Continue the Conversations.

Women are known deer-like beings on most occasions. We are usually raised with a fight or flight response. We either clam up or shut down or claw at our opponent. We are never in a position of power. We are almost always oscillating between aggression and despair. We learn to either barely survive or give up. We never get a chance to learn how to fight gracefully, quit willingly, walk away with our head held high. We don’t get the opportunity to put our side out. We never get the support to feel empowered to tell our narrative. We are either perceived as dramatic or emotional or angry or meek. Emotionally we are considered immature and physically we are usually weak. Why?

Because we were never given a seat on the table. We were never allowed to be an equal. We were almost always expected to step up to handle everything without a notice. But still, what we do isn’t important. What is it that we do?

We wipe tears, feed hungry mouths, listen to a thousand tales, please souls, comfort hearts, celebrate success, defy failure, face rejection, work as a partner, sacrifice our youth, dull our beauty and yet, come out whole.

When someone goes through the mill like we do, sometimes we want to talk. Sometimes we want to share, sometimes we want to commiserate. And sometimes we like to be comforted too. Usually a woman finds her salvation in another woman.

When Conversations with Kanwal started I was happy that even though Kanwal had faced many obstacles in her journey since starting Soul Sisters Pakistan, at least this show was getting the recognition it truly deserved. I was happy that we had opened our hearts and our minds to liberation and emancipation. I was happy that even though mainstream media wasn’t supporting her, at least they weren’t in her way. But I underestimated the effect that this show was having on the chieftains of our culture.

Nida Yasir is an older woman. Much older. She should know better. By mentioning Kanwal’s name she birthed the curiosity that will make people watch more Conversations with Kanwal. Now people would want to know more about the girl who didn’t agree with the silence. Now they would want to know about all the women who were given a voice.

Nida! You didn’t play this one right. Patriarchal and misogynistic as you are, this one will land your particular brand of patriarchy in really hot waters. You will be the woman who will make our conversations continue with more vigor, strength, fervor and momentum. You just added life to the movement that Kanwal has started. You just played your role in feminism. It would’ve been nice if you could claim credit for it. It would’ve been nice if you were an ally. It would’ve been nice if you had come forth may be with your own story. This would’ve helped your daughter to live in a secure community tomorrow. But you chose to be antagonistic. And for that reason, nothing turned out the way you anticipated it or expected it.

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