Stories about sexism

A tale of two speeches: Why Bilawal has proved to be a better leader than Imran

This blog is about two speeches that are invariably linked. The first, delivered in a firebrand style by a young leader, provoked a response from an older leader. Both are leaders of major political parties, belonging to different generations and espousing different political ideologies. But as the crux of their speeches show, they belong to different calibres as well. The first speech was given in a National Assembly session by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. It was partly in response to Asad Umar’s infamous speech attacking Bilawal, and partly to raise some important questions about the recent ...

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The intolerance behind #BoycottCareem and #BoycottSurfExcelIndia

As Careem takes down its controversial billboard ad featuring a runaway bride after being accused of promoting immoral ideas, one wonders about the real culprit behind this ongoing protest. With its target audience mostly consisting of youngsters growing up watching Moltyfoam’s pensive version of a Pakistani bride, the Careem bride simply couldn’t appease its customers’ androcentric worldview. Feminists have no sense of humour, a common grievance many have against people who are sensitive to sexist jokes, not realising how the same joke would offend them if tables were turned. This is what we recently witnessed in the reactions to Careem’s latest ad ...

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Ladies, if you think your man is #goals, you definitely need to raise the bar!

Ladies, have you ever been told that you have ‘really high standards’ when it comes to men? That you need to lower the threshold a bit, otherwise you will never ‘find anyone’? Or that you need to make some ‘compromises’ to be in a relationship? When it comes to dating or finding a husband, women are constantly told they cannot find a ‘perfect guy’, which is why they should just be happy and settle for a man who seems to be a reasonably okay person. If the ‘boys will be boys’ trope wasn’t enough, it has been made very clear to women ...

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Anti-condolences for the oppressor: Stop mourning Karl Lagerfeld

Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, died at 85 in Paris. Lagerfeld, known for being “the king of fashion” and a prolific designer who left his mark on the industry, was also an Islamophobic, racist, misogynistic, fatphobic, rape apologist. His beliefs and political stances, however, were ignored by millions for the sake of his wealth accumulation and impact as a designer. It isn’t surprising to witness publications and people wax poetic statements about Lagerfeld’s genius while they ignore his history of oppressive comments towards anyone who did not fit into his narrow aesthetic of human existence. Lagerfeld took pride in being a gatekeeper ...

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Even Karan Johar, who calls himself a ‘feminist’, doesn’t understand that ‘no means no’

Karan Johar is the king of love triangles; perhaps even ‘love squares’ at times. After all, most of the movies he has directed, including Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Student of the Year, have the same elements at play and this formula seems to work for Johar. However, it seems too much to expect his movies to also make sense, as very rarely do they possess an actual plot that doesn’t include a Rahul falling in love with an Anjali. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, his most recent directorial success, became known for many things but unfortunately, its story wasn’t one ...

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To Bushra and Dua Aamir: As a man, I apologise for how our society continues to treat you

Aamir Liaquat is neither new to misogyny nor to propagating hatred for minorities by calling for them to be murdered, as well as all other ugly things under the sky. After all, he shot to fame by mostly self-creating the controversies he is known for. From trying to give away babies on live TV and inciting hatred against groups by giving judgment calls against them, to using foul language for his opponents, he has never had any qualms when it comes to getting his hands dirty. We also witnessed how his filthy mind believes in sexualising fellow female colleagues, when he used ...

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7 game changers of 2018 that revolutionised Pakistan’s drama industry

The year 2018 has proven to be a great one for our local drama industry. Surprisingly, we got to watch some of the most heart-wrenching and striking stories on the small screen; stories addressing social issues that are taboo and usually remain hidden behind closed doors, rarely making it to the national spotlight. Thankfully, our drama industry is now not only focusing on producing entertaining content, but also on highlighting stories that educate the masses. Though it was a very difficult decision to select a handful of shows from an extensive list of new content, I have nonetheless managed to ...

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Suhai Aziz Talpur: Celebrated worldwide but mocked in her own country?

A week ago, three armed men attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Before they could reach the diplomatic staff inside, the militants were killed in a police operation led by SP Suhai Aziz Talpur. The encounter also resulted in multiple casualties, including two visa applicants and two policemen fighting on the frontline. From CNN to Reuters, the news made rounds worldwide. Talpur is being glorified as the daughter of Pakistan, representing the face of bravery and women power. Restoring Talpur pride, her pictures are being juxtaposed alongside Faryal Talpur, who is currently embroiled in a money laundering case. Chinese media too is in ...

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Sakina’s soul is calling for justice, but is Pakistan listening?

Would it be true to suggest that only the mighty can get justice in Pakistan, or just another misnomer? No matter what side of the argument you support, it is undeniable that this is a question of wide importance in a country such as ours. On September 13, 2018, a brutal crime was committed in the Chak 92 JB area of Gojra. A man called Safdar, with the help of an accomplice, threw acid on a sleeping family out of revenge. The ferocity of the attack did not stop at this; they viciously poured acid into Sakina Bibi’s mouth and ...

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From DDLJ to KKHH, 5 Bollywood ‘classics’ that are now problematic

Like most millennials in Pakistan, we grew up watching Bollywood films. From films like Hum Saath Saath Hain to every single movie where Shah Rukh Khan opened his arms and struck his signature pose, it felt like we lived and breathed these movies, knowing all the songs and dance moves by heart as we watched our favourites on repeat. Growing up leaves you with significantly less time to watch movies, and a vastly more refined palette. As we grew older and ventured towards watching movies and TV shows produced in Hollywood (or “foreign films” for the most refined cultural consumer), we barely ...

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