Pakistani photographer Fahhad Rajper says when he first heard about a proposed bill that would allow husbands to “lightly beat” their wives as discipline, it “gave me a disturbing feeling.”
The bill in question was part of a proposal by the Council of Islamic Ideology, a group that advises the Pakistani government on whether they think laws align with Islam. The council advised that husbands could “lightly” beat their wives for offenses like refusing sex, not dressing as her husband wishes or not bathing after sex or menstruation, the Washington Post reports.
But though the council purports to advise on Islamic teachings, plenty of Muslims -- including Rajper -- were incensed by their recommendation.
“Islam doesn’t preach [any] such thing, be it for a man or a woman,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. He said a “majority” of Pakistans do not approve of the bill, adding that “anyone who’s sane enough wouldn’t be okay with it.”
That’s why Rajper launched #TryBeatingMeLightly, a photo series showcasing Pakistani women’s reactions to the proposal. The captions of his black and white portraits were written by the subjects.
#TryBeatingMeLightly, I'll become the destruction you will never forsee.
-Adeeqa Lalwani, digital storyteller
#TryBeatingMeLightly - I'm the sun. Touch me and I will burn you like hell fire. I am light, you will try, but you can never stop me. You can never contain me. I am the kind of woman they name hurricanes after. I dare you, #TryBeatingMeLightly
-Rabya Ahmed, photo blogger
#TryBeatingMeLightly, and you'll regret it for the rest of your miserable life
-Sundus Rasheed, school teacher/radio jockey
#TryBeatingMeLightly - Tell me how would you feel if someone beats your daughter up lightly?
-Alvera Rajper, medical student
#TryBeatingMeLightly and tell me if you would like yourself to be beaten up lightly?
-Farah S. Kamal, education consultant
#TryBeatingMeLightly and take a punch in the ass!
-Amber Zulfiqar, travel and lifestyle blogger
#TryBeatingMeLightly and I'll run a car over you with my 7 years of driving experience!
-Priyanka Pahuja, product designer turned digital marketer
#TryBeatingMeLightly, you won't survive to see the morning.
-Sumbul Usman, social media manager
#TryBeatingMeLightly - I'll break that hand you raised at me. Remaining damage? I'll leave it up to Allah.
-Shagufta Abbas, doctor
#TryBeatingMeLightly, I will beat you up lightly too, that too in public. I am very particular about gender equality.
-Fizza Rahman, senior brand manager
#TryBeatingMeLightly, and be ready to face the consequences.
-Erum Khan, blogger
#TryBeatingMeLightly - Beat me with your intelligence, if you may. Beat me with your wit. Beat me with your smile. Beat me with your kindness. But if you dare to beat me even with a feather, I'd really beat the shit out of you. With love. :)
See more of Rajper's work on Facebook and Instagram.