Posts Tagged ‘rant’

I used to be a pretty normal girl. Quite geeky, not very fashionable or stylish, or interested in it to be honest, but still fond of bright colours and nail polish. I liked boys. I had a poster of Orlando Bloom, another one of Buffy and Angel and Spike and Cordelia. I watched Star Plus and Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill and 90210.

Then I made the fatal mistake of learning about feminism. What was worst though, is the fact that I actually agreed with a lot of what I read. To my horror, I found myself taking up that dreaded mantle, and calling myself The F-Word: Feminist.

And that is the moment when Feminism ruined my life.

No more did I go into bro mode around guys and objectify women. No, now I bristle at men who constantly have nothing to discuss other than so-and-so hot girls. No more did I make fun of girls wearing capris in university with the guys; I started telling them to mind their own goddamned business and take care of their lothario-like dressing first. Heck, even a mild “bachi” from a guy, designed simply to infantilize women and make them weak and helpless beings in need of protection like a child, reeking of pedophilia, makes me angry! No more did I crack crass rape jokes; I started to tell people to knock it off when they spoke of “raping” someone’s Facebook wall, telling them that it was wrong to do so. I mean, GOD! The context, right? The context is all that matters when making light of the violation of a person’s body and the trauma associated with that incident.

When guys try to pick up the check for me, I get angry. If they pull out a chair for me, I’m offended. If a guy gives up his seat to me, I push him back down and tell him I’m fine with standing. If a guy lets me cut in line simply because of my gender, I’m actually upset about it! Seriously, what is wrong with me? So what if chivalry is misogynist in nature? Other women who pander to patriarchy and internalize misogyny are perfectly happy to be reduced to weak helpless creatures, pretending that they’re weak by virtue of being a woman, and they’re perfectly happy doing so, so why can’t I do the same?

I mean seriously, I’ve gotten so uptight and high maintenance, that if anyone, male or female, says “women have their roles and men have theirs” I actually start going on about how gender is a social and cultural construct. How. Fucking. BORING. I mean, who cares what science or sociology or theory or logic says? Personal, limited opinions and subjective experiences are ALL that matter when it comes to making an informed decision!

Heck, I used to be sweet and romantic, thinking about prince charmings and knights in shining armour. Now, I’m anti-marriage and anti-relationships. Heck, I write about why Disney princesses and traditional faerietales center around the concept of female morality and controlling female sexuality. Who CARES as long as there’s a beautiful princess involved, right? And its messed up my love life. I’m so indifferent to guys when they try to flirt with me because I’m a feminist. And this is the rare occasions when guys actually do flirt with me. Because who wants to hit on a bitch of a feminazi, right? As if it wasn’t bad enough that I’m fat and short, instead of tall and thin and leggy like glossy magazines, the fashion industry, and the capitalist patriarchy tell me I’m supposed to. Plus, I recently chopped off my beautiful, impossible to manage long locks for a shorter haircut, which, to make matters worse, makes me look like a “butch lesbian” and you know how awful it is to look “butch” you know. I mean again, never mind that gender is a social construct, that sexual binaries are stupid, who wants to hear any of that when they’re flirting with someone, right?

I lost my best friend because of feminism. He meant the world to me. He literally was my whole world. One day, he jokingly called me a slut. Loser that I am, I actually got offended. I mean, obviously, OBVIOUSLY he meant it fondly. Clearly, he was saying it out of pride, since I used to be the innocent, naïve sort and changed a lot over the years. And what did I do? I hung up on him in anger. And that was it. That was the moment our friendship started to unravel. That was the day we died.

Simply because I couldn’t tolerate my friend calling me a slut.

Now, look at me. I’m all alone on a Friday night, sad and lonely for my own reasons. On a normal day, I’m fierce and assertive and though I have a timid, not-confrontational nature, I’m driven to stand up for myself and for others, when I see someone being sexist or misogynist. I talk about boring things like the patriarchy, instead of flipping my hair and tilting my head with those slightly widened eyes that slays them every time (evidently, the usage of the word “slay” demonstrates how much I date… not) and giving a fake laugh to make the guy think I’m adorable. I refuse to watch Bollywood because of the rampant stereotypical misogyny and sexual exploitation in every movie.  I have intelligent conversations with people about male privilege and FEMEN and rape apologia. I don’t even listen to rap music anymore! So what if it’s homophobic and offensive? Normal people don’t have a problem with it, so why do I have to try to be different and cool?

So what if I’m intelligent and more aware of social issues and more knowledgeable than the average person? The average person gets laid more than me, after all. The average person is liked at parties. The average person is happier living in their privileged bubble because they’re just ignorant and uninformed about, well, quite a bit, if not everything. Sure, I still dress in bright colours and I still like boys and nail polish and of course, there’s nothing wrong with any of that. But hey, what’s the point of putting on nail polish when no guy is interested in seeing how pretty and delicate my weak feminine hands are, and thus liking how I appeal to his chivalrous side by appealing to his masculinity and boosting his ego by looking like a soft, small thing that must be protected? Obviously, no amount of nail polish or eyeliner can mask the stench of bored indifference, that reek of feminism, that distinct air of “I like you but really, I couldn’t care less because my existence does not revolve around being a man’s property and my happiness is not dependent on the attention men give me, or in conforming to the gender-specific behaviours of a patriarchal society. Your mother would possibly be scandalized that I even exist. I’m never going to procreate. Marriage is a problematic concept.” I mean sure, there are men whose mothers wouldn’t be scandalized but actually adore me, and there are male feminists who seek out feminist partners but hey, those ones get snapped up by the other feminists quite quickly, seeing as they’re an unfortunate rarity in a place like Pakistan.

And this is why feminism has ruined my life. If I could go back, would I change any of it? Stay uninformed, making rape jokes, calling feminists butch lesbians, using gender-specific slurs, objectifying women, and just being an offensive douchebag in general?

Fuck, no.


“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is:  I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute. ”

Rebecca West.

I’ve never understood the rationale behind it, but I’ve always been referred to as the ‘gharilo’ type. It’s pretty baffling because I’m far from it. Maybe it’s because my family’s so conservative and traditional that it makes me the ‘mummy daddy’ type. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooking since I was about 8 or 9. Be that as it may, it’s a stupid stereotype and one I’ve always hated.

However, due to this misconception, I’d often draw the ire of feminists telling me I was shackling myself by cooking and I was too subservient to men and needed to stand up to my father and his patriarchal values. Due to a few random experiences along this vein, I had an abhorrence of feminists. All I want is to cook myself or my family a meal, do we really need to psychoanalyze that?

But within the past year or so, I’ve realized that I do have a lot of strong feminist ideals. I actually had no idea that some of my beliefs constituted as feminist, to be honest, maybe it’s stupid of me but I don’t sit and think about why I think what I think. And as someone with strong feminist beliefs, I am apparently a constantly PMSing nutcase.

A blog I wrote previously about my school- a school which remained unnamed by the way, because I did not feel it ethical to name it- garnered me a lot of criticism from old classmates. I was bombarded with abuse and death threats. And one comment in particular stood out; “You think you’re so smart well my school taught us to be good girls, not feminists like you.” So apparently, feminists that speak up on your behalf, enabling you to attend universities and mingle with boys are the wrong kind of women?

Yesterday, a guy on my timeline tweeted about how there weren’t girls on Twitter because 140 word limits were too small for them. It’s an offensive thing to say, stereotyping women as airheaded chatterboxes, and I called him out on it. He responded with statements about how such women need to be controlled, and that they should’ve been smacked when they were little. Later on he claimed he meant such kids should’ve been smacked, not girls, if you really want to believe him. Obviously, I told him off. He then went on to bitch about me to his female friends, who flocked to his defense and they all sat and mocked the crazy chick who was probably on her  period. (I’m awara because he said hormonal issues like a good little boy, and I’m being blunt and using bad words like period.)

The pathetic part is that all these people are studying at one of the top medical universities in the city. These girls are Pakistani women, who have access to higher level education, who can mingle with boys, who can have guy friends, and yet, these girls are the ones who were making statements such as “she should meet that girl from our uni, they can make their so-called women’s right group”.

These so-called women’s rights groups are why you’re in a medical university. If these women did not speak out for you, who would? The men, rooted in their traditions of patriarchy? The women, standing in their kitchens because they don’t know they deserve better? Because of women who constantly break boundaries and just by their very existence, prove the worth of women, who by example, show that women deserve equal opportunities and rights, we now live in a society where at least a minute percentage of women have some sort of freedom.

It’s so much fun to roam around at night with guys and not be beaten for dishonoring your family. It’s wonderful to wear jeans without censure. It’s fortunate that you get to study as much as you want without anyone trying to take that right from you. It’s great to be able to have the freedom to make your own choices in life. It’s great that you are allowed to actually work, and to have a career, and to not have a life that’s confined to cooking and taking care of the children.

But when the time comes to think, your mind shuts down. When the time comes to recognize why you have such a great life, you instead, revert to mocking the very people who made it possible for you to have that life. You mock them, censure them, call them insane, say they’re surely on their period, mock their attempts to provide equal rights for women.

We live in a society where we ridicule women, and then exclaim, “Take it easy, don’t get hyper it was just a joke!” We stereotype women as vapid chatterboxes but it’s all just in harmless fun. We state that girls who use slang should’ve been smacked when they were little, and then try to pretend we meant all kids, not just girls. And what’s worse, we live in a society where we support misogyny, the ridiculing of women, where we agree with men and mock anyone who dares to have a strong-minded opinion as a nutcase.

Is it so insane to stick up for my own sex? Is it so crazy that I want women to be on equal footing with men? Am I really just some loony who should be institutionalized? Sometimes, I feel like I have no other solution other than screaming long and hard every time I encounter such parhaylikhay jahils. Men shun me and those like me, women mock us and consider us unnatural- my previous blog had one girl calling me a frustrated lesbian- and where does that leave us? In the institution for women with independent minds and strong opinions, being taught how to submit to a man that can control us.

(Title of my blog lovingly adapted from Helen Ruddy’s song, “I Am Woman.”)

Every single person throughout the world has a nationality. We all come from somewhere other than the womb, after all. Some are African, some are American, Some are Mexican, some are Lithuanian, some are Greek, some are Portuguese. And some are Pakistani.

But the different between Pakistanis and all the other nationalities is this; for citizens of countries throughout the world, their nationality exista all 365 days of the year. Pakistanis on the other hand, exist only in August. The rest of the year, we’re the same scum, the same cockroaches that the world knows and loves.

For eleven months of the year, we steal electricity, we beat our servants,we rape women and children, we burn our daughter-in-laws for more dowry, we murder people based on their religion, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexuality. Hell, we even have no qualms about menacingly brandishing rocks and sturdy sticks at a young woman and a child still in his school uniform. In short; we’re absolute assholes.

Come August however, we’re fucking saints. We’re all about the country. We love our fellowmen. We organize events for setting a world record for the most people singing the national anthem. We suddenly respect the flag and want to save it from being dishonoured, for which purpose we organize flag recollection drives.

And then, the minute August ends, its over. We take off the flags on our roofs and fold it up, putting it away for next year. We pack up our pennants, forgetting about them till the next time we need to decorate the garden with them. We forget, in essence, that we are Pakistani.

What about the rest of the year, I ask you? Where is the respect for the flag when our minorities face countless discriminations, many supported by our own constitution? Where is the love for our fellowmen when we jeer at rape victims because they go to 2 am parties and live with a partner? Where is our nationality, where is our pride, where is our self-respect when a female curator is beaten for wearing a sleeveless dress? When we think its perfectly acceptable to enforce our beliefs on others? When we mock and abuse someone if they don’t fast during the so-called holy month?

And therefore, what, I ask you, is the point of 14th August? What is the point of all the celebrations? What is the point of hanging up that poor, assraped flag up on my roof? What is the point, when all I can remember is Bangladesh, when all I can think of is all the nameless, faceless Asia Bibis out there, when all I can hope is that no one attacks my sister when she goes out in public wearing a sleeveless dress, when all I can do is mindlessly shoot off texts to people asking if they’re safe because someone’s been shot in so-and-so area?

Fuck this shit. I will not be a part of your hypocrisy.

If anyone needs me on the 14th, I’ll be watching Bones and eating cupcakes.

When I was in tenth grade, the Vee Incident occurred. I have a habit of naming objects, events, people, etc. in my life. A fight with a friend becomes The Great Silence. A major issue with mom becomes The Incident. And so on. So The Vee Incident is pretty interesting because it’s a perspective on the way I used to be.

In tenth grade, as I mentioned, the principal decided to do away with dupattas, and bring in vees. No oen would protest in a girls-only school, you’d think. But we had peons, and every teacher refused to let us go to the computer lab if only the male teacher, renowned for being touchy-feely was there, so some of us, including me, were mildly miffed. I particularly remember one friend, who shared my point of view, was pleased because she wore the gown of the English secretary, which covered up quite nicely.

Me on the other hand? Well. I was always fat, and always very conscious of my body. Its how I was raised after all, to cover my sattar and the like. It wasn’t fundoo-pana at all, but just a moderately conservative upbringing. Be that as it may, I was outraged and refused to wear the vee. One day during assembly, the prefect forced me to fold my dupatta in a vee, and I remember that the pedophilic computer teacher was standing before me, I remember burning with shame and fired up with anger at the smug look on the prefect’s place; one of the girls I shared a mutual dislike with, because as I’d put it in later rants, “at least no one can tell the exact design and colour of my bra through my clothes without even squinting.” I remember folding my arms around my chest, pulling my sweater tighter, and staying in class all day out of misery. I remember going home and sobbing to my mother about it, about how embarrassing and horrible it was.

I wrote a strongly-worded letter to the principal the next day, and though that did not exempt me from the rule, for whatever reasons, I still got away with wearing my dupatta. The prefect was told off by the congenial head-girl in my presence, “No, why are you pulling Ghausia out of line, she gave her letter, she can wear the dupatta.”

I found out something about that years later. My best friend at the time told me that at the time, everyone was saying, “Why is Ghausia making such a huge fuss? Its not like she’s so shareef after all.”

Your ears perk up. If you’re a lurking troll or hater, you rub your hands in glee. You sharpen your fangs. Finally, some dirt on me! You think. Think again. Until I got to uni, I was only friends with two guys. Hell, in school, it was just the one. (Let me add that I’m not saying its a bad thing to have guy friends, that was how I, and most girls, thought back in my school days, and being friends with boys was grounds for being shame-shame) As mentioned before, I was strict about my dupatta. I did not make friends with girls who wore jeans and tshirts and who danced at weddings. I didn’t even look at girls who went out with boys on friendly trips. I say this unashamedly, because I’m no longer that person, and there’s no shame in being honest.

So, why wasn’t Ghausia back then shareef? Because, Ghausia didn’t read Danielle Steele to understand ‘dirty things.’ She looked up R-rated fanfiction and read erotica. And by tenth grade, she’d tried her hand at writing it too. Hardly that shame-shame huh? Not to me at least. Because they have whispered about what I read, but they came to me with their questions anyway. They may have sneered at me, but I wasn’t the one carrying out an affair with the peon, or whose 22-year-old artist boyfriend  picked her up from school and (as rumor has it) made out with in front of everyone, I wasn’t the one chatting with boys on Pakistani chat forums at 2 in the night. Hell, considering the shit kids these days get up to at that age, I’m glad all I did was read and write.

Anyway, the point is, apparently I had no right to speak up for my right to wear what I want because according to them, I wasn’t shareef.

But who the fuck are they to decide that? They of the see-through shirts, the tight tops, the too-high capris, the deep backs and necks? Mind you, I’m not being judgmental here, but pointing out a simple fact. If I wasn’t shareef for knowing that it was called a penis, not a pigeon, on what grounds were they judging me when they themselves apparently, by their definitions, weren’t shareef either?

Why do I rant out about this? You wonder. Because. No one had the right to tell me I couldn’t wear my dupatta if I wanted to, school rules or not. No one has the right to make me wear my dupatta now. Do I still wear it? Yes. But not out of a desire to. I believe that I’m only responsible for my sins, and if the book tells you to cover up, it tells men to lower their goddamned gaze too. No, I  wear it out of respect for my environment, and my family. It is my choice, whether I wear it or not. I could stop wearing it. No one would say anything. But I know it pleases my dad, so I do. Plain and simple. Of course you can spout some bs about how it isn’t a choice and how sub-consciously out of a desire to please my patriarchal fascist family and my oppressive tyrannical dad, I wear it, thus it isn’t a choice. Stfu okay? If I’m saying it’s my choice and I can quit wearing it if I want without any consequences, then you bloody well believe it, or quit reading my blog if you want to be skeptical. See, you have a choice there too.

This has been a subtle way of discussing the burqa debate. I have been up since 06:15am. I’m going to go have dinner now. Please to not be leaving unpleasant or rant-ish comments. I find them distressing.

I’ve been putting this off, mainly because I was wondering whether I should write about it or not. Initially, I figured I was making a mountain out of a molehill, but I think this is a molehill because we as a people don’t realize how small-minded and shallow we’ve become.

The ET FB page can get pretty insane sometimes. When the Sunday magazine had a story on Jews, there were lots of assholish comments there as well, and yeah, I’ve cussed people out there myself. But this bit is just plain ridiculous.

Pakistani masses, ladies and gentleman.

This is just wrong and sad on so many levels. I don’t mind the attack on me, considering what a cunt that chick is, and I have my suspicions that she may know of me through other sources, and thus the dislike. That’s not why I’m posting this. Beauty pageants tend to be shallow and mindless, but here is this woman who is a mother, who is not a teen bimbo, but she still won a pageant. For the record, I think she’s lovely. She looks a mix of Indian/Bengali/Christian to me actually, but either way, she’s very pretty. So why the hate? Because she’s not young? Or gori? Or have huge knockers? More importantly, why the hell are we apparently so obsessed by looks?

Ugh I don’t even have the words for this, that’s how disgusted I am.

On another note, a while back, my search terms showed me prounce ghausia. I thought maybe it was a typpo for pronounce. Its not. So whoever is looking that up, there is something extremely wrong with you, you sick fuck.