Malala seems to have caused quite a stir on Twitter after her recent Vogue interview. Pakistanis were quick to pass judgements on their “Qaum Ki Beti” and overnight Twitter seems to have become a cesspool of hate and toxicity.
Breathe folks, breathe! Why are sensibilities hurt more over a ‘partnership’ than rape or harassment or abusive relationships or child marriage or honour killing or … forced conversions or Hazara or…the list goes on.
For those calling Malala out, I think she was just voicing her thoughts. It is through a place of Ignorance and questioning that we reach a place of trust & faith. Grant her 23 years all of that & more. And grant her the liberty to decide. She or anyone else for that matter cannot and will not lose their faith because of one statement on partnership!
For those who say she is corrupting our youth? Our youth are not so fragile & impressionable. Have we no faith in our upbringing? And is a ‘partnership’ the only thing they need to be protected from? Look around & open your eyes to the multiple dangers your child is vulnerable to. Drugs being one of them. Extremist mindset another. These will take lives and kill societies much faster than a random contemplation on partnership.
Yes, Malala did say:
“I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”
But she said this too on the headscarf:
“It’s a cultural symbol for us Pashtuns, so it represents where I come from. And Muslim girls or Pashtun girls or Pakistani girls, when we follow our traditional dress, we’re considered to be oppressed, or voiceless, or living under patriarchy. I want to tell everyone that you can have your own voice within your culture, and you can have equality in your culture.”
People Change And Grow, So Why Can’t Malala?
Are you growing too? Or is your mind superbly entangled in the cobwebs of your own valued judgements? Do not be afraid to allow your children to question. That is the only way to true & strong belief!
The Vast Array Of Opinions On Twitter
Like always, the opinions on Twitter are part of two extremes. People are either organising a pitchfork mob to go after Malala or hyping her up. Here’s what some people had to say:
Malala Is Allowed to Have Opinions And Question Societal Norms
Malala Leading The Youth Astray?
Criticism Is Okay But Not At The Cost Of Disrespect
I think we can all agree that we should always be respectful while we’re voicing our opinions. Hurling abuses at someone for not agreeing with your point of view isn’t only disrespectful but also highlights the intolerance in our society. Criticism is okay but not at the cost of disrespect.
Because here’s the thing, Malala doesn’t have it all figured out but she’s voicing the thoughts representative of many young people in Pakistan. What Malala might do (because of her influencer status) is to encourage other young people to ask questions in safe spaces. She might give us some very clear answers but at times she might not. She is asking questions while still respecting what we as a society & faith take to be a given.
Creating Safe Spaces
We must create a safe space for young people to ask any question and challenge our beliefs. Only then will we all, young & old come to really and truly understand what is wrong or right & believe it wholeheartedly. Influencers should not pretend to be always right.
Moreover, this was a snippet of a conversation she had that could have gone anywhere. She goes on to say her mother told her that’s never happening btw. She is sometimes, like any average young Pakistani girl, looking for answers. And that is why the youth should relate to her & the older generation should not cancel her, because then we are sending out a signal that some topics are off the table.
Nothing should be off the table, in my opinion. Create safe spaces to carry on the conversation!