Her wings are intact

Malala was in chemistry class, learning about electrolysis, when she got the news that she’d won the Peace Prize.

Yousafazi, who received a standing ovation when she made a powerful address to the United Nations on her 16th birthday, express hope that the leaders of Pakistan and India would come together on education and asked for them to jointly attend the award presentation in December.

“I’m proud that I am the first Pakistani and I am honored that I am the first young woman or the first young person to be receive this award,” she said in a press conference from Britain, where she is still receiving treatment for her injuries. “I’m thankful to my father for not clipping my wings and for letting me to fly.”

Fathers who don’t clip their daughters’ wings may get to see them fly very far.


  1. says

    The last person I cheered for when they won a nobel turned out to engage the US in wars of aggression and acted to cover up torture. I have a lot more hope for Malala!! Fly! Fly!

  2. skemist says

    I also have a lot of hope for her. Her beautiful response to learning she had won is evidence that they picked the right recipient this time. What a way she has with words.

  3. Decker says

    I think a dose of realism is in order here. Malala is feted all over the western world as she should be. However in her native Pakistan and in many other places in the Islamic world she is reviled. Many Pakistanis, even those from the middle class, are of the opinion she’s some sort of CIA/Zionist creation. In a perverse way she has become ammunition for the hardliners who believe that all of Pakistan’s intractable problems are the result of ‘outside’ influence. That’s the way it is in a country where the inability to self-evaluate is downright pathological. Malala risks becoming the catalyst for even tighter controls over the lives of young girls.

  4. Brian E says

    In a perverse way

    A banal, everyday way. She is a problem. She challenges the status quo. She’s threatens to deny somebodies privilege.
    I take it that you think Malala shouldn’t be a beacon, because that’d make things worse? So, what do you propose?

  5. Brian E says

    I mean, what do you propose, apart from shutting up the young female who has the temerity to challenge the status quo?

  6. Decker says

    @Brian E. You’ve really misunderstood what I’d written. I DO NOT ‘propose’ shutting her up at all. I’m simply saying that in her home country, Pakistan, she’s being vilified. It’s not our reaction to Malala that counts, but rather the reaction of the Islamic world. And it’s from that reaction…the invocation of conspiracy theories and CIA/Zionist plots and other idiocies that we should be learning something.

    The real ‘news’ here has little to do with the fact she won a Nobel Prize. Everyone reports on the fact she won, but no one is reporting on the overwhelmingly negative reaction in the islamic world that greeted that win. That whole swaths of the Islamic world utterly reject both her and her ideas on education is quite disturbing and needs be addressed and challenged.

    It’s all the misogynistic dreck Malala’s win has flushed out in the islamic world that really matters.

  7. Onamission5 says

    Honestly, Decker, are you trying to distract from recognition of her accomplishments? Because yes, whenever a woman gets public attention for their progressive accomplishments, misogynistic dreck does both precede and follow, but that is not the sole territory of Islamists. It’s well documented around the globe that assholes are assholes regardless of culture, location, and religion/lack thereof. Demands that whenever a woman speaks out, whenever she accomplishes a thing, that we take our attention off of her and put it back onto the menz where it belongs is a distraction technique. How dare we pay attention to this woman who has overcome so much! The real focus should be on the men who created the circumstances she had to overcome! I mean why should we pay any attention to what she has to say or what she is doing about it amirite.

    Just for once when a woman does something amazing and is lauded for those amazing things I wish we could note what she has done without attempts at distraction, without attempts to bury the lede, without attempts to deflect attention off of her and onto the men who hate her. Today we acknowledge Malala Yousafazi, tomorrow and the next day and the day after that we can go back to giving the majority of attention to the shit slingers and assholes around the globe. Can we talk about *her* today, since this is an honor *she* is getting that is based upon what *she* has accomplished, can we discuss *her* good work? That would be fanfuckingtastic.

  8. says

    Decker – for heaven’s sake – the whole reason she won, the whole reason anyone knows who she is, is precisely because of the loathsome Islamist opposition to her and everything she stands for. Of course we’re not ignoring that. It’s not possible to mention her or think about her while ignoring that!

  9. Decker says

    Decker – for heaven’s sake – the whole reason she won, the whole reason anyone knows who she is, is precisely because of the loathsome Islamist opposition to her and everything she stands for. Of course we’re not ignoring that. It’s not possible to mention her or think about her while ignoring that!

    Of course we know who she is simply because of the fact the Taliban tried to kill her. My beef is with the Western media and the way her win is being portrayed with a kind of ‘problem-all-solved’ tone to everything.

    This is not the human rights breakthrough people think it is.

    Malala’s example is cited in places like Pakistan, not to trumpet the arrival of gender rights for more women, but rather as a case of what happens to good Muslim girls who go ‘bad’.

    I’m really only interested in the fallout her win is having in the Muslim world, and from what I’m seeing that fallout is almost completely negative.

    As depressing as it is to say this, I fear that her whole example will be appropriated by islamists to further galvanize Muslim opinion against greater gender equality.

    I’m very glad she won. I’m happy for her as I’m sure you are. However, this isn’t about either you or me. The people this SHOULD be about basically reject her and her calls for greater rights for girls and women, and everyone is missing that very important point.

    It’s the islamic world’s almost wholesale REJECTION of her win that’s the real news, and that news is most distressing.

  10. says

    Decker, first of all, “the Islamic world” is not synonymous with people who hate Malala. Basically all you’re doing is conflating those two categories, then acting like we’re remiss for not focusing on the fact that people who already hate Malala Yousefa will probably hate her even more after this, even though that’s pretty much a non-story. Dog bites man type stuff.

    You’re a concern troll. It’s not a good look.

  11. lpetrich says

    So Malala Yousafzai is going the way of Abdus Salam? He was Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate, in physics. It was for helping work out electroweak unification. But he has received very little honor in his home country, because he was an Ahmadi Muslim, and many Pakistanis consider the Ahmadi sect a rather gross heresy.

  12. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    My daughter will have every opportunity to fly that I can give her, but that’s not enough. To fill the skies we need to be teaching our boys to put down the goddamn scissors. #heforshe

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