One More Down : Qandeel Baloch

“The male ego is a terrible thing, my brothers; when it rears its head it wants to destroy the very world. Do you know why? Because it’s a glass doll. Throw it on the floor and it’ll shatter. So it becomes furious at the slightest threat. Do you know what the male ego is: I’m the last word, nothing can be greater.”
Manto, Dozakhnama
One More Down
Qandeel Baloch is no more. Her brother strangled her when she was sleeping, according to News Reports. She had come to visit her parents. She had also pleaded for security weeks ago because she was aware of the escalating vitriol coming from the infuriated masses. But before we address where the fury came 3from, let’s have a detour of her life. She was born in a middle-classfamily and was married to a man when she was 17. Obviously, her education was compromised. She is known to have said the marriage was abusive. She had a son with the man but the son was later take away from her. She later decided to do what she had always wanted to: decide for herself. She was a sensation from 2014 till now with an astounding number of likes and watches. She was also very active about the current ongoings and was quick to respond to them which earned her both notoriety and popularity.
Qandeel was not your regular celebrity. This is where the fury mentioned earlier comes into play. She was a woman with a mind of her own, a woman who solely wanted to entertain, a woman who didn’twant to conform to the restrictions laden down by the patriarchal society. And, for that she was brave no matter whether our ideals and moral values conform with hers or not, she was a ringing voice in the dead silence that has become of this country.
She was always indignant. Indignant over the anger and backlash she always got from the masses. A simple set of questions need to always be asked though in this regrd, where was the fury when she was married off earlier by force at such a tender age? Where was the fury when she couldn’t pay for the medical bill of her child? Where was the fury when she was left alone starving? Where was the fury when her son was taken away from her?
Where is the fury that she has now been murdered in cold blood?
The most alarming of all is that this incident is just another barbaric example of an honor killing. In this heteronormative, patriarchal society where women are used as synonyms for ‘honor’, where everybody has a warped sense of morality and a distorted understanding of the role of a woman being meek, submissive and the rearer of children, women will always be silenced. Condoning this honor crime will just paveway for more honor killings. We need to attack this mindset on the grassroot level by trying to get rid of all sexist notions that have been rampant so far.
Waseem, her brother just isn’t a killer for her. The society who indulged in ridiculing her every time yet being entertained by her are also the killers. The ones condoning her death and sharing it as a glad tiding are the killers. We all who ever scoffed at her and gleefully shared her details of the agonizing personal past life she had wanted to isolate herself with are the killers. The Media that exploited her, never respected her privacy and portrayed a tainted version of her to the masses is the killer.
By Aamna Malik

About wmc