2 comments on “Dystopia, Utopia or the real world?

  1. HI Farheen, I agree with you that dystopian fiction is a way to warn people about what could happen if something were left unchecked, like a lot of science fiction. I don’t think it’s meant to show how bad things can get but to mirror some aspect of our society. As a young adult librarian, I’ve been amazed at the number of dystopian novels out right now. GoodReads even has a chart about the trend and links it to periods of social upheaval: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/infographic-dystopian-fiction-on-goodreads_b48815

    In so many of these dystopian novels, the protagonists are strong, capable young women who solve their own problems and defeat very scary things. They think for themselves and question authority when they feel authority is wrong. If we can see ourselves facing down evils in fiction, perhaps it will inspire us to face the evils in own own lives and triumph.

    My heart goes out to the many thousands of women who have been punished for the “crime” of being female. I was saddened to read the story about Fakhra Younus, but I’m glad her story has inspired others to change the laws, question the system and hopefully help other women from suffering the same fate, including Younus’ daughters. American society certainly isn’t perfect, and women here can be awfully hard on ourselves and each other. And women here are abused too. I hope all abused women can find justice and a measure of peace in their lives.

    • Christine, thank you for that information on the trend of dystopian lit along with social upheaval. And I want you to know I certainly appreciate dystopian litereature. As a huge fan of writers like Huxley, Orwell, Bradbury, etc. I have felt that reading dytopian literature in my formative years has positively impacted my way of thinking. So kudos to the new generations who are eating up all that dystopian goodness. I am glad that many of the protaganists are stong female characters, a refreshing trend for certain.

      I didn’t mean to imply that the only abused and hurt women are in Pakistan or that region. I know that there are women suffering in all parts of the world, including here in the US. Yet what bothers me about it most is that the view in some places about that abuse is so uncaring. If someone attacked me with acid here, I am certain that there would be a great many more people trying to help me get justice than if I were attacked in Pakistan. Which is not to say that there are no advocates for reform in Pakistan, because there are. It’s just that society tends to care less there.

      An example of this would be when I went with my mom to Pakistan in 2006. A man three streets down from my grandmother’s house poured a fuel accelerant on his wife and set her on fire. She died three days later in a hospital, still covering for her husband, saying that she had accidentally set herself on fire. The man was never brought to justice. Neighbors talked about it in lower voices for a week or so, but then it was gone. And that was in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan.

      Ultimately, my beef is with that idea that women have been fighting for centuries, that we are somehow lesser beings than our male counterparts. This idea has survived for far too long and obviously I am ticked about it. While I am glad that there is change occurring, it is happening because of female victims who are being martyred. It shouldn’t be happening period. Grrrr.

      Thanks for reading my rant and my subsequent reply rant. 😛

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