“Society can be reluctant to hold celebrities accountable,” was a dialogue in a now-defunct series Rizzoli and Isles. It loves to watch them fall is also an undeniable truism. But perhaps the greatest one now is how the stars of today can lead by example. And some of them did, at least this Aurat March.
Aurat March, held on Sunday March 8th, is a much stronger example than Twitter teachings and the toxic reaction that almost always follows. It was held with a charter of demand and hopes to seek (1) an end to violence and sexual harassment, (2) economic justice, (3) reproductive rights (‘Mera Jism Meri Marzi’ was born of this very idea). Their Charter of Demand also asked for (4) environmental justice, (5) Right to the City (6) Minority Rights and an End to Forced Conversions, (7) Political Participation of Women, Transgender and Non-Binary People and (8) Sexist treatment of women, non-binary and transgender people in the media.
As they say, personal is political, and celebrities have a responsibility to have a voice, for a cause of their choice, to uplift a movement they believe in. Their reasons and causes may be varied, but their involvement endorses the cause they attach themselves to.
Here are some of the celebrities we spotted making important statements at the Aurat Marches in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore...
Academy Award winner (twice), journalist and activist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy held up a very pointed placard that underlined every woman’s fundamental right to having an identity as an individual before being recognized as someone’s mother, daughter, sister or wife. Touche, Sharmeen.