Stories about misogyny

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 ...

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Happy Birthday, Malala

In a recent social media diatribe (the ones where everyone’s faith is fired up or as a friend once put it, ‘angrily typing curses and calls for Jihad from their mothers’ basements in Bradford’, and anyone against these noble agendas is a spawn of the devil), an old friend descended to defend the ‘good Taliban’, opposing drone strikes and how liberalisation is ruining Pakistani people. It’s almost mathematical; the kind of arguments that pile up in this side of the spectrum. Aafia Siddiqui is the daughter of the nation. Kashmir is ours. Taliban don’t really exist – it’s all a smokescreen because America wants to ...

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Why the French burqa ban upsets me as a secular feminist

The European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the face veil ban in France and, in a flagrant exhibition of institutionalised bigotry, has upheld the government’s decision. As goes France, so goes Europe. The verdict breathes fresh air into an old debate, in which the opposing sides had begun to take comfort in the thought of this restriction being a French anomaly, not representative of the general European psyche. But we’ve faced disappointments before. We’ve been led to believe that we may choose either one of the two positions: – Burqa is benign, and must be allowed – Burqa is a harmful, patriarchal icon, ...

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Elliot Rodger: A product of the US government’s incompetence?

“You don’t think it’ll happen to your child, until it does.” This is what Richard Martinez stated in a press conference, despairing over the loss of his 20-year-old son, Christopher Martinez. A deranged individual – Elliot Rodger – who sought revenge from female university students for rejecting him, instigated a ruthless shooting spree on the streets of California, killing six people in cold blood, before committing suicide himself. To the sons and daughters of the ill-fated families, may their souls rest in eternal peace. These victims were unreasonably deprived of their right to live; they were killed without any reason. And their ...

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Afridi’s opinion on women is none of your business!

Just when we think we are over it, it starts all over again. Another video goes viral over social websites, attracts conversations and often takes you nowhere but through a vicious circle of ongoing rebuttals. This time it’s Shahid Afridi under attack. So here goes, it starts with Afridi making a grand comeback, surprising us with his performance in matches against India and Bangladesh. Suddenly, all the loyalty towards him is regained. Then come all the memes about him against Virat Kohli, Indian fans, Bangladeshi fans and the likes. In between the hundreds of comments, we see people praying for Afridi to have a son now after three ...

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The importance of sisterhood

Last week, I wrote an op-ed for The Express Tribune on what needs to be done in the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape. I wanted to write a lot more but was constrained by space I am allotted in the newspaper. The piece did not receive many comments either on the website or my personal blog where I cross post my work, but I got a lot of emails – some from regular readers who liked my ideas, and one from an Indian grandfather who wanted a safer Delhi for his two young granddaughters. “Thanks for a very thoughtful blog.  I really enjoy your ...

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Unapologetic acid attackers: ‘She asked for it’

A few weeks ago, the tragic news of Fakhra Yunus’s suicide garnered extensive amounts of local and foreign media attention; women rights activists spoke up, politicians did the routine condemnation, lawyers demanded justice for a victim who no longer existed, who left precisely because people had forgotten her; her perseverance ran out as the general apathy of her society ran high. We all had become oblivious of her long before she killed herself. That is far worse than any kind of death – when your own people render you irrelevant. But this isn’t about Fakhra. This isn’t about Bilal Khar’s ...

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