“#TryBeatingMeLightly and I Will Break that Hand You Raised”:
Why #TryBeatingMeLightly is More Than an Anti-Abuse Campaign
In response to a recently proposed bill in Pakistan allowing husbands to “lightly beat” their wives to keep them in line, Pakistani women and their international online supporters have joined forces against this horrific bill. The bill was created by Council of Islamic Ideology, a constitutional body in Pakistan that advises the government, and will permit husbands to beat their wives in instances such as when they speak too loudly or refuse to have sex. The bill was made in response to the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act passed by the Punjab Assembly earlier this year, in which substantial measures were provided for safeguarding the rights of women.
On the surface, we see Pakistani women fighting against institutionally permitted abuse, detailing what they would do if their husband tried beating them lightly. This campaign, however, has accomplished far more than just a movement against one country’s attempt to belittle the strength of women in society. #TryBeatingMeLightly has allowed women, Pakistani or not, to #ConnectToConfidence, baring their teeth against the chauvinism that plagues our world. These women are showing all of us that women are not pets to be “kept in line”, and if treated as such they will fight back.
“#TryBeatingMeLightly and I’ll run a car over you with my 7 years of driving experience!” –Priyanka Pahuja, product designer turned digital marketer
“#TryBeatingMeLightly, I will beat you up lightly too, that too in public. I am very particular about gender equality.” –Fizza Rahman, senior brand manager
Not only have these empowered women shown us what can be accomplished when we #ConnectToConfidence, but #TryBeatingMeLightly has very publicly shown the world a line of men and women coming together to fight for gender equality. Pakistani men and men worldwide, including photographer Fahhad Rajper who started the hashtag campaign, have displayed their disgust at the notion of legal abuse of women. #TryBeatingMeLightly has brought to light the power of true feminism at its finest: men and women working together to achieve equality of the genders and put an end to gender-defined injustices.
Let us hope that #TryBeatingMeLightly acts as a wakeup call to Muslim extremists and, more specifically, the Council of Islamic Ideology. Women aren’t objects by word of the Quran, and these empowered women and men are a force to be reckoned with.
Hanson, Hilary. “#TryBeatingMeLightly Shows Pakistani Women Won’t Stand For Wife-Beating Bill.” The Huffington Post Australia. N.p., 31 May 2016. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/05/31/trybeatingmelightly-shows-pakistani-women-wont-stand-for-wife/>.
‘Try Beating Me Lightly’ Prod. Alex Dackevych. BBC News. N.p., 1 June 2016. Web. <http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36430547>.