Malala has managed to become an irreplaceable part of national discourse. She hasn’t said anything controversial aside from speaking up on causes close to her heart – gender activism and education – yet the women-hating awaam loves nit-picking every bit of her existence and somehow escalating it to the point that it becomes an emergency national topic. If she laughs too much, shame. Did she say she doesn’t want to get married? Lanat behjo. Malala was spotted celebrating Holi with her friends? Publicly shame her.
Once again without even lifting a finger, Malala was dragged into the public spotlight over the most simple thing: her accent. A video on Twitter went viral where she was seen speaking to a host at the Oscars, and in the caption a user was mocking the Noble Prize activist for having lived in Britain all this time, but still having a Pakistani accent.
Behen ji, would you have not criticised her had she spoken in a British accent? Had she shown up wearing a sleeveless gown and no hijab, would Pakistanis hold back for a second to label her as a traitor, bane of our existence and the reason why women in this country have gone astray? And when did speaking in a fluent British accent become one of the ways to judge aNoble Prize winner? It certainly never has held her back.
Putting aside the obvious racism that is reeking from this comment, when was the last time the public didn’t drag Malala? If she chooses not to get married: she’s a traitor who is challenging Pakistani values. When she did get married: she betrayed feminist values. Why can’t she ever win with Pakistanis?
Because the simple truth to the entire matter is that our ever firmly anti-woman Bannistan considers hunting famous women a beloved public sport. And Malala is simply forced to bear the brunt of misogynist and racist jokes because she managed to overcome the dead woman trope and is living a complete and happy life in Britain with the rest of her family. When she was fourteen years old, Malala had been shot by the Taliban when she stood up to their regressive stance against girl’s education, and soon had to leave for Britain with the rest of her family because of the death threats she was being sent. Had she not survived this tragedy and had passed away, the country would have declared they are holding ‘Malala Day’ once a year and moaned about how she could have become something had there been a chance, and then moved on to hunting the next famous woman out there.
Malala’s biggest crime isn’t the fact that she wore jeans or got married or even spoke in a Pakistani accent: it’s the fact that she is thriving despite the most powerful forces out there trying their best to take her down. Whether it was the Taliban, or the brutal treatment of Pakistani awaam, we have heard tragedies on a daily basis of the numerous women and girls who lost their lives and their dreams to these two forces. Malala happened to succeed in defeating them, and living peacefully abroad with her goals still intact and remaining cheerful as ever is what irks us so much.
So please, for the love of Allah. We’re on our knees here. Stop obsessing over Malala so much. She won’t give up on doing what she loves, regardless of how much you beg her to do so. Divert the nitpicking to issues like climate change, poverty and political instability. Trust us, its a much more worthy way to waste your time.
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