Pakistani Drama Laapata’s latest episode has sparked a controversy on social media as a clip from the drama went viral in which Falak the female protagonist could be seen slapping back her abusive husband.
Many people on Twitter lauded the scene but some critics questioned the portrayal asking that do we need to glamorize abuse to portray women in strong contours.
Earlier In a famous drama, “Meray Pass Tum Ho” a woman was labeled “do tacky ki aurat” for seeking a successful and independent career. Similarly, the latest drama “Fittor” had also been criticized for its normalization of martial abuse.
The actor Mirza Gohar- who played the role of the abusive husband, in Laapata has backed the slap scene by saying that portraying characters like Falak- a strong woman who can slap back is imminent and applauding. This argument to some critics is as ridiculous as the argument of the laymen who are heard saying, “the best way to tackle the growing rape and domestic violence crisis is to start teaching women martial arts.”
Critics of the scene said that the scene is quite insensitive and demeaning to the “growing number of women made to sit silently and bear abusive husbands and in-laws because they’re well aware that they will lose everything if they stood up to them”. They added that this kind of approach largely overlooks the core financial and housing issues that women face and that need to be highlighted.
A critic while commenting on the scene said, “why are Pakistani dramas still not owning up to their responsibility by using their platform to condemn the growing violence against women? We need our entertainers and producers to simply understand that while to them the dramas they put up are simple for “entertainment” and getting top ratings but to their audience, these shows are teaching them to morals and values. It’s time we changed the narrative and helped empower women by showing them that abuse should not be tolerated under any circumstances and they must seek help to escape such situations!”