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Aurat March and the need for postcolonial feminism

28 1 9
16.03.2019

A few months ago I had a social media debate with a woman on the limits of classical feminism as I advocated for a more nuanced approach considering the Pakistani society. Soon after, I was accused of being a mans plaining misogynist and blocked. We saw the same intolerance on a larger canvas after the Aurat March held on the 8th of March. The polarized debate has not so much been about the much needed Aurat March itself since it was conducted last year as well without the outcry it received this time. The problem is the inappropriate placards that have polarized our society further.

At the onset, let us agree there is excessive gender imbalance in our hyper masculine patriarchal society. Women face harassment on the roads, inequality in households and in their workplaces. Having established that, we can also agree sometimes the message has to be loud enough to be heard. But there is a fine line between the semantics of spreading a pertinent message, and further polarizing a society by generating unnecessary controversy.

The Aurat March has come a long way and has highlighted various issues of our sexist society such as marital rape, tax-free sanitary pads, forced marriages and trans rights. Thus, the basic premises of the Aurat March that pertained to reclaiming public places and highlighting issues stand its ground.

However, some at the March were seen holding contentious placards that some feminists........

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