Wednesday Mar 13, 2019
Veteran actor Shaan Shahid was slammed on social media for criticising some of the posters raised during the Aurat March held across major cities in Pakistan on International Women's Day.
Some of the placards have become a topic of debate with certain people criticising them for being "vulgar" whereas most have been upholding that the posters highlight the issues faced by women on a daily basis.
Shaan was among those who thought these posters were "not freedom" but "verbal nudity" and "do not represent our culture, our values and the respect we have for our women".
In another tweet, the actor posted pictures of some posters and wrote, "#respectforwomenfirst No brother can see this poster in the hands of his sister."
Several, including freelance writer Ahmer Naqvi and illustrator Shehzil Malik, slammed and schooled Shaan. Naqvi asked the actor whether he had seen his own films and made a collage of some scenes from them. "Acting is a choice taking on a role that is exploitative not a majboori," Naqvi said in response to a tweet.
As the Twitter exchange continued, Shaan said, "You can’t comment on actors you aren’t one, what choices they make are needed for the professionalism they represent .. where is our freedom of expression?" The tweet once again led to people questioning the hypocrisy in Shaan speaking about "freedom of expression".
Another Twitter user wrote, "Lol at Shaan being a champion of Pakistani culture, values and respect for women when his films blatantly sexualize them and reduce their existence to a mere prop to exert the ‘masculinity’ of his character but God forbid real women call out this misogynistic culture."
Following the criticism, in a tweet posted this morning, Shaan said, "#Ibelieveinauratpower if I didn’t believe in the March I wouldn’t support my wife and daughter going to it. They were at the venue holding play cards [placards], my father's song was sung at the March in Lahore, but they left. They also felt that some words could have been written differently."
Not just Shaan, but actor Veena Malik was also critical of the march. "Who planned and funded this controversial #auratmarch2019. Because this brought humiliation to women of Pakistan instead of Anything positive like empowering them etc...!!!" she tweeted.
However, Twitter users were quick to remind Veena that "the same women you are calling out for 'humiliating' Pakistani women were standing by you as mullahs imposed fatwas on you."