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Can an older woman befriend a younger guy?


Read the title again. How many times would you expect to read an article asking if a man could befriend a younger girl? Not many times, this is because of how normal it is for a guy to have younger female friends but if a woman has a younger male friend, she's labeled a cougar.

The tv drama Dobara explores exactly this topic. Hadiqa Kiyani (Mehrunissa) or Mehru as she prefers to be called, befriends Mahir (played by Bilal Abbas), who is much younger than her. Everyone, both inside and outside the family automatically assumes they are in a relationship, even when Mehru makes it clear that they are not. What is interesting is how her son is angered by her mother's close friendship with Mahir and takes matters into his own hands, while the daughter is supportive of their friendship.

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Whilst many different celebrities have praised this show for having a different story, and adopting a feminist narrative of a women who although reluctant at the start, knows what she wants and doesn't let patriarchal figures such as her own son stand in her way of independence. However, I would argue the contrarian viewpoint, suggesting that the story is developed based on patriarchal ideologies. To begin with, Mehru's son's character is developed as a typical patriarchal male in the drama, who continuously questions his mother, and feels as if his feelings and ideas should be respected as he is the patriarch of the family after the demise of his father. In addition, the puppho although portraying herself as a libera…

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Khubaib Riasat
Khubaib Riasat
2021年12月15日

Our society never misses an opportunity to criticize the acts of women while simply ignoring the same actions done by men. The deeply ingrained misogyny in our society considers it an utter disgrace if an older aged woman befriends a man of a younger age. It appears that her entire identity revolves around her children and family reputation as soon as she reaches the age of 35-40. In the drama itself Mehru is shown being assailed by the social conventions because she is a divorced woman who wants to enjoy her life to the fullest and not stay isolated, not caring what society thinks of her. It is a perfect story about complicated relationships and societal pressures tackling two stereotypes…

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Dobra perfectly displays how a mother in our society is expected to put off everything aside that gives her happiness and just be a mother. Widow and divorced women face many taboos where they are expected to live all of their life in state of grief and not move forward with what makes them feel good. The fact that widowed mother's are sometimes controlled by their enraged young sons for not getting married again or making male friends is also a true depiction of our society.

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Agreed, widowed or divorced women face so much shame in society, they're expected to stay home and not live anymore. There definitely needs to be awareness regarding this and and it should be destigmatized

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I believe some of the stigma around this also comes with the fact that women are considered old and done with life as soon as they got 35/40s. The ageist notions in society make it so that she’s seen as nothing more someone’s mother and hence not her own person any more, and not liable to have her own life outside of her family and responsibilities. This ties into the concept of women being “the second sex” by De Baeuvior, they are seen as nothing more than reproductive beings and in context of the men in their lives. Thus Hadiqa Kiyani’s character trying to move on after a divorce or even befriending a guy is seen as an affront on…

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Urooba! You're right, de Beauvoir's work is definitely relevant in this context. A woman is only seen as a reproductive machine and as an "other" with no goals or ambitions of her own. As for Maryam Nawaz, my thoughts exactly! Live and let live. Unfortunately, in this society women will always be in the spotlight and criticized for something as baseless as this.

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Every act of male be it good or bad is justified under this society norms. I have watched this play and was also moved by it.

By any means, Women are deemed to take responsibility of family’s repute, they have to keep words agreed by parents. Every act of women within this framework is always appreciated by everyone, moment she disagrees or thinks on contrary she becomes victim to all the family and society criticism.
 This is what happened with the female lead as well, when she tried to befriend this man, everyone started to judge her. Moreover, women are allowed in religion to move on but it’s not considered ethically reasonable (in our society) on her part because she…

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