Stories about violence against women

Honey Singh makes ‘rap’ culture sound like ‘rape’ culture

Women are rarely presented as independent and confident human beings, let alone superior to men in rap songs. The women that populate the songs of well known rappers like Eminem, Cam’ron, Snoop Dog and Lil’ Wayne are submissive, dependent and nymphomaniacs. Their only purpose in life is to be objectified as symbols to satisfy male desire. An example that is closer to home is that of the rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh. I came across this person when I read about how Indian women had petitioned to get his concert cancelled due to his misogynistic lyrics. “Girls like to hear Honey Singh ...

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Congratulations on your inhumanity

Congrats on this morose day to you, Where the sky is a shade of gloomy blue, And birds rarely sing perchance, they attract glee, While everyone roams around in utter frenzy.   Congrats to you and your sterile emotions, To your faithless love and your empty notions, To your lifeless joy and your proud modesty, To your useful religion and your puritan negativity.   Congrats on having a mind cunning in all might, Congrats on having a heart colder than ice, Congrats on ruining houses, destroying love, And posing it to be a commandment sent from above.   Congrats in losing the little warmth left in you, In being cleansed of all human feelings too, On ...

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Women are not treated as ladies even in developed countries

There is a country where, every six days, a woman is killed by her partner. It is a country where, on any given day, over 3,000 women with their 2,500 children live in emergency shelters to escape domestic violence. It is a country where in just one year, over 0.4 million women over the age of 15 reported that they have been sexually assaulted. Since only 10 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police, the actual number is much higher. It is a country where half of all women have experienced at least one incident of ...

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Blind date

December 20, 2011. Beep, beep, beep. Sameen took a deep breath and flipped open her cell phone. “Blue jeans, grey t-shirt.” The car stopped in traffic. Sameen began tapping her foot impatiently. There wasn’t much time left until he would be waiting there. And sure as that was, her phone blinked, “Where are you?” She suddenly felt flustered and snapped at her driver to somehow speed the car through the massive traffic jam. “Stuck at a signal,” she texted back. “Be there in ten.” He was already there and had been waiting for her. Sameen suddenly felt her blood pressure drop all over again. For the past two weeks ...

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For the sake of women

Last week Shazia Bibi, a resident of Lahore, was taken to the Mayo Hospital with severe burn injuries. According to what her husband told the police, his other wife had thrown boiling water on her. It was not until a day later that she told the police that the culprits were her husband and his brother, after she had refused to ask her parents for Rs100,000 as asked by her in-laws. Unfortunately, Shazia did not survive to fight against this violence, but then how many who survive do? Yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. No less ...

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I love you more than I love myself

Struggling to find the right key to unlock the door, she began giggling at the doorway. Quick as a flash, he retrieved the key that had slipped from her hand and joined in her laughter. She had always had shaky hands, and he, naughty as ever revelled in testing her ability to complete tasks that required steadiness. Finally entering the room, Laila discarded the red shawl she was draped in and began to undress. He admired her slender figure and for the millionth time wondered what he had done right to deserve her. “Pregnancy is suiting Kamil’s wife well,” she remarked ...

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‘Revenge’ is my favourite word

Ramazan had begun and my dear Khursheed’s college had ended. I loved meeting her. Every day I would prepare Iftari for her, all set with a bottle of chilled Rooh Afza. She would come, collect the Iftari, stay with me for a while and then leave. One day she told me that her father had accepted her cousin’s marriage proposal on her behalf and so I should not meet her anymore. I was enraged, furious at the thought of her being with someone else. I just couldn’t let her go away like this. I thought to myself, If she can’t be mine, ...

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Saving Face: An Oscar for mediocrity?

In February, when Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s Film, Saving Face, on acid burn victims won an Oscar, I was sceptical. Accolade seemed to focus on how great it was for Pakistan to have this honour – and whenever people get jingoistic, you know that the core may be hollow.   Frankly, there are two reasons why the film won the Oscar: excellent public relations work, and choice of topic that fits the western narrative of acceptable ways to talk about Muslim women – as victims of patriarchal religious violence without any emphasis on the larger socio-economic context in which this violence ensues and whether there are ...

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Husbands who beat, women who get beaten

What happens when your savior also becomes your enemy? How do you feel when the father of your child emotionally, psychologically, verbally and physically abuses you instead of giving you the respect you deserve? How do you reclaim your self-esteem when he ridicules you and your family and makes you believe every time that it is your fault, when actually it isn’t? Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and who you think loves you in return, because you’ll always end up ...

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The Oscar conundrum

Pakistan’s first Oscar moment was momentous, to say the least. That one of our own was blessed enough to walk in front of the best of the best of the world cinema and claim her place within their ranks is a testament to the resolve of the Pakistani spirit, and an ovation to our limitless talent. At the same time it has been mired in the fact that it does portray a side that we would rather brush under the carpet. There is some truth to both sides of the story. To walk up and be awarded the golden statue, which ...

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