Human rights activist Tahira Abdullah schooled Meray Pas Tum Ho writer Khalilur Rehman Qamar on what it means to be a feminist and to stop parading around as one while making statements like “do take ki aurat (second rate woman)”.
Tahira took no prisoners as she shot down Qamar and called him out on his mansplaining. A clip of the activist delivering the strong and incisive statement began making rounds on social media after it aired on Samaa TV’s News Beat.
A little context: Qamar has been making headlines recently not just for his super popular drama Meray Pas Tum Ho, which centres around the character of Humayun Saeed and his cheating wife, but also because of his rather absurd statements about women and feminism to the media.
In an interview to The Express Tribune last year, Qamar said, while claiming he’s “the biggest feminist”, that regarding adultery men are incapable of saying no but “a good woman is”. He also said that women should kidnap and gang rape men if they want equality.
More recently, the controversial writer denied a rumour of an affair with an actress by saying he did not want to be associated with “second rate women” – which seems like his favourite phrase since it made its way into Meray Pas Tum Ho and the audience ate it up.
During News Beat on Sunday, Qamar attempted to defend his critics by stating that he never writes a weepy role for women and his fictional women are always strong, i.e. “I believe that a faithful and loyal woman is always strong.” He went on to say that he holds women at a higher regard than men, but they aren’t equal in some departments – such as men earning money, and being the ones to take care of their women.
Tahira began speaking by defining feminism. Feminism, she said, is a revolutionary thought or ideology that acknowledges that a woman is also human.
“My honour and my rights are not in the hands of any man,” she said adding that women are born with rights. The Constitution, she said, protects such rights and guarantees them. “No one needs to give us our rights, we don’t need to ask or demand them from anyone.”
She went on to add, quite pointedly, that the so-called standards of faithfulness and decency are set by men. “We don’t need a man to tell us who a good or bad woman is, or who a first- or second-rate woman is,” she added.
Qamar’s response to Tahira’s statements: “Why are you acting up at the mere mention of men?”
He also advised her to check her tone when she mentions the word ‘men’, and said he detests women who get worked up when talking about men. He also said he does not understand women who come out with placards when they don’t even know what they are fighting for.
In regards to Tahira saying women are not asking men for their rights, they are born with the exact same rights, Qamar said, “Then who are you asking, horses?!” before telling her to educate herself on women’s rights.
Watch the full discussion here: