Speaking to a private TV channel, chief Imran Khan has said that he disagrees with the Western ‘feminist movement’. Khan claimed that the movement has contributed to ‘degenerating’ motherhood.
The remarks made by the PTI chairperson were deemed ‘anti-women’ and drew a social media backlash.
Many people took to Twitter and perceived the comments made by Imran Khan as highly ‘irresponsible’ and criticised Khan on his lack of knowledge of the ideology and movement.
During an interview, Mr Khan stated that his mother played a deeply influential role in his upbringing. “Children learn from their mothers. Mother tongue comes from mother… I disagree with the feminist movement that has degraded the role of a mother.”
His comment started a debate on social media, and amid a barrage of criticism, he did find some support. Mr Khan, who aspires to be Pakistan’s next Prime Minister, was called irresponsible, misleading and was asked if he knew what “feminism” meant.
Many female journalists took to Twitter to respond to his diatribe against feminists. The army of trolls that is often associated with his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rose to his defence, calling US dastardly feminists with a ‘Western agenda’ and insisting that feminism does indeed ruin the motherhood experience.
The PTI cited how children were neglected if a mother was at work, while conveniently ignoring the fact that children do grow beyond the age of four, attend school and eventually become independent human beings. For them, all we feminists want to do is cause earthquakes by wearing jeans and raise ill-behaved children because we want to put our degree to the use it was meant for.
They added that many feminists have been speaking out against honour killing and sexual harassment and female infanticide. Also, let’s not get into how feminists support women’s right to breastfeed their children without fearing stigma, and the belief that men should be better fathers rather than distant or absentee individuals that have no impact on a child’s well-being.
Recently, a popular slogan, ‘Khana khud garam Kar lo’, at the ‘Aurat march’ for women’s rights inspired memes, social media fights and a television Eid film. Many actors and actresses in Pakistan openly denounce the word feminist, and it has become more of an insult than a quality to admire. Most of these people, like Khan, have done little to research the term and its history before giving their uninformed opinions.