Double standards

Published: June 8, 2018

KARACHI: The controversy over Reham Khan’s book is spinning out of control, with new allegations and defamation notices being sent almost every other day. The latest to join the controversy is Pakistan’s favourite ‘bhabhi’ Jemima, who recently took to Twitter to announce that she would sue Reham Khan on defamation charges on behalf of her and Imran Khan’s eldest son if Reham’s book is published in the UK. While Jemima has all the right to take Reham to court, Pakistanis back home are using this as an opportunity to pit one woman against another.

Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi took to Twitter to tweet ‘In a world full of Gulalais and Reham be a Jemima’. Such a stance coming from Mr Abbasi is though not a surprise, it degrades two women only to lift one up on the sole basis of the so-called ‘better’ one sticking up to his man. The reason Pakistanis, especially PTI fans, love Jemima is because even after the divorce she has come to Imran Khan’s rescue every time, standing up as the stereotype of a perfect Pakistani wife. Let’s not forget that these are the same people who shamed her after she filed for divorce from Imran Khan and publicly called for her character assassination.

But now that the same woman stands in defence of the Kaptan every time, Pakistanis see her as the epitome of how women in the country should be. Such double standards are proof that Pakistani’s patriarchal society actively works towards demeaning women who challenge the status quo. And the PTI stands as the benchmark for double standards. Perhaps Pakistanis deserve the PTI just as the party deserves the epithet of practitioners of double standards Pakistanis take pride in.

Abdullah Muqaddam

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2018.

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