< BACK  | AT HOME • April 21, 2017

Celebrating the women silenced for using their voices

This weekend marked the 2nd death anniversary of Pakistan’s Human Rights Activist and my cousin, Sabeen Mahmoud. I reflected on how far, if at all, we’ve come in allowing women’s voices being heard for the greater good – safely.

How is it that a President who demeans women can hold the loudest microphone in the world but Sabeen who used her voice to speak up for those missing in Balochistan can lose her life over it? How is it that Russian authorities vehemently deny any existence of gay concentration camps in Chechnya while America’s first Black female judge to stand up for LGBT parental rights shows up dead in the Hudson river?

And who are we handing the microphone to on a daily basis? Pepsi, who released a tone deaf advertisement marginalizing several important issues plaguing the modern world, by highlighting a reality star who is a far cry from the women of color and the battles they face everyday. Reality stars are advocating overcoming a deep self loathing with lip fillers, ass implants and cosmetic surgery I can’t wrap my head around because that’s what they get paid to do – because we listen. We feed the beast daily and then wonder how it got so strong.

So no, you won’t see me sipping on a Pepsi while I sit in a cosmetic surgeon’s office because there are industries hoping to profiteer from a self-loathing they paid for me to learn. Never mind the problems that need facing – that the government has a dominant say in reproductive rights, police brutality, wage gaps and glass ceilings.

To change who we want heard, we must be wary of who we listen to.

In strength,




Be all that you are

Samar Shera



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