Another day, another misogynistic moment on national TV.
On comedy show Khabarzar on AAP NEWS on April 13, TV host Aftab Iqbal made some highly irresponsible remarks about a supposed connection between a woman's singlehood and mental health.
The show usually dramatises events while discussing them, and on last Saturday's episode about fake faith healers, he said about a woman acting like she's experiencing symptoms of 'hysteria': "31 years and not married. Then they complain she makes noises and gets taken over by djinns. This is a pure case of hysteria. You wretched women and your obsession with your careers... this is what happens when you disturb nature."
When the woman's on-screen brother says she's too busy attending international workshops to consider marriage, the host said, "Instead of having her attend workshops every other day, get her married."
Iqbal's remarks are uninformed on many levels. Not only does he make light of mental illness by advocating marriage as a remedy for a serious disease, he demonises single women and women with careers while reinforcing the incorrect idea that a career and marriage are incompatible for a woman. All in the space of a few minutes.
Many have criticised him for his views:
But will this feedback be heard? While PEMRA has tried to clamp down on child abuse dramas, unnecessary glamour and bold scenes, it has more often than not failed to address the problematic views aired by prominent figures on TV.
While a word of warning was recently sent to morning show producers, perhaps it's time for late-night shows to be given the same level of scrutiny.