Religion, culture and item songs

A few days ago I saw a very interesting post by Hamza Ali Abbasi regarding item songs in pakistani movies and since then I have been thinking of doing this post.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about, have a look

Now, I respect hamza Ali Abbasi a lot for certain things. And speaking his mind on social media and creating awareness over issues he thinks are important for the nation definitely tops the list. I’m also really glad that although he did Jawani Phir Nahi Aani due to his close friendship with Humayon Saeed, he opted out of the second installment as he does not like how commercial cinema is objectifying women.

So as i mentioned above, I’ve been thinking about all this quite a lot lately and I’m not sure what the correct answer is.

As soon as a new Bollywood item song comes out, it becomes all the rage. We see girls dancing on Shiela ki Jawani and Baby Doll Main Soney  Ki in front of their parents St weddings and their parents smiling at them with pride.

Then comes out an item song from a pakistani movie which is like 1000 times tamer than songs like Chikni Chameli and the whole platoon of disco mullahs, keyboard warriors and Internet muftis is suddenly worried about culture and religion. And their main concern becomes the dehumanising and objectification of women in these songs.

While I have failed to understand this hypocrisy, I have failed to understand many other things too which revolve around the dehumanising and objectification of women.

I personally feel that in patriarchal societies like ours, women are objectified in every day lives a lot. Don’t believe me? Then please Google the news where man raped a woman, he was punished by making another man rape his sister.

And this is definitely not the only case of this sort. Vani is a common practice in a lot of different regions in pakistan and no one even gives a second thought about it after reading such news as women are considered unworthy creatures (read objects) who are only there to satisfy needs of men (be it in the form of a sister, mother or wife). So what if a man murders someone as long as he has a virgin sister who he can offer as Vani.

Now, do these in any way fit in our religious values? No, a straight no. So do they fit in our cultural values? Perhaps yes.

Women are not only objectified in rural areas. It’s common practice in our urban setting as well. Oh, you don’t believe me? Then, perhaps you have never heard of cases where men throw acid on women’s faces because they rejected their proposal? I mean, how could they dare reject someone? They are mere objects with no emotions or feelings. If a guy has stalked them, has made attempts at molesting them, they should just somehow fall in love and get married.

I can’t find any Islamic reference to support this, so I am thinking this sort of objectification somehow stems out from our culture as well.

Finally, these worthless objects seem to be carrying the burden of whole family’s honour on their shoulders (or I should say in between their legs) as well. So a chaste woman is not supposed to have any sexual desires at all. She should only be able to satisfy her husband’s desires. She is after all just an object to be used as and when desired by its rightful owner.

Digging deep into our culture, we have also have mujras and bacha bazi in different parts of the country…practiced in the name of culture.

With this patriarchal mentality rampant in our society, we sit down to watch an item song and enjoy it on our own but get embarrassed if our family is sitting with us. Why? Because we can’t see a woman displaying her sensuality? Because we think we should cover and protect a woman’s sexuality? Or because we are really concerned about how women are being compared to  supari to be chewed?

I personally believe that item songs (or dance numbers or whatever you may want to call them) should be added in movies but the lyrics and the performance on the song should be tasteful and classy. Of course people go to the cinema to be entertained and not to be preached but this entertainment does not necessarily has to come by comparing women with cats. The women don’t have to been seen dancing surrounded by 100s of lewd men trying to grope them.

If you don’t know what a classy item song is, please watch this video and remind yourself of one of the best item song in history.

Also, more stories need to be written with women as strong characters rather than just eye candy. There will be no need for item songs then as a lot of women are agreeing to these item songs as it’s lucrative for them in terms of money. If there are enough good stories with strong female characters, chances are that women will be busy playing those roles rather than thrusting their chests in our faces.

*the second image has been taken from a Facebook page called ‘Comics by Saeeda’

Product Review: L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask

Written by: Sumayya Feroz

Edited by: Rosheena

This is not a paid post.

Hey everyone, hope you all are fine and refreshed after the Eid break, back to the boring daily routine.

Eid was hectic to say the least and due to all the regular application of heavy make up my skin was looking tired and asking for some attention. I have sensitive skin and it reacts quickly if I don’t follow the normal regime. Fortunately, my family understands that and among other Eid gifts, I also got L’Oréal Pure Clay Detox Mask which I decided to try.

It comes in ready to use packaging so all you need is to cleanse your skin and apply directly to your face. As I mentioned earlier, I have sensitive skin so I could feel a little tingling. So I would suggest a patch first to ensure it suits your skin. I left it for 15 minutes to dry and then washed it with normal water.

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Review :

• It has a very good smell.
• It made my skin very clear and soft.
• It sucked out all extra oil and blackheads. It made my skin a bit dry so I applied moisturizer afterwards.

Verdict : I loved it and will be using it in the future!

 

 

Kya Sab English Hain?

So a video of Sarfaraz Ahmed has been going viral for the past two days where the poor guy can be seen right before a press conference, extremely nervous on seeing that all the reporters are native English speakers. It made me sad. I mean this was a time when he should have been rejoicing Pakistan’s victory, he should have been proud of himself for leading the team to semi finals just the way a captain he should. But here he was, all nervous as he would now be scrutinised for his proficiency in English rather than his skills as a cricketer.

And, man, was he right? He was unfortunately. People have been making fun of him and joking about how ‘paindu’ he is or how uneducated he is. First of all, let me clarify he is a highly educated individual. He has a bachelors degree in Engineering in Electronics. On top of that he memorised the Holy Quran and became a hafiz merely at the age of 10. This makes him more educated than most of the people commenting on the video. As for being paindu, he is far from it. He does not belong to a pind at all. He was born in Karachi and has always lived there so he can’t be categorised as a paindu.

Now coming to mindset of all the people pointing fingers at him. Please stop it. It only shows that we are still mentally slaves to the gora saab. His mother tongue is urdu and is very fluent and eloquent in it. Would you have called him a paindu if he was a Chinese and was struggling to speak English or perhaps a French or a German? No, I’m sure of that. Because they are proud of their mother tongue and they concentrate on building their nation and their athletes rather than trying to find faults in their conversational English fluency.

Next time when you see someone speaking in English with an accent or struggling with vocabulary, don’t judge them or mock them. English is not their first language and they are not claiming to be proficient in English anyway in the first place.

Finally, I have two suggestions for all pakistani cricketers:

  1. Please ask for an interpreter for your press conferences and post match presentations. No one will make fun if you when you will speak impeccably in your own language. You can then concentrate on talking about what you want to talk about rather than concentrating on how to form sentences.
  2. Please start learning conversational English. It will help you in lot more ways than you think. But the reason to learn must not be that people have been mocking you.

As for all of you, please let them enjoy the fruit of their labour.