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I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.

The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.

1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.

The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.

3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.

The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.

4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even a a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.

The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.

6. She is entitled to her expression.

When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.

7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.

I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted.

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- Lessons I Will Teach, Because the World Will Not — Y.S. (via cuntgarden)

(Source: poetryinspiredbyyou, via zaman-al-samt)

tismahreen:

karan johar: who is the sexiest man according to you?

shabana azmi: you know there isn’t one sexy man but what i find very sexy is when a man is wearing a sherwani and speaks beautiful english, and when he’s wearing a three-piece suit and speaks beautiful urdu.

i have never realized how attractive this is until she said it. wow. 

"Here are women who sing about sex. Sexuality. Contemporary womanhood. Wholeness. Arrival. […] The record dismantles the idea that marriage, commitment, or monogamy ruins one’s sex life. It challenges the notion that a woman’s life should be lead in complete service to her child. This album is widely successful because it makes women feel good about themselves. I can see how that might be confusing for some […] Detractors decried the album’s explicit content in typical "Won’t someone think of the children?" form, seemingly forgetting that the singer is 32 and under no obligation to parent any child but her own. BEYONCÉ introduces Knowles as a sexual being, not a being sexualized by industry. She communicates her proclivities in her own certain terms. And yes, that may sometimes involve a duration on her knees. No, you may not watch." - From Janet To Beyoncé: Why It Matters When Black Women Sing About Sexuality 

(Source: beyoncexknowles)

mehreenkasana:

Whenever I’ve given a public lecture (particularly concerning feminism [mine have usually been on the perils of liberal feminism or primers on Marxist feminism), I’ve always made sure that I end the lecture and open to questions from women first. I say this clearly: “Any questions or comments, girls?” I didn’t intend this to be a specific thing; it just comes out naturally because whenever I am giving a lecture or even writing, in my mind the person I am talking to is a woman. I never knew it would have an effect on the crowd listening because there are men sitting in the audience too and to hear that the lecturer prioritizes women first for dialogue is a way of letting them know that I’m not here to listen to men but women first. And I’ve received very interesting reactions to this “Any questions or comments, girls?”

The women in the audience will instantly sit up, some will grin, others will shyly smile. There is a connection. Collectively, their attention is piqued and their input is working up to present itself. But most importantly, they are seen as a group that is valued not on basis of otherwise patriarchal standards such as physical appearance or the adherence to normative values and roles of womanhood but because their intellectual feedback is honestly and practically being sought. Regardless of surfacing agreements or disagreements, what is important to me as an ex-teacher and a grad student who’s given lectures on gender, war, media and other themes is that the women be part of the discussion before men set the parameters.

The reaction in the male segment of the audience is different. Some will frown with confusion (“Did she say girls only?”) while others will turn on their passive aggression toward me (which I handle very well) and some will quietly observe. Those are the learners I value. They can see the intention of selectively addressing a part of the crowd. They know what I’m doing. And they watch without interference. That’s where we learn and that’s where we build a bridge of solidarity. This isn’t to say I never allow questions or comments from men because I do, but later. And I take them one by one. Especially after lectures on feminism, I will always meet the prototypical savior or apologist or warrior against feminism or the theory bro who wants me to congratulate him on his insistence that “it’s all just semantics” and other personalities, and it can be exhausting sometimes.

But I get my energy from the women in the crowd. The ones who want actively to learn more and not be spoon-fed. Those are the ones I get my joy from. Those are the ones I love listening to. Students are probably my favorite people in terms of occupations but curious girl students who want to be stronger make me the happiest. 

Listen to girls.

Anonymous asked:

Excuse me but if feminism is not about equality then do tell what is it about? because it's Not to be above men. it's not to crush them and strip them of power as they have done to woman. It's for women to be treated, respected,valued and made to matter as men do to each other on general principle,but not to woman. if that's not seeking equality i don't know what it is. (because a world where either gender treats the other as an object and as inferior is NOT a better world)

سحر Answer:

maarnayeri:

I just took the longest sigh because there is so much going on here. Alright. Please forgive me in advance if my thoughts seem jumbled and incoherent, as I’m on a mobile and trying to string together many open ended ideas into a cohesive stream of thoughts.

So your definition of feminism is a global society where men’s social and economic positioning is not threatened or challenged in any way? Though much of it is built upon the subordination and labor extortion of women? So much of your concern lies with reassuring men that their privilege won’t be compromised and it really begs me to wonder if you’ve ever seriously engaged with or have a holistic understanding of serious feminist literature that tackles the economic exploitation of women globally speaking. What is feminism to you, anon? What’s its end goal? Who does it prioritize? Is it empowerment or liberation? Is it individualistic or collective? What sort of a world do you envision in your ultimate feminist utopia?

Look, I’m sorry to break it to you, but women produce 60% of this world’s labor, while owning 10% of the fluid capital and 1% of all purchasable land. Are there racial, geographical and historical nuances that go into this? Absolutely. But the gendered lines of exploitation are very clearly delineated. Let me explain this to you. This positioning you speak of that men occupy, which you seek to be “equal” to does not exist without endorsing capitalistic violence and cannibalizing other human beings, robbing them of their autonomy and security. Men did this to women and that’s how men have been able to bolster a culture that thrives from the degradation of women.

The term equality is shallow. It means nothing essentially. Equal in terms of what? Talent? Capital? Creativity? Skills? Social positioning? In all ways? How can we be equal in talent or skills or creativity when there is such a range of human bodies and minds and what they’re capable of? How can we be equal in capital when many people around the world haven’t even been completely indoctrinated into western globalization and their revenue exists in agriculture, herding, clothes weaving and pastoral farming? The world is an immensely complex place that hosts a countless amount of people and ways of living. What informs us and our lifestyles are a vast array of factors, such as climate, religion, race, class and history. I’m trying to understand how equality can give birth to anything but uniformity, which is wholly counterintuitive to the end goal of all liberation politics.

Equality is a euphemism for assimilation. Instead, shouldn’t we strive for a world that destroys all innately oppressive structures and titles? Do you wanna know what kind of women are regularly heralded as being equals to their male counterparts? Hillary Clinton. Condoleezza Rice. Female US and IDF soldiers. How many infographs have you seen that portray essentially oppressive characters as “breaking boundaries” and shaking up the core (of what, I don’t know)? When in reality they aren’t dismantling structures, they’re just providing a facelift to it. Neoliberal feminism has created a society in which women such as Hillary Clinton, who are unabashedly anti immigration, pro Israel and have a familial legacy of violence are given more airtime and praise than revolutionary women who remain exiled, such an Assata Shakur. The former desires to be one in the same as her male cohorts, while the other continuously critiques the structure of male supremacy. Definitely not a coincidence.

Feminism, at its very core, is a liberation ideology that intimately engages with the harmfulness of masculinity/femininity as traits coerced upon children, teens and adults, how gendered injustices come into fruition through social, academic, economical and labor institutions and how we can create a world which upheaves patriarchy as a global phenomenon. The fact that equality (more clearly understood as assimilation) and a society in which women exploit men are the two only foreseeable options to you is troubling, to say the least and sounds like an iteration of patriarchy itself (either you join or you’re against us).

allthingspakistanicelebs:

One of my favorite instagramers: karachichaiwalla

Whoever he is, he takes beautiful photos of everyday life in Karachi. The chai photos make me nostalgic and take me back to a place I left long ago.. I can smell the chai and hear the pour through his photos. You should follow him.

"Destroy the idea that men should respect women because we are their daughters, mothers, and sisters. Reinforce the idea that men should respect women because we are people."
- (via rabbrakha)

(Source: khaleesi-lifts, via tanhayee)