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5 Times Politicians Practiced Misogyny By Using Womanhood As Insult

Misogyny and sexism are nothing new to Pakistani politics. Politicians have used womanhood as a slur to attack their opponents — a result of toxic masculinity that is oozing out of these people.

This time it is the rockstar, Salman Ahmed, who shared a photoshopped picture of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari that portrays the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief as a woman.

In the past, the people who have made misogynistic and sexist remarks include Prime Minister Imran Khan, Planning Minister Asad Umar, and PPP leader Khursheed Shah among others.

Imran Calls Bilawal A ‘Sahiba’:

In April 2019, addressing a crowd at Spinkai Raghzai area of South Waziristan, Prime Minister Imran Khan criticised Bhutto-Zardari and referred to him as ‘sahiba’ (madam). He said: “I, unlike Bilawal Bhutto madam, haven’t come because of a slip or because my mother gave me the party in inheritance. I came because of hard work.”

Umar Thinks ‘Nar Ka Bacha’ Is Better:

In March 2019, Asad Umar, who heads the planning ministry, mocked Bilawal for adopting his maternal name, Bhutto. He ‘reminded’ him that he is a ‘Zardari’ and implied that adopting his mother’s name won’t make him a ‘Bhutto’.

He called Bilawal ‘unpatriotic’ for peddling the Indian narrative and also taunted him for his loss in Lyari, calling the winner from that seat a ‘nur ka bacha’ (a man’s son).

Khursheed’s Sexism Comes Out During NA Session:

In April 2017, Khursheed Ahmed Shah took a jibe at the female lawmakers. He told the speaker to not refrain female parliamentarians from talking when they are sitting together. “If women don’t talk, they will fall ill.” To this Ayaz Sadiq quickly replied: “This is not acceptable to me.”

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‘Sloganeering Like A Woman’:

In 2017, former military dictator, who is in self-imposed exile in the treason case, has also mocked PPP chief Bilawal for his effeminate gestures. In a TV show, he had said: “Bilawal was sloganeering like ‘a woman’. He further added that “tell him to act like a man first.”

Musharraf had also made insulting remarks against a rape survivor Mukhtaran Mai. “You must understand the environment in Pakistan. This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped,” he had told Washington Post in an interview in 2005.

Mustafa Kamal Gets Schooled:
In Nov 2017, Pak Sarzameen Party chief Mustafa Kamal once made sexist remarks in the programme of Shahzeb Khanzada. He had tried to mock Farooq Sattar, the former MQM head, saying “auraton kee tara rona dhona, chooriyan torna, cheel ki tarah chillana” (crying like a woman, smashing bangles, shrieking like an eagle).
However, he was schooled by Khanzada right there. He said: “Apologies for the intervention, but it’s not right to refer to women like that. Women are a powerful group. It’s not right to refer to them like this. That’s all, please continue.”

Rasheed A Transphobic and Sexist Politician:

Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed has made repeated sexist comments against the PPP chief. In April 2019, Rasheed said that Bilawal had a manufacturing defect, a fundamental problem. Rasheed also clarified that Bilawal’s flaw was that he looked like Pervez (a man) from afar, but in reality, he was actually Parveen (a woman).

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Naya Daur