Movies, TV shows, soap operas, novels and novellas have mined the trope of false rape and assault allegations- mined that area dry but not quite dead.
And the world, conditioned on male ideas of what love looks like, a world when men decided that men woo-and make a woman ‘fall in love’, men make the first move and are then conveniently placed as to what that move looks like, and therefore what consent looks like, believe the false accusation trope to be fact.
And not just fact, but frequent fact. Common fact.
Here are some facts:
· Research in the…
I haven’t written for ages- because I write from feeling and right now the feeling is that there is so much written word, so much text about gender inequality, so much about how women are just plain old unsafe in this world, unsafe financial and physically and emotionally and sexually. Unsafe when invisible and when visible.
Despite the reams and shelves and libraries full of text, explaining, and showing and illustrating gender inequity in all its forms, very little changes. Women keep dying, keep getting hit, and violated in all the myriad of ways there are to violate.
My filters are generally pretty low. Maybe because my work requires such strenuous mindfulness that outside the office, my brain sags like the over-stretched elastic in my favorite period panties. Or maybe because my adolescent love for shock value dies hard. Or maybe, and this maybe is the least flattering to me, because I am and always have been attention seeking.
At this stage, though, the ‘why’ has stopped mattering. Simply because knowing the ‘why’ means I have a lump of inert insight sitting in my lap, getting moldy from disuse. So I’d prefer to look at the ‘what’. …
Every day people hand their anxiety to me.
They hand their anxiety to me in different ways and in different shapes and for different reasons.
Some pelt me with it— hard, like they want to leave a bruise, one fear after the other fear after the other. Some gently toss, the toss itself telling of fear. Some don’t toss or pelt- some barely allow me to see it. They shyly, almost coyly slide a shirt aside, a skirt up, let me peak at a corner of the pulsing or shivering or stone-still shape of their anxiety, half-hidden under the fabric.
Feminists are called haters- man-haters.
Men gag women. Gag them in private behind closed doors. “Don’t tell anyone or I kill you”. “Don’t tell anyone or I’ll kill myself.” “Don’t tell anyone or I’ll take the children.” “Don’t tell anyone or you’ll bring shame.”
Don’t tell, don’t air, don’t, don’t, don’t.
Gag them in public, “You’re loud”, “You’re feisty”, “You’re nasty”, “You talk a lot”. If they’re allowed to speak, they must be non-violent, non-aggressive, calm. They must “go high”. They must be dignified, otherwise they prove their detractors right: that they’re hysterical… “emotional”.
Gag their bodies- cover, don’t cover…
‘Avuncularism’ should be a thing.
Here’s how I define it:
Avuncularim — adjective
Definition of avuncularism
1: of or relating to teasing behavior typically attributable to an uncle. Said behavior usually involving the teasing of a significantly younger woman to the point of heightened reactivity in said woman. At which point the uncle (or similar older male) will opine on said woman’s ‘lack of humor’.
I had thought, until recently, that avuncularism was particular to my own culture. Turns out, not. It was, however, a feature of both childhood and young adulthood- the perpetrators were my father, paternal…
I wrote about the issues I had with the Left, some time last year. Here is a link to that piece, if you’re interested https://medium.com/@ishmaalvi/left-and-right-a72b6aab176f.
This one is an attempt at clarifying my thoughts around the intersection of the political Left, feminism and religion.
My frustration with the Western Left  (to be referred to as the WL forthwith) continues, based on their having the power and potential to create positive change and misusing both. From my observation, similar groups include men and the Moderate Muslim Majority (the MMM, if you will).
Why are the WL included in that motley…
Her: I appreciate you’re being friendly, but please don’t touch me.
Him: Huh? It’s just your elbow.
Her: I know; but it makes me uncomfortable.
Him: But its. Just. Your. Elbow. And I am not coming on to you.
Her: Yes, I know that. But I still don’t like it, so could you please stop.
Him: But it’s just your elbow. Jesus.
Him: “I was told by a female colleague that she would be offended if I tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention. …
Four days ago, in Kasur, Pakistan, a 7 year old girl was raped and murdered.
This heinous event and the slow reaction of the justice system has set off riots, protests and a social media movement, all in an effort to get some form of justice for Zainab.
Justice for Zainab would involve the arrest, trial and sentencing of the rapist and murderer.
But lets not let the justice for Zainab end there; that’s a hollow end and changes nothing.
Let’s think about how justice can bring change.
The last time Kasur was the hub of a child sexual assault…
This chunk came to be when I started thinking of levels of harassment, in terms of severity and started classifying the types/levels I had experienced.
We seem to grade these incidents of harassment- our own and other’s experiences. Which is dangerous, because this ‘grading’ system can inform reporting: a ‘lower grade’ incident might be allowed to slide.
Grading creates a foot-in-door effect, where the ‘grades’ of harassment can slowly creep up and the line in the sand for reporting keeps shifting.
Also, I’d so appreciate if you’d read and then respond to the questions I put at the end. I’m…
Woman, feminist, brown, queer, mother, ex-Muslim, psychologist, new to writing. In that order. And the order changes.