Scantily-Dressed Women Haven’t Unleashed COVID-19 On Humankind
Fact Check: Ethnicity, race or sex has nothing to do with the spread of the novel coronavirus! But we love to find scapegoats when we cannot find a reason, and it is a global phenomenon. Attacks on frontline health workers, calling the coronavirus a Chinese virus, blaming a particular community for it’s spread in India and now saying that scantily dressed women are responsible for the spread of coronavirus is but a testimony that we love to look away from science and gloat in ignorance.
Yes, a well-known cleric in Pakistan, Maulana Tariq Jameel, blamed women who are “often scantily dressed” for the spread of the novel coronavirus. As per reports, he believes that such behaviour is responsible for bringing the wrath upon the country. Moreover, he said all this during the Ehsaas Telethon fundraising event in presence of the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. Further, he also went on to blame the media for “disseminating lies”. The event which was a televised prayer had several leading Pakistani Broadcast journalists in attendance too.
Maulana Jameel has now apologised, but only for condemning the media and not for his sexist and baseless comments on women. But ever wondered why is it so easy for people to pass such derogatory sexist comments and get away with them? The apologies, if any, often feel half-hearted and an afterthought?
Sir, once again, let’s clarify COVID-19 is a droplet infection. Pakistan too like most countries of the world is under lockdown since mid-April and like most law-abiding citizens women too are stuck inside their houses. Then how could they bring this wrath upon the country? Even in Pakistan, domestic violence cases are on the rise because women are having to live-in with abusive partners.
Maulana Jameel has now apologised only for condemning the media and not for his sexist and baseless comments on women.
Pakistan’s widely read daily The Dawn has condemned the comments by the Maulana and called it a “Shame”. The country’s Human Right Commission has pulled up the cleric for his statement and tweeted, “HRCP is appalled at Maulana Tariq Jamil’s recent statement inexplicably correlating women’s ‘modesty’ to the Covid19 pandemic. Such blatant objectification is unacceptable and, when aired on public television, only compounds the misogyny entrenched in society”.
Every time there has been a sexist comment from a public forum, have you ever come across an apology, where they have willingly accepted the fault and done something to not offend us again? It is mostly, a kinda, sorta apology, an attempt to get over with whatever has happened and sweep everything under the rug, and then move on with your day. As women, all of us have come face to face with such demeaning comments and have been told that we need to find our sense of humour. Why is it that it is so easy to get away being sexist? Or is it just a way to draw attention?
It is mostly, a kinda, sorta apology, an attempt to get over with whatever has happened and sweep everything under the rug, and then move on with your day.
It is a human tendency to find a scapegoat when situations get out of control, but to blame women for it is outrightly wrong. Under the current circumstances, mental health is an issue we are all grappling with, we already have our plates full with managing the house, kids, work et al. Do we really need more misguided views on the pandemic? You ask this question to anyone anywhere on the planet the answer will be a big NO. The entire human race is facing an unprecedented health emergency we need to find the answer to our questions in science not indulge in playing a blame game. People are dying at an alarming rate, and unsavoury remarks such as holding women responsible for the pandemic is not going to magically cure the disease.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
Image credit: Outlook India