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When women go viral

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

No one can predict if something they posted on the internet would "go viral" or not. But Pakistani women can predict the consequences of going viral on the internet. They will either be slut-shamed or called talentless or both. Recently, a TikTok of a girl named Ayesha went viral on the internet and as expected, Pakistani men on social media sites had a field day passing lewd comments on her even though she was dressed in clothes which are considered modest in the context of Pakistan. She was shamed for her dance moves which were called "provocative" by the same men that were retweeting and sharing her video.

Then comes the category of people who called her dance "cringe" and questioned why people were enjoying and appreciating her TikTok when there are other people who have done things "more worthy" of praise. This is similar to what happened after Dananeer Mobeen's "Party ho rahi hai" video went viral. They compared her to Zara Naem, who had topped the global ACCA exam around the same time when Dananeer's video went viral and said that Zara should be appreciated by the media instead of Dananeer because she made our nation proud.

The people who draw these comparisons should realize that the internet is a not a limited space where two different types of women cannot be appreciated simultaneously. Media should belong as much to women as it does to men.

Dananeer and Ayesha's videos should be appreciated because they were enjoyed by and provided entertainment for many people. Their videos were appreciated and recreated by people across the border as well, including Bollywood celebrities.

The same people that were overly critical of Ayesha's Tiktok are now overjoyed that Madhuri Dixit has done a rendition of Ayesha's Tiktok. This also makes me question that why we don't celebrate our youth and their work until they get validation from abroad?

If you do something that gives joy to people, you are not talentless. Moreover, in this day and age of social media, where highly paid jobs such as "content creator" are emerging, being able to make content that inspires and engages so many people should be considered an achievement and an asset.

It is high time that Pakistanis start appreciating and valuing the women that give us joy instead of tearing them down or pitting them against other people who deserve appreciation as well.

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