Thursday, December 13, 2007

Aqsa, I Am So Sorry

As they sometimes say over at Jezebel, I've been drinking. So I'm, like, blogging with a reduced filter. Blogging without a net. Whatever.

I'm American but I live in Canada. I live in Toronto. For the past couple of weeks, I've been in the US, and then today I came back home. And of course the news here in Toronto is all about Aqsa Parvez, a 16 year-old girl who lived in a Toronto suburb and was killed by her father Monday night.

No one knows exactly what happened, but all of Aqsa's friends say that she and her family had been fighting ferociously about her clothes. Her family wanted her to wear modest clothes and a hijab; she wanted to wear fun teenagerish Canadian fashions. Her friends said she'd come to school and change in the bathroom then change back before going home.

I know a lot of 16 year-old girls die for a lot of reasons, but this story has hit me very hard. One reason it has is that this is evidently Aqsa's myspace picture:

I love this picture. When I saw this picture in the paper over dinner I could hardly stop myself from crying. I'm not sure why, exactly, except there's something so awesome about this girl in this photo. What a great expression! What a cool coat! What awesome hair! I want to be friends with her.

But she's dead. I'm sorry, Asqa. I'm sorry the world is so fucked up, and I'm sorry death is so final. I look at this picture and I think, well, surely there's just been a mistake. I mean, whatever happened -- we can undo that right? And she can sign up for courses next term?

Sometimes you get the feeling that people think that talking about sex and fashion is, you know, talking about something trivial. But women all over the world are threatened, menaced, and killed over sex and fashion.

And it's not just because, you know, some people are crazy. When people say they don't want their daughters becoming sex objects, they have a point. It's not a crazy demand. But when girls say, Hello, I'm going to do whatever the fuck I want, they have a point too. Because they get to. That's the deal we've all signed up for around here.

I could go on and on, but let's let Aqsa have this post, and this moment, to herself. We can argue about it later.

1 comment:

Captain Colossal said...

I don't know exactly how to say it, but your point about how unbelievable it is that this can't be fixed for her, that we can't bring her back and make it okay was super-moving to me. I tend not to think so much about how lousy the whole death thing is, but every now and then, with something like that, it really comes home to you.