Happy International Women’s Day!
The 8th of March is the ‘International Women’s Day’ and is a day to recognize women as the strong individuals they are, and it is also a day to raise awareness on what we can do to make the world a more equal place. On this occasion, a lot of Pakistani celebrities have taken to social media to send across their messages.
Among those people is Meesha Shafi, who tweeted about the importance of today’s ‘Aurat March’.
Last year Meesha Shafi became the flagbearer of women’s rights and the #MeToo movement in Pakistan after she went public with her allegations against Ali Zafar. The singer still faces a lot of online hate to this day, but it’s not like that deters her.
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) March 7, 2019
Since most of us know what trolls say to Meesha, I’m going to skip those replies and get to the point.
One Twitter user replied to Meesha’s tweet with this image.
— SALMAN (@Salman62005347) March 7, 2019
Meesha Shafi took this tweet in particular and asked her followers to discuss the claims being made in it.
Discuss 🙄 https://t.co/QCuoOOLUXJ
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) March 7, 2019
The comments under this post weren’t as I had expected. I had anticipated trolls to have descended on this, shredding it to pieces, but what I found was that there was a very healthy discussion happening under the photo.
The top reply award definitely goes to this tweet.
Can we not please?! 🙄🙏🏽
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) March 7, 2019
There was a discussion around what ‘shyness’ means in this context.
Ooh, controversial. Far be it from me to challenge the word of Hazrat Fatima (R.A), buuuut I think we need to redefine shyness here. For example, suffering in silence under abuse is not shyness, is it? I believe this quote has more to do with the concept of modesty and all. Idk.
— Tim Apple™ (@MahatmaaGanji) March 7, 2019
People were giving suggestions on what the post should have said.
No it’s her confidence.
— Hades (@ThisIzhades) March 7, 2019
Some had an issue with the interpretation of the saying.
What this quote referring is 'Hayaa'
They stood for their rights keeping their limitations accordingly. You need to understand the difference between Hayaa and be-sharmi.
Bibi Zehra & Hazrat Zainab set a remarkable example that how women can demand their rights with' modesty.
— Batooni Bibi (@BaatonKiPitaari) March 7, 2019
This tweet really started an important discussion of language and how translating can mask a lot of intended meaning.
And this is what I'm saying too if YOU pay attention. What you mean and what has been shared are too different things. It says women's best jewelry is "shyness". Shyness is nervousness, timidity and reluctance not modesty or humility. My main concern is the language used here.
— Slurrrrrp (@TheGutterfly) March 7, 2019
The original quote uses the word ‘haya’ and is in relation to modesty or even in terms of having a conscience that helps you determine right from wrong. Has nothing to do w suffering abuse in silence/not questioning men in power etc and whatever else men try to define it as today
— Mishkat Zaki (@MishkatZaki) March 7, 2019
Discussing religion on a platform as public at Twitter is a scary thought.
Discussing this seems like a sure fire way of getting angry mullahs onto me so I’m gonna pass 😅
— amal (@pakistanned) March 7, 2019
However, some called for respect towards religion and religious beliefs.
Every person you’ll meet has their own definition of life don’t take someone’s opinion personally, because the truth is that all humans are dealing with their own beliefs and opinions… but when it comes to Islam please show some respect “A polite request” 🙂
— Marium Sheikh (@mariumsheikh) March 7, 2019
‘Whether its harmful or not..’- that’s the thing, if something is harmful, there needs to change because that ‘harmful’ is not an ideal situation.
Why everything ,literally everything . Whether it's harmful or not . .. everything about our culture and traditions upsets new generation ???
— Khizran mubbashira (@KMubbashira) March 7, 2019
Lastly, some women noticed a rather interesting pattern.
And a man's best trait is his ability to let the women do whatever they want, without feeling the need to constantly control them, police them or judge them. pic.twitter.com/m0mmkK8qZQ
— Saiyami (@Saiyami4) March 7, 2019
You’ll always find men to be the main source of such posts(through original or fake-female-profiles). Do you see the irony here?
— Fatima Hafeez (@FatimaHafeez1) March 7, 2019
That shyness be well kept if though in veil or not. Men are the last creatures to have a right to sat that. Shyness is to be observed and not shown.
— dark and lovely. 🍒 (@blastfemous) March 7, 2019
It’s great to see women openly interact, question and debate posts like this, and also leading the discussion on the matter. In an age where there is such a large mass of information on the internet, we forget to question the validity and accuracy of things, and this is especially dangerous if people use religion or religious figures as a way to further their arguments. It is this culture of questioning and debate that will help us move forward and clear our heads of some of the ideas that are currently holding us back.
Cover Photo Courtesy: dawn.com