Stories about freedom of choice

Confessions of a SAHM: Don’t compare me to Instagram-perfect, working mothers

When I was a young university student, I dreaded the idea of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) so much that whenever I would come across one, I would be thankful that I don’t have to live her life. I would constantly reassure myself that no matter what, I will never be a lazy SAHM who spends her entire day cooking, cleaning and changing dirty diapers. However, as I grew older and the first time I locked eyes with my little boy, I turned into a new woman. I had people telling me that your life will change once you ...

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Feminism needs to cater to Muslim women, not the other way around

Feminism needs to include women of colour, Muslim women, disabled women, sex workers, trans women, gay women, queer women, fat women, skinny women. It needs to cater to all women. The fact that the term ‘intersectional feminism’ exists proves that the general movement is often exclusive and largely white. Mainstream, western feminism isn’t always intersectional. There are feminists who often don’t realise or can’t relate to the fact that for women of colour, of different faiths, abilities, it’s not just gender that they’re discriminated on. Such women are affected by these circumstances professionally, socially and mentally, and yet don’t always receive the ...

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Why are Iranian women protesting against the hijab now?

Religious freedom has been a pipe dream for years now, especially for women, who are subjected to male dominants in this society. A major portion of the woman population has embraced this situation as a norm and continues to cultivate it within the minds of their young girls as well, others, however, have not. They have strived and fought for basic rights, such as education, health, the right to vote and the liberty to go out unaccompanied. While the tide of feminism and many socialist organisations have washed part of the misogyny that exists in numerous societies, there is still ...

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No, my ripped jeans do not allow you to believe that it is your right to harass and rape me

They are just clothes, I tell my father, when he passes a comment about my ripped jeans. He doesn’t understand – perhaps he never will. I run my hands along the tiny rips, feeling bits of skin and wondering if the freedom I feel is the oppression they want me to see. I see my legs in a pair of jeans, they see skin that is fighting the patriarchy. I see my choice, they see my rebellion. On November 3, 2017, Egyptian lawyer, Nabih al-Wahsh, stated that any woman wearing ripped jeans deserves to be harassed and raped. He ...

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Pauline Hanson’s burqa ban proves she is an isolationist and the female version of Donald Trump – but only worse

The Australian senate witnessed unusual scenes yesterday when a woman walked in wearing a burqa for the first time in its history. The footage shows gasps of ‘what on earth!’ from senators as the woman revealed herself to be Pauline Hanson, a senator from Queensland and the head of the One Nation Party. Revelling in the attention, she bared her smug face to advocate a ban on burqas in Australia and its parliament. She called it oppressive, un-Australian and a threat to security and western society, and asked the leader in the senate, Attorney General George Brandis, whether he will work to ban ...

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Planning to study in France? You can’t if you wear long skirts

Recently, Sarah, a 15-year-old French Muslim student, was suspended twice from class for wearing a long black skirt because it was seen as a violation of the ban on religious symbols in public schools in France. Due to this, France is facing a severe backlash against its so-called strict secular policy after the event took place. The justification provided was that if Muslim girls start wearing long skirts in a conspicuous effort to show their faith, then some will argue that is a breach of the secular law. The ban on religious symbols in school was implemented in 2004 but the updated version of the French Constitution ...

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Really Pakistan? Haya Day on Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of the year again. Women are anxious and men are distraught; the day when every guy and girl sitting together are stared at suspiciously; the day when people are edgier than usual; the day you are confused about how to celebrate this day because it also happen to be the day students fear being seen in public with someone from the opposite gender because of the ‘consequences’. While the world celebrates Valentine’s Day today, the students at the University of Karachi are celebrating something different. These students have given various names to this day, including Hijab Day, Haya Day and ...

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I am happy being single, don’t force me to mingle!

If you live in Pakistan, have completed your studies and gotten a job, then you may be one of those victims who are constantly pinched with that one hot question day and night, “When are you getting married?” Everyone wants to know the answer to this million dollar question, whether it’s your parents, siblings, grandparents or relatives. It looks as if everyone’s happiness depends on your marriage. Your 100-year-old granny will advise you, “Beta, jaldi se shaadi kar lo take main apni zindagi main tumhare sar pe sehra saja dekh sakun.” (Son, get married quickly so that I can see you getting married while ...

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Can a woman only choose one – hijab or a successful career?

Not too long ago, the hijab was considered a choice; a woman’s right if she wanted it to be. Today, not only is it a source of contention and a consistently hot topic of debate, it is considered a form of subjugation. In all honesty, I cannot comprehend how or why the hijab seems like such a hindrance, especially when only some women wear it in our country. Whether these hijab arguments stem from abhorrence, fear or just narrow-mindedness, I do not know. What I do know is that we argue about it behind a very subjective definition of ‘liberalism’. These ‘liberals’ ...

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The idiot’s guide to open-mindedness

It is all about having an ‘open-mind’ these days. A mind so open that your brains might fall out! Listen here, be open-minded. It will free you. From everyone you don’t like, from all things that bore you, from dogma, biases and irrationality. Remember, open-minded people don’t condemn drone-strikes– even if collateral damage breaks their heart and makes them want to end this stupid drone business somehow – dead terrorists or no. See, drones might kill innocent people. But then terrorists kill innocent people too. And this justifies collateral damage in a twisted way. Now go figure. And don’t forget to Tweet ...

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