Sexist remarks, misogynist comments and personal attacks are not an unknown sight in Pakistani politics. Unfortunately, we still fail to detach ourselves from our prejudices and privileges. Recently, these remarks were directed at Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s senior member Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Attacking political opponents over their personal life and appearance is unnecessary, malicious and disgraceful. Although we, as a collective society, lack the sensitivity to maintain grace in disagreements. It is common for us to resort to blows personal in nature. However, when we see these attacks from people we look up to as leaders and influencers, it sets a bad example for entire political discourse.
It happens on both sides of the aisle, in every level of government and in every tier of argument – and it’s not helping the political climate in this country. The recent victim of this deplorable trend with PTI’s Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Firdous Ashiq Awan – the latest victim:
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) leader Talal Chaudhry uttered some words that can subsequently be regarded as sexist and gender discriminatory. In a video making rounds on social media, Talal can be seen mocking her appearance, irking the social media community.
”This is the same kind of change where if Firdous Aashiq Awan is made to wash her face, without makeup, there will be Firdous Khan inside.” – Talal said.
Political representatives are public figures. Willingly or unwillingly, they open themselves to criticism. However, it hits a new low with personal attacks.
Here is the viral video:
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) May 21, 2019
Disagreement should be on merit. Be it Firdous or Bilawal or anyone in the political sphere, their appearance and the way they speak is not even a remote determinant of their abilities. But unfortunately, these comments have always been a fixture for Pakistani politics.
Social media community rejects it now:
It is imperative to sift out the information that doesn’t particularly to influence a person’s politics. Criticizing someone for things irrelevant to their leadership qualities or political career is unproductive and dirty. It neither presents a good example for followers, nor it should be encouraged at any cost.
People felt the same way about Talal Chaudhary’s comments:
Statement of Talal Chaudhry targeting @Dr_FirdousPTI is sexist, misogynistic and lewd. Calls for a public apology from his side. If this is how an Ex-State Interior Minister behaves then God help Pakistan. SC judgment disqualifying him appears to be right. #TalalChaudhary pic.twitter.com/nGaFJRbK1u
— Pansota (@Pansota1) May 21, 2019
Dear @MaryamNSharif you must take action against disgracing remarks of Talal Chodhry for a woman. Such people will spoil your party and narrative. There is no grace in abusing a woman. And another woman must take action.#TalalChaudhary
— Shami Buzdar (@ShamyBuzdar) May 22, 2019
— Murtaza Dar (@MurtazaDar1) May 22, 2019
— Fayyaz Abbasi (@IamFayyazAbbasi) May 22, 2019
This is Real mentality of PMLN for Women respect and their value.
This Educated Illetrate person showed his family background that what has been taught.
Let's put his own Family women in. Place of @Dr_FirdousPTI and imagine how would he like#Respect_Women#TalalChaudhary Bsharam
— Umer Bajwa (@UmerBajwa8040) May 22, 2019
Lanat ho bayshumaaar…#TalalChaudhary
— Furqan Ahmed Malik (@furqan586) May 22, 2019
Apologies are becoming a joke. Pehlay jo aaya dil main bol diya aur phir kaha “oho mazrat karta hoon.”
Literally everyone is following the same pattern these days. What a pity.#TalalChaudhary #Pakistan https://t.co/78TbKwgcX1
— Saman S (@saman_shafiq7) May 22, 2019
#TalalChaudhary lands Pakistani media in trouble. Let's see how they translate All that paint and powder without face wash and with face wash off.
— Haris Mirza (@Mirza_pk) May 21, 2019
Politics has always been a dirty business and will continue to be ugly. The line between personal attacks and productive criticism is thin and blurred. But the attacks that aren’t alternatively germane to one’s ability to govern can be avoided. And should be avoided.
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