Stories about slut-shaming

A mall, a lady, and some slut-shaming – another sad day in India’s ‘rape capital’

They say sometimes a woman is a woman’s worst enemy. In this instance, they have hit the nail on the head. In a mall in Delhi’s suburb of Gurugram, a middle-aged lady allegedly slut-shamed a bunch of young women openly. She was not their mother, or even someone they remotely knew. No, this was a random ‘aunty’ who was simply not pleased with the way the girls were dressed. According to her, their outfits were indecent and they deserved everything nasty that came their way. When the girls retaliated, saying they were comfortable in their skin and in their shorts, ...

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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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#PunishSadatBashir: Are 80 voices not proof enough?

Online feminist campaigns such as #MeToo have brought down many titans of toxic masculinity. Famous international cases include James Dean, a famous adult actor who was accused by many women of sexually assaulting them. The House of Cards star and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey too was accused by a man of sexually assaulting him and is currently under police investigation, after having his contract with Netflix ended for his shameful conduct. The never-ending list of accused also includes other former legends like Bill Cosby and recent addition, Morgan Freeman. In all these cases, the allegations have been and are undergoing investigation by relevant authorities. Careers have taken ...

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13 Reasons Why S2: A season of secrets, guilt and the power of kindness

The original Netflix series 13 Reasons Why released in March 2017 and took the world by storm. The show started an international dialogue about bullying, sexual assault, substance abuse and suicide. Although there was plenty of criticism that the show was glamourising suicide, the factors leading and contributing towards the suicide committed by the female protagonist, Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), seemed to have been overlooked by critics. Photo: Netflix (Note: The following blog contains spoilers) In season one, Hannah, a high school student, commits suicide, but leaves behind 13 recorded tapes to explain her actions. Hannah left ...

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What if Kevin Spacey’s accuser had been a woman?

Something strange has happened amid the recent allegations levelled at Kevin Spacey by actor Anthony Rapp, who claims Spacey assaulted him – then aged 14 – at a 1986 Hollywood party. Oddly, nobody has asked Rapp what he was wearing at the time. Nobody asked why it took him so many years to report the abuse. Nobody asked if he were being paid to speak out, was a gold-digger, or just wanted attention. Nobody asked if he had a grudge against Spacey, or was a man-hater. Nobody asked why he freely went to Spacey’s house, or said he shouldn’t have been there. Nobody ...

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Why I choose not to speak up and say #MeToo

Social media is surreal most of the time; however, this past week has seemed more unreal than usual. My timeline on every social media platform has been flooded, or dare I say bombarded, with #MeToo status updates, tweets and posts. The hashtag went viral after American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it to encourage more women to come forward with their experiences with sexual harassment, in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal that shook Hollywood. If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n — Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017 My feelings on this hashtag, which ...

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The hits and misses from the Pakistani drama industry in 2017

When it comes to Pakistani dramas in 2017, there has been a diverse range to choose from. There are dramas that fray towards the whimsical side, as well as those that have empowering messages about relevant social issues. A conversation about Pakistani dramas, however, is incomplete without criticism on the portrayal of the roti dhoti aurtein (miserable women) of our society. Listed below are the top and flop dramas of 2017 so far: Baaghi The drama is consistently scoring high Television Rating Points (TRP) and gaining a strong word of mouth due to its incredible script. Saba Qamar’s portrayal of Fouzia Batool aka Qandeel Baloch is one ...

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While boys remain boys, girls become immoral and should be slut-shamed

Apart from trolling, social media also has the power of setting standards for women on the internet. By acting as moral warriors on social media, these stooges of patriarchy continue to perpetuate their misogyny by slut-shaming successful independent women; something that they can’t do at their home, workplace and/or any civilised social setting. With the rise of social media, these blabbermouths, with their prejudices concealed under the mask of culture and mannerism, mock, stigmatise and pass derogatory remarks on women. …And the worst affected are celebrities, especially Bollywood actresses. Recently, when Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin, she was criticised for dressing indecently and showing her ...

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Will Priyanka Chopra’s Baywatch help normalise swimsuits for Indians?

I was 13-years-old when I first watched an episode of Baywatch. All the boys at school had been talking about the show in hushed tones. They said it was very B-Y, a term they used to describe a bikini-clad woman. The B referred to the bikini top and the Y referred to the bikini bottom. I was in ninth standard, and my mother had decided we would get cable only after my 10th standard board exams. Also, parents in general did not want teenagers to watch a lot of shows on cable TV back then to curb “western” influence. I watched ...

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Sangat proves that mothers will always force their daughters to stay silent about abuse

Written by Zafar Mairaj who has also recently penned down Muqabil, another drama that deals with a victim of sexual abuse, Sangat has hundreds of snags and a few redeeming points. The plot Ashi (Saba Qamar) is a cheerful, bright woman married to Adnan (Mikaal Zulfiqar) and lives with him in their house along with her sister-in-law, Farah (Kiran Haq) and mother-in-law (Samina Ahmed). It’s all hunky dory. Adnan is a doting husband, Ashi is a dutiful wife. But they can’t have kids because Adnan needs to undergo medical treatment in order for Ashi to conceive, a matter which he is delaying. ...

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