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