Stories about sexism

Is Justin Trudeau’s cabinet as big a kick to sexism as imagined?

Justin Trudeau’s appointment as Canada’s new prime minister has generated an incredible response from the global community. Whether it’s his photogenic good looks, or his demeanour as the down-to-earth friend of the people, Trudeau has not only given the Canadian society a whiff of optimism, he has made headlines the world over. As someone who apparently can do no wrong at the moment, his decision to appoint a cabinet divided equally between men and women has only added admiration for him. When asked the reason giving half of the spots within his cabinet to women, he remarked, “Because it’s 2015!” The statement has already caught on ...

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Hillary Clinton might just be the next POTUS, but at the cost of unceasing sexism

You would think that Hillary Clinton, after a long and illustrious career in politics, would be done having to respond to questions that are seeped with sexist insinuations. You would think that after two presidential campaigns and a strong tenure in the office of the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton would not have to battle sexist stereotypes. You would think that after all this time, the discourse on Hillary Clinton would move beyond “But you’re a woman. Can you really do this?” If you watched the democratic debate hosted by CNN a few days ago with the idea that Anderson Cooper would not drag ...

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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 ...

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Dear Faisal Qureshi, just stop the hypocrisy. Please.

Dear Faisal Qureshi, Let me start by saying that while I am a film critic whose reviews are published weekly in Pakistan, I rarely watch Bollywood ‘films’. In fact, the last time I tried, my brain snapped shut, and I vomited uncontrollably for a few minutes. Later, I was diagnosed with Post Bollywood Stress Disorder (PBSD), a mental health condition provoked by a shockingly bad Bollywood film. I was sure I would never watch something as horrific again, until I saw your video response to Indian actor Saif Ali Khan’s comments on the Pakistani ban on his film, Phantom.

Now, I must admit, at the very least, you ...

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Yes of course, Dr Hunt, your remarks about women in labs were not sexist at all!

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields have always been ruled by men. However, there have been women like Marie Curie, Ada Byron, Rosalind Franklin, Sally Ride and Maryam Mirzakhani, who have proved that women are just as talented as the opposite gender. Yet, the mind-set that women are not professional enough for these fields prevails even today. A Nobel laureate, Dr Tim Hunt, recently commented at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul that, “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls; three things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they ...

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Mr Modi, #DespiteBeingAWoman I have some questions for you

In December 2012, feminism changed in India forever. A girl, now known as Nirbhaya, was beaten and gang raped. She later succumbed to the injuries and passed away. The people of India took to the streets to protest against this horrific act against women, against humanity. The world stood with the women of India and unequivocally condemned this barbaric crime. However, in a country where, according to its own Crime Records Bureau, reported acts of violence against women are at an increase of 6.4%, the prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, chose to speak to Sheikh Hasina, Bangladeshi prime minister, that she was countering terrorism ‘despite ...

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Reham Khan tells women to “stop complaining” – As a man, allow me!

Reham Khan, in an interview for IndiaToday, advised women to “stop complaining”, and expressed her disapproval of their constant ‘whining’ and self-pitying. Perhaps I should try putting my male privilege to good use by whining on their behalf for a short while? The cover of IndiaToday featured a clichéd garden shot of Mrs Khan with her children; bound in a moment of sweet domestic bliss witnessed often in magazines, seldom in cooking oil commercials, and never in real life. Beneath the saccharine image, in bold white, are printed familiar words of conformity to the patriarchal system that drive Xanax sales ...

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We do not need ‘billis’ to flaunt our ‘jawani’ in Lollywood

After successfully objectifying women in the ‘100 glorious years of Indian cinema’, Bollywood now recognises its part in influencing commoners, what till now has been ‘a bad influence’. It took Bollywood God knows how many Jyoti Singhs to realise what a mess their sexist approach in cinema has caused in populous India. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that our neighbours are in trouble; our fellow women are not safe. But at the moment, I’m more concerned about how all this affects Pakistan. Our cinema is going through an interesting phase of its revival, but the same sexist approach has come to trouble us too. Recent ...

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‘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 ...

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I stand in solidarity with Patricia Arquette

I am not a huge fan of the Oscars because nothing interesting happens during it. It’s the same old show, but recycled every year. And the only reason I’d ever watch the Oscars is because of the pretty dresses showcased by celebrities on the red carpet. I love pretty dresses.   However, this past Sunday, the Oscars took a different turn; they actually became interesting. More and more celebrities were seen talking about rights; civil rights, women rights, immigrant rights, etcetera. From John Legend’s powerful speech on the fact that there are far more black men under correctional control today than they were under slavery in 1850 to Alejandro Gonzalez’s speech which,  after ...

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