this guy is my city councillor now
this guy is my city councillor now
A Girl Named Genghis Khan: Squash Player Masqueraded as a Boy to Learn the Game
When Maria Toorpakai Wazir was four, she cut her hair, dressed in her brother’s clothes, and took her own clothes into the backyard to burn them. “My father started laughing,” she says, “and said, ‘Here we go, we have a Genghis Khan in the family.’” The rest of her childhood in the Waziristan region of Pakistan was marked by fist fights, which she says is how she made friends. “I am a warrior, I was born a warrior, I will die like a warrior.”
Sounds about right for a girl who dressed as a boy in order to play the sport of squash, becoming the best female player in Pakistan, until Taliban threats forced her to leave the country in order to continue to train.
Squash is a very popular pasttime in Pakistan, and it’s fielded several of the most revered players in history, including Jahangir Khan, “considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game.” Both Pakistani men and women enjoy the sport, but Waziristan specifically is a “conservative” part of the country, to say the least. In Toorpakai’s home, women are not allowed to leave the house without going veiled and accompanied by a male relative, and they’re certainly not allowed to appear in public in shorts, like Toorpakai does when she plays and practices.
Nevertheless, when Toorpakai was twelve, her father decided that the best way to burn off the energy she was expending getting in fights was to enroll her in a sport, starting with weightlifting. He told her gym that she was his son, Genghis Khan. Later, when her interests turned to squash, he enrolled in a squash academy in Peshwar. It took a few months before anyone realized she was a girl, at which point the “extreme bullying” she received only pushed her to train harder. She wound up winning several championships, received an award from Pakistan’s president, and went pro.
Unfortunately, with notoriety came attention from the Taliban. Toorpakai was provided security by her country’s squash federation, but elected to quit practicing in public gyms so as not to endanger the others around her. For three and a half years, she practiced in her room, and in her spare time sent thousands of letters to squash clubs, squash academies, and colleges in Europe and America, trying to find one that would allow her to train there. Eventually, she reached Jonathan Power, a Canadian squash player who was the first North American to ranked #1 worldwide, and who had spent a lot of time playing in Pakistan with Pakistani players. He accepted Toorpakai as a student and she now lives and trains in Toronto.
Listen, I tried to summarize this story pretty well, but virtually every part of it is badass. She’s even getting TEDxTeen talk. You can read more at the BBC.
so someone on twitter pointed out that this scene from the Pacific Rim trailer was shot on a side street just behind toronto city hall
civic pride that’s all
do you see why I get distracted from science fiction
I move in political circles that are nearly completely white. And these (white) people are perfectly content keeping it that way. They don’t notice, much less care, that their scene is homogeneous. They live in a white bubble where they don’t have to think about anything else. Fine, whatever.
But recent events have brought race to the forefront and everyone’s talking about problems facing racialized communities and now these people I know in real life are talking about race
and they’re like “once I was the only white person in the club and it was AWFUL, racism affects everyone” and “when I was in Japan kids called me a gaijin, what do you mean POC can’t be racist against white people” and “how will I learn if you don’t educate me” and I’m like
OH GOD SHUT UP SHUT UP JUST STOP TALKING.
like it’s great if there are other people willing to take the time and explain things like you’re five, but I am done with this, it’s fine if we’re not on the same page but we’re not even in the same BOOK because you’re reading The Help or some shit.
I am not going to hold hands and sing kumbaya if you can’t recognize that racism is systemic, white people run shit, and that one time someone said mean words is not on the same level as people bombing or murdering or jailing or deporting or experimenting on people who look like you for centuries. Major papers will never run op-eds or political cartoons suggesting that gun violence is a white problem, or that white people are taking over, or that misogyny is especially dangerous when white people do it.
When I say these things to the people I know in everyday life I sound like an irrational, angry, unforgiving bitch. I probably am. I don’t fucking care any more. I’m tired of compartmentalizing my life and overlooking how white certain spaces are. I’m tired of white feminism. I don’t want to be patient. What, you’re 30 and you just started learning about racism? Maybe it’s because you live in a goddamn bubble and you never cared enough to change that. I am tired of being patient.
My ex says, “You should give people the benefit of the doubt.” They’re probably right.
The difference between—like if I say these things here people will probably think I’m making sense. But other places, oh my god I have gone beyond the pale what’s wrong with me. The radical opposition of these two worlds is driving me insane. As in I’m actually questioning my sanity because I am having trouble distinguishing what is real and what is not. Maybe I just imagined things.
*grinds teeth down to powder*
Why am I alienating my friends? (Well, white friends, I guess; it remains to be seen what everyone else thinks of me. Maybe they think I overstepped my bounds, too.)
Why can’t I control myself?
Am I insane?
Should I just shut up and go away?
an outbreak of gang violence in a low-income racialized community triggers a symphony of racist dog whistles across the city and the horrifically right wing tabloid and bleeding-heart lefty paper both engage in it and then some wide-eyed ingenue on your feed is like “but how is this racist if you don’t educate me how will i learn” and you rip their fucking throat out with your teeth
project don’t piss off well-meaning liberal white guys lasted exactly three weeks.
And who the fuck’s “cranzyskirt”? You gonna apologize in a couple of lines, at least spellcheck the shit. I’m saying. #dashedoffresponse #gititright
Click through if you missed the morning show of this shit. The email exchange’s getting posted tomorrow, screencaps and all. Stay tuned!
They didn’t ask me for permission to use my finger meanings for flagging, either - and I had to think about it for a while. Yes, I wrote my finger meanings post to share with other people, but I didn’t find out that they were going to create a graphic with it and use my article as source until AFTER it had been used - not just for a graphic but as a guideline for a manicure night event. And I wonder - was that a fundraising event? did they profit off my idea? I maybe don’t want to know if they did or not, because I will be *very* angry if they used my work for profit.I never specifically marked the piece as creative commons or anything like that. I didn’t release my blog post as free to use commercially. I did write it with the intent of suggesting a system that addresses the potential complexity of finger flagging in the hope that someone would like the idea. So this event got the message to a lot more people, but the fact that they used it without asking bothered me. In the end I decided that since I did write it to share, and they did credit and link back it was all right in the end.But not being asked if it was all right?That was wrong, no matter what the result was.It’s *especially* wrong because they’re publishing a magazine, and I am a professional writer. I sell my writing for money, so they just grabbed something that I wrote and used it without asking permission or offering a contract, and that’s grossly unprofessional. If they’d asked I would have given my enthusiastic consent. I would have been happy to welcome them to please go ahead, and even if I do like what came of their appreciation of my article, they didn’t ask me if I was all right with them using it.And they didn’t ask you eitherAnd that bothers me a fuck of a lot now that I know they did it to more people and their work than just me and mine.
Software developer Reginald Braithwaite tells the story of his mother Gwen, one of the first black female computer programmers in Canada.
I support the union but I can’t deal. WHERE AM I GONNA GET MY SCI-FI NOW