WOMEN’S MARCH: 21st JAN 2017

WOMEN’S MARCH: 21st JAN 2017

The day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest. What started as a Women’s March in Washington, spread to different corners of the world; with people coming out to protest in solidarity (and against Donald Trump) in several cities around the globe, including Paris, Sydney, London, and even different parts of India. As many as a million people took part in the main march in Washington,DC, four times the initial expectations.  Worldwide, more than 670 “sister” marches took place. According to the organizers, more than two million people participated in USA alone. Unlike President Trump’s inauguration, the marches attracted a host of celebrities including Madonna, America Ferrera, Gloria Steinberg and Sir Ian McKellen. who came out to show their support. Social media platforms exploded, with some even live streaming the marches from on ground. The Women’s March on Saturday brought together the citizens of USA and the world like never before; regardless of age, religion, race, or creed. While exact counts were impossible due to the large numbers of people that had come out onto the streets, estimates show mind-boggling numbers. LAPD spokesman Andrew Neiman said that while his department was still working on a crowd estimate, he told AFP that the Women’s March was certainly larger than a pro-immigration march that drew 500,000 in 2006. The Los Angeles March organizers claimed that the turnout equaled 750,000 people. March organizers in New York claimed that half a million people showed up on the streets to protest, tweeting:  “This is what democracy looks like! Over 500k...
ONE STEP AT A TIME

ONE STEP AT A TIME

I was sitting on my bed doing my homework when my sister opened the door and silently crept into the room, as though walking on eggshells. I warily watched her progress across the room and raised an eyebrow in a silent question when she plopped down onto the bed next to me. She shrugged in reply and grabbed the TV remote, ignoring me. I went back to the words I was writing on my notebook for school. It was a normal day at the Ahmed household… if you ignored the constant voices in the background yelling at one another. Our eldest sibling, Sarah, was fighting with our father for hurting our mother. Again. Our 15-year-old sibling had unconsciously stepped into the role of ‘savior’ ever since she was old enough to defend the woman who gave birth to us all. It did not matter how rich our father was, it did not matter how much bigger or stronger he was, it did not matter how many times he would lock her in the cupboard before leaving for work only to let her out in the evening, it did not matter how much his voice made the rest of us quake in our shoes; Sarah was always there to the rescue. She was the only one he could not control; and he hated it. Two years on Sarah would leave for the States to pursue her studies, and would grow into a self-made businesswoman the likes of which our family had never seen. My other siblings and I would follow suit, taking our mother with us. Our father would be...
I’M A VICTIM OF ASSAULT. AND I’M A MAN.

I’M A VICTIM OF ASSAULT. AND I’M A MAN.

“Don’t be shy like a new bride”, she said while she pushed me on her couch and tried to force herself on me. “Can I lose my virginity to you?” I fought her off, pushed her away and barely managed to walk out of her apartment. I wasn’t sure what had happened there. Nor did I know what to call it. All I knew is that she tried to do what I had never thought a Pakistani girl would. I should’ve seen it coming. Perhaps I should have paid attention to the signs, her body language, and not be foolish enough to agree to go to her apartment at midnight, despite her being older and a senior in college. Maybe it’s my naivety. I always gave her the respect that a college junior gives to a senior. Maybe I gave her the wrong impression. Maybe I still blame myself for everything. For a long time, I didn’t understand the seriousness of the incident. I downplayed the severity of it in my head. I even thought it was funny, because things like this don’t really happen to guys – at least that’s what I believed. Then, I met someone. She used to work with victims of human trafficking and sexual abuse. I told her my story and she was shocked. She was like a counselor who helped me clear my head about what had happened and how to deal with it. My interest in statistics on sexual assault on men increased and I looked it up online only to discover that the problem isn’t as rare as I had thought....
(WHEN MY RAPIST SHOWED UP IN) PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW

(WHEN MY RAPIST SHOWED UP IN) PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW

This video, dedicated to all survivors of sexual assault and abuse across the globe, is a cry for help by a victim of rape. An emotional poem written by Kevin Kantor, it is a heart-wrenching plea for help; for recognition of a crime most would turn away from; for justice. Kantor opens himself up to allow the world to witness the torment that he goes through every single day, knowing that out there is the man who destroyed everything he was in under a few minutes. That out there, the person whom he calls “THE WOLF”, is living a normal life; not bothered by the crime that he has committed, ‘smiling’ at the rest of the world as every day passes by. Whilst on the other side, Kantor lives in a perpetual state of torment and fear.   “Facebook informs me that we have three mutual friends.  Which is to say, that he is People You May Know. Which is to say that I am people you may know, and there are people that know, and people that don’t know.”                                                                                – Kevin Kantor This entrancing, yet excruciating poem, forces the listener and reader to face the horrifying fact that we all might know someone who is either a (potential) rapist/assaulter or a survivor of said assault. Our reluctance to face these facts, our hesitancy in standing up for the survivors...
TO THE ONE WHO DESTROYED MY SELF-ESTEEM: I THANK YOU

TO THE ONE WHO DESTROYED MY SELF-ESTEEM: I THANK YOU

It is my fault; always. It has been four years since we first met. I know everything about him, what he likes and what he doesn’t, how he wants his life to plan out… every single thing; and I always end up doing something to make him lose his faith in me. Why can’t I simply be the type of girl he so deserves? The thought ran through me like a train bursting at full speed past an empty abandoned house near the tracks; like a haunting presence deep in the nooks and crannies of its soul. It didn’t matter that we were sitting across from each other in a dimly lit restaurant amidst five other couples, all of whom were smiling warmly into each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to the silence that gripped our corner table; a stark contrast to the rest of the lovebirds flitting on their personal clouds of nine. We had been sitting there for close to an hour; and almost as soon as the server had whisked away with our order he started grilling me about my day. It was always the same routine, no matter how long a time had passed since we had last had an opportunity to be together. It always started with a polite question about how my day went; I always replied by saying it was all right before asking him about his day; he always ignored my question and instead asked me what exactly had been so good about my day, grilling me until my evasive answers were forced to turn into grinding, specific ones. These would then...