Stories about feminist

Audacious, hypnotic and intense, Kangana Ranaut was made to play the Queen of Jhansi

Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi chronicles the tale of one of India’s most prominent historical figures. Manikarnika, better known as Lakshmibai or the Rani of Jhansi, was one of the foremost freedom fighters of the 1857 rebellion. The allegory of Rani of Jhansi has personally fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Hence, writing even a review of a film based on her gallantry gives me great bliss. A warrior queen riding a horse, a sword in her hand, a child strapped onto her back, Manikarnika is an old-fashioned, simplistic film underlining the core values of bravery, valour and ...

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With an unconventional kinship and a path of self-discovery, will Pinky Memsaab shatter Pakistan’s ‘maid culture’?

Although still struggling, Pakistan’s cinema has started pulling filmgoers to cinema houses and making waves in the international film market. By taking baby steps to reshape the film industry, local filmmakers are working hard to capture the beauty of life on screen, to transform the portrayal of their motherland through persuasive storytelling, and to foster national identity and pride that hasn’t been experienced for a long time. In this regard, Pakistan’s indie filmmaking scene gives the impression of being more rousing and vivacious than ever, with new storytellers along with unrivalled concepts surfacing the cinematic galaxy. These avantgarde indie movies ...

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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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#PunishSadatBashir: Are 80 voices not proof enough?

Online feminist campaigns such as #MeToo have brought down many titans of toxic masculinity. Famous international cases include James Dean, a famous adult actor who was accused by many women of sexually assaulting them. The House of Cards star and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey too was accused by a man of sexually assaulting him and is currently under police investigation, after having his contract with Netflix ended for his shameful conduct. The never-ending list of accused also includes other former legends like Bill Cosby and recent addition, Morgan Freeman. In all these cases, the allegations have been and are undergoing investigation by relevant authorities. Careers have taken ...

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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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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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In the name of female gender glorification, ‘Annihilation’ presents illogical garbage disguised as sci-fi

It is understandable that when it comes to political correctness in filmmaking, you can’t be too careful in this day and age. One inappropriate casting decision, and you are bashed left, right and centre all over social media, which invariably leads to poor box-office numbers. It is perfectly justified when studios are roasted for absurd whitewashing practices. However, all this racial and gender diversification in movies simply to pander to the supersensitive millennials – who take offense to anything and everything –  is just as absurd as Jake Gyllenhaal playing the Prince of Persia. I am all for strong female ...

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“Khud khana garam karlo” – Pakistani men’s kryptonite

There is very little doubt that the #MeToo socio-political statements on the internet are among the most powerful ones in recent history. Spreading virtually across the entire globe, the online movement has gathered its fair share of attention in Pakistan too and thankfully so. The recent Aurat March was proof of this movement affecting this country. What began as a protest against sexual misconduct, has now raged into something much bigger. It holds even more meaning in countries such as Pakistan, since not only is sexual misconduct ripe here, the country is still home to an extremely patriarchal society. The Aurat ...

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The silence of the taboo: Why must I put my sanitary pads in a brown bag?

I was one of the most excited women in the newsroom when I heard Bollywood was making a movie tackling the taboo around menstruation called PadMan. As someone who detests censorship to the core, I thought perhaps now that the pad will be up on the silver screen, I will no longer be shamed for talking about periods openly, or for refusing to use the brown bag. But excitement didn’t last very long. Lo and behold! The Central Board of Film Censors banned PadMan in Pakistan. The details in the news were mind-blowing, a lot like how it feels when the uterus explodes and ...

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I boycotted IoBM’s convocation because of its prevalent misogyny and commercialisation

It was a day I wanted to dedicate to my parents; a day which would have made me realise that I am a normal person – a knowledge seeker who loved to study and who managed to not get the label of a ‘drop out’. It was a day which would have amassed all the bits of happiness from the six years of exhaustive struggle of getting a university education, finally making me smile cheerfully. But no, I had to stand by the principles I had learnt all these years, while studying independently as well as at my college, and ...

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