Former minister for information and broadcasting, and former minister for science and technology Fawad Chaudhry recently made some very sexist remarks about Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar that did not sit well with social media users.
On April 19, Chaudhry posted an old interview from Khar’s last appointment as foreign minister which was in 2011. She was not only the youngest person but also the first woman to have held the position in Pakistan’s history. He insulted her intelligence and credibility, attaching it to her “Berkens”.
“When you appoint a low IQ woman whose only claim to fame is her Berkin bags and expensive eye shades such blunders [it]’ll become a norm, hope [we]’ll get rid of this lot sooner than later #ImportedGovernmentNamzanzoor,” he tweeted.
Have a look at it:
Subsequently, the former minister garnered immense backlash from netizens. Some social media users specifically mentioned that they were PTI supporters and did not endorse these claims, calling them “unbecoming” and “unacceptable.” In fact, many called Khar “articulate” and “one of the best foreign ministers our county has had”, asking Chaudhry to apologize.
Users reminded Chaudhry of Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s “chewing non-responsiveness” and “unnecessary sniggering” after he was called out for anti-Semitism following his statement about Israel having “deep pockets” during his interview with CNN.
Several netizens were quick to extract his 2012 tweet, in which he said Khar could “make it to the PM house”. The former minister should probably check his archives before posting next time.
Chaudhry’s “sexist mindset” was called out by Twitter users who said if the argument was really about questioning her intelligence, it could have been backed up by her comments instead of “a misogynistic reference to her appearance”.
Many said that the video accomplishes the opposite of what Chaudhry intended, displaying her “high IQ caliber” and “impressive” tackling of “provocative questions” instead.
If Chaudhry wanted to insult Khar as a politician and her performance as a foreign minister, he could have done so by going beyond her looks. It is 2022, and men continue to ignore a woman’s intellect and refuse to look past her looks.
Nevertheless, it was refreshing to see a number of netizens publicly stand up and defend Khar based not only on her remarks in the video but also on her career as a foreign minister.
Male politicians are not subjected to the same judgment, which shows how misogynistic treatment devalues women as competent enough to be taken seriously. Putting an end to this outdated misogyny is long overdue.
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