We in this day cannot deny the power television has on us, it shapes the opinion of our society, reflects some of the values and belief that we as a society hold. However, these dramas don’t just stay limited to television audience, we have an ample of applications, and websites that of live streaming, which means that these shows can be accessible from anywhere, hence the power that these dramas hold is multiplied and so the makers need to be very careful on the portrayal of characters in these dramas.
Nowadays when I switch on the television, what I usually see is a women weeping because she’s been abused by some man or the family. This abuse most of the time is emotional, but at times can be physical as well. Me being an urban Pakistani girl, fail to relate to these characters. Most Pakistani dramas live women are shown weak and someone who’s born to bear all the injustice, pain and violence. That’s not a true representation of us, and I am sure most of the girls might not even relate to these characters. Because women are brutalized in these dramas, and the males are shown as the decision makers, who order the woman to live life according to him and telling her what to do and what not to do is worrying because that has an impact on the general public, provoking a negative behavior in them and making them feel like this is the right attitude towards women.
This portrayal of women in Pakistani Dramas is far from reality, most of us aren’t like those girls, we do not have the ultimate life goal set to marriage or if a man resorts to adultery the women is blamed as the temptress or the girls are just quiet and never speak up for themselves, these aren’t true representations. We are fun, opinionated and strong headed, not wrapped up in chaddars but also not dressed up like TV models, we don’t take shit from anyone and compromise on it. Our stories are far from what the current Dramas portray.
What’s scary is how widely these dramas are now available, be it Live streaming on any application just how we have TV News channels easily available everywhere, the more the viewership the more impact these dramas will have on our society, however not all shows are like that, back in the 80s when Marina Khan played an urban girl I could relate more to her character than the current characters, her stories were interesting made us laugh cry and was more human than the current dramas.
But let’s not forget how when we have some dramas that aren’t what we want them to be. There is still a bunch of shows that work on empowering women, teaching them the difference between being stupid and nice. Drawing a line between what is acceptable and what is not in their lives. There are several strong female characters in our dramas however I wish that our programming would become more centric towards empowering women, then just showing the consequences and burden that some women go through. In today’s world with feminism at its peak, and where we believe that man and woman are equal, we need to break these stereotypes and teach our society of what we want our future values and beliefs should be.