Stories about girls

You ain’t no princess

In wake of the ceremonious lambasting of the Y-chromosome, I believe I have a right to mount a defence. Now that Pandora’s box has officially been opened and the first stone has been cast in the battle of the sexes, dare I put my own two cents in? In the past, I’ve often defended women in our present social milieu to the point where I fight to keep my own men’s club card from being revoked. I’ll lay my cards on the table and admit up front that I’m a feminist. I can sense eyebrows being raised at the concept ...

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Hijab, or else…

The recent attack on the MC Model Girls High School in Rawalpindi is no less than a national tragedy. When 60 men, armed with iron rods waltz into an educational institute to mete out violent justice against women and children for not ‘dressing moderately’, it is a low point in the very substance of a nation. When an armed mob of religious vigilantes entered the school they did more than just beat innocent children and teachers. They instilled fear in every female student, in every girls school, and in the mind of every parent of a girl. The fact that ...

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Real life lessons: How to drive away rishtas

Showing signs of puberty is all that a member of the fairer sex needs to land herself her very first rishta. Though some girls might love to bask in the glory of getting the most suitors without even having to progress to a B-cup, several others despise it. In fact, I have a hoard of acquaintances and friends alike who had to come up with ingenious, and sometimes drastic plans to act as an interlude to their mom’s ‘hunt for the perfect male’. So, I’ve decided to compile a few of their best ideas for anyone who might be in ...

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Great grades mean nothing if you don’t have a chaperone – or a Y chromosome

Meet Maheen*: a hardworking final year A’ Level student. By hardworking, I mean that when Maheen received a B in Chemistry, having lost out by a mark, she stayed back in the library for hours on end every day for three weeks, to finally get an A in the finals. It’s that kind of hard work that translated into 14 As in her O’ Levels, seven of which were A*. Naturally, she had straight As in her AS Levels. She is the kind of girl that you assume will apply to the best colleges. But Maheen is not calling the ...

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Female genital mutilation in Pakistan, and beyond

Warning: The following article contains information that readers may find uncomfortable or disturbing to read “Female genital mutilation is a torture, not a culture.” Alice Walker According to the World Health Organisation, female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined as all “procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” The process is carried out for a wide number of reasons, none of which have positive health implications. As a social cause, young girls and their families are pressurized to surrender to the tradition of FGM that has been carried out ...

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Confessions of a gamer girl

Clad in a conventional kameez-shalwar, hair pulled back in a tight braid, earphones in place and laptop sitting snugly in my lap – there I was, an ordinary young lady merely going about her daily computing routine. However, one might easily overlook the bunched muscles in my tense shoulders, clenched teeth, taut jaw and furrowed brows. Or even miss the flaring emotion in my eyes. I would not hold it against anyone if they missed these details. After all, it takes one to know one. And not everyone is a gamer. I have honestly nothing to hide: I have a gaming fetish, one ...

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What’s the worst thing that can happen in an examination hall?

What is the worst thing that can happen to you in an examination hall? That you are caught cheating? Or, that you prepared for the wrong exam? No. Of course those things are pretty bad, but the worst thing that can happen to you in an examination hall is to be sexually harassed by the invigilator. Picture this: you are busy thinking about some weird biology term or phenomenon that could ruin your grade if you jumble it up. You are drenched in sweat because the fans are out of order. The windows are broken so the sunlight pierces through and hits your ...

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‘Are you having a baby? I hope it’s a boy’

In an era where cell phones and Botox have changed our lifestyles, our mentality is still not very different from the dark ages. If you browse through any Urdu newspaper’s classified section, you might come across an ad that says “beta” (son) in big, bold letters. If you read further, it says “Inshallah, beta ho ga” (God willing, it’ll be a son). And it’s not just newspapers. People send spam text messages like “Boy or girl, choice is yours”. This is a gruesome reality that tells us our thinking has not evolved at all. The stigma attached to the birth of a female ...

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Seven traits of the average Pakistani man

Disclaimer: The following piece is the result of an opinionated writer’s bias. Though the writer herself remains miserably devoid of any male attention, she likes to learn through other people’s experiences. Her piece is based on the experiences of many, many married acquaintances. 1. He loves his mom Mom is an infallible angel. The only way to achieve harmony in your relationship with him is to understand this vital fact. Don’t question or contradict this lady who will steer the boat of his life, while you will remain one of the many passengers on-board. She is the average Pakistani mother-in-law and her ...

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The drawing room culture: Girls on parade

I am one of the many girls who have been through the archaic and bizarre tradition of the drawing room ‘parade’. It involves carrying a tray of tea and goodies to a roomful of strangers and being put on display. Here is how the drawing room scenario unfolds: You are informed by your mother that guests are coming to “see you”. As unwilling as you may be, you to give in to your mother’s orders, or this cliché line may be thrown at you, “Beta, apni ammi ki baat mano. Mein akeli maa nahin, sab hi maayein karti hain,” or “Listen to me ...

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