I was hate-watching one of the latest television serials Teray Bin, where I realized continuously an imposed marriage was highlighted and glorified. The girl is portrayed to be utterly stubborn and causing all the harm to her family.
Stockholm syndrome is mainly the philosophy behind the entire play and most Pakistani dramas. It's not the first-time problematic ideas are taken as central themes in media products.
Growing up watching Sleeping Beauty, where she could not even come out of sleep spell without the kiss of prince charming. Beauty and the Beast, in the end, we all wanted Beauty to fall in love with the Beast. Cinderella could never survive without the prince. An entire media industry's neo-liberal value system is based on the vulnerability of women. The more passive, sexualized, and timid, the more attractive they look; it's more popular and commercially watched.
Is the industry instilling neo-liberal patriarchal values and continually reinforcing them over generations, or is the media showing what people want to watch? Why are most of the highly patriarchal dramas commercially popular…is there any mass appeal, or is it by design? The power of media in the formation of opinions works in a spiral; the pre-nurtured capitalistic foundations that bring control in society suit the interest of the people in positions of power, and the ideas breaking the status quo like feminism and empowerment not only negate the authority of men, but it challenges the entire status quo. It threatens the whole concept, surviving on manipulation and hierarchy.
The main primetime is virtually designed to create two separate divisions of entertainment, the severe genre of national politics and the soap opera dramas filled with emotions for women. The system is designed so that one gender must be fed the most irrational and absurd ideas, and the other must be provided with all rational and national-scale ideas. Interestingly for both genders, whatever is shown is fabricated to suit the commercialized aspects and interests; none of them have freedom of choice. They start consuming what they are offered and start following it too.
The most famous female leads in Pakistan are the one who cries the most in all Tv series. Is it to do with the idea of womanity in Pakistan? The talk shows that only have a female host so everyone can comfortably pass on dual meaning comments, the news anchor who specifically cannot break the top news story, the drama serial where Hania Amir must cry till 50 episodes, it's so ritualist and necessary to be accepted.
As in the words of Simone, 'Man is defined as a human being and the woman as female, whenever she behaves as a human being, she is accused of imitating the male.'