Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar is the biggest feminist around, as long as you're a 'good woman'

Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar is the biggest feminist around, as long as you're a 'good woman'

The self-proclaimed biggest feminist of Pakistan is anything but. His latest interview is a masterclass in mansplaining.
Updated 24 Dec, 2019

Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, who made his film directorial debut with Kaaf Kangana (yes, that one) got a bit too candid in conversation with Entertainment Pakistan while talking about his menini- we mean feminist views.

It all started when he opened up about his favourite onscreen adaptation of his writings being drama Mere Paas Tum ho, which centres around infidelity and broken marriages, commending its director Nadeem Baig for a job well done.

It all went downhill pretty fast when he started talking about the problems with married couples, good women and bad women and...women.

In fact, during the interview - which felt like an audition for a melodrama in the 70s - he even managed to shock host Yashfah Butt who clearly didn't see it coming as soon as he said: "Women shouldn't get angry at the drama considering how they've insulted men."

Asked about what inspired the themes and plot of Meray Paas Tum Ho, the director entered a strange spiel about his take on feminism and gender “equality”.

Spoiler alert: he doesn’t understand what either of those are.

Here are some of the most disturbing takeaways from his latest interview:

Qamar believes he can decide what makes a woman in fact, a woman

"I don't call every woman a woman, whether you like it or not... There's only one thing that makes a woman beautiful and that's haya [modesty] and wafa [loyalty]. If you don't have those, I call you non-women."

First of all, that's two things. And we're confused whether Qamar thinks the lack of those makes a woman less beautiful or not a woman at all. Are only beautiful women women? Why has Qamar pronounced women three different ways in the same video? So many questions.

While mansplaining to the female interviewer about womanhood, he also tried to equate loyalty as something that just women embody, absolving men of all responsibility of doing the same. Slow clap.

"There's no bigger feminist in Pakistan than me"

Qamar says, "I am fighting for the good women, there is no bigger feminist in Pakistan than me" but also manages to say, "I will give them equal rights, but a little below [men]" in the same 10 seconds.

We will pause for a collective eye-roll. All together now. Good? Okay, moving on.

Someone please explain to the director what feminism means. Being a feminist literally means political, economic, and social equality of the sexes so we think maybe the words he was looking for are 'biggest misogynist'.

So equality according to him means women raping men

Hold on because this one is truly bizarre.

Qamar mentioned asking a person, "Have you seen the news where a woman was kidnapped by five men? But have you ever heard of five women kidnapping a man? Do that! If you want equality then do that!"

"I'll know there's equality if I hear about women robbing buses and gang-raping men."

There's a lot to unfold there, like how Qamar condones violence and thinks feminism should be based on such heinous acts. Can't believe this needs to be said but no, when we ask for equality, we don't mean equally partaking in assaulting each other.

Why can't you just listen to women and hear the issues they're constantly addressing rather than just talking about these superficial points? This is just an upgraded version of the 'does equality mean I can hit women?' argument. It's dated. Stop.

Qamar doesn't know what rights women want

He goes on to say, "What even are these rights that women want? Your problem is that us men have stolen your rights so cleverly you don't know what they are. Instead of finding that out, you want our rights."

As the saying goes, equal rights for women doesn't mean less rights for men, it's not pie. Also, thanks for admitting you stole some from women. Biggest feminist indeed.

Qamar thinks men can't say no

Qamar seems to think consent is a commonly understood concept, which is naive at best, but actually horrifying... because he goes on to say that men don’t have the power to say no.

"You can't change a man's nature," said Qamar continuing his rant. "The entire society will crumble...why lift fingers at men?"

Honestly, this is way more insulting to men than women. We're surprised that folks who say "not all men" aren't annoyed at a filmmaker stating they have no control.

It isn’t just the logic here that’s flawed, but also the implication that men have no free will or power over their own thoughts and actions. This does not, in fact, reveal men as vulnerable but actively dehumanises men.

"Women can say no, men can't," is Qamar's justification of men cheating on their wives. Apart from how incredulously rapey that sounds, we're just wondering exactly how does Qamar, a man, know a woman's capabilities so well. Can men just quit mansplaining women to women? It's getting embarrassing now.

To also qualify that only “good” women have the power to withhold consent, and to place the responsibility of consent squarely on them, is also extremely flawed and dangerous.

Our biggest fear from men is apparently the other woman

After bringing up a gang rape incident himself, Qamar believes that the biggest thing women fear when attached to a man is the other woman, who, despite not betraying a spouse like the husband, is equally to blame, if not more.

”What is the greatest thing women fear from men? That he’ll leave them for another. So that other woman is another woman, right? The other woman is not a man. They’re bringing each other down on the one hand and raising a fuss about it too.”

Talk about victim-blaming. We've heard enough cases of married men pretending to be single to women to know better than Qamar's "philosophy" as he calls it.

And should the roles be reversed, it's still the spouse's responsibility which is greater. The way blame is always shifted onto the woman is ridiculous.

Our biggest fears are actually domestic abuse, rape, acid attacks... the list goes on. When the host asks if the other woman was to blame in another high profile case which was related to domestic abuse, Qamar immediately denied speaking about it. So, there you go.

While the biggest fear men apparently have is makeup

While we're fighting against violence, the biggest fear men seem to have is makeup. Qamar clarifies that apart from “unsatisfied and undesired marriages”, failed marriages are the result of too much makeup.

”The first time a man sees a woman, she has Rs50,000 worth of makeup on. After marriage, she turns out to be something else. You should only sell the product that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with… I’m not going to spend the rest of my life with makeup from Depilex. Show your true face.”

A face, a person is not a product on sale for the male gaze. Not to mention, makeup shaming is so 10 years ago. Newsflash: women don't care if you think they're wearing too much or too little makeup. Lets not even get into the whole gendered expectations from society that dictate how a woman should appear.

Also, how come no one talks about how men trick us with facial hair? We all know how deceptive that can be. Thanks for coming to our Ted talk.


Nilesh Oct 31, 2019 06:54pm
What a confused being
WasiTunio Oct 31, 2019 07:04pm
He is a pseudo-feminist as I think.
Rahat Oct 31, 2019 07:38pm
Other than being a misogynist he has a Lot of 'takabur'.
rs34503756 Oct 31, 2019 08:32pm
Why is there such a disparity between the views that you expressed during the interview and the content of the movie during which you made your directorial debut, Mr Khalil ur Rehman Qamar?
Samanvita Oct 31, 2019 09:01pm
He should now clarify just one thing. Will men stay away from non women? If so Many women will be happy to become non women! Men who can't say no are non men!
Adil Jadoon Oct 31, 2019 10:36pm
I guess these are his thought and important only to him. Rather simple in my mind but then who cares what he thinks.
Munawar Abbas Kanwal Oct 31, 2019 11:36pm
So basically he's too insecure to actually define what feminism is and too shy to actually understand its basic mainstay. I have never seen such a stupid coot he is, and to be honest he seems like he has been betrayed so many times he has lost his orientation.
Nabeel Nov 01, 2019 12:50am
His views are an absolute nonsense with utter confusion...cant believe ya'all actually spent time writing an article about...The title was catchy so I wasted a few minutes reading through a bunch of senseless garbage termed as views!
Kiaan Nov 01, 2019 01:54am
Let’s just say he is anything but ‘Feminist’
Zain Nov 01, 2019 02:01am
He really hates women! Such writers should be banned from TV/films.
Nadim Nov 01, 2019 03:46am
I have watched couple of his interviews and he comes across very arrogant and deluded. I was shocked the way he spoke about his colleagues. With attitude like this I have absolutely no doubt his downfall is around the corner. Women should boycott his plays.
Imran Khan Nov 01, 2019 03:50am
Khalil Ur Rehman, I use to respect him but only unitl you were quiet? you are the worst person in the industry
Farooq Nov 01, 2019 04:25am
Great journalism. An article worth reading.
Newborn Nov 01, 2019 07:47am
The best part about this weird interview was host's epic facial reactions.
Thinking Nov 01, 2019 08:52am
Men feel entitled to pass judgement abt women and their behavior. The entire interview sucks, wonder what the girl opposite must have gone through. Feel sad for the women who belong to his family and friends circle
Chooran band Nov 01, 2019 08:54am
Khalil ur Rahman is an extremely confused person in my opinion. He doesn't understand men or women, I don't think he even understands himself.
Ali Nov 01, 2019 09:29am
Good one, a good article and interview to expose a very shallow insecure and hypocrisy of a man who is teaching us Patriotism and feminism through his writings. What a shame the people of Pakistan have to watch such medieval thinking person again and again. How come he still survive in this age ;(
Bay Adab Nov 01, 2019 03:38pm
This is not funny at all. In a country where domestic violence against women is common, denying women rights of inheritance is a norm, acid attacks and little or no employment opportunities, people like Qamar with pen and screentime can cause further damage to the nation.
Faisal Nov 01, 2019 04:01pm
These our the minds that create the dramas we see on tv. Good that he opened his mouth, so the garbage from his mind could spill out.
Faiza Irfan Nov 01, 2019 11:50pm
My blood is already boiling and I have read only 1/2 of it - let me finish and come back with vengeance - This man needs to be quieted and that too with full force
Irfan ul Huq Nov 03, 2019 05:26am
Pakistani drama writers are superficial in their thinking. They don't have in depth understanding of a subject or a situation. There are not well read person but they read only what they need to read. It is not there falt for we live in the age of mediocricity.
Jagga Nov 04, 2019 09:35am
Let's see if celebrities forego their perceived benefits and stop working with this guy after his misogynistic comments.