Asma's life and work is the very definition of South Asian feminism and in many ways is also a blueprint for future human rights and feminist activism in Pakistan and beyond.Fierce and fearless Pakistani human rights activist, feminist trailblazer, and democracy advocate Asma Jahangir died on Feb. 11, in her hometown of Lahore, but not without leaving behind a phenomenal legacy anyone would be hard-pressed to match. Even in death, Asma Jahangir continues to smash the patriarchy: While local custom does not permit women to attend public funerals, women turned out in droves to honor this iconic woman who did so much to further the rights of women, children, religious freedom, as well as democracy not just in Pakistan, but around the world. The presence of women at her funeral — breaking from so much patriarchal oppression and tradition — quietly echoes her attempt in 2005 to host a mixed-gender marathon in to promote awareness of violence against women. Thankfully Jahangir’s funeral did not result in the state-sponsored assaults against women protesters, including Jahangir herself, back in 2005. At home, Jahangir was the first woman president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. She was the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987, holding the role of Secretary General until 1993 when she was promoted to chairperson. With her sister Hina Jilani and a cohort of human rights lawyers/activists, Jahangir founded the first ever law firm started by women in the country. Through their law firm, Jahangir and Jilani established AGHS Legal Aid, Pakistan’s first ever free legal service that also ran a shelter for women. Jahangir defended women’s rights to choose who they would marry when the law required her male guardian’s consent. She fought for the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, including Hindus and Christians who were being unfairly targeted by the Muslim-majority government. She worked to separate religion from government, and in particular spoke out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and warned in her 2017 Amartya Sen Lecture at London School of Economics, “One should be careful while bringing religion into legislation, because the law itself can become an instrument of persecution.” She was a member of the Lahore High Court and Pakistani Supreme Court, one of the few women to have been appointed. Jahangir was also placed under house arrest multiple times due to her work with the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, a program aiming to dismantle the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq that was setting human rights back in Pakistan one decree at a time.
When rich white women get to board the train from the suburbs donning their treasured pink pussy hats, and they get to say this march is for me, who are they ignoring in the process?By Ally Sabatina Jan. 20 marked one year since Donald Trump was sworn into office as president and with it came the second-annual Women’s March in major cities all over the country — Philadelphia being no exception. Though the city of Brotherly Love tried to switch gears into a slightly more inclusive version of sisterly love, organization fell remarkably short by highlighting cis-terly love. There were a number of glaring issues, especially the stunning lack of trans voices in the organizational process of the Women’s March and the movement at-large — and Philadelphia was not spared or unique in its own lack of intersectionality. Chief among Philadelphia Women’s march organizers’ being totally and completely out of touch was their invitation of the Philadelphia Police Department for “safety measures.” Fascism operates under nationalist notions of safety and bullshit centrists, like the lobby that privacy and safety are moot points if you have nothing to hide, but in a country of white, police and military aggression, none have place in progressive movements. Police presence at a progressive march that may have ordinarily inspired people on the margins to show up for issues that resonate with them, were effectively pushed further to the margins for fear of harassment, stop and frisk, and profiling. https://twitter.com/ChingonaCommie/status/955239264475783168 https://twitter.com/sheabutterfemme/status/954817605294059520 https://twitter.com/CountyAntifa/status/954815336225918977 But the march and its organizers showed themselves to once again to care little, if at all, about Black and brown folks, especially queer and trans women of color. In fact, their invitation of the Philadelphia Police Department was a calculated idea facilitated by the backbone of liberal ideology. With liberals so concerned with the status quo being maintained—and only challenged by pre-approved “well meaning liberals”—police are friends of liberalism. When the liberal dialogue is focused on changing the ways we, the people interact with police—effectively placing blame and burdens of civility only on the complainant and not on the root causes that allow police to militarize, surveille and terrorize neighborhoods—cops get the privilege of being regarded as the good, true and right in any position because their priorities rest in preserving law and order as defined by the status quo. Trans, indigenous, black, queer and disabled people of color are expected to keep their mouths shut, their concerns mum and to never expect a seat at the table. The Women’s March as a concept has never appealed to me. I’m not one to engage in reactionary politics and as a sufferer of general anxiety and chronic pain known for my proclivity for staying home, the march was never for me. But when we get into the meat of the thing to talk about who the march is for, messaging falls short. Aside from the language of a women’s march being exclusionary to people on the margins who do not identify as women but are for women, the question of who the march is even for gets raised. When there are gatekeepers of femininity in every corner and at every checkpoint, who gets to ascribe to principles of a supposed women’s march? When rich white women get to board the train from the suburbs donning their treasured pink pussy hats, and they get to say this march is for me, who are they ignoring in the process?
Rose McGowan seeks to bask in the glow of a compassion only reserved for white women whilst the footprints of her Doc Martens are pressed into our backs.I employ what one could call a ‘survivor’s leniency’. As a complex PTSD sufferer because of multiple sexual assaults, and the recipient of intense therapeutic support which led me away from drug-induced psychosis and back, into a now thriving recovery, I know well the long-term impact of sexual violence on those of us who have been preyed upon by abusive people. Thus, I have not shouted my dislike from any rooftops what bugs me about Rose McGowan. It started when I heard her on Rupaul and Michelle Visage’s podcast “What’s the Tee?”. They’re consummate professionals who are professionally flattering, well-researched and usually deliver content seamlessly. Yet, they couldn’t hide how clunkily awkward it was when Rose McGowan was their guest. One of the lowest moments in this car crash of a podcast was her misguidedly using the terms trans women and drag queens interchangeably. Her statements about trans women and her racist, TERF and queerphobic ways aren't new, but the cherry on top was a ridiculous anecdote about their lack of interest in her menstrual cycle. “Don’t you think it’s funny that you guys never ask me about my period?” Maybe it’s too much to expect cisgender people to wonder how insidious gender dysphoria might be? That there may be trans girls who mentally spiral downwards in thoughts about not having wombs and not having children? That to this trans girl it would be really disrespectful and insensitive to brazenly ask for details of someone’s menstrual cycle out of the blue? That the idea of asking someone about their genitalia and how they work and how they feel about them is conversational territory that I am not entitled to? #mindblown
May white feminism stay and die in 2017. They have really outdone themselves. My newsfeed curation is constantly being managed by my trigger-happy fingers that have turned ‘unfollow’ into a reflex reaction. Yet, I can be laughing uproariously at some delicious