Stories about sexual violence

Game of Thrones has not only failed the Night King, but also its badass women

If there is one thing I’ve grown to expect every Monday as I wake up at six in the morning to watch Game of Thrones, it is the feeling of disappointment that inevitably follows the end of every episode. This isn’t even limited to this season; many would agree that the show has been struggling for a while, now that it no longer has George RR Martin’s brilliant source material to fall back on. **Spoilers alert** Fans watched in disappointment as all the Martells and Tyrells were killed off, Jon was made Aegon Targaryen despite already having a half-brother with the ...

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Who faced the music better: Meesha Shafi or Ali Zafar?

This week saw yet another development in Pakistan’s first #MeToo case: Ali Zafar spoke directly to the media for the first time since he filed a defamation case against Meesha Shafi for accusing him of sexual harassment. Zafar confidently told the media that Meesha’s case has been dismissed and he has been proven innocent by the court of law. This is blatantly untrue. In fact, it is a vicious way of misleading common people who are unaware of legal proceedings and only believe what they hear Zafar say on the news. What is actually happening? Firstly, according to Nighat Dad’s statement, Zafar has ...

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‘Perfect victim’ or not, Asma Aziz is still a victim of her husband’s brutality and society’s mentality

We have all seen Asma Aziz’s bruised face and shaved head plastered across all media forums. With a croaked and defeated voice, she narrated the extent of the sexual violence and physical abuse inflicted on her by her husband, Faisal Aziz. She disclosed that he had stripped her naked and beaten her with steel pipes while the male house-help pinned her down in a grotesque display of violent voyeurism. She later implored for justice through social media. And justice is what the nation demands, unequivocally, irrespective of class and gender. Disgusting! A woman in Lahore, who identified herself as Asma Aziz was tortured ...

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Easy way out: Stop blaming drugs, porn for Kasur’s child abuse cases and address the real reasons

Kasur, a city with a population of 3,454,996, has seen rising incidences of sexual violence, including child sexual abuse. This city has seen 700 cases of child sexual abuse in the last three years. Faces of little Zainab Ansari and the victims of the series of child sexual abuse scandal that involved at least 280 boys are still fresh in mind. The federal Ombudsman recently brushed many reasons under the carpet by using common buzzwords and only blamed drugs, pornography and prostitution for the increase in sexual violence against children. My contention is that the Ombudsman has taken an extremely narrow approach in understanding a complex, ...

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The room of beasts and unspeakable secrets

Mahnaz sat under an ivory sky on the ground outside the library building of her college. A light and wispy summer breeze kept turning the pages of a tattered and well-thumbed copy of Jane Eyre lying at her feet. She had just finished reading the book for the umpteenth time, which was evident from the pages that were all worn and dog-eared, the margins that crawled with hastily scribbled notes, the pastel-coloured post-its that protruded from every page, and the spine that was riven with creases. Every time she finished reading the book, she could not help but cringe ...

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#PunishSadatBashir: Are 80 voices not proof enough?

Online feminist campaigns such as #MeToo have brought down many titans of toxic masculinity. Famous international cases include James Dean, a famous adult actor who was accused by many women of sexually assaulting them. The House of Cards star and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey too was accused by a man of sexually assaulting him and is currently under police investigation, after having his contract with Netflix ended for his shameful conduct. The never-ending list of accused also includes other former legends like Bill Cosby and recent addition, Morgan Freeman. In all these cases, the allegations have been and are undergoing investigation by relevant authorities. Careers have taken ...

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Emotional abuse may not leave scars like physical and sexual violence does, but words can hurt more than punches

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” These words by John F Kennedy shed light on the purpose behind the 16 days of Activism that we all advocate for today. We all stand united as one, across the globe, reaching out to protect women against the prevalent threat of violence. When we say violence, however, most of us are usually focusing on physical and sexual violence, featuring stories of battered and broken victims. What goes unstated and somewhat neglected is the trauma of emotional abuse that women are also widely subjected to in today’s world. “Do you really ...

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A man rapes an 8-year-old in front of his daughter in broad daylight, and India claims it is progressing

In my previous blog, I had mentioned how an old colleague quoted sacred text to prove that women were sent to this world as a test to men and that women are evil creatures.  Only a few days had passed and I read this disturbing story of a man raping an eight-year-old girl in Delhi, and that too in front of his teenage daughter. It made me wonder what could be the reason behind a human being falling so deep in the pit of monstrosity that they hurt vulnerable people or innocent children. Could it be psychological? Is there any explanation at all? And then I came across these verses from The Mahabharata, ...

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Dictators like Rodrigo Duterte need to be careful when they “joke” about using rape as a weapon

The world works in strange ways and the more things change, the more they stay the same. After decades, nay centuries of conflict, it seems the world had finally turned the corner in the 90s. Yes, there was a lot still to be done, but we seemed to be moving in the right direction. The cold war had ended, the European Union (EU) took concrete shape, and globalisation was taking root all over. Free trade and the communication revolution were turning the world into a global village. Perhaps for the first time in human history, democracy and human rights were regarded as supreme and inviolable in ...

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Fifty Shades Darker is deeply sexist and truly reprehensible

Who would have thought that there could be another level of worse when it comes to Fifty Shades Darker? It was impossible to anticipate that the movie about Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), the uninteresting couple featured in four of E L James’ books, could touch another low. The sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker  is so pathetic that I feel it is an assault on intelligence and the sensibility of the viewers. A young billionaire, Grey, runs a highly successful company that seems to require little of his time and attention. He ...

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