What if girls were included? | Sabah Bano Malik | TEDxIslamabad

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In this talk Sabah stands up for women of Pakistan and encourages everyone to think about a world in which all women were included. Sabah Bano Malik always had an inkling that the world is unfair and filled with inequality of all sorts. She has spent her last few years working in media using her platform to discuss the crumblings of the world with passion and horror. A journalist, radio jockey and stand up comedian, Sabah pursued a career that utilized what she did best: talking about things at great length at a cornucopia of volumes. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

[Music]
I’m not gonna lie to you I had a very
hard time writing this talk today um I
am a journalist I am an RJ I am a
stand-up comedian which means I’m
basically paid to talk that’s how I make
my money and to make people laugh but
today I just knew that I had a lot I
wanted to say when I was approached to
do this TEDx talk and they told me our
shared future I jumped at the chance
because it’s basically they must have
read my Twitter feed I’m very into girls
and what their future in this country
looks like I also really like attention
and I figured this was a good way to get
it so here I am but it might be hard for
me to be funny today because like the
plastic that is drowning our oceans and
like our Pakistani cricket team things
can be very dire in this regard and
depressive but I’m gonna try to keep it
entertaining and informative I moved to
Pakistan six years ago and for the first
time I faced the reality that not all
Pakistani girls are the same ignorant I
know but that is what privilege is when
I got here everyone immediately said why
leave go back to the states which is
terrible PR for any country might I say
and being an American Pakistani at this
time is very strange because in this
political environment people think
American and Pakistani both not such a
great combination to have two years ago
I went to London for work and when I got
to immigration the lady behind the
counter I you not said to me
looking at my passport in my ID card
oh so you’re running away from two
places so I got here and I it was
different
girls and I need a big part about
difference from where I grew up is
crystal culture clique I’ve been told I
better be good about this cooking so
fish stock culture so because I want
this to go viral and get a little
western notice this stop it or do means
relationship enrich the culture is how
we get our arranged marriages going and
arranged marriages is another clickbait
word I’m using so that white people
click on this and I get famous cookie
Brown people you know so there’s Dutch
alter in marriage ability our holding
our girls back turn multitude of reasons
the water culture has made clear is that
if you are not kicked by someone or
their mother Addabbo topi whoever to be
a wife you have failed as a girl and
your parents have failed as well girls
in Pakistan are encouraged to be the
best wife they can be so what does that
mean you’re attractive but you don’t
know it unless you have self-esteem you
are obedient you are thin you are fair
skinned because you know colonial
hangovers and all that job you’re too
young to have developed a mind of your
own
you’re too young to know your own power
because if you did you’d be harder to
control and oppress see it’s not super
funny good start so what’s a good ride
she cooks she cleans she’s a virgin who
can’t drive she doesn’t argue she’s
completed she’s just happy to be there
she got picked and she knows her place
so let’s go back a few years six years
ago I’d land here I’m 24 years old
reasonably chubby still cute I have a
blue passport and I think I’m going to
literally be like kicking on diesel
away oh my god did not happen zero rich
dozen six years my friends zero and I am
sort of charming and like reasonably
decent like I always excuse me I hold
the door open for the elderly if they’re
moving fast enough like I’m a good
person okay so how does very upsetting a
woman who is an expert at getting
marriage is done for the socially inept
and well-connected once told me Subba
this is not the route for you because
you are not conventionally attractive
batam six years later I’m
standing on this stage and telling you
I’m still single so clearly I showed her
so why am I not conventionally
attractive I mean I know you were all
shocked to hear I was signal as soon as
I got up here mom please raise your hand
she’s right there they’ll figure it out
do something about it but I
unconventional for a few reasons there’s
somebody obvious months I considered a
dark-skinned by some I’m overweight to
some and to myself to be honest with you
sometimes when I wake up in the morning
this I sort of veers away so I haven’t
gotten it checked but I figure it can be
fixed
but here’s what cannot be fixed
I’m not spoken I know what I want I’m
independent I’m old
I challenge of
or I’m insubordinate I have friends who
are male and I’ve had friends who are
male all right
I have those ambitions and dreams and
the most important part about that is I
don’t have anyone stopping me from going
for them I was never told because I was
a girl I couldn’t do something but girls
in Pakistan are stopped from doing
seemingly normal and main things every
single day the clickers not working keep
going and somehow these things are
character-defining so hanging out with
friends sitting at restaurants sitting
in public places dating traveling
wearing jeans that one causes
earthquakes I don’t know if you know
going to school studying abroad
finishing your studies once you’ve
started them working having a choice and
even having the option of saying no and
this I gathered from just one what’s
that word yesterday girls in Pakistan
are pulled off the fields they’re
discouraged from sports they’re captive
locked up and out of sight and they’re
purposely purposefully maintained a bit
ignorant and naive and again this is
because what could be easier to control
than someone who has no control in their
hands this is our culture people will
yell at me our culture some of you might
even be thinking right now
cultures culture how can you change
culture the money culture is reducing
misogynous to tears
I am appear today a loud and proud
Pakistani woman because I was encouraged
to be one I was told from a very young
age that you’re going to take no
and you’re gonna get out there and
you’re gonna get what you want and it
has no bearing on whether or not you’re
gonna end up a good woman so that one
day when I did decide to marry or when I
stood on this stage and proclaimed my
single done to all of you it was on my
terms if Pakistan marriage is the end
game for most girls but my father always
told us that you shouldn’t get married
until you are financially stable
something that I’m sure you addressed
today when built his 30 year old
daughters live in this house and are
firmly in his bank account
the girls are too often discouraged from
passion joys curiosity and often just
from being children boy is in Pakistan
get to be boys I’m not saying there’s
not issues we’ll talk about more it’s
March later and I’ll tell you by them
not being allowed to cry is a big
problem but today boys get to be boys
they are encouraged to go out and play
and be messy and make mistakes when they
have flings or they mess up everyone’s
like hi so good luck you girls be
incapacitated
better out there studying they’re
traveling they’re going abroad and you
see what’s happening there is is that
they’re learning about the world around
them
Pakistan they’re learning and they’re
carving out what they mean for that
world where they are in that world and
well and they’re being guided towards
confidence and autonomy and why why is
that why is there a difference because
the history of a boy will very rarely
affect his desirability as a spouse they
mess up and when laden it’s like yeah
[Music]
good too because it’s fine
do you like me speaking or do I just
threw that in there I don’t actually
messes up like say she’s spotted
somewhere that culture and society says
she shouldn’t be in the best of cases
maybe there’ll be some gossip she’s
uncouth if she’s having a good time
maybe she’s a but in the worst of
cases we know what happens in the worst
of cases because sadly today Pakistan is
one of the countries that is over here
but is sadly one of the countries that
has become a poster child for hatred and
violence against girls and women I
mentioned the earth March earlier I was
lucky enough to be one of the fringe
organizers of this it happens in March
the Earth March or women’s March for the
internationals it caused point and a lot
of the comments that came from all
corners were what more do they want what
women want they are not
we’re doing it everyone’s happy shut
that’s the attitude and maybe they’re
right
we are the first country a Muslim
majority state to have the first elected
female Prime Minister and then she got
shot in the head we are also the country
that created the youngest Nobel laureate
who too got shot in that so focused on
is not doing so hot what am I saying the
news that your bills are on Twitter
where I live but this blows if we
empower girls from a young age if we
encourage the culture around their
upbringing to be more focused on
creating them as individuals as opposed
to creating them as someone’s spouse
what we’re Pakistan be today my parents
were sitting with me as I wrote this
we’re talking about the 70s and 80s my
mom used to ride a boat this isn’t bindi
riding a moped to school they’d hop was
donkey carts with the schoolchildren
that had to school and everyone was
happy and fun isn’t it interesting that
when you look at pictures of guarana
Pakistan versus now how different it is
and if I hadn’t planned ahead right now
behind me there’d be some like sexy
freesias pics building on but I did it
so just imagine it people are sarees and
they’re laughing and they’re happy it’s
not the female autonomy can get people
so riled up men women girls boys
everyone they really hate it and they
want no part of it and I want that to
change
it’s the only way forward if 49 percent
of the population is standing right with
you if 49% of the population was brought
up to believe that
choice and they can be a part of the
world they’re in everything could be
different and change and only for the
better if you girls were told to be bold
go out and take the world Pakistan would
be stronger their families would be
stronger and they would be stronger I am
up here today because of that very
product of thinking I’m not perfect
obviously I still eat dairy and gluten
even though I’m allergic to them but I
work hard and sometimes you just want
lasagna even if it hurts your stomach
and you get pimples on your face it’s
worth it I would think but I am
confident enough to be up here and tell
you I’m lactose intolerant
because no one stopped me from living my
life no one stopped me from making
mistakes
no one said sada I don’t want you to
become sada I want you to become up
those wife one day I was allowed to be
made first I asked a lot of men and
women over the last couple of days
what would Pakistan look like today if
girls were included these are some of
the answers I got pretty is
awesome
Sri is that breathable balanced powerful
– thumbs up highly recommended and the
last one which is sort of sad was a
chicken come true TEDx you’re supposed
to come up here you’re supposed to offer
solutions I’m not crazy I know I’m not
blowing your mind I’m telling you
something you haven’t heard before
and I know this is a culture that has
been standing for some time so what do I
want today
first I want you to introduce yourself
to my mom as you’re leaving okay
I’m a back there secondly when you’re
out that door
out in the world I want you to really
think about half the girls in your life
actually been included in this life take
the time to see are your sisters as free
as you are are you contributing to
withholding that freedom ask your
colleagues and your mothers and anyone
that you’re around with consent that
what the hell is the deal do you guys
actually enjoy your life and have you
been allowed to make choices for
yourself I want you to ask them how do
you see the future of Pakistan and our
girls included thank
[Music]

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