Here’s Why Mahira Khan’s Half-Hearted Support To Aurat March Is Problematic
As celebrities react to playwright Khalilur Rehman Qamar’s highly objectionable remarks against fellow panelist Marvi Sirmed during a talk show, superstar Mahira Khan has also come forward with her statement. In a tweet, she expressed her shock at Rehman’s abusive outburst, and lamented that he was getting ‘project after project’. “We are as much to blame if not more for perpetuating this thinking!” the tweet read.
In a subsequent tweet about the Aurat March, Mahira Khan shared her thoughts using the hashtag #WhyIMarch. “As a privileged woman, I march for those who are not in my position.” But that’s not where her statement ended. The actor went on to say that the organisers should be careful about the slogans and words they put out. “Can we hold placards of the causes we are fighting for, the issues we want resolved, the basic rights and needs of those who suffer because they are either unaware of their rights or they are not given to them. Can we hold banners of laws we would like to be out into place and those that have harmed women over the years?”
I’m sure those who have been organizing the Aurat March are experienced, have been working for years for the cause of women..they have a better idea of what should and should not be done. I write out of pure observation. #WhyIMarch pic.twitter.com/D3AUQYM3Re
— Mahira Khan (@TheMahiraKhan) March 4, 2020
Mahira Khan’s statement clearly implies that the Aurat March placards are not about ‘real issues’. The statement was condescending because it reeks of the same kind of tone policing that the detractors of Aurat March engage in. Social media responded to the actor’s tweet and said that the ‘real issues’ are very much part of the Aurat March manifesto and are written on the placards as well. Perhaps our celebrities would do well to educate themselves before issuing statements on such important issues. Aurat marchers have been the victim of the worst form of vitriol on social media and the least our influencers can do is tell the public that dictating what a woman should or should not write on her placard is not okay.
Please stop policing us, and keep an eye out for the posters which you deem fit. They will be there. All posters are equally relevant, so please take the responsibility of answering the trolls, instead of shifting the blame on those who are occupying public spaces.
— Zoya Anwer (@ZoyaAnwerNaqvi) March 5, 2020
All the concerns were raised, had placards. You're right to think the women organizing and volunteering their efforts for the March have a better idea. Why not amplify their voices instead? Their social media accounts are very active and informative @AuratMarchKHI @AuratMarch
— Shehzil Malik (@shehzilm) March 4, 2020
Sorry Mahira but literally no one has time to sit and instigate fragile men who feel slighted when women so much as laugh. Please stop pandering to men, they will not protect you. Stand with and amplify the voices of women around you.
— aspiring love interest of Joe from You (@Eustacebaaaang) March 5, 2020
Privilege, even class, does not mean women cannot or are not oppressed. Oppression has many forms. The privilege & rights enjoyed today is the result of the struggle of those who instigated & provoked society & state. Challenged accepted norms. Never over.https://t.co/euPqxJBYa7
— Farieha Aziz (@FariehaAziz) March 5, 2020