“Marrd banein”, “aap ek chaar saal ki bachi nahee hein”, “mardaangi peida Karein” – some of the sexist & demeaning things I said to my 2:30 AM Pizza delivery guy to convince him to bring pizza inside as I held my barking & growling Pitbull back. Little did he know if he had simply come in calmly and had I let her go she would have just sniffed him and given him kisses
#smh #notaguarddog #narcothepitbull .
People Didn’t React The Way She’d Expected
Needless to say, Ushna’s act of blatant sexism wasn’t perceived well by the people of Pakistan. Here are a few tweets that expressed their views and concerns:
“As a delivery guy, I just want to say that it’s our job to deliver the food to your door, nothing more. A lot of people have dogs who start barking and come up and sometimes jump at the food which can damage the items, that is why we are so hesitant around them” – Glorified Mazdoor
“If I was in his place and had a growling pitbull and a not very nice lady in front of me, I’d feed the pizza to the dog and peace out” – Daanika Kamal
“Are you alright? You demeaned a person in the foodservice industry when they are already overworked and underpaid, shame on you.” – Atiya Abbas
“The second part of this story should be you going to find him at his workplace, apologize as you mean it preferably with a token of your regret, and never do anything like that ever again. And don’t subject anyone to your growling pitbull, imagine being on the other end of that.” – Issam Ahmed
“Delivery boys deliver food items or parcels outside the door. Ring the bell one has to go out to pick order. Never enter any house. Why did you call him in?” – Shafia Armaghan
What Ushna Had To Say
After the massive outcry on Twitter, where people called out Ushna Shah on her sexism, she tweeted her first clarification.
To everybody crying about my rant to the pizza guy. I was holding the dog. He refused to come in. The first ten minutes of “mera waada hei kuch nahi Hota”, “meina pakra hua hei issey please guzar jayein” “bahadur baneyin Shahbash” didn’t work. None of that encouragement worked. But as soon as his masculinity was challenged my pizza was inside. Says more about society then it does me.
Once again, no one on Twitter was having it.
“Honestly, not the delivery guy’s job to have to deal with pets. Inconsiderate and, frankly, elitist. You should have put the dog away before the guy showed up and had to be humiliated. I hope you tipped handsomely on account of this.” – Asad
“Says just as much about you as it does about society, actually.” – not ح
Final Clarification And Her Stance On Sexism
Finally, Ushna came out with a detailed apology/clarification and tried to make the best out of a rapidly deteriorating situation.
I’ve never been good at masking truths and pretending to be something I’m not. I do not condone using the “be a man” card. It was something I was not proud of that I resorted to at a desperate time. Once I said, “be a man” after many exasperated attempts to make him trust that I was strong enough to hold the dog. It worked.
Yes, it’s sexist. A desperate measure I used at a desperate time. Instinctively and desperately I resorted to the approach knowing it would work on a Pakistani man. Nobody is above it. Nobody is particularly proud of it either (I hope). Life here in these woke times is a series of hits and miss.
The idea of the tweet was to show that in this unfortunate world the only thing that could convince a boy to trust a girl holding back a dog (and yes his issue was that I was holding the dog, not the boy servant who normally does) was to use the masculinity trigger.
So my dear warriors of the twitter world, if what I tweet is not comprehensive to you and offends you, please, I beseech you. Unfollow. And if you care to understand the CONTEXT before spewing out your e-rage, follow away,
Are We Too Caught Up In Our Privilege To Understand What We’re Doing Wrong?
While I really appreciate Ushna Shah being vulnerable and putting herself out there for the people to judge, a few of her statements on sexism didn’t make a lot of sense.
The pitbull isn’t a guard dog (shes’s used the hashtag
#notaguarddog ). So there was no need for her to take it to the gate with her because it is not going to provide her protection in an adverse scenario.
Moreover, if she can see that someone isn’t comfortable in a situation (whatever their reasons might be), instead of egging them on, she could’ve #1: taken the pizza from him and taken it inside herself, #2: taken her dog inside/backyard and asked the pizza delivery guy to proceed with his job.
How We Can Be More Considerate To The People In The Service Sector
This recent scenario on sexism just highlights how we use our privilege in all the wrong ways. Yes, Ushna is a philanthropist and has done some charity work in the past, but does that justify her trying to make someone do something they don’t want to do. Because simply put, no means no and yes means yes.
Just because you’re paying for a service, and the delivery guy is a regular at your place, doesn’t mean that he’s obliged to follow a routine, He can change his mind whenever he wants to because you know, autonomy. It exists.
This recent fiasco has also made me reconsider my actions whenever I interact with people in the service sector. For example, if you got to a changing room, have the decency to hang the clothes back on the hanger, when you go to a salon and your hairdresser makes a mistake, take a second to hear them out before you complain to their superiors.
Always take the higher road and give people the room to improve. Period.
Areesha Khan harbours a burning passion for writing. This is what she has to say for herself:
I’m your average Pakistani Millennial who loves binge watching trash-TV. When I can, I try to widen my horizons and watch profound works of cinematography as well. In the wild, I can be found sniffing my weathered paperbacks. I regularly obsess over true crime (much to the chagrin of my friends) and love discussing it unprompted. I’m currently working on my undergrad and would love to have a profession in print media.
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