While Shahid deserves respect as one of the most prominent actors of our film industry, his Twitter account has made it hard for us to respect much else about him. Some context: just like last year, Aurat March was held on International Women’s Day this year as well in many cities across Pakistan. And just like last year, ...

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The year that #Metoo was reborn, and with it the sisterhood of victims

It is the defining moment of the year gone by, not because it finally became part of a global movement but more so because it took a second wind to unsettle the dominant voices of patriarchal corridors and send a message that #Metoo was not about some misguided and delayed wave for justice, just as it was never about a woman in the wrong job at the wrong time. All it had ever been about was consent. October 2018 will be remembered as the renaissance of the #MeToo movement in India. A forgotten actress Tanushree Dutta touched down from the ...

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Scary folklore paired with good comedy, Stree is a fine one-time entertainer

Indian movies rarely have something fresh or exciting to offer when it comes to new content or experimenting with different genres. So when I heard about Stree, a horror-comedy centred on the ghost of an angry woman wandering dark narrow roads in search of her husband who was murdered on their wedding night, I couldn’t wait to watch. The film’s theme is inspired by a horrific urban myth of the 90s known as ‘Naale Baa’, which is embedded into the local culture of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The inhabitants of these states avoid staying outside late at night (even today), ...

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The fault in our minds: Bushra Maneka’s attire is her business and choice, and hers alone

While Pakistan’s political fate is changing, the people of this nation believe there is something more important that needs to be focused on. Yes, unfortunately, that topic is Bushra Maneka’s choice of attire. This is not the first time that women’s choice of clothing has become a hot topic of discussion. As a confused country, it seems as though we are never content with anything. When Mahira Khan was spotted in a backless dress with Ranbir Kapoor, people bashed her for wearing a revealing outfit. And here we are, a year later, and we still cannot seem to decide whether ...

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The Spy Who Dumped Me is not the best spy comedy out there, but it is still palatable

The Spy Who Dumped Me can be described as a coarse feminist buddy spy comedy, that leaves viewers with the powerful image of women sticking together in the midst of an overblown entanglement with a world and agencies they have never encountered before. The film is an addition to the league of Hollywood spy comedies such as Get Smart (2008), This Means War (2012), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and Spy (2015). The only difference is that this film revolves around two female friends who are suddenly caught in a state of pandemonium as they get involved in the dangerous and ...

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In the midst of all the tabdeeli in K-P, did Imran Khan forget about its women?

In June, Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and now set to be the country’s future prime minister, made a few uninformed statements on feminism. He said,  “I disagree with the western concepts of feminism. It has completely degraded the role of a mother.”   The internet responded to this and set the record straight. The theory and practice of feminism, which is certainly not always western, has led to maternity benefits for working mothers and has elevated motherhood in that regard. But Imran has previously opined on topics that stray from his area of expertise. His views on feminism do not ...

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Is Imran Khan the Donald Trump of Pakistan?

If you were to look back and think of one of the most unbelievable decisions made in the past five years, Donald Trump getting elected as President of the United States would perhaps top the list. Just imagining the “strongest” democracy in the world actually handing over its reigns to the man without a plan makes you feel a little bit better about the state of your own democracy. You think, maybe America is worse than us, for what sane mind would ever vote Trump into power?  Well, all this thinking made us wonder, who is Trump’s equivalent in our ...

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