Sadia Jabbar's web series Shameless Proposals has its first episode Macho Man "Say no to physical violence" out and it's tackling domestic abuse.
In the seven-minute episode, we see a young woman being evaluated for marriage by her suitor's family. This suitor is a man who is strong on the outside but weak on the inside; in other words, he's got big guns and a fragile ego. He associates weakness with crying and consequently, women. Watch out, the mother warns the woman, "If he doesn't like your tea get ready for a beating... just like the family does."
The episode highlights important issues like domestic abuse being a norm - a woman can be abused by her husband and is expected to accept it without hesitation or retaliation. This is proven when the woman's parents say yes to the rishta by turning a blind eye to the violent nature of the man.
In our culture, the need to marry off daughters at a 'marriageable' age exonerates men of their vices. The woman is expected to mould according to the man's desires, ultimately telling her that marriage is in her hands and expecting her to balance the scales by staying submissive and oppressed.
Only when we change the question, "Will your daughter be able to keep our son happy?" to "Will your son be able to keep our daughter happy?" will society hold men accountable for their actions and raise the bar for men when it comes to arranged marriages.
The web series take a necessary step by shedding light on a crucial issue; however, the production value needs work as does the satire. Written by O Rangreza writer Saji Gul, the satire is too blunt to come across effectively and the grandmother's role was in poor taste. Although the point of the grandmother is understandably to show the years of internalised misogyny; it would've been more convincing if the script had been developed better.