Tag Archives: Girls

Part II

In the light of what has been discussed after I posted my open letter to Maya Khan which was later on published on Express Tribune’s blog, I’ve decided to clear several things out for the first and last time before someone misunderstands me for supporting sex trafficking and prostitution in family parks.

I don’t.

I don’t support occupying family spots for these acts. I don’t encourage anyone to strip naked on a wooden bench while kids play on the seesaw. I really don’t endorse the idea of soliciting people for paid sex in such vicinities. I’m not here, as several argued, to incinerate the very fabric of ‘Islamic’ social and moral conduct. Some people accused me of being in favor of letting young males and females engage in “questionable” acts due to which they get hurt sexually, physically and emotionally. One even told me to “leave the country” and “go back to USA” where “this shit happens on a daily basis.”  Implying that this “shit” is perfectly contained and controlled in the land of pure Pakistani perfection. Delusional people are most entertaining.

Some people also alleged that I am trying to be “hip” and “in” by conforming to the modern idea of PDA, socializing and modern relationships. They tell me that I am oblivious of what happens to young people when they are not told to avoid sneaking out, lying to guardians or parents, etc. They inform me that what Maya Khan and her kind did, was simply “interview” young couples in parks. Conflating “interviewing” with “harassing” is a dangerous misunderstanding. I could “interview” you too. It won’t be pleasant.

So here’s what I’ve proposed to all those who misconstrue me needlessly on two major fronts among others:

  • Concerned about indecency in public places? Use the right medium to educate

    Closet Maya Khans sit comfortably in their privilege as they preach those under them. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Her act was not just a moral policing one, but also a classist lashing against those with less a chance to meet in the places she goes to. We all know what happens in opulent, endowed settings. There is no difference between the “illegal” act happening in a poor man’s household and that taking place in a rich man’s mansion. It is very easy to attack and admonish the weaker party. You can use religion, morality or simple concern as an excuse. I don’t deny the reality that unsettling things do occur in parks and the idea to address those happenings is valid. But there are ways to go about these problems. Creating social and religious stigma around them is the least preferable thing to do. Someone with a little decent knowledge of ethics – media and otherwise – would know. Stigmatizing public places not only deviates the majority from the real issue but also limits accessibility to them. You are not helping by locking the venue up.

  • “Girls get hurt when they don’t tell their parents about their lives!” 

    They actually do, you’re right. However please help me wrap my head around the approach consisting of publicly naming and shaming a young person in order to make them aware of their actions. How does shoving a camera into a young girl’s face rectify her dishonesty? If we all are so worried about our young women, why hasn’t any one of us ever considered talking to them in their classrooms, in their school halls, in their colleges? Why hasn’t anyone of us bothered writing about it? Some of you seem so horrified behind your screens about the looming danger waiting to claw at our girls yet you offer no pragmatic solution to solve this problem. If Maya Khan and her troupe wanted to help girls from getting harmed, why didn’t she turn the camera off, implored the girl to listen and offered her well-intended advice in privacy? A group of panting men and women holding cameras after a young couple doesn’t change anything. You were not assigned by the government, constitution or God to ram “naseehat” down someone’s throat. Worried about young girls’ safety? Guide them without shaming them. Disgusted by indecency tainting the family park? Report to authorities firmly and promptly. Public vigilantism is not the right way to go about it.

It may sound tangential but many of you want to help women from getting hurt. That’s wonderful. I realize that many of our parents and well wishers do not have access to internet or open media sources to learn more in terms of going about discussing sexual safety, rights, etc. This is where you become useful and spread the word without becoming a moral preacher like the woman aforementioned. Tell young women how to fight against sexual harassment, educate young girls about sex because it is one of their primary rights, empower them through education, conduct classes, seminars and conferences open for everyone and talk about it in Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, English, whatever.

Get to it or

Muslim Pick Up Lines With Doodles

Flirting is an art. It is also one way to receive lashings, both of the religious and from-that-beautiful-girl kind. I, your loyal blogger, am back with sincere halal advice for my Muslim readers on how to score a Muslim chick. Non-Muslim friends and followers, please make sure your Muslim friends try this the next time they see that gorgeous chick around the block.

It may work. IT MAY WORK.

SSS: Show Some Swag

Yeah. Show some halal swag. Go up to a Muslim chick and do this. She’ll love you in this world and hereafter.

CHECK OUT MY OUTDATED HIJRI CALENDAR. SO MUCH SWAG.

 AHIH: Assure Her It’s Halal

By marrying her. I don’t know. Just do it.

The Fajr Trick:

It works. It always works.

And they woke up every Fajr happily ever after.

Put a Ring On It:

Marry her already.

GET KINKY:

IT’S GETTING JAHANUMMI IN HERE. TAKE OFF ALL YOUR SINS.

I’ll stop trolling.

Pro-tip: While studying Surah Baqarah in the Quran, I read that the prescribed manner in which a Muslim man should ask for a woman’s hand in marriage is simple. This time I am genuinely not trolling. Do the following and try not leering. It’s not nice or halal.

SCORE.

Allergic to Sexist Pity

When I was growing up, my mother would often hold cosy gatherings with her friends in the city. Sometimes if she found out a new neighbor had arrived in the area, she’d cordially invite them over as well for a cup of tea and some light-hearted chit chat. My sisters and I would play in the hallway while the ladies would discuss weather, Pakistan, recipes and health. During those conversations, I often found one lady or the other asking my mother a question that seemed less inquisitive, more accusing in its spoken nature: “To aap ki betiyaan hi hain, buss? (So you have daughters only?)”

My mother: “Jee. Teen. (Yes. Three.)”

Reply: “Haye, Allah baita de aap ko. Barri himmat hai. (Oh my, may the Lord bless you with a son. I commend your courage.)”

And I’d feel incompetent as though my being a daughter was somehow an insult, maybe some sort of incompetence on part of my parents. I love my mother for her response though: “Nahi, shukriya. Yehi baitiyaan hain, yehi baitay hain. Hum bohut khush hain. (No, thanks. These are our daughters, and our sons. We’re very happy with them.)”

But it didn’t stop. I grew up with classfellows in Pakistan asking me if I had brothers. I would reply in the negative. After which an entire group of students would sympathize with me and offer their brothers to give me “protection, honor and strength.” I never accepted the (pity-filled) offers – sometimes politely, sometimes with downright indignation.

Eventually I learned that due to a set of religiously exploited and malevolent patriarchal reasons, a daughter is viewed as a burden in our society. Bringing them up is not only considered a grueling test but a constant walk upon thin glass every single day of a subcontinental parent’s life. Phrases like “Baiti walay“, “Dheeyan aalay“, “Kaanch jaisi izzat ka khayal” and other highly dramatic terms flood households with daughters. It’s sickening. Everyone knows that, right? Why am I extrapolating the said and done? It’s not redundant; Shaming those who constantly offer unnecessary pity to parents with daughters and siblings with sisters only should be mandatory. Growing up while constantly questioning one’s self worth only because their gender perceived by the society inhibits them from deserving common respect is not only painful but humiliating. Silencing parents from airing their worries and speaking up against violence and discrimination is wrong and inhumane. Parents are often told, “Baitiyaan walon ko awaz neechay aur sar jhuka ke rakhna chahiye (Those with daughters should not raise their voice or head.)” Instilling fear into a family only because the child is female is a practice rampant in this region.

So I decided to do what I do best: Doodle my rage.

I’m illustrating a book some day with this cover for every girl in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, countries in the Middle East, in North America, South America, Africa, even Antarctica. Here it is:

Depressing illustrations by Ms. Someone Really Sick Of Stupid Questions.

My mother usually had to go through this. She’s a civil lady so her disdain is often channelized into her tea cup. I don’t know how that works but whatever.

Which leads to:

Back in school, ironically enough girls would offer me sympathy for not having a brother. My basic reaction: You’re a girl too. Why let the culture and society control your idea of power and protection, of worth and esteem?

I also placed my (very unreasonable) demands when I was naive.

THE CHILD HATH NO IDEA OF WHAT SHE HATH ASKED FOR.

But my parents handled it ever so gracefully. Their stance: They don’t need sons to feel protected or respected. The biological sex of a child does not determine whether or not they are likely to bring shame or honor to the family. No one is a burden until you render them one. So the next time I find someone offering their “concern” when they find out I have no brother, I will most likely ask them to give birth to one and bring the kid to my place. Till then, shut it.

P.S. Hajj hiatus and other reasons kept me away from my WordPress blog. I’m back now and I’m ready to doodle. And stuff.

AND OTHER STUFF.