There is no denying in the fact that television has a great power. Television has played an important part in influencing our society since its introduction to our homes. Although a lot of us have access to internet but television still manages to influence our masses greatly. Television is a source that entertains, educates, informs and spreads awareness. It also impacts audience’s thinking process.
Pakistani dramas are famous among the women. Most of these dramas revolve around the family, especially women, often as daughters and most often as mothers, sisters and wives. Women are critical to almost each and every story but how are they portrayed in our television plays? What kind of dramas we see these days? Do women show class and zest for living their lives in a meaningful way, staying within their norms? Just flip your TV channel and you will see a drama being on air where the lead role is played by a women who is facing domestic violence or has a cheating husband, insecure in-laws, repressive norms or is suffering because of the divorce papers being thrown on her face. Although such stories provides spicy drama content for a large fraction of the audience but such story line has damaging impacts particularly on the minds of the girls.
Women are increasingly shown being physical torture by their husbands. They are shown being getting slapped, beaten up, and humiliated and what not and worst of all they are expected to remain silent. Men are depicted as the only decision-makers, who simply order the women in their lives around, telling them what to do or what not to do. What is awfully worrisome about such scenes depicting male chauvinism is that they invoke similar dominating behavior, especially among males in the audience. Men and women from the audience become subject to this reinforcement of stereotypical images of women, and adapt and accept these stereotypes as normal and natural.
Times have changed. Our dramas should start focusing on the content those talks about empowering women. As the media plays an impactful role in shaping our minds and opinions, dramas portraying women as being weak and oppressed can have an adverse influence on the way people treat women in our society. If our dramas focus on strengthening women and empowering them, this can have a long-lasting positive impact on society. Oppressed women will be inspired to take a stand and speak up for themselves, for their own rights. Why can’t our writers write scripts like Zindagi Gulzar Hai where Kashaf was a protagonist who was strong headed and an independent women who always stood up for her rights? Back then, Kashaf was a ray of sunshine for a lot of young girls glued to the television screens. In this modern age, where women and men are considered like two wheels of the same cart, Pakistani drama creators should work towards strengthening the characters and roles of women as individuals. Instead, we get stories where female characters are twisted and written as multi-faceted and this is well portrayed in a recent poorly written misogynistic serial Mere Pass Tum Ho or another serial Jhothi.
by: Abeer Arshad