Another day, another ignorant statement made by a prominent talk show host.
ARY's Kashif Abbasi recently had former Governor Sindh, Mohammad Zubair and MNAs Andleeb Abbas and Shazia Marri on his show to discuss the NAB controversy that unfolded a few days ago when some footage and a few audio clips were first aired by News One in which a male can be heard talking to a woman, and making inappropriate remarks at various points; the channel linked the male voice with the NAB chairman, Javed Iqbal.
NAB had denied that the audio clips had anything to do with its chairman, branding them "baseless, fake and based on lies".
During the discussion, Shazia Marri pointed out that the incident needs to be investigated and could constitute as harassment to which Abbasi responded that it seems consensual: "*Aap auraton ke liye bohot asaan hai shor daalna: harassment! harassment! harassment!” (It's very easy for you women to cause a ruckus claiming harassment).
Thankfully, Marri was quick to correct him: "Shor nahi daaltay hum harassment ka, harassment hoti hai (We don't just make a commotion about harassment, harassment actually happens). For God's sake, I thought you're a sensitised man but I'm having my doubts today."
Abbasi still didn't get it and said, "You women always play the victim card."
"We play the 'victim card' because we are victimised. To be very honest, we're living in a society, in fact a world, where women are more vulnerable [than men]," she added.
We're so glad Shazia schooled him on his grossly misinformed views about harassment. We're in the post #MeToo era and things need to change. We don't need hosts on national television dismissing harassment and mocking survivors of abuse. Some of these anchors really need to take a page out of Shahzeb Khanzada's playbook, who's on the right side of history.