Mukhtar Mai’s story continues to reverberate through the news cycle. It even appears to be gaining momentum, at least in the Western press. The latest, in Fox News, is by columnist Wendy McElroy. Ms. McElroy, no stranger to abuse herself, has the rudiments of a blog on domestic violence. There are untold thousands of us out here, not merely survivors, but transcendors — if there be such a word — of privately meted-out sadism. Mai’s refusal to follow the usual decline down the steep slope of humiliation into the arms of suicide is inspiring to some, but it is a cautionary tale to those of us who have considered annihilation as a solution to the shame which follows degradation.
Mai’s story is vital for those who search for the possible redemption of their own suffering To know that love can bloom and flourish in the face of evil grants to the soul the necessary tensile strength for battling the memories of the past and facing the future.
In this case, each recounting of the tale helps to keep Mukhtar Mai alive. The more light that shines upon her, the more fearful her enemies become of simply slaughtering her. She may never be able to live without body guards, but she has learned to live in the face of fear. Mai knows that there are worse things than dying.
A prediction: the tipping point has been reached in this story. The telling of it has gone on long enough — well past the fifteen allotted minutes — that it will emerge in a book-length version in the not-too-distant future. Some author, perhaps Ms. McElroy herself, will do the honors.