There are very few people in this world who can be universally loved and universally hated at the same time. Qandeel Baloch, the model and social media celebrity, was one of them. Being unabashedly honest and shockingly inappropriate, even the people who hurled abuses at her for her behaviour could not resist keeping up with her shenanigans.

Her death is alarming, given her larger-than-life personality, and she had asked the Interior Ministry for protection just weeks ago. One of the loudest people in entertainment, she fell victim to one of the vilest hate crimes in our society- an honour killing. Her own brother allegedly strangled her, after all, a mans “honour” is fine with murder, but not with a woman who wears what she wants and speaks her mind.

To add insult to injury, there are many who are lauding the murder, saying she was vulgar and had it coming- a callous but general attitude that our society has towards people it deems unpleasant. Are we really so petty and bitter, that death is preferable to tolerating someone we do not like or agree with?

Till the very end, Qandeel did what she wanted to, and kept saying that she did not care what people thought, that this was who she was. Maybe this made her better than many of us. She identified this society as one full of hypocrisy, refused to play along, and made the best of her short life. Or maybe she is worse than us, for not following social or religious norms. Who are we to judge?

Promiscuity is not a crime by law, but it might as well be considering the number of men happy to kill and maim “wild” women. Honour killing is a crime by law, but it might as well not be as laws still allow blood money to be given to victim’s families so criminals can escape punishment.