Stories about patriarchal society

The responsibility of being a famous celebrity in Pakistan

Saif Ali Khan’s Phantom (2015) was a sad excuse for a movie, much like Shaan Shahid’s Musalman (2001). Movies that play on the very jingoistic sentiment, which have led us into various wars and thousands of casualties, do nothing but betray their audiences who otherwise wish and need peace in the region. Pakistan was right to ban the film as a sign of protest. I would expect the same from India but India being a much older democracy has been far more disappointing. Not only did it ban non-political movies and dramas from Pakistan, but our artists like Shakeel Siddiqui and singers ...

Read Full Post

She eliminated gender discrimination by eliminating the opposite gender, her sons

A recent piece of news making headlines across the globe is the murder of three sons by their mother in Chicago. The mother went on a blood-soaked rampage because her husband chose to give more attention to their sons rather than their daughter. The motherly instinct within her sparked and she sought to protect her daughter from a lifetime of patriarchal subjugation and castigation, by choosing to eliminate the threat completely. This incident highlights two important perspectives on the prevalent gender discrimination and the lengths people go through for equality. Firstly, given that the mother felt strongly about the discrimination against her daughter, killing her sons in ...

Read Full Post

Jinnah’s letter to Pakistan: Who do I hold accountable?

My precious, Where do I begin? Where do I end? 68 years ago, you two breathed your first – I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn’t ideal. They thought you two wouldn’t be able to make it, but you did. I was such a proud father – the effort, the commitment, the resolve, it all had finally paid off. After the euphoria died down, it was time to snap back to reality. The challenges ahead were steep, but both of you had my unwavering support. My health was giving up on me and I knew I did not have a lot ...

Read Full Post

Dear Junaid Jamshed, Google ‘misogyny’, and then stay away from it forever

Junaid Jamshed has done it again. And it looks like he’ll never learn. Whatever made him say the things he did about Hazrat Aisha (RA) previously which made him run for his life, were clearly not enough for him to understand what he’s doing wrong. And if I were his PR manager (if and so he actually has one) this would be my one single email to him, “Dear boss, Google the word ‘misogyny’. Then stay away from it forever.” In another email, I’d gently explain to him the meaning of hypocrisy. The right to practice your beliefs is clear and there is no disputing that. ...

Read Full Post

When did rape become the cure to homosexuality, India?

If you thought burning women, throwing acid on their faces, bombing their schools, shooting them for going to school, cutting their noses, shaving their heads, marrying them off to holy texts or animals/cattle, selling them into sex slavery or cutting their genitals off wasn’t bad enough when it came to violence against women, here is a brand new way of oppressing women and cementing patriarchy into its place. In India’s Telengana state, men who were ‘suffering from homosexuality’ are given a corrective measure. That measure is rape. Instances where cousins are betrothed from infancy/childhood/youth and if the male counterpart turns out ...

Read Full Post

A woman does not need a man’s protection

“Nobody is a monster that he is excluded from society. After all, any society that has these rapists has to take responsibility for them, and this is the first thing that these feminist callers that came before the Verma Committee said, that these are our people, these men are ours.”— Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate, Supreme Court India and co-author of the Verma Report I am not a rapist. I cannot even possibly conceive how a person could rape, assault, murder or even harass. So why did I feel guilty being a man watching the documentary India’s Daughter? This question has plagued my thoughts for ...

Read Full Post

Are women responsible for rape?

“You know I’d never wear something like that. It’s so… so inviting.” This was said with an air of such self-righteousness that I wanted to get up and say a prayer for this woman who thought she’s the epitome of piety and all things good. There have been numerous occasions when I have found myself fuming at such women (and men) who have taken it upon themselves to decide what women should and should not do. Often I am compelled to consider whether I am a feminist or not, which leads me to conclude that I possibly cannot be a feminist, for being one entails ...

Read Full Post

Do men play their role as fathers?

I come from a mind-set where men and women are different. Hence, none is better than the other. Their anatomy is different, their thinking is different, their perceptions are different, their priorities are different, and hence their job descriptions are different too. In their role as parents, their job is well defined. And I love the description my mother used to give while defining parental roles – dad represents joy and happiness and mom is a necessity. But does that mean that as a primary caregiver of the baby, it’s only the mom’s job to feed the little person and change diapers, ...

Read Full Post

‘Sharing’ rape

The plight of women in Pakistan is a grotesque reality; so shameful that even in today’s day and age most aspects of their suppressed lives are considered taboo for public debate. One such area is the crime of rape, and marital rape in particular, where the latter is still not considered an offence or a wrong-doing in this land of the pure. The Sughra Imam Report which was recently presented before the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice revealed that there has been a zero conviction rate for rape in the past five years and the main reason behind this is the ...

Read Full Post

What Pakistani dramas can learn from Pyare Afzal

Pakistani dramas are famous for their practical take on people’s everyday life and its complexities rather than an empty glamorous portrayal. This is why they have gained massive popularity in our homeland as well as across the border. Pakistani dramas have succeeded in portraying family life in Pakistan quite aptly except recently, these dramas have been revolving around marriage and family politics. A helpless daughter-in-law, a heartless mother-in-law and an obedient son: With these three characters, a Pakistani drama can possess reasonable viewership. A number of additional characters can also be included to add more mirch masala, but these three are the main protagonists. A helpless daughter-in-law, ...

Read Full Post