Stories about sexism

Whether the victim is a man or woman, acid attacks are no laughing matter

A terrible incident took place in Multan a few days ago when a young person was attacked with acid, suffering burns on over 50 per cent of their body. Usually – as much as 80 per cent, in fact – when an acid attack takes place in the country, the victim is a woman. In this case, though, the genders were reversed. The victim, a 24-year-old man, had been invited over by a 36-year-old woman to her house. I am sure there is more to it than this, but the woman, who apparently was already married and the mother of ...

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Is battling women harassment a man’s duty as well?

A woman clambers aboard a crowded coach, negotiates her way through the jostling throng of people and manages to find a seat. She plumps herself on the vacant place and clenches her hand around her purse. You are sitting on the opposite seat that directly faces her. However, as she fishes out a ballpoint from her purse and begins writing in her notebook, you treat her like just another stranger on the bus, trying to make her way home. Minutes later, something stirs within you. A deep disgust wells up in your heart as you notice a man sitting next to ...

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Women are not meat: Nando’s ad makes me sick to the stomach

“Don’t whistle… don’t objectify me.” “Don’t make me just about tits and a**.” “Don’t try to touch me.” These are the most common things women think, or say, when catcalled at by men. The underlying message is that women are a heart, a mind, a person, a will, a personality, a consciousness… and not just a piece of meat. Not just a rack of breasts, not just a fine piece of booty, not just a pair of legs, not just the sum of her hot parts. Not. A. Piece. Of. Meat. And yet, the latest advertisement by Nando’s India, the popular global chicken restaurant ...

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Let them fight

As a feminist, I never thought I’d feel sorry for Junaid Jamshed. Yet here I am, feeling unhappy that he was physically assaulted at Islamabad airport by short bearded men, who comically enough, looked like they should have been carrying the ring to Mordor, instead of shouting at the pop-star-turned-preacher in loud nasally voices, “Gustakh-e-Rasool!” (blasphemy!) It is almost as if someone had decided to take up a particularly difficult challenge. Man 1: “I bet you can’t make the public feel sympathy towards Junaid Jamshed.” Man 2: “What? Junaid ‘women can’t drive’ Jamshed?” Man 1: “Yes, no one likes him.” Man 2: “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” Let’s be frank. ...

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Zootopia: When sly foxes and funny bunnies go after dark matters

Zootopia is the latest Disney 3D animation production that tells the story of a rabbit named Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) who wants to change the stereotypes between predators and their prey. Along the way, she meets a con artist fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and together they solve the case of missing animals in Zootopia. Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, Zootopia is the 55th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and subtly touches upon dark subject matters like racism, ethnicity issues and sexism. Could this film continue the winning streak of Disney’s animation films? [caption id="" ...

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Why are Emojis so… sexist?

“Mummy, I can’t find an emoji of a female architect or ski-instructor online,” said my confused daughter. It was so true. If I was a frustrated looking at images of a dainty ballerina, a salsa dancer or a bride emoji, representing the entire female populace of the world, you can just imagine the confusion it must have caused my poor daughter. In most of the applications, all the professional emojis depict men in different forms of employment; a detective, a cop and a paramedic! For those who don’t already know, an emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an ...

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Why did PTI so strongly oppose the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill?

The Punjab Assembly unanimously approved the Protection of Women Against Violence Bill, calling for an end to all criminalities against women, such as, domestic violence, acid attack, rape, psychological and economic abuse, stalking, and cyber-crimes. The 31 clauses of the new bill provide an efficient system for complaint registration and penalties for offenders. According to the clauses, a toll-free helpline (UAN number) will be launched to receive direct complaints. It also calls for the creation of protection centres and shelters homes, where conflicts and misunderstandings can be settled and help partners reach reconciliation. Under the law, those convicted of life-threatening crimes against women will ...

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Revisiting Islamabad’s Hotspot: The obvious sexism that no one notices

Hotspot – the place where all the brats and burgers of Islamabad ‘hang out’ Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to bash these brats and burgers. Half of my friends come under this category and I love them. I’m not here to criticise Hotspot ice cream or food either. Their food is actually not bad. In fact, I’m not here to talk about any issue of importance. I’m here to talk about something insignificant. Something no one cares about because they don’t believe it is a problem. Something all these brats and burgers just accept and, consequently, condone. Something that these ...

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What is the older generation’s obsession with the word ‘compromise’ when it comes to marriage?

Marriage has too many complicated stereotypes attached to it. The more obvious ones include what the rishta aunties say all the time: “Apki beti khana pakati hai?” (“Does your daughter cook?”) “Apki beti lambi hai?” (“Is your daughter tall?”) “Apki beti ziyada umer mein bari tou nahi?” (“Your daughter isn’t too old, is she?”) “Apki beti zeyada tou parhi likhi nahi hai?” (“Your daughter isn’t ‘too educated’, is she?”) The aunties want their sons to be the ones who run the show — the girl shouldn’t be too smart, too educated. She has to be just the right amount of literate. Also, she should definitely know how to cook ...

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

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 ...

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