The 16 days against Gender Based Violence, provide or are at least meant to offer an opportunity to many women who are definitely survivors and no longer victims, to share their stories and scoops too. The pain of untold stories is nerve-wracking. Realistically speaking it is not workable for too honest, non-diplomatic human rights activists as well as many duty bearers to create a world characterized by equality and empathy.What remains possible is to continue to expose the multiple layers of injustices, contrasts and insensitivities in many dystopian societies, state and even organizations and even the institutions that are officially responsible for combating discrimination of all forms including gender-based discrimination. During my 26 years as a development practitioner, I have come to recognize a new range and a new nomenclature of challenges. I have realized that now a days for urban middle class women like myself who are tied to some (outdated) values and who still believe unremittingly that they are liberal and feminist, it is becoming too difficult even to survive (both on virtual/cyber space or within an actual office space).As a young liberal, feminist and humanist, without possessing the capacity (not the choice) to smoke, weed, drink and dance (in spite of being a TV person, widely travelled and studying in Amsterdam-these stereotypes are still valid), I failed to reach the heights which my professors and mentors were expecting from me. As a former communications practitioner (TV anchor and producer), I studied the basics of communications and as a former medical practitioner I studied psychiatry as well. Hence, I learnt that effective communication has to be credible, the objective should be clear, attention should be directed towards the content and to create trust the choice of words, tone in delivery and for visual media the way one appears matter a lot. Being a feminist means that one believes in equality of opportunities (going beyond binary division of sexes and gender identities) and does not approve commodification of womenI am sharing a couple of things that I learned (many of you know these already but not many of you are ready to articulate, disclose and or validate them). In spite of having lived a non-conformist life and perpetually advocating for equality and empowerment of all special women and girls I would take the risk to state that: Women are Equal (period). They should not yearn for SAMENESS and must not waste energy, focus and all other resources in achieving the right for unhealthy choices. Women are human beings and they can be, and they are smokers, drug addicts, alcoholic, promiscuous, disloyal and criminal. However, being feminist does not mean that women should achieve equality with men in being stupid, violent, aggressive, unfaithful, irresponsible, etc. In other words, none of these attributes and actions are feminist acts.Women (and men and others) should be mindful, observe social care and show respect towards cultural sensitivities (this does not mean surrender or conversion). One can challenge social wrongs without being confrontational. Many young women here in the limelight have started believing and asserting that only what they do and say is right. They cannot tolerate any divergent view and do not hesitate in expressing their huge disappointment towards seniors and not at all marketable (by current yardsticks) women activists and feminists. The fragmented and funded discourse on feminism, gender equality and liberalism have successfully deflected due attention to a number of heartbreaking realities (e.g. Rohingya or Yemen crisis). A majority of those who are selected for championing the causes of women and girls’ empowerment are doing donors’ dependent and driven advocacy. A vast majority of disadvantaged people are yet to be brought even into the fold of development (implying better lives for all). Caveat: The selective amnesia in development practice is worth shaming if not criminalizing and definitely must not be mistakenly interpreted as special affinity towards a particular cause that can be GBV, Cancer, AIDSs, etc.Being a feminist means that one believes in equality of opportunities (going beyond binary division of sexes and gender identities) and does not approve commodification of women. This is not equivalent to depriving them of the right to look good and pretty. However, I sincerely believe that just as veiling is neither an evidence of chastity nor an effective shield against assaults, the showing of cleavage is neither an act of confidence nor courage. Women from show business industry can do a number of things as they are paid for it, but a common woman should be careful about her appearance while working in an office and travelling in a public transport (I know this is unfair and does not guarantee her complete protection either but who said we live in a fair world with mature mindsets embracing diversity, sensuality and sexuality-class and geography do matter). Furthermore, appropriate dressing/dress-codes at work places is not uncommon expectation whether in Pakistan or elsewhere. By no means I can encourage ordinary women and girls to opt for risky choices and endorse misplaced use of glamour by brainy women who can influence public opinion and shape behaviour.I hope and pray that objectification of women will not be reincarnated as empowerment (serving again for corporate interest) and being feminist will not be equated as being devoid of common sense and making responsible choices.The write is an awakened dreamer, gender expert and rights activist besides being the former secretary political training PTI Women Wing Central. She tweets at dr_rakhshindaPublished in Daily Times, December 1st 2018.