'I said what I said': Ushna Shah highlights one way men and women are treated differently

Published 09 Jun, 2021 05:32pm

Images Staff

Men can demand something and get away with it but women are called bossy for saying the same thing, says the actor.

Known for her unapologetic and unfiltered opinions, actor Ushna Shah believes there are double standards in the way men and women are treated in the Pakistani entertainment industry.

She gave an interview to Something Haute in September 2020 in which she highlighted the differences in the way men and women are treated and her words are still relevant today.

Re-sharing the video, the Bashar Momin actor unapologetically captioned it "I said what I said."

"I've noticed that regardless of how a woman behaves, the connotations attached to them are always negative. So if I'm demanding or I need something, or another woman with me needs it, their name is taken negatively. We are bossy and shrill," she said.

"However, if a man's behaviour is five times worse, but he's a male actor or senior, then no, he's senior, he needs this. He's never called problematic," she added.

Shah's comment comes from a valid place of concern where women have to work twice as hard to make themselves seen or heard, while men can easily get away with demands regardless of whether they are justified or not. Women are often criticised for being "too emotional" when they say something, regardless of whether it needed to be said.

Shah's interview might be from eight months ago, but unfortunately nothing has changed. People still treat women who speak up like pariahs and consider them "bossy and shrill" if they demand something. This isn't a problem endemic to just the entertainment industry but we've recently seen an instance in which a woman baring her vulnerability was made fun of.

Women have as much right to show their emotions — either tears, anger or joy — as men do. Making fun of someone for crying on camera and calling a woman bossy for demanding professionalism are two sides of the same misogynistic coin.