Home-makers or Home-breakers: Construction of Femininity in Pakistani Social Media Networks
Author(s) : Syeda Fatimah Farooq Fariah Farooq Khan & Shirin Zubair
This paper examines the misogynistic and patriarchal construction of Freidan’s concept of the ‘feminine mystique’ in Pakistani context. It critically evaluates the language of social media users which creates a dichotomy between the representation of women as angels or monsters. We conducted feminist critical discourse analysis of two events that took the social media by storm in 2020. The first controversy pertains to Uzma Khan, an actor who was abused for having an affair with a married man by his very affluent wife; the second is that of Sadaf Kanwal, an actor/model who came under intense scrutiny when she tied the knot with Shehroz Sabzwari, a recently-divorced actor. Our focus is on the symbolic violence and the character assassination which are the results of derogatory terms and labels given to the women. We illustrate that such symbolic representations about women who conform to the social norms construct them as homemakers and the ones who digress as home-breakers thus creating a clear bifurcation between women by labelling them as good or bad women.
Key Words: Home wreckers, homemakers, feminist critical discourse analysis, Pakistani social media