I entered, nay, stumbled into journalism because I had to support my family financially; otherwise no sane literature student would trade their thesis for an eight-hour job. But as they say, better make the most of what one gets.
There is not a single discipline which is easier for people who do not come from the privileged lot and being a woman doesn’t always help, because as a journalist we are not just challenging patriarchy by proving ourselves out on the field but also within newsrooms, laced with misogyny and unabated everyday sexism.
We hear a lot about self-censorship these days, and these are certainly dark times for free thinkers but we also quietly ignore the daily self-policing women do to merely exist because it’s easier to chant the narrative of a certain kind of feminism but far difficult to comprehend the barriers women have to cross in the form of mobility, relationships, emotional labour, among others by constantly validating everyone except themselves.
Next time, someone tells me that I could do wonders I would be more than happy to remind them of my class and gender because the sooner we acknowledge the baggage associated with these two, the better. Because this is what reporting has taught me, that each day would be a new one and that it is absolutely okay to breakdown or take a break before breathing in the surroundings; that the most important tool is empathy. Tampering with the words of Keats, if reporting isn’t accompanied by empathy, it better not come at all. Empathy only comes when one is willing to understand the ways of the world and isn’t that the best part about reporting, discovering and learning about others and ourselves, each day. Zoya Anwar, Karachi
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