Recently documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Saad Zuberi produced a new documentary with VICE about honor killing in Pakistan. I have spoken about this topic before too just sharing some thoughts today again.
More than a 1000 women are killed in the name of honor every year just in Pakistan.
When we want to raise women as cattle who should listen to their owners (Parents, Husband, Brothers, family.) When thinking for themselves or having any desire is a sin. When its ok to be a piece of meat when your owner decides that you are ready for slaughter and then the cycle continues with the new owner.
Yes I am a rebel and yes I live my life on my own terms but it does come with a price. I am blessed to have a supportive family who might not agree with me but still chooses to love and stand by me. There is not a single weekend that goes by when I don’t hear someone trying to shame my parents over choices that I make. They have been told to sever all ties with me by my own distant family in Pakistan. Some of their friends here have openly criticized them and me. Why? Because my body is a piece of shame that should stay in hiding. Because women should not use words that even remotely define their body parts.
Not a single day goes by when I don’t receive messages from girls asking how did you do it? How are you able to live your life? Honestly some days I ask myself that question too. That is it me? doing this on my own? Or is it because I have a strong husband like Sharjeel who constantly reminds me to stay true to myself.
As I write this tears fall through my eyes because I know that somewhere it pains my family deeply. I know people’s words get to them and they feel embarrassed. But living a life which is not on my terms is death to me. I would rather die then be suffocated by society’s rules. I want my daughter to live a life where she has a choice in everything. From religion, culture, traditions and a complete control over her body. Where she is not ashamed to wear a burqa or bikini.
I hope one day we can get to a point where women’s characters are not based on their clothes and basic human desires but on their intelligence and their contribution to the society.
I will end with this quote from:
Chimamamda Ngozi Adichie
We teach girls shame. Close your legs; cover yourself. We make them feel as though being born female, they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up–and this is the worst thing we do to girls–they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.
You can watch the documentary here: