Can feminism be fun? In Lyari, it isBlogs
Feminists are often charged with being too serious, of not having a sense of humour, and of not knowing how to have fun.
While this certainly does not apply to my personal life, I have to admit my work as a feminist sociologist has generally focused on exposing the darker side of patriarchy.
Topics such as domestic violence, restrictions on mobility and gender-based discrimination often concern feminist researchers, particularly those who are studying the Third World and Muslim women.
We are trained to uncover experiences of oppression and violence at the expense of experiences of other aspects of women’s lives such as joy or pleasure.
This reinforces the notion that the lives of these women are bleak, and it is our job as researchers to shed light on their problems.
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Such an approach is flawed on multiple fronts, not least because it flattens and simplifies women’s lives, robs them of their agency and only tells a small part of a much richer and complex story.
It also reinforces the notion that feminism is fundamentally opposed to fun.
In order to try to rectify this tendency in my own work, I have turned my attention over the last few months to the question of whether having fun can be seen as a feminist act as part of my wider research into the dynamics of social life in Lyari.