Pakistani social media has been recently flooded with a particular topic. That topic has caused a lot of rage in Pakistan and deservingly so. The topic in question is Mrs. Khan, a well-known “marriage expert” (which is questionable). She in a morning show on a private Pakistani television channel claimed that divorces happen because of women since “they don’t keep their tongue in check”.
The morning show and her comments
The show that Mrs. Khan appeared as a guest on was not about who causes divorce but on the impact of divorce on children. While some important points were discussed by the other guest, Mrs. Khan switched the topic and used the platform to blame women for everything wrong in the world.
As per her view, women should stay quiet and just obey their husbands. Otherwise, divorces would happen and it is often the women’s fault. It is saddening to see such comments in today’s day and age but unfortunately, Pakistan is not in today’s day and age. This is what the majority of people in this patriarchal society believe that women are often at fault even some women themselves which is an effect of internalized misogyny. This mindset was reflective of the comments on the Facebook post of the video in which Mrs. Khan was talking about this as well.
Pakistan is not a progressive society at all but it is really inspiring to see causes such as the Aurat March and women speaking up for themselves. Despite being shut down by the majority of the society here, it is applauding to see women still take up the challenge. However, there are some women who are still silent and are in a position where they cannot speak up. When people like Mrs. Khan are given a voice on national television, it pushes the society back further than it already was before.
Mrs Khan deservingly got backlash from the women she was criticizing; outspoken women themselves. Many people were angry at her comments about what she said in the morning show and rightfully so.
Perhaps that is why Mrs. Khan was so critical of women who speak up, as it was her biggest fear and it had unleashed on her. In the era of where movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp exist, women are finally speaking up but often at times the people that hurt them get away. There is no need to provide research on this as there are countless examples which one can see through a simple Google search. Despite all the unnecessary criticism, women still dare to speak up. That is a really difficult thing to do here.
Mrs. Khan’s apology
After the deserving backlash, Mrs. Khan then appeared in another show to “apologize” or tried to make it look like she was giving one. Unfortunately, from her comments, it appeared as she was not apologizing for her comments as she still supported her stance even though she toned it down. Rather she was apologizing because of the backlash.
There was also the typical an “Elders know better” stance from her side. However, she should realize that times have changed and respect is earned. There are many times where an adult can be wrong. Age is not a measure of intelligence in any way. Also if one mocks someone, in this case, an entire gender, a harsh criticism should be expected.
Despite her soft tone, she still could not hold herself from blaming women for divorce. Her belief was that women should “compromise” on marriage and not argue with husbands and seek permission from them. She did give an example of her daughter cooking for 40 people daily to justify her point but it really did not work.
Her entire so-called apology was an attempt at presenting herself as the victim. It was a shame but not surprising to see her carry the same stance on the show although it was good to see that this channel’s morning show’s host asked her some hard-hitting questions to which she either she had no answer or gave a confusing response.
Although the ship has long sailed, here’s still hoping that the educated Mrs. Khan could put her education to use and realize what she said was wrong. Unfortunately, the majority agrees with her here and it will take a lot of time for this society to progress and see beyond sexism.
The mindset that Mrs. Khan represents and this society follows is exactly why movements like Aurat March are held in the first place. Hopefully Mrs. Khan’s example would still serve as an lesson for people who try to blame women for everything and be rightfully criticized for it.
There is a famous quote that is relevant here “If you teach a boy, you educate an individual and if you teach a woman, you teach an entire generation. It’s definitely quite odd to say this in Mrs. Khan’s case who claims to be an educated woman herself but it tells you what women are capable of and they should not be restricted by anything or anyone.