Qandeel Baloch is dead because we hate women who don’t conform

Qandeel Baloch is dead because we hate women who don’t conform

This is the thing that we think about Qandeel Baloch:

She preferred the water, she swam. In her recordings and photographs, she wore the same garments again and again — a white shower robe, a pink spotted dress. She had a comical inclination.

Her genuine name was Fauzia Azeem. She was naturally introduced to an impeccably conventional, socially traditionalist family. She wedded youthful, had a child. She left that marriage when it didn’t work out. She needed, in her own particular words, “to have the capacity to remain all alone two feet, to help out myself.”

Her Facebook persona, Qandeel Baloch, was trailed by for all intents and purposes a million people. She posted pictures on online networking that Pakistan considered “intense,” a term in the country’s vernacular that has come to mean a specific sort of sexual openness.

Every one of these realities are currently overwritten by what happened in the most recent couple of hours.

What we now think about Qandeel Baloch is that she is dead, as indicated by police, murdered on account of a sibling who felt he’d been “shamed.”


At this daily paper, we ran our first story on Qandeel Baloch in October 2015. When we first saw her on online networking she was moping and posturing, beseeching her gathering of people to answer the inquiry “What I’m looking like?” We were interested and fascinated. “Who is this young lady?” we pondered.

In the odd way Pakistani society has of being both tolerating of contrast (a valid example: Ali Saleem effectively ran a television show which he facilitated in drag) and wildly defensive of its envisioned virtue (a valid example: Veena Malik was bashed in 2011 for showing up on the front of an Indian magazine, brandishing little yet an “ISI” tattoo), Qandeel was both pined for and censured.

She was a young lady who obviously didn’t submit to the implicit guideline that in Pakistan, your private self and your open self should stay unmistakable from each other. She obscured that line. Through her photographs and recordings, she welcomed us into her room, her bed. She specifically tended to the camera and her gathering of people, asking them what they needed next: a selfie? then again something more?

A screenshot from her music video, “Boycott.”

A screenshot from her music video, “Boycott.”

From the remarks that showed up under her posts, young fellows needed to be with her; they likewise needed to snuff her out. Young ladies were alarmed by her ‘indecency’; they additionally commended her for doing precisely however she wanted.

Before the end of 2015, by means of continuous Facebook and Instagram posts, Qandeel had immovably settled her place in Pakistan’s expanding superstar scene. Obviously, she wasn’t the main young lady to be delegated the country’s “boldest” performer. Prior to her, we’ve had Meera, Veena, Mathira and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Be that as it may, while they demurely tiptoe around inquiries of their sexuality, their inspirations and their connections — Qandeel set herself apart by being audacious about her longing to be a screen siren, some person who incites. On a TV appear, she announced Sunny Leone was one of her good examples. On Instagram, she had no hesitations about saying she was hot.

In spite of the fact that she wasn’t precisely an open book, she spoke the truth about her desire.

What’s more, as has been demonstrated today, in case you’re a lady in Pakistan, aspiration can get you killed.


At this daily paper, we took after Qandeel’s short vocation intently. We connected with her frequently. Contingent upon her state of mind, she’d either disregard our calls or start long, winding discussions.

As her presents started on be seen by more individuals and as she was secured by standard daily papers, I trust she got to be mindful of her energy to convey certain messages about being female in Pakistan. Around this time, I started to consider Qandeel to be an expanding advocate for expanding ladies’ perceivability in Pakistan.

Thus we ran pieces addressing why Pakistanis harbored such a great amount of scorn for Qandeel. Also, I got a considerable measure of fire for giving her so much scope. A couple days back, one observer solicited me something along the lines from: “You’re covering Qandeel such a great amount of, what’s next, reporting from a house of ill-repute?”

As of late, Qandeel was starting to comprehend the centrality and contact her acclaim managed her

As of late, Qandeel was starting to comprehend the centrality and contact her acclaim managed her

Every one of this feedback clarified what most Pakistanis considered Qandeel: they’d endure her the length of she was only a sex object, since they were titillated. Be that as it may, when she began enlivening them for the sake of ladies’ rights, she was to be censured.

Not long ago, it turned out to be clear that what Qandeel may have begun as a songbird was turning out to be extremely individual to her. We comprehended that she had a motivation. She was starting to comprehend the noteworthiness and contact her distinction managed her, and she appeared to have received a story of strengthening that would reverberate with the universal group, as well as with Pakistan’s more dynamic populace.

A couple days back, when news of her brief marriage broke, we addressed her for what might be the last time. She was troubled, yet exceptionally forthright with the essayist who called her.

“I am an online networking sensation, I am a style symbol,” she said. “I don’t know what number of young ladies have felt support through my persona. I’m a young lady power. Such a large number of young ladies let me know I’m a young lady force, and yes, I am.”

I think she was young lady power.

Yes, she was shifty, ill humored, a puzzle. In any case, generally, she’d started to get a handle on precisely what she remained for. She had suppositions about patriarchy, I trust she was teaching herself, and for notoriety, as well as in light of the fact that her life had demonstrated her that the world is a troublesome spot for ladies and she needed to change that.


What we think about Qandeel Baloch is that she was en route to turning into a social symbol.

She was a media-keen ouroboros, expending yesterday’s picture and the reaction it earned to develop her persona over again tomorrow.

She was both an item and an impression of the tricky condition of Pakistan today, where neither progressivism nor conservatism has completely expelled the other, where ladies are progressively noticeable in people in general eye yet are likewise still killed with easygoing disregard, where notoriety may purchase you social versatility, yet just in the event that you play by the principles of the favored class.

A few people will blame the media for lionizing her in her demise, of retroactively crediting intending to her persona, her cause.

We need to inquire as to whether we did what’s necessary.

We need to inquire as to whether we did what’s necessary.

I need to clarify this is absolutely the catastrophe.

I don’t think Qandeel herself was sure about who she was, what precisely she needed to speak to. Qandeel had just barely started. She had far to go, and in the event that she wasn’t slaughtered for honor, I have undoubtedly she would’ve gone extremely far.

In one of her last posts, Qandeel said: “As ladies we should support ourselves. As ladies we should go to bat for equity. I trust I am an advanced women’s activist… I am only a ladies with free considerations free outlook and I LOVE THE WAY I AM.”

Today, I write her name into a hunt bar, navigate her Facebook posts. Her dim eyes and cat temples cross examine my inspiration.

“Did you defend me?” they inquire. “Did you do all that you could?”

That is the issue we need to live with now.