Monday, July 29, 2013

The Burqa Avenger - A failed attempt at female empowerment.


Dear readers,

after a whirlwind of twitter conversations I feel I am obligated to put my two cents in on the topic of Pakistan's new 'empowered' female superhero: The Burqa Avenger. Yep, you heard me...we are now officially using the face covering niqab as propaganda for female empowerment. And apparently its not even the fundamentalists that created this wonderful body of work. It was made by a Pakistani pop-star... who is apparently pretty open minded and not a supporter of niqab at all. Just imagine what a more conservative member of our society would have made... sigh..


This is why I love twitter, it really elevates the conversation, gets a bunch of perspectives in.


Look, I'm all for Pakistanis taking the reign on their creativity, shaping it, moulding it and re-imagining popular culture to make it our own. That would be awesome. There are some incredible artists in Pakistan that the world needs to know about.

I get that we want to make it our own and give it a 'local feel' (as Haroon Rashid mentioned in one online article);

"Rashid, who is certainly no radical Islamist, said he used a burka to give a local feel to the show, which is billed as the first animated series ever produced in Pakistan.

"It's not a sign of oppression. She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes," Rashid said.


"Since she is a woman, we could have dressed her up like Cat-woman or Wonder Woman, but that probably wouldn't have worked in Pakistan." 

Yes, yes Haroon, a spandex suit would probably not have been well recieved... but is there no middle ground? Could she not have been called the Dupatta Avenger? (dupatta is a scarf pakistani women wear sometimes on their head, or around their neck -much more versatile, inclusive and non-extremist as well as local -  than a fucking niqab) Why must we always make news with something religion-related or terror-related, or both? Do we not have anything else to offer? Give us some fuckin credit here....

On the plus side, I will say the animation is spectacular, the production quality looks great.... Good job on that. Even the logo/wordmark is well done and reflects the niqab subject-matter well :) 

The major issue here is that they felt a ninja-niqabi hybrid would give Pakistani women a sense of empowerment, while giving Pakistani men a watered-down version of a 'strong female character' that they could accept. Because really.... they couldn't handle it if she was really empowered? FFS.

So she's a 'mild' mannered teacher by day (every good Pakistani woman should be 'mild' mannered of course, otherwise shes just a fuckin' whore) and a burqa-clad pro education, taliban fighting woman by night? Yep, THAT makes a lot of sense... no inconsistencies or plot holes here at all. 

Since she chose a burqa to hide her identity, and not something more neutral... say... umm a FUCKING mask.... or a duppatta... I'm forced to believe she is religiously inclined. And that is fine for a country that was founded upon religion.... but could we have maybe made her a hijabi (baby steps)? A hijab's cultural place I get, even though I disagree with its problematic roots. Its more than a religious symbol, its a cultural one now.

We could've left it there... but noooo.... The niqab is where its at. An 'empowered niqabi' is a fucking oxymoron, don't kid yourselves. 

You can make her burqa as sleek and stylish as you want, but look at her real life counterparts:

I think I see a little ankle there... woah!

yep, she looks like she's at par with her man. Not. She looks like a bag of potatoes. That can NOT be comfortable. And what is the point of this picture? 


THIS is what you're endorsing. I don't think enough thought was put into the socio-political aspects of the message you're sending here, Haroon. Of course everyone is inspired by Malala and girls getting education, etc.... but remember that Malala does NOT cover her face.... 

People will argue that face covering hardcore burqas are not a tool of oppression, they are cultural, and that some people 'choose' this. Yeah...I will write you a separate essay on why that's bs. I am all about respecting peoples religious beliefs, as long as they are kept to themselves not harmful to others (which includes humiliation/oppression of women).

Supposedly, burqa's are not even Islamic. They are not mentioned as a requirement anywhere as far as my limited knowledge goes.... why do you think its done then? To control women and their bodies. No self-respecting person would want to walk around in insane heat with limited air flow and skewed vision. No one would choose that for themselves. 

Oh but but her 'weapon' of choice (aside from the perpetuation of extremism) is a book and a pen attached to a whip, give me a freakin' break, she *chose* a burqa to fight people in.... that book in her hand, is not a neutral educational book... its a freakin' religious book. What else would it be? 

Oh but she fights the taliban - ok so shes not a bloodthirsty violent extremist and recognizes that the taliban are the spawn of satan (does she deserve a pat on the back for this recognition?)... i mean they did fucking shoot a child for wanting an education.

Fighting taliban doesn't exactly make her neutral and non-extremist...maybe just 'less' extremist.

So we've established that she's mild mannered and religious, right? So here are some potential issues she might have; 

she can't touch the male bad guys she's 'fighting' because thats not Islamically acceptable. Hows she going to fight them then? Oh right the book.... ermm ... is she going to preach them to death then? I know forced religious preaching would make me want to run away...


(click to enlarge pics)

Oh also, if she's really hardcore, and wants to follow shariah... then she can't really leave her place without a male relative... so umm.... maybe her son, father or brother could escort her while she's jumping around trying to fight evil? Cuz there isn't anything more empowering for a woman than a male chaperone. 

And let's face it, fighting crime in a head to toe burqa is a bit of a choking hazard isn't it? I thought capes were impractical for fighting crime, but this takes it to a whole other level. While she's soaring through the skies with her version of Burqa-parkour, it may also lift and reveal skin, or her identity maybe... its far too flowy to stay on while she's doing flips n' shit.  


I understand that some of you more partial to religiosity may have been upset by this critique of mine....but you have to understand that in a country already so torn apart by religious extremism - this is NOT a healthy thing to put out there. Little girls should NOT look upto her and want to be like her... seriously are they just openly steering them towards full facial covering now? 

And what about Pakistani non-muslim little girls? Who are they supposed to look up to? Certainly not this exclusively muslim superhero. Screw 'em. We hate minorities anyway. 

burqas and nailpolish are not compatible, we all know that. The few times my mom managed to convince me to go to a mosque as a teen I got told off for my nails. You supposedly can't pray with nailpolish on. 
Seem ridiculous? Yeah thats how ridiculous it is to bring religion into superheroes. (Wudhu is the cleansing ablution ritual that happens pre-prayer. You break the seal of cleanliness if you fart, and will have to repeat wudhu before next prayer).

I understand the need for a local empowered female superhero.... but I think they totally missed the mark here. Pakistani ladies; stick with dupattas if you must, stay the hell away from evil woman-hating niqabs. 




Friday, July 26, 2013

A preacher, A singer.....and S&M in Pakistan


I saw a pretty upsetting video today, and here's a little background info - since some of u may not be Pakistani...

Our nation has been blessed with a scrote of a guy called Amir Liaqat, our first televangelist really... he's an arrogant, hypocritical man who caused a scandal last year when he was recorded cursing and saying all kinds of 'non-Islamic' things between takes...he's also been heard saying hateful things about minorities...unsurprisingly.  

Somehow that same dude has been rehired after his exposé and is back with a hardcore Ramadan Circus variety? show it seems. 

On the flipside, Pakistan also created the internet sensation known as Taher Shah. If you have not seen the video responsible for his fame, I suggest you do so. It will be time well spent.


Now Taher Shah's reasons for internet fame can be dissected and discussed to death....but that's not what this post is about. Give him a break. 

Oh and yeah yeah, I'm aware I'm 24 hours late talking about this... old news and all... but guys, I live halfway across the world from Pakistan... and I don't ever watch Pakistani TV, the fact that I even give a fuck know about the recent events between these two men is a Ramadan Miracle. 

Anyway back to the issue. The video involved Singing Sensation Taher Shah being invited on to Mr. Televangedick's stage, to perform the song that made him famous. Sadly, he wasn't invited to perform at all. He was invited to be made fun of. This supposed religious man, who's poisoning 'guiding' more than half of pakistan through their holy month with his bs, mocked the singer as he attempted to sing... in the most inhumane way... total public humiliation... grabbed his hair and floofed it about... forced the man to wrap a snake around his neck (and what in the holy FUCK was a snake doing on stage during a religious show? - do they just keep one on hand to remind em of the sins of adam & eve? or did they fucking bring it in knowing they were going to taunt this poor gentle soul with it?



so first he was frightened with a reptile and then he was violated.


I mean just the guys body language was repulsive ... and so fucking unprofessional for a TV host. The way he spun Taher Shah around so people could see the hair that he was making fun of.

the way he's grabbing his elbow here reeks of agressiveness. Its repulsive.


(TS: ur hair is great, dude, I hear its very hard to maintain non-frizzy curls... and u aren't doing such a bad job. And fuck that must've taken forever to grow out! Don't let em get to you, however you did it... you struck a chord with the world, you became an international viral video maker... kudos to you for puttin' us on the map for something that doesn't involve death and killing!)
look at how he holds this kids head in place. I've seen enough to tell me this guy is
violent, agressive and potentially will touch you regardless of  your personal space, MAN 
or WOMAN or CHILD it is NOT ok to treat anyone like this. Just sad how ironic that pop up is. 




He shoved his face into TS's face while the man was trying to sing... i mean fuck... did you invite him on to sing or not ? Certainly didn't let him sing in peace for a second.



He even wrapped his arms around the guys waist for shits sake.



this isn't just harassment. Its sexual harassment. Get off of the guy asshole!


wipe that look of ecstasy off ur face u sick fuck! 


 I get it televangedick, this might be the most action you get EVER... but.... TS has standards... he most certainly didn't appreciate your non-consensual fondling. 

TS came out on top tho. He handled it pretty gracefully... and he was just really sweet, gentle.. and charming...I've totally got a soft spot for him now. :) 

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Every one deserves a basic level of respect. It's called human decency. You can't invite someone into your space and publicly mock them. Especially as a person of 'faith', tsk.... what a bad fucking example of humanity you are Amir Liaqat.....and they let you preach morals to people? Get real Pakistan, WTF is wrong with you? Boycott this asshole now if you didn't during his last bout of public dickishness, where he claimed the videos released were doctored *eye roll* 

Shame on the channel who hired him again...if these are your preachers and teachers of morality, Pakistan... no wonder you're in the state you're in.


If there was ever a time for some good ol' fashioned Religious flogging, its gotta be this.  
(And that ain't the kinky, consensual, good kind of flogging either)

*   *   *

Anyyyywayyy.... speaking of flogging.... and this time the kind that involves consent, 
I got an interesting email recently...

hi
I saw your blog and loved it. i am not sure if you have written anythying about bdsm in here. I am a person who lives in pakistan. I have studied in the united states and have been to bdsm clubs. but now i find it difficult to connect with people who would be interested in it here.. maybe, who knows, i might be able to find some brave souls and it would be lovely if we could start an underground group about it.

i got introduced accidentally. I was in college in the Dallas Metroplex and was looking at porn on my laptop. I did not have any DSL and only had dial up service. I was watching one of those sites where a lot of categories are mentioned. i watched the BDSM category and i liked it. later on I searched for some bdsm videos. and i came upon a free spanking video. it was only a ten second video of a woman being caned but i loved it. I started searching for the real thing. but i just did not have the courage to go to any live events. i was scared. i thought if you went to any of those gatherings, the people would start beating you or something. then i came across a website. it was a good one though it went down the drain with time. anyway, I joined the site and started communicating with people. I started talking to a lady who was two decades my senior ( I was in early twenties then, she was in early forties). after talking for a while we finally decided to meet at a restaurant. we did meet and i even went with her to her house. but our play date could never materialize because she found a boyfriend and would not want to continue with me. Also i wanted her to go with me to the local dungeon because she said she did not have good relations with the management there. I, on the other hand, was scared for my safety playing in her house. 

I started looking for other places to go to. I finally went to a munch that is organized in the DFW called Fourth Friday ( i think it is still in operation). I went to their party after it. I found some play time with someone but as I was not really known in the scene, i could not make friends or anything. I was a bit shy and scared too, being young and all. anyway i went to another of their event two months later. and then i moved to NYC.

In NYC, I went to PaddlesNYC. It was a friendly place.  I went there a few times but NYC being very expensive, I could not go there all the time. However, I did go there from time to time and participated in the activities too. but since my studies had finished, I had to relocate to Pakistan soon. and since then i have been trying hard to assemble some people in Pakistan.however i have not been able to do so.the main reason is that people are not very open. women especially wont come out and talk to you about it. and then there is the fact that even though people want it, they simply dont know that such things are liked by others and have a name too. through this blog i hope to reach that part of our society.

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So to sum it up; you're looking for a group of like minded inviduals in Pakistan... people who are interested in consensual and safe, Bondage, Domination & SadoMasochism ... Well.... I can't say thats going to be easy given your geographical location, but Pakistan never fails to surprise me. I mean BDSM is definitely not what comes to mind when I think of the motherland. :/


So if anyone out there in pk is into a little kink, a little B, D, S and M... send me an email and maybe I can put you guys in touch. 

I mean there was that video about those Pakistani brothers that manufacture BDSM clothes and acessories to export... maybe they're into it too?

Just remember, that BDSM is about consent and safe play :)

Cheers.
























Thursday, July 4, 2013

Necrophilia in the land of the Pure....again...

So our ultra hypocritical, denial-filled, holier-than-thou country has yet again (in the span of a couple of years) made headlines because of necrophilia.

Here is my previous post on the topic.

Surprise surprise, we aren't all gods favourite, holy people after all. Come on, you can look down on the west for being 'immoral' and what not... but Pakistan, take a look in the mirror for fucks sake. You're the one that claims to be a cut above the rest of all humanity... with your religiosity and morality.... your 'respect' for women, mm hmm.... it's apparent.


Just the name of the country is a fucking sham. "Pakistan" = "The land of the Pure" .... we should change it to full-of-shit-istan ... or hypocr-istan .... those would be far more fitting. Alright alright... don't get your senselessly patriotic rectums in a twist. Of course there are good people and good values there.... no one's saying that every last person on that landmass is a scumbag .... but generally the moral compass is dubious.... there are many reasons for this of course; poverty and illiteracy are a lethal mix... can cause a lot of people to do shitty things. So rather than pointing fingers elsewhere...and saying well... at least we don't have strip clubs or whatever... take a good hard look at yourself Pakistan. Only once we admit the problem will we be able to make any progress. Don't make excuses for how fucked up it is. Just acknowledge that it IS fucked up, and that'll be a start.

You'd be surprised at how many people refuse to hear anything bad about a country where almost 25% of the people I know have had a gun held to their head (that is not fucking normal)... where women can't walk down the streets at any time of day and feel safe...where people are shot for speaking out about religious freedom, and where their killers are celebrated... where little girls are shot in the head for wanting equal education rights... and lately, female corpses of teenagers are desecrated. Holy fucking shit...if you still think its a great country, and that there is a reason to be proud of it... YOU are part of the problem.

Poor 15 year old Zainab was taken from her grave and assaulted... after having been electrocuted the previous day. Now she already had a fucking miserable end to her short little life.... yet those bastards couldn't leave her alone... and things got even worse for the poor girl. How can things get worse when your life is tragically cut short at 15 by electrocution? Well.....some desperate horny assholes who haven't been socialized into believing that women are humans too decide to rape you  post-mortem. That's how. Welcome to rape-istan Pakistan

Oh and i'd put a hefty sum on the fact that those guys probably don't drink... cuz you know that's immoral.... fucking a dead girl? Meh....women are just objects of pleasure anyway...what would she care if she's dead anyhow right? I mean where else would they get access to a real life female body again in the near future....

Sick fucks. I hope their corpse-defiling dicks fall off cuz of some maggot disease.

I was having a conversation with a pointlessly patriotic relative recently and he believed that we should abolish co-education in the areas the taliban wants to abolish it - because at least that would spare us some bloodshed... just by giving the terrorists what they want. Not at all thinking of what long term effects that would have.... I mean... when genders are unnaturally segregated for extended periods of time over their lifespans they are not socialized into interacting with one another.... couple that with an insanely patriarchal society where it is the norm for every aspect of women's existence to be controlled.... and you get shit like this.... where men don't respect women enough even in death. I mean.... necrophilia elsewhere is a specific kind of paraphilia (as much as i dislike this word for its misuse, I think here it is justifiable)... a 'deviance' where something in the brain is motivating you to fuck the dead... in the Pakistani cases... i think it's just the lack of access to 'alive' female bodies that drives them to this behaviour.... Im no psychologist... and there are certainly no studies about paraphilias in rural Pakistan... but i'm pretty satisfied with my theory that its simply a manifestation of repressed sexuality in these cases. If you have another theory I'd love to hear it.

I mean I loathe segregation.... forced segregation....I get that some people for religious reasons would want their kids in all-boy or all-girl schools.... and they should have a choice...but what about those people who don't mind their children interacting with all kinds of humans irrespective of what sort of genitals they have? I believe they too should have a choice.... to abolish any chance of that happening is making a sick country sicker.... there are already too many repressed boys who will salivate at the sight of just a bare wrist like its a fat steak... in order to teach them that women are not to be 'devoured' and instead treated like humans... they would first have to be used to the mere existence of a female body....right?

Bottom Line: Dead or Alive....a woman is not up for grabs... 

Step 1. Get used to the idea of women

Step 2. Learn to respect women

It can only happen in baby steps.... I realise that. So for starters... don't get all defensive about what I said here because you know its true. Pakistan has regressed not progressed... try to get comfortable saying that in front of the mirror and maybe you can be part of the solution.

Rest in Peace Dear Zainab....