The ruthless rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab were twofold in retrospective; it grappled Pakistan to its core, rattling its bones as it sparked a national debate on women. Pakistanis around the country began questioning what it will take to crumble down the pervasive misogyny and overarching mentality of suppressing women. Pakistani celebrities began voicing their opinion, taking to protests, television shows, and interviews to declare it a time for a change; Women like Nadia Jamil and Frieha Altaf ushered Pakistani women to come forward after courageously spoke up about their personal accounts of long sufferers of sexual abuse.
In a recent wave of women speaking up, actress Mehwish Hayat took to Instagram to initiate a discussion around misogyny, stating that women can wear whatever they choose to and will still be subjected to abuse
Mehwish posted a scene from her film ‘Actor In Law’ whereby her character was outraged by Fahad’s comments about how she attracted attention based on her western clothing. The scene starts with Mehwish in jeans and a top and immediately decides to prove a point to Fahad after he makes this claim. She has them both put on a burqa, and despite being covered from head to toe, both were still eyed up as they strolled through a bazaar.
The actress stated how there is a ‘misconception that the way a woman dresses is what attracts abuse,’ and that even ‘wearing a burka attract[s] vilification’
She went on to express that ‘the way that a woman dresses has no bearing on the way she is treated. This is simply down to the mentality of some of the misogynistic elements in our society.’ She ended the statement with the powerful hashtag #TimesUp.
The statement ignited a war underneath the post in the comments section, and while some agreed with Mehwish’s points regarding women…
With many agreeing that it is rigid chauvinism that seeps in Pakistani soil as the source of the problem
A few were on the fence, stating there shouldn’t be any leeway for middle ground
Users disagreed and were in favor of the burqa
With some attacking Mehwish’s item song numbers in the process
And calling her out instead
Have a watch at the scene now
There is a misconception that the way a woman dresses is what attracts abuse. This is something we dealt with in my film Actor in Law, when a woman wearing a “burkha” also attracted vilification… The way that a woman dresses has no bearing on the way she is treated. This is simply down to the mentality of some of the misogynistic elements in our society. #MehwishHayat #fahadmustafa @nabqur @fizza_999 #ActorinLaw #empoweryourself #righttowearwhatyouwant #girlpower #saynotoabuse #Timesup !
What are your thoughts on Mehwish’s statement? Do you agree or disagree?