Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

To watch the video on Youtube click here.

She came into our lives and our living rooms guns blazing, breaking the tradition and expectation of silence. Tehmina Durrani is one of the most powerful feminine and feminist voice in Pakistan today and she gives us her view on men and women, society, traditions and culture.

Interview by: Mehar Khursheed/Dawn.com

For more on Karachi Literature Festival, click on the link: http://dawn.com/karachi-literature-festival/

Email



Comments (22) Closed



Ali Junaid Ahmad Feb 21, 2013 11:34am
She hasn't truly embraced her feminine or feminist self - if she had then (a) her focus in this video, as it is clearly obvious, would not be trying to look good for the camera but to give credible sounding answers - the styling, smiling and profiling reek of flirtatious disingenuouity; and (b) she wouldn't have had (expensive and botched?!) plastic surgery. Surely those cheek bones and lips do not at all look natural and in no way match up with her picture on the cover of My Feudal Lord. The reasons why most women would chose to get themselves surgically re-constructed is because they, at some deeper primeval level, truly despise themselves and TD is no exception. She is no champion of women's rights, so move on ladies!
Pro Truth Feb 22, 2013 12:24am
She may have done some work with Mussarat Misbah on burnt women and later fallen out of her. But I am sorry a woman who has habit and hunger for men in power and not even minding becoming nth wife of these men, doesnt go well when trying to make women equal to men! She married to ex governor and chief minister Mustafa Khar and wrote her book about his treatment of women. After divorcing him, she yet again married and became 2nd or 3rd wife of another Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif! so story of women equal rights doesnt go very well with such women. I dont see any revolution here!
Amir Feb 22, 2013 03:58am
Why does she need to embrace your version of a woman as being feminine? Who are you to say how she should behave? Who died and made you king? I don't know what women you associate with, but when my mother smiles at me I don't feel she is flirting with me. I feel sorry for your mother. Just on face value I bet she is easier on the eyes than yourself. Try reading her book instead of just looking at cover picture, you are over focusing on her face. It seems you have an uncontrollable problem with how a woman looks. I really feel sorry for your mother. Any person that has the courage to speak out in a male-oriented society that spawned the likes of you is a true champion and exceptional. Walk a day in her shoes and you will be humbled.
Ali Feb 22, 2013 08:12am
Mr.Hasnain, all you have is a mere copy cat label; your ad hominem attack is typical for those who lack intellectual gravitas.
Sam Feb 21, 2013 07:06am
This is a woman who left her own two year old daughter to hook up with a misogynistic, seven-times married man...a man whose mistreatment of women has been well known far and wide. Not only that, she actually went out of her way to politically support this man's agenda for many, many years. If Tehmina Durrani is a 'feminist', then it is because she ended up getting the short-end of the bargain once her then husband ditched her for a newer model. Give me a break!
Ishtiaq Gondal Feb 22, 2013 07:33am
Well, she has highlighted a very fundamental issue that we are facing in our life, the place of women in society under the teachings of religion, and she has explained it beautifully through the analogy of Edhi and by emphasizing Ijtihad.
Jamshed Khan Feb 21, 2013 08:51am
Wow, an eye opener. I don't know this woman (seriously). That tells you how media can make one look 'good' or 'bad'. Never believe in anything that appears in the newspapers.
Red Feb 21, 2013 09:02am
Clearly you have not read her book.
Mohammad Feb 21, 2013 09:35am
^ this is the reason this woman has been revolutionary. Because even now one is ostracized and alienated for embracing her rights and sexuality.
Hayden Feb 21, 2013 09:46am
Is not all evolution a learning process? She began to fight for the injustices that women have to face everyday because SHE had to face them. She grew as a person because of her terrifying but all too familiar experiences. This comment thread right here is simply another face of misogyny. Burn her at stake because she owned herself and doesnt owe you.
Sam Feb 22, 2013 07:08am
Born with a silver spoon in her mouth (her family used to vacation in Spain), disowning her two year old daughter to hook up with the most notorious chauvinistic politician in Pakistan, and then living off the millions provided by the late Agha Hassan Abedi is not exactly the mark of a revolutionary. She is no feminist or revolutionary..simply an overtly opportunistic upper class Pakistani lady who is, now, married for a third time to yet another anti-woman politician. Pakistan has plenty of genuine revolutionaries and champions of women's rights like Asma Jehangir, Hina Jilani, and even DAWN's own Bina Shah, women who have had the integrity to hold on their struggles valiantly without a care for themselves. As for Ms Durrani..she is just looking for the next story and the next powerful man to take care of her: not a feminist...and definitely not a revolutionary..at least in normal parlance.
Shruti Feb 23, 2013 12:59am
Can you talk more about her content than trying to make lame objects like 'Since-she-tries-to-look-pretty-she-sure-must-not-be-an-honest-person'!! Oh of-course, when in front of camera we must try to look as trashy as we can or else we are just lying! That is as lame (read illogical) as it can get!!
Hammad Feb 21, 2013 12:17pm
Genetic memory of women being inferior? Excuse me??
Shruti Feb 23, 2013 01:07am
You sound like a man who has problem with women who like to look pretty!! And you would mistrust them!! Is that because pretty women don't give you attention?? Cause that happens to a lot of men, y'know :P On a serious note, I would request you to try and change your philosophy. Looking good has nothing to do with a person's intellect/philosophies/opinions. People can be both smart and pretty! And everybody (man and woman) wants to look the best they can. If you don't, that either because you've given up on trying to look good or because it's imposed on you culturally as a negative value (a vice).
mohammad shafique Feb 21, 2013 03:04pm
very commonplace observations, nothing deep or insighful
Ghulam Hussain Feb 21, 2013 06:31pm
Tehmina has every right to follow the dictates of her heart and mind. She spoke her mind thru her books. How many of you can dare do this and with style ? I have great respect for her.
Hasnain Haque Feb 21, 2013 08:00pm
Mr Ali you sound like a typical male chauvanist Pakistani, the kind of people Tehmina is talking about.
ali Feb 21, 2013 09:18pm
I can't understand what gives people of our sub-continent inherited right to jump in to get away with conclusions based on their judgements. first off - she was married when she was 17, now most of the people know that in this system a girl would marry at this age only at the persuasion of her parents. she definitely had gone with pain to leave her only child with that man and then got married to Khar. Logically, Khar's past shouldn't have given him authority/right/excuse/rationality to behave the same way as he did before (and then what do we even know of TD knowing Khar's past behavior with her ex-wives, who knows she believed of Khar being the victim himself of his family, or perhaps a thought of her being the truest love in Khar's life, as with even the most violent people like Hitler won't have thought of doing that level of violence she faced on Eva Braun and history is full of violent men with most fragile corner for their significant others). Now on her journey with Shahbaz Sharif - I don't know, How should we then again jump to the conclusion? We know that he is corrupt, but Aren't we all? when was the last time you obeyed the traffic laws by halting yourself on the signal or stopping to give the pedestrians right to cross the road or filed your tax returns or not bribed the traffic wardens and police officials and tax and custom collectors and the list goes on... sure he is not in the capacity of enjoying the same perks being public personality and nor should Ms. Durrani should but then again how much we know about that? A person's life is influenced by his partner but doesn't necessarily make him/her loose his/her principles (and given TD's history its explicit that she would have even left sharif if she smelled something of her past coming from him). Now, powerful people find powerful people to mate up with, work with (for getting assurances of social and cultural security, specially women like TD in our society having played the role of so called betrayer to Khar), so I see no problem with that. Lastly, about her plastic surgery, Its Your Opinion (Your Illiterate, Jumping to Conclusions Opinion) that a man won't look like a man if he starts to pump in iron at the gym or take steroids to look good, or a women can't use cosmetics or use surgery to reinstate their past appearance, history is full of famous and intellectual people who don't maintain their bodies to show off but for themselves and their families. By your analogy a person should jump into bed right after dinner and start oozing out gases, because hey, it feels confident; or gain up a weight because well after all the purpose is to full the belly, or going on without skin protection out in 50C because well who cares if we get cancer from UV, atleast we can say that we didn't use the cosmetics and wanted to look like rough-grouph confident Cowboys/girls we must look all the time!! get out of your little cocoon and stop judging people, if you were so talented it would have been you sitting on her place giving answers to the interviewer not her, go ahead and write the book of her caliber or even start working like her if you think you have the guts and she is all but hypocrite.
ali Feb 21, 2013 09:28pm
its something scientifically proved... people get tendencies to behave a certain way when some particular situation arise. some people take stuborness from their mothers and some from their fathers, its technically sound opinion that a female gender would take away much from her mother in the womb than its male counterpart. hence if mother is suppressed and feels that she is inferior human being, she'll communicate it to the baby still in her stomach unconsciously - the mind connection is one of the strongest at some periods between the baby and the mother during pregnancy - its one of the challenges to prove however in the field of modern psychology but still is considered the strongest plausible answer to this question.
ali Feb 21, 2013 09:30pm
well why should then you bothered to write your reply here? internet is full of videos with the people saying utter common sense which people take as common sense and common sense is always taken for granted...
ali Feb 21, 2013 09:31pm
thanks for writing some sanity...
Pierce Bracula Feb 21, 2013 09:54pm
There is only one negative dogma. "No Intolerance." Intolerance is something which belongs to those religions we have rejected.... now that there no longer is not, and can no longer be, an exclusive national religion, all religions which themselves tolerate others can be tolerated, provided only that their dogmas contain nothing contrary to the duties of the citizen. But anyone, man or woman, who dares to say "outside the religious order there is no salvation" should be expelled from the state. "People that live in glass houses, shouldn't throw rocks." Stereotyping both "men" and "women" is easy. Ms. Durrani is unaware of what it feels to be a woman of little or no means considering she herself belongs to the leading family of the Punjab and Pakistan being the grandniece of Sir Sikander Hyat Khan, the late Premier Punjab and founding father of Pakistan who is a world renowned figure for his efforts to implement communal harmony, evident in his words of the Lahore (Pakistan) Resolution that he drafted and for which he was subsequently buried at the footsteps of the very Badshahi Mosque that he helped restore after the Sikhs were deposed. Islam, religious tolerance and human rights run deep in the veins of The Hyat Family of Wah. Adorned in pearls and fine garb to talk about women's rights makes for good formal room chitchat, however, it behooves Ms. Durrani prior to leading any type of 'revolution,' to first step out of the Governor Punjab's mansion and go live with the women she speaks of, for say, three years at a stretch. Ms. Durrani, as you know, "compassion" is a learned behavior. Perhaps you can lead and show us how to be a compassionate people first, then let's talk about Human Rights ?