The hype regarding Abrar ul Haq’s problematic remarks on young mothers playing Baby Shark for their children has hardly died down when the singer has found himself on the receiving end of criticism regarding yet another problematic or misleading post.
The Nach Punjaban hit-maker shared a video of a preadolescent girl many believe to be his daughter learning to make a roti. The singer captioned the post with, “Right age for the training”.
Consequently, a large number of Pakistanis are calling him out for endorsing patriarchal notions that oblige young girls to perform domestic tasks without expecting the same from boys. One user shared a photo in the comments section stating that “cooking and cleaning is a basic life skill, not a gender role.”
Another user defended the singer and wrote, “People could have enjoyed this tweet but no, feminism had to come in. My 4-year-old boy makes paratha for his breakfast every day and it’s impossible to make him leave the kitchen”.
A netizen then attempted to explain the underlying issue and wrote, “Good for your 4-year-old but I didn’t see Abrar posting [a video of] him training his son to make rotis. His son probably wasn’t trained for that. Stop trying to make it seem like there isn’t a problem.”
However, several fans came to the Billo De Ghar crooner’s defense. A user wrote, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Abrar has posted. I also made a similar video of my daughter and shared with the family. [Now] before you jump to conclusions, I love to cook.”
Another fan stated that there was nothing wrong with a child wanting to imitate her mother, “Good for her. Making gol rotis is not oppression, unless imposed”.
It must be noted that the underlying argument here that has stemmed from the misleading tweet is that domestic tasks are part of life skills that everyone should be expected to learn rather than reinforcing it on women as has been the case all along owing to the patriarchal norms.
A netizen said that to “become independent individuals and not liabilities. At what age should they learn [them] is a debate we can have.”
Sociologist Nida Kirmani also commented on the matter, and reminded the singer that “For many South Asian feminists, making the perfect gol roti is symbolic of women’s oppression [because] it is the bar against [which] all women eventually get measured, regardless of their other skills and accomplishments. It is a monotonous task very rarely assigned to men.”
A user went on to asking Abrar if he had learnt how to make rotis too saying, “Hope your parents have trained you to make rotis that young as well. If not, they failed to teach you a basic survival skill.”
Another jibed, “Now if you can [also] make a gol roti, that would be great. Remember, cooking and cleaning is not haraam for men.”
One netizen simply wrote: “Train the boys too!” and we totally agree.
If the tweet had not been intended to reinforce patriarchal views, we hope Abrar clears the air and shares a video of himself or his son cooking or cleaning. If not, then maybe he could choose better words in the future to encourage parents to teach their children domestic tasks regardless of their gender.