Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not in my name.. NOT A BITCH

From what I know so far, Anum Mansuri also wrote an awful piece on "people with disabilities" I can only imagine how tht went considering.. Meesha is "literally"a bitch.. I just dont see how it was needed to be used in a national newspaper to assert her"shrewdness" or "divaness".

Apparently Mansuri's dad is some big shit in Pakistani print media circles.. so I can totally understand her arrogance now. It clearly shows how the so-called youth and elites of Pakistan exploit their power and privilege to get away with almost anything they please or see fit.

But hey leave Mansuri, now we have so called "feminists" who are jumping on the "bitch" wagon, how its the most appropriate word for women AND I am kinda sick and tired of "feminists" who are supporting the whole bitch argument and asking people to calm down.

I just hate it when teenage girls call each other "bitch" and just bringing the "bitch" mainstream and romanticizing with it, is extremely problematic.

So here it goes, let me tell you anthropological history of the word "bitch"... The word was used to degrade women, everyone knows that, then came 1960s and first wave feminism where "white upper middle class women" decided to challenge the system and demand for all the good things in the world.. [ bear in mind women of colour were never a part of this great struggle cos they were still third class citizens being women and being coloured women and poor women ].. fast forward a few years where "bitch" got to be mainstream [still a privlege of the upper middle class cos everything is fashionable and cool once percieved from capitalstic point of view].. and fast forward to Pakistan.. where most women live in rural areas, not many of them have privleges of white women or even rich upper class stay-home/activist-y Pakistani women... so why the heck "bitch" matters in this context.. b/c we are not "white", we have our own distinct cultural and social identity..just cos something is widely accepted doesnt mean something is OK.. if tomorrow western pop culture is going to make "CUNT" popular and a CUNT magazine comes out.. does tht means my new name will be a "cunt" and not a woman b/c it will be synonymous.

For all those who are propagating use of "bitch" as widely accepted language they should really consider reading critiques of slut walk where "slut" was being made popular in the name of sexual violence.

It was written by a collective of black queer women critiquing the usage of word for similar reason that we are having this discussion today i.e. our identity. Our identity as women, esp as Pakistani women, South Asian women, Third World Country's women.. dont try to be all hip and fancy because being progressive doesnt means being white or promote whiteness and patriarchal notions associated with it


I work as antiracist advocate and I teach race analogies with feminism.. Pakistani awam esp the urbanites upper class who think that life is all good as they live the most privleged lifestyle in Pakistan..forget at times that they act and perpetutate "whitness" in so many different ways. If people really wanna learn about radical and critical feminism, they need to look at black authors like Bell Hooks, Maya Angelou or critically acclaimed brown author Sarah Ahmed, Jasbir Puar and many others.. and try to use their own grey matter for once.. try to understand privlege and identity.. and try to understand that this kind of shameless "whiteness" diminishes their own identity and promotes religious extremism in the country.

For all those Tribune "elites", please dont forget to hop on the bandwagon when popular culture makes "cunt" synonymous with women.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Idiotic Journalists... Such a pain

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Highlights from Express Tribune 'Bitch' Episode

For those who dont know, Express Tribune published a story on Meesha Shafi where author Anum Mansuri called her a 'Sexy-Bitch'... really out of all the words in the English language which can be used to describe a beautiful women, she choose to use the word 'bitch'. The worst part was that where whole Tribune staff justified her actions... here are few snapshots

 Bhopal House reacted to the whole controversy in this manner;
While Omar Qureshi justified his stance in a following way, i am sure it was Eid for him considering it was legalised by Anum Mansuri for any so-called 'liberal' to be openly sexist for a day

Women are moving across space and time and here in Pakistan, an attractive woman can only be described as a "bitch"..... Bravo Tribune for taking us 100 years back. I always criticize religious community for holding us back but you.. well you have topped my list today.

Calling woman a "bitch" is not fucking classy, neither its fashionable nor fucking acceptable.. u fucking a-holes at Express Tribune.
I have met a lot of nutcase women from Pakistan but Anam Mansuri will be the biggest PARHI LIKHI ARROGANT JAHIL, I might have ever encountered
And you know what, no wonder Mullahs from Pakistan are so extreme, you are pseudo nutbags who give reason to religious fundamentalism in Pakistan by pulling of stunts like these.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pakistani Clergy - World Hijab Day

You can clearly witness misogynistic, authoritative, imposing, Nazi mentality of Pakistani men when major tweeters of  are MEN

Really, how does Syed Munawar Hassan explains this report on sexual harassment in Egypt "more than 80% of Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment in their life time and majority of victims wore headscarves" reported by BBC.

But Munawar Hassan is more concerned with how he can help in covering up for closeted rapists and rape apologists who blame women for being all the nuisance in the world, similar to a cartoon like this;

You want to talk about "fundamental rights of Muslim women", let me account for the fundamental rights of Muslim women which Pakistani clergy is least concerned with; education, health care, social services, reproductive health services, reproductive rights, right to harassment free workplace, avoidance from forced marriages, and many more are fundamental rights of Muslim women.

All those desi housewives from UK who were saying "hijab as woman's right"... let me inform you something unique, you have your rights in the western world like I and many others but let not talk abt RIGHTS in Pakistan, sadly these are things of civilized world. Trust me I recognize my privileges unlike many others.

Bear in mind 70% of Pakistani population live in rural areas so before any urbanite jump on the bandwagon of how Pakistan is progressive, think about it.

Pakistani women dont get "rights" for those who have forgotten, they get religio-cultural-policed orders from clergy, thats all they get.

People can talk abt "Hijab for women" when all women in Pakistan have access to harassment free education & health care till then please dont impose your personal experiences on the rest of the world. When Pakistani women can live a "free-will" life then we will talk abt rights of women to veil.

Modesty and morals are subjective so please dont impose your version of "Islamic culture" on the rest of humanity. Don't propagate your hatred against the rest of mankind and dont make them vulnerable to religion sanctioned sexual violence, just cos they choose to defy norm.

Oh and the foremost important thing, rights and responsibilities are a 2-way street. If you think you have a right to wear "hijab" then give me my right of choosing not to wear one. Don't impose your religion and morals down my throat. Don't get offended when a woman is wearing a skirt, don't pass judgement when a woman walks home alone, dont dictate the rights of others to choose and live in peace.

I am really looking forward to the great logic behind how a head scarf is going to help me from getting sexually harassed or getting raped... and that it is not something which is part of the rape culture.

For Syed Munawar Hasan, if Hijab is "mandatory" for both men and women, then I would really like to witness a campaign from Jamat-e-Islami in Pakistan which celebrates "Hijab for men" give them pair of veils and ask them to hide their faces, after all men give me dirty thoughts too. 

Jeez ppl.. I dont make my opinions as per popular demand.. I am a woman not .. too bad u got offended rather than gained a new perspective.

Child Sexual Abuse: Where are children rights in Pakistan?

After very tough days' work I was able to connect with Syed Miqdad Naqvi and we had candid conversation on lack of policies and laws on child sexual abuse.

Tell me a bit about yourself

I have been national coordinator of WORKING GROUP AGAINST CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE & EXPLOITATION from 2006 to 2009 and have been in touch with research and legislative measures. Currently I am working in Punjab Province (Pakistan) particularly on Juvenile Justice.

Is the working group currently under parliamentary sub group or is it just a collective of independent working group?

No, it was the independent nonformal working group against child sexual abuse and exploitation since 1996. SACH, SAHIL, ROZAN, VISION, SC-Sweden, SC-UK and PPA were the members.

As per your info how many organizations are currently active in Pakistan working on CSA?

There are so many SAHIL, ROZAN, SACH, Pakistan Pediatric Association, Sanjog, Konpal, PAHCHAAN, VISION and may be many other including NGOs.

What is CRM-Pakistan?

The Child Rights Movement (CRM), a network of 28 organisations working on child rights in Pakistan and I am its focal person.

Why are there no laws on child sexual abuse in Pakistan?

After the 18th Amendment, it is the responsibility of the provincial governments to introduce legislation and policies to address the issues of children. National Commission for Children Welfare & Development (NCCWD) was dissolved after the 18th ammednment. Unfortunately, following the 18th Constitutional Amendment no mechanism was left at the federal level to coordinate with the provinces on the issues of child rights.  A number of bills which were in the pipeline for the past several years were forgotten because there was no in-charge to follow those despite the fact that some of them have nothing to do with 18th Constitutional Amendment i.e. Child Protection (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, Charter of Child Rights Bill and Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill etc.

So you are saying none of these laws were passed by the government at all?

Yes, all these docs are pending, none of the bill passed regarding children.

Has court set any precedence on bringing or changing any laws in the penal code?

Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000 which provide protection to the children in conflict with law from further exploitation and abuse, the fate of this only child related law is pending before the supreme court since 2005, though the law is in implementation in courts but in spirit.

If so much has been pushed for quiet sometime, why the masses are not educated about it?

Many reasons, I think its a tabooed issue for Pakistani society with religious element of denial and intolerance. But now it has started to progress towards awareness. We have SAHIL & Rozan as great examples which are doing a good job regarding child sexual abuse.

Why we dont have PSAs by the govt ( for raising awareness and reducing exploitation ) on it esp when under UN Convention and Stockholm Agenda, we are required to do so?

We have a document that was approved by the cabinet in 2005 as NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION AGAINST CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

I am witness to the civil society of Pakistan which did so much but there was lack of effort on the Government part.

National Plan of Action includes much information regarding the issue that was supposed to done for prevention, protection, rehab and monitoring/evaluation.

After 18th Amendment noone bothered to follow this National Plan of Action, as it was the subject of NCCWD that time. 

For purposes of implementation of National Action Plan and to grab the attention, I and another team member visited from Gujranwala to Jaffarabad (Balochistan) for media consultations. There has always been resistance, but now its getting acceptance with passage of time.

In 2009, we started an awareness campaign through DAEWOO buses/terminal TV the body protection messages like good touch bad touch/how a child can protect his body, we also provided feedback cards, it worked as 55% pplz wanted to get this sort of information, 45% were disagree with the concept in those feedback cards, Keeping in mind the DAEWOO bus is used by mostly well educated, civilized peoples the 45% was big number that time. I may share the data of those 5000 feedback cards.

These results are impressive and its huge amount of data which gives insight into what our people want. Were these results shared with the govt. and was there an emphasis created for change in laws and increase in awareness?  Were they not willing to do it or was it not their priority? 

NEVER!! It has never been priority at any stage provincial or national level...We are a STATE without any child protection policy, we have hundreds of policies but not any CHILD PROTECTION POLICY.

What are your suggestions to the government?
The government should establish provincial commission on the children’s rights which, should be given the mandate to review the laws dealing with children.The commission should also be given the power to introduce new legislations and amend existing laws to address the children’s needs.


Though the conversation is very painful that so many people have been working towards a common goal but our policy makers seem to be uninterested. 

These are some of very important questions which we should be asking our politicians. 
Are our children not our priority? 
Should they not be protected? 
And if not what kind of future are we providing to people in Pakistan?

Website last updated 2013