With this text, Mehrub Moiz Awan offers us a tongue-in-cheek account of the misogynistic and transphobic structures of the Pakistani state and dominant society. Her sharp and implacable description shows us that, despite often being absent from our political imaginaries, humor remains a powerful medium to articulate a ruthless critique.
Welcome to the Incel Republic of Pakistan. We have 210 million citizens in our country, and many non-citizens: some men, some women, and some “transgenders.” Previously, we used to call them “shemales,” as that is what porn had taught us. Now, they call themselves “transgender” in English and “khwajasira” in Urdu, but what we really want to call them is “dead.” For every 100,000 transgender people in our Incel Republic, we kill almost 800 of them in one year alone. This is fifteen times higher than the highest murder rate in the world (El Salvador), but we come in peace. Because for every 800 transgender persons that we kill in a year, we make 800 normal male and female babies in just over an hour. We think it is a fair bargain. After all, the 800 new babies will make 400 new families, and did I tell you how much we love our families?
Welcome to the Family Republic of Pakistan. We love our families, and our families love us even harder. Sometimes, they love us so hard that we accidentally die due to the unbearable love. Maya was one such accident. She lived in the rural part of Nowshera in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and had been declared male at the time of her birth, and like all male births, she was celebrated twice as much as her declared female siblings. When she started showing signs of femininity, her family resorted to loving her even more so that she could be fixed back to masculinity. They loved her with slippers, cloth hangers, wipers, sticks, and all other instruments commonly available for domestic loving in our Family Republic. When this love didn’t fix her, they loved her to death with machetes. Love and death tend to coexist in our beautiful Family Republic, which is why we make two more for each one that ends up dying due to our excessive love. The science is still unclear as to why it is mostly female or transgender persons that die due to excessive love. Feminists say it is “honor killing,” but let me tell you more about loving in Pakistan.
Welcome to the Loving Republic of Pakistan. We fall in lust here a lot, but as we can’t admit it openly, we stick to calling it “love.” Our men love a lot of different people here: women, girls, boys, some other men, transgender women with penises, transgender women without penises, and occasionally, dead people. Our women only love their husbands, and bidets. Whether our transgender people love or not, we don’t care because they’re all homosexual shemales and they trap our innocent men into loving them. Our men try to bring them on to the right path by forcing them to only sleep with one partner—themselves. Western-funded feminists call it “rape” and “male hegemony on transfeminine bodies,” but it isn’t rape if it is done to a homosexual transgender shemale. If she refuses to stick to that one principled man who is just doing our family system a service by teaching her monogamy, the man shaves her head bald. If she is bald, she is ugly, and if she’s ugly, no man would want her. But because we’re in the Loving Republic of Pakistan, she still gets loved by someone other than her loving partner. In such a case, his immense love for her compels him to either love her in the limbs with bullets so she can’t move around, or love her even more with bullets, knives, scissors, fists, and hands, till she dies. Death is mandatory, and everyone must die; this is what we believe as Muslims—and have I told you how much we love being Muslim?