Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) recently asked broadcasters and advertisers to review a biscuit ad because it was ‘immoral’ and ‘un-Islamic’. Yes, an advertisement for ‘Gala Biscuit‘, which we’re pretty sure was your favorite at some point in life but Mehwish Hayat’s ‘indecent dance’ in the ad is now a big turn-off for everyone.
A biscuit advertisement gone wrong
In a statement, PEMRA said that the advertisement violated Pakistani society’s socio-culture norms and didn’t comply with the accepted standards of ‘decency’. While many people ‘agreed’ with PEMRA, the organization got its share of well-deserved criticism as well.
One prominent person who seemed to have a really big problem with the ad was senior journalist Ansar Abbasi.
However, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary was quick to clap back.
How big of a problem is it?
Now, maybe it is too vulgar to have a fully dressed Mehwish Hayat dance on the TV screen… or is it? Because it seems like the problem runs deeper than that. Nobody labels it unethical when male actors dance in movies, or when Ali Zafar played the character of Teefa in Teefa in Trouble, a character that openly went to a bar and drank. The last time we checked, drinking is strictly un-Islamic as well and also very much against the society’s socio-culture norms.
The fun part about stuff like this is, people who so openly label women ‘be-hayaa’ for dancing and singing are the same people who zip their mouths shut when women are harassed and raped. Fully clothed women are a threat to our society, but our society seems very safe when women are raped, honor-killed, or harassed and then denied justice.
When will our priorities change? Don’t we have bigger problems to take care of than Mehwish Hayat’s dance? Shouldn’t we be focusing on other, more important things? Like, maybe the pressing issues our country is actually facing at the time?
When will we think out of how a woman dresses or how she moves? When will we give importance to things that actually matter? And god, when will we shout at men for immoral conduct, for rapes, for harassment the same way we do at women when they do something from their own free-will? Where were our morals, our ethics when a mother was gang-raped in front of her kids? Or when a sister was killed by her brother for serving cold food? Or when dead-bodies, animals, little kids are made victim of heinous crimes? Why don’t we raise our voices then? Why doesn’t any institute take action against that? Why aren’t statements issued for men who think it’s okay for them to inappropriately touch women?
Until and unless Pakistanis move forward with their thinking, invest their energy in more important issues, we as a nation won’t progress. We must realize that we have a voice, and we must use it. There are bigger problems to take care of, and we need to understand that. A fully dressed woman is not a threat to our society, but the on-going violence against women very much is.
Watch the advertisement here:
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