Celebs lash out at Sadaf Kanwal for saying ‘Our husbands are our culture’
Sadaf Kanwal is a Pakistani supermodel turned actress who has received the Lux Style Award for Best Emerging Talent (2015) and won for Model of the Year (2019). She tied the knot with Shahroz Sabzwari (after his divorce from Syra Yousuf) last year on May 31st, 2020. The couple has appeared on many TV shows after their marriage, however, Sadaf became an internet sensation after her interview went viral on social media where she told the host that she feels the obligation to put her husband’s shoes and clothes in place. She further said that “our husbands are our culture.”
People who had previously referred to her as a “home-wrecker” or “fahaash” (vulgar) dubbed her “Pakistan’s greatest bhabhi” after her statements in this interview.
Sabeeka Imam, an actor and model, posted a tweet on Twitter. “When you don’t know the definition of feminism, start rambling about ironing your husband’s clothes. EPIC!”
She further added, “There is nothing wrong with ironing clothes and picking up socks. Every human has their own way of expressing love. But a woman’s world does not begin and end there, as opposed to what Mrs Sabzwari has portrayed.”
People may have become “allergic” to the term “feminist,” she continued, but this is only because of “misleading ideas.” She also posted on Instagram stories.
Mathira, a TV personality, also rushed to Instagram to criticise the model. She wrote “Seriously, there are also women who run the house like single moms. When will we understand that there is no competition between a man and woman? If they are together, they should be side by side not above or below. If a man takes care of the family, that’s good, bless him. But being a housewife is also a full-time job. Also, if some men are good, others are toxic. If one is blessed with a good man, she should not speak for all the women, she should speak for herself!”
The renowned social media personality Dananeer Mobeen was likewise frightened to witness “women of such power and prominence talking like this.” Dananeer reiterated Sadaf’s words, saying, “I should know everything about what my husband needs and wants but he doesn’t have to?’ You’re his wife, not his maid! Both of you should be aware of each other’s needs and wants. And please, stop using the term ‘feminism’ in such a derogatory manner, as if it’s some ‘yahoodi saazish’. It’s meant to help women get their basic rights and a voice, God!”
On that note, the controversy was created when she easily ignored the problems of single women, single moms, and divorced women in this harsh society when she linked “culture” to her husband and his demands. Is a woman inherently an outcast if she does not have a male companion, either by choice or due to adversity? When people with social power, such as Sadaf, who is a woman, normalizes this narrative, it has a dangerous impact on the lives of ordinary Pakistani women who have little or no autonomy or agency in their private lives, which are dominated by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and even patriarchal mothers. Sadaf, who understands nothing about feminism, insults it by dismissing it as a “liberal” issue. Does she not remember the liberal environment in which she thrived and benefited throughout her modelling career? No one is questioning Sadaf’s decision to stay at home with her husband, but by implying that this is all there is to a woman’s life, she is prolonging and justifying the misery that many women in Pakistan already suffer.
As a result, the outrage that has erupted in response to her interview is purely due to her speech concealing her privilege, and she talks without comprehending the implications of her story on the existing patriarchal livelihoods that women are a part of. Shehroze Sabzwari recently came into her defence and fueled the fire by stating that Sadaf has not said anything wrong and females try to promote vulgarity under the umbrella of feminism.
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