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Strong Female Protagonist Unacceptable to Viewrs

The Pakistani mainstream media, particularly dramas, is rife with stereotypical subservient female roles, a mentality that is heavily condemned. However, the rare dramas that attempt to stray from these conventions by presenting a strong female heroine encounter a massive negative reaction from society. So, what is the method for normalising non-submissive female roles? In my opinion, the media should continue to showcase such roles while ignoring popular criticism. This is due to the fact that society cannot be changed abruptly. Furthermore, strong female portrayals should be increased so that viewers get accustomed to seeing such characters.

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Khubaib Riasat
Khubaib Riasat
Dec 11, 2021

The change will take time. It might take multiple generations, but it will happen gradually. Pakistan is a conservative patriarchal country riddled with many gender stereotypes. Ariel launched an ad campaign across Pakistan empowering women’s rights which advised women to break free of cultural norms and pursue careers. Ariel faced a severe backlash and was blamed to be involved in cultural propaganda and brainwashing of Pakistani women.

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I would like to mention the hypocrisy here. On the one hand, Ariel started a campaign for women empowerment, while the advertisements of the same brand encourage the stereotypes by showing only women washing clothes and doing household work. I think that these brands do not want to make a change. They are just using the name of women empowerment for their own publicity.

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I agree that change takes time and the negative feedback these dramas receive from the audience should not discourage them or other producers to create such content. We all need to work together as a society to bring about this change. Media plays a huge role in educating the masses and can be used as an effective tool to bring about social change. Thus, producers should continue to create female characters shifting from the norm in order to create an environment of tolerance and acceptance for them in our society. -Aimen

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I completely agree with you. The process of bringing about social change is a gradual and steady one. Maybe society isn't ready for strong female roles yet, but it will be in the coming years.

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