The Grievances Of A Brown Girl

The Grievances Of A Brown Girl

Dear Brown People, this is for you.
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You would think that living in the 21st century (where women are already fighting to break the glass ceiling) that we, as brown women, wouldn't have to face sexist remarks from our own people. But unfortunately, the progressive mindset stops when it comes to our own Pakistani women (and dare I say other South Asian women).

We are seen as a threat to the Pakistani culture for expressing ourselves. But. Let. Me. Stop. You. Now.

I grew up in a country where female infanticide was at an all-time high and women were frowned upon for "disgracing" the family name for having a female baby. People claimed that the family name ends with a girl when a girl gets married. Honestly, do you even know how biology works?

The child's gender has nothing to do with a woman. But maybe you would already know that had your mothers been allowed to go to school. Maybe that vicious cycle of gender-based abortion would have ended. Maybe the words "female infanticide" would not have a statistic attached to it, with a target right over our countries. And now here we are- the new generation of women working to end the sexist remarks of a patriarchal society. By the way, female infanticide is still a thing, and will always be until we are educated.

My father raised me as 'his eldest son' and my mother made sure I was educated as much as I wanted to be. So please, do not sit there and tell me (and all the other brown girls): "Being a doctor is too much work. You will be old. Your hair will grey. No one will marry you. Why not just settle down?"

That is not YOUR choice. That is MY choice.

Do not ask me preposterous questions like "Women are surgeons too? HOW?"

Do not tell your daughters not to eat because "they should be dieting because boys don't like fat girls."

And lastly, don't tell your daughters that they are "not supposed to dress that way because that's how boys dress."

My parents did not leave an entire continent altogether for you to impose these bylaws on me. My parents did not leave their home behind so that I can sit here and play dress up for a boy.

We live in a society where the phrase "log kya kahenge?"

(what will people say?) is a killer of dreams. That is outright preposterous. Do not try to alter the way in which your daughters express themselves just to impress a boy. No, that is not how this works. That is not how this should work.

Cover Image Credit: Vitaliy Lyubezhanin / Unsplash

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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Stop Dragging 'Black Panther' Because You Think 'Crazy Rich Asians' Was Snubbed

"Black Panther" is certainly not at fault. The African-American community has faced a similar struggle with representation, and Asian-Americans should focus their attention on the people responsible for the nominations instead.

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This year's Oscar nominations recently came out. The list of nominees has been highly anticipated with the number of films that have made huge steps towards racial diversity during 2018, as the Oscars have often been criticized for a lack of inclusivity and diversity. Two major examples are "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians." However, while "Black Panther" received many Oscar nominations, "Crazy Rich Asians" received none.

With the film having received a Critic's Choice Award and Constance Wu's Golden Globe nomination, this lack of nominations came as a shock to many fans, especially those in the Asian-American community.

Fans took to social media to express their disappointment over the Oscars nominations, mainly praising Michelle Yeoh's performance and the film's costume design. It didn't take long for "Black Panther" to be brought up. Many drew a comparison between "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians" due to the impact both had on representation in Hollywood, with "Black Panther" featuring aspects of African culture as well as portraying black men and women as heroes and "Crazy Rich Asians" having an all-Asian main cast and portraying Asians in a way that separates them from common stereotypes.

There are many comments saying that it's unfair that "Black Panther" got so many nominations while "Crazy Rich Asians" didn't get any, with some even borderline insulting "Black Panther." While it's true that the two films are similar in that they were both huge steps towards better representation, they are still two completely different films and there's no reason to try and discredit the success of "Black Panther." If there's a problem with the inclusion of Asians, or just the nominations in general, in the Oscars, the issue should be taken up with the Academy. Why target "Black Panther" specifically? Why try to drag down the accomplishments of another minority group rather than celebrate with them? "Black Panther" is certainly not at fault. The African-American community has faced a similar struggle with representation, and Asian-Americans should focus their attention on the people responsible for the nominations instead. It's not hard to point out a problem without dragging others down.

There always seems to have been a divide between the Asian-American and African-American communities, admittedly caused in part by anti-blackness existing among Asians. While these are only movies, some of the controversies over the "Crazy Rich Asians" lack of nominations opens up a conversation about this divide and why it continues to exist. Even issues such as the Oscar nominations that seem more trivial can demonstrate the lack of solidarity between these two minorities. Hopefully, in the future, this is a problem that can be resolved. I hope to see minorities supporting other minorities and celebrating alongside each other rather than comparing themselves against each other.

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