The defense minister Khawaja Asif is accused of passing derogatory remarks about fellow female parliamentarians. Find out why Sherry Rehman’s silence is in question.
The Defense Minister for the nation is under fire for his recent controversial and extremely misogynistic remarks on women in the National Assembly, might we add not his first gender based controversy.
His Exact Misogynist Statements
“They (women of the PTI) are leftover ruins. They are leftover waste. (PTI’s) garbage is left over which needs to be cleaned,” he derogatively remarked in response to criticism in terms of the government “bulldozing bills” Observers in the parliament, Party members and citizens are shocked the above comments failed to evoke anything further than a yawn among the members of our great nation’s assembly of men and women, our lawmakers, our protectors.
When a female politician hit back he further continued hitting below the belt with his comment “Depraved women should not lecture on chastity” Can you imagine what followed? Laughter. Yes “This is the garbage left behind” by the PTI chief, “which has to be cleaned” he added.
At this point then, the women parliamentarians from PTI stood tall and demanded the minister take his words back. The defense minister remained unbothered about the increasing protests and continued.
Apparently Being Defended By Women Is A Pity
“He (Imran) doesn’t have the courage to appear in courts today … And they defend him. How brave and courageous will be a person who is defended by women?”
Our Questions For The Minister
Why, can’t women defend? Are they physically or mentally impaired? Are they not the same species? (In most cases, emotionally and practically more intelligent) Do they not possess reason and thought? How ludicrous. Aside from the political elements at play (not a concern here), how can the very lawmakers of our country promote such crude talk at national level? That too at a place where law, justice, democracy are to be held in such high regard. It is unfortunate that this is the kind of language we use in the presence of the above, in the presence of our flag and Quaid? An entire gender is being disrespected, further being shoved down the line and the lawmakers can’t be bothered, are busy chit chatting, yawning and even more abominable – laughing? It seems belittling the cause women have been fighting for years is our favourite pass time no matter how deep in trouble the country shall be.
Following the rage, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif refused to apologise for his remarks made about PTI’s female members. He claims he did not make any derogatory remarks about women. “I have not used abusive words against women.”
Senator Sherry Rehman’s Response At Not Intervening
Senator Sherry Rehman being a prominent female politician in Pakistan along with having authored her book “Womansplaining” which navigates modernity, politics and activism in Pakistan through 22 female activists led many questioning her why couldn’t she intervene and put a stop to the disgraceful remarks. She addressed the extremely disturbing sexist remarks against women parliamentarians by the defense minister, 2 days later! She expressed her regret for not intervening when the remarks were being made at women from the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Asking For Gender Equality? Tit For Tat?
Amidst the rapidly growing protest and demands for an apology, Khawaja Asif states that his comments were taken out of context and were simply not meant to be targeted towards a specific gender. His argument was that, male parliamentarians too often face similar critical remarks and pose no protests thus it is a matter of gender equality and women lawmakers shouldn’t do so either. How nice! “If they claim gender equality, then they should tolerate such references,” he states.
Netizens Ask Sherry Rehman
Netizens below are questioning why it took Senator Sherry Rehman 2 whole days to speak up against the lewd remarks made by the defense minister. Some decidedly opine nothing could be more important than focusing on the current proceedings in this case, the abominable remarks while some think staying quiet at that moment implies her agreement. While fellow women lawmakers in the parliament were being disrespected and ridiculed, being sorry now really doesn’t make a difference. Her tweeting about her mere apology for not paying attention going to make any difference? Maybe instead of talking about it she could take some solid action to support the women parliamentarians and call an end to such lewd talk being allowed in the parliament.
This is one debate that doesn’t end at a mere apology, keeping political differences aside, exchanges must be more dignified, appropriate and respectful; a key non negotiable in a state official setting. What does such derogatory, objectionable talk by ministerial heads say about its nation and citizens? We don’t even want to go there.