For most people in Pakistan, March 8 is synonymous with the Aurat March and its infamous #MeraJismMeriMarzi slogan. Its infamy lies in the fact that many people were unable to process that women deserve bodily autonomy.
But the slogan has been twisted and stripped of its original meaning and is used by detractors who argue that the Aurat March promotes vulgarity and obscenity.
To remind everyone about the true meaning of the slogan, Gul Pir released a new song, Tera Jism, Meri Marzi, where he highlights on the harassment women face every day. And he hasn't held back. The music video shows a wife being beaten by her husband and then fighting back.
The lyrics of Tera Jism, Meri Marzi covers several types of harassment and injustice faced by women, from domestic violence to street harassment and groping. While some may comment that the lyrics are crass, Gul Pir is just speaking the truth. Those offended by the lyrics should be more offended that women have to experience this.
But most importantly, it features Eva B, a young, niqabi rapper from Lyari. Adding freshness to our screens with her voice, Eva B resonates with most young women. Her lyrics mirror Gul Pir’s rap and feel like a reply to the crassness. Bold and sharp, Eva B takes pride in the choices women make; whether it is wearing a hijab, completing their education or fulfilling their obligations.
More importantly, and to the surprise of some, it does not only focus on issues faced by women alone. The rap states that daughters along with sons are not safe from incidents of rape and injustices. Ultimately, the song seeks to empower women by demanding they speak, opposing a common refrain in the song: “Chup aurat achi, bolnay wali gandi [A quiet woman is a good one, the one who speaks up is bad]”.
Gul Pir is no stranger to speaking up about gender-based violence and has called for a conversation on the topic through one of his favourite mediums — a comedy sketch. He has also raised concerns about street harassment women face.
Tera Jism, Meri Marzi has received interesting reactions, with many people catching on to the message and applauding Gul Pir for it.
However, some critics missed the point and asked the rapper not to "not paint the wrong colours." Whatever that means.