I’ll be launching Pakistan Feminist Watch on 12th February, 2013 which is also women’s day in Pakistan. It is also the 30th anniversary of Women Action Forum’s epic rally in 1983.
Here is what Pakistan Feminist Watch is about and why many feminists feel it is necessary. Comments & feedback are welcome. However, as per my policy, I won’t be approving any hate speech or sexist & unsupportive comments. I will, instead, screen capture them and feature them with an analysis on Pakistan Feminist Watch.
At Pakistan Feminist Watch, we wish to expose how we are all, collectively, part of a problem. We all make casual sexist statements, sometimes without even realising why they are problematic. By doing so, we strengthen patriarchal norms and allow them to flourish.
Most of us encourage and empower those who make sexist statements on social media by following them on twitter and facebook, which validates social acceptance on line. We turn a blind eye when it comes to influential people, especially men in power. We protect our own. We don’t speak up when sexist jokes are mass circulated for fear of being labelled “humourless”. We shut down and say nothing knowing we’ll be the ones who will be told off for not having a sense of humour.
The world tells us that we are supposed to sit back and take it. We should find being stereotyped and degraded funny. Indeed, some of us are now immune and hardly blink an eye when faced with sexist jokes or memes.
No more. At Pakistan Feminist Watch, we wish to expose why sexist humour and everyday sexism is problematic. We hope to show just how rampant it is in the Pakistani context and we wish to debate how we can address this problem effectively. We realise that is common in a patriarchal world but the repercussions of ignoring this issues for the future of feminism are too bleak to ignore.
Why launch Pakistan Feminist Watch?
- Because enough is enough.
- Because we are tired of this game.
- Because we do not wish to live in a world where one has to become immune to heinous rape threats for expressing an opinion.
- Because our bodies are not the issue – our argument is.
- Because women don’t have it easy in a patriarchal world.
- Because “humour” that degrades half of humanity is unacceptable.
- Because trolling is distressing and must end.
- Because men need to become aware of their male privilege.
- Because the internet is the dark side of the dark side of humanity.
- Because social media should not be a battlefield.
Policy on naming and shaming
At Pakistan Feminist Watch, we do not wish to name and shame individuals because we want to show how we are all part of this problem collectively. Naming and shaming deflects on individuals and diverts attention away from the issue: that this culture is allowed to flourish on line due to our collective apathy and participation in it.
We cannot deny that we all contribute not just through our silence, but often inadvertently because patriarchy in ingrained in all of us. We perpetuate it without meaning to. We don’t even realise just how responsible we are.
We will be keeping track of repeat offender and will take action against them. This policy is currently a work in progress and will be updated when it is finalised.
Email any complaints, stories of abuse, accounts of being trolled and screen captures of everyday sexism to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also welcome essays and opinion pieces with a theoretical feminist analysis of on line misogyny.
If you would like to share a story of on line abuse, but cannot or do not want to write it yourself, we can assign someone who will write your account for you. If you wish to remain anonymous, your identity will be protected.
Pakistan Feminist Watch is a not for profit blog run by volunteers. Email us if you’d like to volunteer or join our movement at email@example.com