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11 Feb

The world for women (according to Pakistani Morning Shows)

 

Morning show hosts have now acquired a status beyond normal humans. They are now motivational speakers, cooks, singers, wedding planners, therapists, social workers- they are one of the most revered personalities on television. Therefore, what they say matters to a lot of people. And usually, they will say things that they think matter to others.

 

Naturally, a person of such power and influence will use his or her time to spread important messages to women (this is an understood stereotype that morning shows are usually watched by women because only men work and have jobs.) Therefore, I narrowed down some things that seem to be on the top of everyone’s minds on these shows.

 

Raitas. You know, that tasty yoghurt dip that you eat with your biryani? It has now become such a huge phenomenon that an entire morning show was dedicated to it. The host of the show even proceeded to ask the guest of the show, “What kinds of raitas are ‘in’ nowadays?”

 

Women empowerment. Not the kind that you would associate with the word ‘empowerment’, but the Pakistani kind, that brings religion and backward social morals together to brainwash you into thinking that women run the world because they run the kitchens. The host in question gave an introduction to her guest, (a very well-known and influential lady) by commenting on how the world would collapse without women because if it weren’t for us, who would feed the children with food? Who would make sure the husband’s clothes aren’t ironed? How would the husband make money if it weren’t for his cleaning lady- I mean wife?

 

Eventually the guest entered the set, and immediately was told that she would be asked to step into the studio kitchen to cook. The guest was previously married to a politician who used to be a cricketer back in the day, therefore of course cooking is an important matter to discuss. The host then went on to ask romantic questions about her EX-husband “Did you learn to cook in his kitchen? Did you make food that he requested for?”

 

Gossip. This is not the hosts fault of course as it is common knowledge that women love to gossip (even though one of the guests sitting on the show was a man). But the host in question decided to discuss a Pakistani actress, who recently did a movie in India, only to make fun of her voice with the guests of the show. The actress of course deserves this, as her voice is not ‘typically feminine’. What was she thinking, trying to make it into this industry purely based on her talents?!

 

Halal Makeup. Yes, religiously, women are supposed to be simple in their appearance, as to not attract too much attention. (This is the same rule for men as well btw so don’t consider this sexist) But how can you be a woman and not doll up? It’s unheard of! The world and society expects this from us! So let’s merge our worldly and religious values together and introduce the new ‘Halal’ make up. An industry that barely does anything ‘halal’ feels that halal makeup is “one of the biggest problems of the Muslim woman today”

 

These are some of the topics that are very religious discussed in morning shows and thank God for that, because what would the modern woman of today do if she was not taught how to make the Gilgity raita? (Which is exactly the same raita that is made in Karachi, btw.)

 

There are other very valuable lessons that can be learnt if one reads between the lines. First and foremost, you should wake up and immediately get dressed like you’re going to a dinner party, based on how the morning show hosts are dressed.

 

Second, if you are a woman, you should know how to cook, regardless of what your profession is or how busy you are in your life. It doesn’t matter if you have spent your life as a broadcast journalist and were married to one of the biggest politicians in our country; the only thing to discuss with such a person is how good a cook she is.

 

Third, appear religious, even though you are dressed up and being presented as a show piece doll. Throw in words like ‘Mashallah’ and ‘Inshallah’ and ‘Allah keh karam sey” to add more credibility to your holiness.

 

We must thank our morning shows for doing such great work and imparting us with such wisdom that we can apply during these fast-paced, technological times. And Inshallah, we will continue to hear this wisdom for many more years to come.

 

 

 

 

Manal Faheem Khan

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute who has studied film and journalism from SZABIST. Will be found at the gym if not in the office.