Would this video ever be made from a man’s perspective?

Published: December 11, 2015

Sexism is a double-edged sword, which cuts from both sides.

I recently came across the concept of “dog whistle politics” whilst watching a riveting episode of the political drama, Scandal. Upon further deliberation, I realised that this phenomenon is all too common in our society.

Dog whistle politics refers to a brand of communication where people sugar-coat their words to insult others in such a way that when those words are said, on social media or otherwise, only the person towards whom the words are directed can feel the attack.

It’s ingenious, really, and this idea has been part of Pakistan’s family lives since time immemorial.

For example, the phrase, “Mardon ka tou kaam hi bahir rehna hai” (all men do is stay out of the house) might sound harmless but it actually stigmatises men as being unfaithful and adulterous. Similarly, “MashaAllah, job bhi karti hai aur apna kharcha bhi khud uthati hai” (she works and pays for her own expenses) might sound like a genuine praise but it actually points out that she is able to take care of herselfdespite being a woman.

Do you see the sexism there, so very carefully placed?

On a similar note, HuffPost Women recently uploaded a video about sexism against women captioned “Watch 80 years of subtle sexism in under two minutes”. While I love the concept of the video and I feel that such projects should be undertaken more vigorously, I am left with a sense of loss as well.


Because I know that such a video might never be made from a man’s perspective.

Now, before people take out their pitch forks to burn me at the stakes, I would like to point out that I am a staunch supporter of feminism and women’s rights. I believe men and women are equal and, having worked with women professionally for a long time, I know that they are as good, if not better, than their male counterparts.

However, sexism is a double-edged sword, which cuts from both sides. Consider the following statements for example;

“Larkiyon ki tarha sharmao mut.” (Don’t blush like a girl.)

“Haathon mein churiyan pehni hain?” (Are you wearing bangles on your wrists?)

“Sub mard aik jaisay hotay hain.” (All men are the same.)

“Auraton kay saath free honay ka bara shoq hai?” (Do you love to get flirtatious with women?)

While I understand that there is a derogatory tone embedded in these statements against women, my point is that men face sexism as well, probably as brutally as women. However, with men, the sexism is more sugar-coated than with women – following dog whistle politics in essence.

Of course, some comments are more straightforward than others. For example:

“You won’t get it.”

“Yeah, you don’t know how it feels.”

“You only think from one part of your body, don’t you?”

“Guys only think about one thing, don’t they?”

These are scathing as well as hurtful sentiments, but many women say these things to men without any consideration. The whole point of equality is that if it’s wrong for me, it’s wrong for you too. We need to walk the walk if we wish to live in a sexism-free world.

The aforementioned are only some of the many sexist comments a man has to endure everyday while living in 21st Century Pakistan. Sexism is inherent in our people and, naturally, it finds a cosy place in our hearts as well as our drawing room conversations. But just because it’s a norm, that doesn’t make it right. Conventionality is not morality and we, as conscious human beings, need to understand that.

It is time for us to stand against sexism, irrespective of whom it is addressing.


Faiq Lodhi

Faiq Lodhi

A journalism grad and news-buff, his interests include current affairs, arts, literature and social work. He tweets as @FaiqLodhi (twitter.com/FaiqLodhi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • tman

    boo hoo .. nobody cares about feminism and its cult of man-hating femalesRecommend

  • raj

    Sounds like there would be nothing to talk about if we all stop saying those words :PRecommend

  • Sheraz Khalid


  • Usama Zaidi

    My take on feminism is that all the self proclaimed feminists should
    occupy a deserted island and start from scratch, like learn spear
    fishing, farming and then crafting basic tools, machines and have their
    own version of industrial revolution, if women are so competitive and
    were just oppressed they would clearly be able to stand and and live
    through this ‘social experiment’. Instead of just playing the victim
    card why don’t they go out their and do something like this and build a
    predominant female society, and then have the capability to defend their
    holy land against invasions e.t.c and find their own resources e.t.c

    When you got all for granted in the end you cry oh but we were oppressed all these years, this society is so biased and all.Recommend

  • Akhwandk

    As a feminist I agree with you, Feminism is all about equality. On a day to day basis, I have to check myself and my speech to see if i am being sexist. Its so deeply ingrained in us we don’t even realize it, I hope we can move forward equally and together to make this world a better place for all.Recommend

  • anon0912

    Hahaa,you just described the plot to the Hunger games and btw Katniss Everdeen wins.Booyah #mockingjayRecommend

  • Usama Zaidi

    No I was referring to twilight sage… Hunger Games, seriously?Recommend

  • Usama Zaidi

    Ok, so you mean the outcome her actions led to contributed to institutionalizing a society conforming to feminist principles? Also, she didn’t build a society she was played and used.Recommend