Women Are Calling Out A Comedian For His Offensive Joke About Feminists At LUMS & It's Started A Debate

By Rameeza Ahmad | 10 Dec, 2018

There’s a fine line between being funny and being offensive. 

The stand-up comedy scene is slowly but surely developing in Pakistan. However, there aren’t really any rules for what comedians can and cannot joke about since a lot of comics are working independently and there’s no real conversation in our society around such topics. In the past, comedy in Pakistan has always been on the politically incorrect and offensive side, with even the likes of Anwar Maqsood making offensive skits at the expense of minorities.

Making jokes at the expense of women, in particular, isn’t even considered offensive in a lot of circles. But the tide seems to be turning now. This year as the Me Too and Times Up movements gained momentum globally, women declared that they would no longer accept misogyny in any shape or form.

 

When stand-up comic Hazik Ali made a joke which offended many women for being misogynistic in nature, they immediately called him out.

So what exactly happened?

lums-talk
This is not a photo of the event. // Source: khota productions / YouTube

The Gurmani Center For Languages and Literature at LUMS organized a 5 part stand up comedy series. One of the invited comedians for the series was Hazik Ali. A joks he apparently made was at the expense of the FemSoc at LUMS, which is a feminist society on campus.

According to many people who were aggrieved, he called the women in that student society ‘c*nts’. Since this was a comedy show I am sure Hazik was attempting to make a joke and I am also sure he got quite a few laughs because in Pakistan, taking a dig at feminists is always greeted with loud cackles from misogynists in the crowd. But because it was meant to be a joke, does it make it okay?

 

Unfortunately for Hazik, some of the women from the society were at the event as well. Including FemSoc’s Vice President for Marketing, Wafa Asher who confronted Hazik on his misogynistic joke and asked for an explanation. Apparently, Wafa was told by the organizers and Hazik’s team to ‘chill out’ because no one really considered Hazik’s joke to be offensive. And in a culture where women are often the butt of offensive jokes, it might be baffling to certain people why women have even taken offense over the joke.

Something happened at Stand Up LUMS yesterday that I’m still disgusted by. A little context about the series – it’s a…

Gepostet von Wafa Asher am Samstag, 8. Dezember 2018

 

A lot of women took serious offense at the joke and encouraged the students at LUMS to lodge an official complaint about the entire incident.

To the credit of LUMS Gurmani Center for Languages and Literature, the co-director and professor of Literature at LUMS, Bilal Tanweer, responded promptly to the complaints and apologized to the offended women. However, there has been no public statement made by the comedian, Hazik, himself, yet.

 

While others thought that those offended were overreacting since it was meant to be a ‘joke’.

But should everything and anything be allowed in the name of humor? When we peddle our ‘woke’ narratives and constantly remind and ‘cancel’ others for unacceptable mindsets and behaviors, why is an ‘everything goes’ attitude accepted for comedy?

 

Would it be acceptable for a man to call a group of women ‘c*unts’ normally? No. Then why is it permissible and even applauded on a comedy stage.

Women in Pakistan are not equal to men; that is a fact. Our culture tends to treat women as second-class citizens in their own country. Our culture practically encourages violence against women, and when comedians take their platform to further normalize a narrative of disrespect towards women by using words such as ‘c*unt’ when referring to them, it really isn’t funny. And in no way should it be celebrated or allowed.

And to those who blamed the women at the event for overreacting and calling their anger unwarranted, well, I can’t say it as well as the person in the tweet below already has:

The comedy scene is just emerging in Pakistan and if we nip humor as distasteful as this in the bud, we might be able to achieve a comedy scene which operates on humor rather than relies on age-old misogyny to get chuckles.

 

This Comedian From Karachi Is Facing Death Threats After Her Stand-Up Offended The Sindhi Community

13 Times Pakistani Dramas Are Totally Promoting Sexist Behavior

 

 


Cover Image Source: dnd.com.pk/@femsocatLUMS via Twitter.com

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