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Showing posts from September, 2019

The Childfree Woman: Feminism’s Last Taboo

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Image description: A woman in a flowing, white shirt and black leggings walking through a field of very tall grass. 
It may not always seem like it, particularly in the current global political climate, but women have made incredible strides since the beginning of second-wave feminism in the 1960s. In the workplace, at home, and on the streets, women have claimed their place and asserted their rights. What might have been unthinkable in our grandmother's youth is completely commonplace in our own. Thanks to the countless women who came before us and fought the good fight, women are running companies, countries, and breaking glass ceilings left, right and centre - but still, some obstacles remain.
One of the most prominent, lingering taboos for women as far as mainstream feminism is concerned is the right to choose a childfree life. In both the public and private spheres, women who choose not to have children are still very much viewed as an anomaly. And if a woman publicly declares …

We Need More Women and POC in the Film Industry

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If you've ever seen The Princess Diaries, you’ll be familiar with the scene where Mia transforms into the Princess of Genovia. She straightens her hair and takes off her glasses, and suddenly she’s beautiful and popular. You might not think it’s a big deal, but these tropes were and are damaging to a lot of children, particularly those like me, who look more like the first version of Mia. 


Image Description: two freeze frames from The Princess Diaries (2001). The left shows Mia before her makeover, with frizzy hair, glasses and an unattractive facial expression. The right shows Mia after her makeover with straight hair, no glasses and a straight-teethed smile.
When I first started school, I was the only non-white child. All of my classmates asked me why I was brown and made up their own derogatory racial slurs for me.
I don’t believe these children were inherently racist. Prejudice isn’t part of human nature. The cruel comments were simply because they had never seen a Pakistani bef…

Selected Poems from "Hidden Gazes:" Feminist Reimaginings of the Old English text "Wonders of the East"

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The following poems are taken from a larger collection I composed as a creative expansion to my "academic" work on the Old English text Wonders of the East. This text is a part of the more famous Beowulf manuscript, which you can read more about here: https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/beowulf. However, you don't need to be an expert on Old English/ early medieval literature to read these poems. Wonders of the East was only one of many inspirations for these pieces. They are, above almost anything else, deeply influenced by my personal feminist roots. They are stories about the people who inhabit the margins of texts, the peripheries of lands, the outer edges of imagination. I draw strength from these people's resilience and survival. My deepest gratitude to them and all those who have fought the good fight before us. 

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_East
The saintly and savage Cynocephali[1]
Call me what you will: Opener of ways, protector of…

Difference Doesn’t Cut It: Gender roles in the legal profession

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Women are taking over the world. We are reclaiming our power from the white, conservative males actively scheming to confine the female subject to mundane domesticity of the familial household. These men start shaking in their patent, business shoes when confronted with a woman who commands professional respect beyond a receptionist, paralegal or clerical role. Standing there, in all the glory of her Elle-Woods inspired, rich-pink suit, she is a threat to the domestically-based gender roles institutionalized within the legal profession. Gender, at its essence, is nothing more thana product of the repeated ‘stylization of the body’ (Butler 2006). The legal workplace is renowned for its cut-throat, boys-club culture, infused with alcohol and deceit. Quintessential masculinity lingers as a rich scent of Tom Ford aftershave drifting through the air of frosted glass meeting rooms. Corner offices are dominated with mahogany desks and leather stitched chairs. Sports memorabilia is displayed …