Aqdas Aftab is the 2017 Global Feminism Writing Fellow at Bitch Media. Aqdas was born in Lahore, and grew up in Islamabad, two cities where they first learned different—and at times conflicting—forms of feminisms from their mother, grandmothers, aunts, and teachers. They came to the United States to study literature at Smith College, where they continued to be around many conflicting feminisms, ranging from liberal white feminism to women-of-color feminism with ideologies inspired by Audre Lorde. After participating in feminist groups in Pakistan and PoC spaces in the United States, Aqdas’ gender politics became strongly intersectional.
Interested in decolonizing mainstream gender movements, Aqdas believes in centering the voices of trans and queer people of color in global feminist movements. They also believe in the importance of critically exploring how feminism gets co-opted for imperialistic, islamophobic, and racist purposes. Aqdas is currently a graduate student in English Literature at the University of Maryland, where they are working on representations of non-normative bodies in postcolonial fiction. When they are not reading or writing, Aqdas can be found biking, listening to old ghazals, and cooking experimentally.