Behenchara

Dear sisters

Bachpan mein humain sikhaaya jaata hai kay aurat hi aurat ki dushman hoti hai. One of my earliest memories growing up was watching dramas with my dadi, looking at women dedicating their entire lives to ruining another woman’s career, aspirations, or personal matters. Womxn are taught that they need to compete for some finite resource (male appreciation) by dragging each other down. You see this portrayal in the media, in your literature, even in your music.

But my personal experience was incredibly different. Womxn around me have dedicated themselves to creating support systems, and safe spaces that are conducive to personal healing and growth. Tou ye fazool kahawat humain jhoot kyun sikhaati hai? Because the patriarchy uses a simple principle to maintain power over womxn and by dividing us amongst each other, it becomes easier for this structure of power to remain in power.

This is why behenchara and solidarity among womxn and non-binary and queer+ folks is exceptionally important. Its a way to regain power and autonomy and recognize that the fight we fight is impossible without having each other by our side. The whole cliche ‘None of us are free until all of us are free’ wali baat, lekin sach tou hai.

This editor’s letter has been so difficult for me to write because I still struggle with so many different aspects of behenchara and solidarity myself. I struggle to unlearn and dismantle my misogyny, and its a long journey to reaching where I want to be. So if this letter seems confusing, its because it is. I am confused and I am seeking clarity on this long road khud.

Thankyou for your patience in listening to this ramble. Sometimes i’m eloquent, other times… well, other times there’s letters like these that make their way to you all.

Dear Readers, don’t let my confusion paint this issue in a different light than it is. The beauty of behenchara (the phenomenon but also the mag) is that its a safe space for growth, learning, and unlearning. And this issue is a way for us all to unlearn and relearn all the important things that we take with us when we go out to fuckin SMASH the patriarchy.

P.S. Our letter campaign was a hit! So many wonderful folks from Pakistan and India shared their love with us. We are thrilled and honoured and extremely proud of the the womxn around us who make this world a better place.

Bohat saara pyaar aap sab kay liay,

Alina

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