By Asma Razaq
How can an ‘educated’ person even use an abusive language for a woman in a live talk show…? This is likewise other questions that are still haunting my mind. For the last two days, I am really unable to focus on my work while continuously thinking about is that true that we have given authority to men in our society to abuse a woman in a live show?
A few days ago, I watched a talk show on a Pakistani TV channel about aurat march where a man was continuously saying this to a woman ‘tumharay jisam main rakha kiya ha’ and the most astonishing and shocking thing was the behavior of the anchor who did not even make a single attempt to stop that obnoxious exchange of words between that famous writer and the rights activist while the later was repeatedly saying ‘mera jism meri marzi’.
It is really beyond my understanding that when the whole world is going to celebrate the ‘International Women’s Day,’ some people in our society are still arguing does a woman has authority on her own body or not which is really ridiculous. It is the dilemma of our society that every time women’s rights are exploited in the name of ‘religion while religion nowhere says that women are not allowed to work outside. What is the true meaning of ‘mera jism meri marzi’ then?
Basically, this slogan’s meaning is very important which clearly shows that just like a man, a woman has the right to choose whatever happens with her body. In other words, no one on the roads can touch her body. No one has the right to treat her as a sex object and no one is allowed to pass vulgar comments on her. I think one day every girl would start thinking about ‘Aglay janam mohay bitya na ki jo (do not make me a girl my Creator if I am born again)’. They will literally start hating the ‘womanhood.’
Some Pakistani men have elaborated and defined this slogan as per their patriarchal mentality like ‘women want to have freedom of having sex with anyone they like’ and they want to wear half-naked dresses in the name of fashion and modernism…’ What a pity? I am really shocked to read some comments at social media that some people are supporting Khalilur Rehman Qamar for the use of abusive language against a woman. Also, some women are in favor of the writer who has already presented himself as an uncivilized person and has lost his contract with the country’s one of the main entertainment channels followed by his misbehavior with Marvi Sirmad.
My mother always says, ‘the respect of a woman is something that should never be overlooked as a woman can be a mother, a sister, a wife, and a daughter. Respect is equally important for a man and a woman. I do not have any personal enmity with Khalilur Rehman Qamar but I strongly believe that he should be forced to apologize not only Marvi Sirmad but also to all women around the globe.
The media reports summarize that more than 51,241 cases of violence against women were reported between January 2011 and June 2017 while according to the 2019 Women, Peace and Security Index, Pakistan ranked 164 out of 167 countries on discriminatory norms for women.
Asma Razaq is a New York-based broadcast journalist. She can be reached at Twitter @asmajournalist