Stories about men

Will #HeForShe work for me, a man?

The recent HeForShe campaign by Emma Watson, the UN Women goodwill ambassador, has gained significant repertoire, with many men posting pictures on Twitter and Facebook with placards, articulating their support for the campaign. The campaign speaks against gender violence and inequality. It is particularly a feminist movement and although it realises the bias against men, it does little beyond recognition. Emma herself stated that: “The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realised that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating.” There is indeed a need for gender equality, and abuse against either should be equally condemned. Women are mostly ...

Read Full Post

A woman’s scream at a jalsa

First of all, I would like to make it clear that I am in no way trying to defame any political party. I am writing this simply to highlight our failure as a society. That being said, I would like to get straight to the issue, an issue that, sadly, I encountered at a recent jalsa I went to. This is an issue that I’m sure thousands of women in Pakistan face everyday but, somehow, it never surfaces enough to be addressed as a serious fault in our society. I’m talking about the harassment and groping of women in public spaces. ...

Read Full Post

In Pakistan, ‘It’s On Us’ to protect women from sexual harassment

I remember a crowded market back in Karachi where we stood in a corner going through the merchandise. I was with one of my ‘foreign-educated’ aunts. Suddenly, I saw her face turn a shade of red. I dismissed it and we went back to sifting through the clothes.  A few moments later, it happened again. Her face turned red and her brows creased, but this time she turned around and before I knew it, she had grabbed a young boy by the collar.  “Can’t watch where you’re going huh? This is the third time you’ve passed by this place and grabbed ...

Read Full Post

Imran Khan and Russell Brand: Turns out Jemima Khan likes a particular type

Brutally honest, charismatic, towering over six feet, pioneers in their respective fields and socially and politically active; these are just some of the adjectives that could be used to describe former cricketer Imran Khan and comedian/actor Russell Brand. Mammoth success in their respective fields drove both men to give back to society. They are doing so by challenging the status-quo and by calling out a revolution. To oversimplify it, both want money to travel from the hands of the undeservingly rich into the hands of the deserving poor. The British former playboy, Brand, blames capitalistic corruption and the Pakistani former playboy, Imran, ...

Read Full Post

Why do female supporters of PTI bother you, Maulana Fazlur Rehman?

I am your archetypical Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporter. I am young, charged up, and me and my counterparts are the backbone of the “tabdeeli” you see around you, whether you agree with it or not. And one thing is for sure – working for PTI as a volunteer worker has just reiterated my faith in the fact that whatever men can do, women can do equally well or even better. They also bring to the political arena an innate wisdom, just like my leader Imran Khan had said a few years ago in a television interview, and keeps stressing in ...

Read Full Post

I am a female sports-journalist and I love it

Two years ago… Sub-editor at the Sports Desk; a quick stop over or even a detour because, truth be told, there was no future. To write or edit about ‘dribble dribble pass’ and a ‘50th-minute strike’ was just not journalism for me, at least as a woman. Or so I thought of the job at that point.  Six months down the line and then some more… Struggle. So much struggle. I felt like the desk was mocking me and I felt like I was mocking myself by trying to figure out how the world of sports functioned. From the day I had ...

Read Full Post

Not her fault

I saw her eyes as she begged, I said forgive me and she left, I wondered what her life was like, Why she begged, where she slept at night. Because her feet were bare, Her clothes were torn, But was it her fault that she was born? In a family that can’t give her, All the things a child may want? *** Five-years-old when they came, Broke her innocence, broke her to shame, But why should she feel this way? Was the pain not enough, and now the shredded name? She was found somewhere in a ditch alone, Her clothes were torn, Her smile was gone. But was it her fault that she was born? In a world that gives men, All ...

Read Full Post

Landlords in Punjab: “Off with the boy’s arms!”

It’s a small village in Punjab. Two men begin fighting over a few thousand rupees and what seems to be an electricity wire. One of the men has a 10-year-old son who does the unthinkable – he goes to take a bath in the enemy’s tube well. The landlord/owner cannot stand this injustice. He beats the boy and pours hot water on him. The little boy runs and hides in the fields but the landlord seeks him out again. This time, he ties him up with a rope and cuts his arms off with a thresher. Did I just narrate ...

Read Full Post

Pakistani women, cricket and their dilemma

To stand in the sunlight, over the lush green grass of a cricket ground, surrounded by hordes of people cheering you on while you aim to annihilate the stumps with that ball in your hand is no longer just a man’s dream. Today, women too aspire to have a career in cricket and recent events have shown that they are very much capable of becoming great cricketers. The Pakistan women’s cricket team made it to the limelight when the national squad won medals in the 2010 Asian Games and brought glory to their nation. This was a major milestone, not just for the ...

Read Full Post

The black and white of sexual harassment

The Oxford dictionary defines sexual harassment as, “Harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks” Gauging from this definition, the meaning is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Apparently not. I am often surprised (read: unimpressed), by the type of conversations I hear surrounding the so-called ‘dubious’ nature of sexual harassment. A few years ago, a colleague came to me saying she felt awkward by the way her now ex-boss would treat her while they were at work. She wasn’t sure if he was interested in her, or if he ...

Read Full Post