Talal Chaudhry Makes Insulting Remarks about Firdous Ashiq Awan, but Apologises Later
A video circulating on social media triggered backlash, in which PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry passed some inappropriate comments about Special Assistant to the PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Pakistani politicians hit a new low each time they are asked to comment on their rival's politics. Shame on Talal Chaudhry for using cheep words for Firdous Ashiq Awan. #respectwomen pic.twitter.com/S5DTgMZb1W
— Muhammad Atif Rajput (@MAtifRaj) May 21, 2019
“This is the kind of Change … if Baji Firdous Ashiq Awan got her face washed, the way her real looks would emerge from behind her makeup… she would appear as Firdous Khan instead. This is also the real face of this Change,” said Talal while commenting on the PTI government’s performance.
Talal intended to criticise Firdous’ looks by comparing her to a man, the implication being that anything other than a narrow definition of femininity is abhorrent.
He, however, apologised on Twitter soon after the backlash started, writing that his intention was never to degrade anyone and “if what I said was inappropriate, then I’m sorry about that.”
مری نیت کسی کی دل آزاری نہیں تھی، میری بات یا مثال اگر مناسب نہیں تھی تو میں “معذرت” چاہتا ہوں۔ https://t.co/QY6IUHoOqo
— Tallal Chaudry (@Tallal_MNA) May 21, 2019
Although he has apologised, Talal’s remarks represented the misogyny rampant in our society. But the positive thing is there were many who criticised him over the episode.
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) May 21, 2019
Firdous Ashiq Awan is strong, independent and confident. Such gendered insults are made by men like Talal Chaudhry because they are uncomfortable with women in power. https://t.co/675k2QDkOL
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) May 21, 2019
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
Interestingly, just a few days ago, people made sexist jokes linking Maryam Nawaz – Talal’s party leader – to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who had hosted an iftar for the opposition leaders.
Maryam- My dads in jail
Bilawal- My dads going to jail
Hamza- My dads run away to the UK pic.twitter.com/HtPufCC6B6
— MARY… THE IRISH INSAFIAN (@IRISHINSAFIAN) May 20, 2019
— ??️⛹️ Sheikh Sab?️ (@00900_78601) May 19, 2019
And there were people who pointed this out.
What Talal Chaudhry said about Firdos Awan is totally unacceptable, and is being rightly condemned by everybody.
I hope this also makes PTI think about what kind of comments they have been sharing about Maryam Nawaz's iftar meeting with BBZ.
Shouldn't benchmarks be the same?
— Awais Saleem (@awaissaleem77) May 21, 2019
It appears that the practice of demeaning female public figures is the only belief that unites people across party lines.