Women have always been heavily objectified through the media, advertising and even education. In our books, the portrayal of a woman has been presented as an oppressed creature who should act according to how the society says. While, in advertising the women are viewed as a sexual object and an instrument of sexual pleasure. Why? Why do we fetishize women all the time? Is this all a woman can offer you. We talk about being a good Muslim, so is this what our religion teaches us? Clearly, no. As far as I have studied and analyzed my religion, it doesn’t preach to objectify women.
I never really paid attention to the portrayal of women in advertisements until I came across the YouTube campaign #WomenNotObjects initiated by Madonna Badger. Since that day, I’ve been researching over sexual objectification and surprisingly it was found out that it is not just a Western propaganda. I found many Pakistani TVCs reducing bold, beautiful women to merely nothing but a object.
I believe it’s a way Pakistani society depict their internalized misogyny and tharak. Though, I also believe that reason is not just the typical mindset of Pakistani men but also the majority population of women too. Women, here want to be suppressed. Want to be harassed on the street and yet do nothing about it. Want to be objectified. After all, the women who model for such fetishizing TVCs did it because they chose to. Pakistani women want to compromise their identity. Want to adjust/fit in how the society tells them to. Want to look good as per as our societal standards. And if they choose to go the opposite, the patriarchy will try to crush them at every possible point. So, in short there’s no choice right?
As I female resident of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I ask my fellow citizens – where are the women’s rights our religion addressed us? Are we practicing it, really?