Today’s Thursday Throwback isn’t a throwback from long ago but a very recent one. It also doesn’t point to just one woman — rather, a band of women, being bold and not taking crap from anyone.
Earlier this year, the government in Pakistan passed a very progressive anti-violence act that protects women in households, making it more accessible for women to report domestic abuse and keep them safe from their perpetrators. The law has passed, but is yet to be enacted.
In response to this, the Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan recently proposed a (ridiculous and misogynistic) bill that would allow men to “lightly beat” their wives. The council, who simply advises the government on religious aspects of the law but has no binding power, said that their new proposed bill is to keep wives in line and restore fear. Refusal of sexual intercourse, not dressing appropriately, talking to strangers and speaking too loudly are all deemed by the council acceptable justifications for wives to receive a beating.
However, women in Pakistan and abroad are not taking this sitting down. Fahhad Rajper is a photographer who started the hashtag: #TryBeatingMeLightly. Women all over are using this hashtag in protest of the proposed law and to share what they would do to a man who tries “beating them lightly”.
The CII’s recommendation is being called “demeaning,” “regressive” and “ridiculous” – and rightly so. THANKFULLY the proposal has been rejected because it was found to be un-Islamic. The law minister in Punjab said, “Islam does not allow any violence, whether against women or children.”
Here are some of the posts women have been using to combat this absolutely absurd demonstration of pure ignorance and misogyny. Thank goodness SOMEONE is thinking clearly.
I think it’s important to remember that most of us have very little idea of what these women experience everyday. A 2011 study estimated that 90% of Pakistani women had been, at some point in their life, subjected to domestic violence, making Pakistan the 3rd most dangerous country in the world to just simply BE a woman. We live in a different world, of course with it’s own struggles and challenges, but these women who speak out in protest are potentially putting themselves in real danger. They recognize though that they have a right to be safe – to have authority over their own bodies – and to be heard.
I think it’s an incredibly beautiful thing to see so many strong women know just how valuable, strong and resilient they are.