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Lollywood August 27, 2015 3212
Aaron Haroon Rashid,
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Aaron Haroon Rashid, the Pakistani pop star who created Burkha Avenger, did so esxrepsly to promote girl's education and women's empowerment. From what I have seen, it has engaging graphics and stories in support of very strong images of women and girls.Some Pakistani feminists, however, have raised concerns about the risks in using a symbol of oppression as a means of transgression. One may inadvertently reinforce the oppression. (Rashid's strategy is not unlike Butler's reappropriation of gender stereotypes in order to undermine them. Also risky, as Butler often notes.) Kahn describes the burkha as a technique for rendering women invisible, and applauds its reappropriation for women's agency; yet, she rudely dismisses Pakistani feminists for being concerned about its valorization. Isn't one of the good things about Burkha Avenger precisely that it has sparked a debate about the burkha, as a material element in the systematic oppression of women? Why is that debate a bad thing? Why should it be an occasion for the mocking dismissal of feminism in which Khan indulges? This critique is internal to Pakistan, and it would be wrong to dismiss these feminists as Westernized, just in virtue of their feminism. I am reminded of Uma Narayan's poignant autobiographical account of the way in she was lashed with the charge of westernized' when she tried to address the subjection of women in her own India. The vehemence of the counter reaction to the questions raised about the use of the burkha in a cartoon reminds me of her metaphor.
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