KARACHI: In a recent turn of events, actor Ushna Shah landed in hot waters after her tweet regarding a few ‘sexist’ and ‘demeaning’ comments she made to a delivery guy went viral.
“‘Be a man, you are not a 4-year-old girl, kindly be masculine,’ 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 Pit bull back.”
While users kept on bashing her in response to the odd yet confusing post, the actor did not refrain from writing essays to defend herself, even though she was the first one to call her own comments sexist and demeaning. The Bashar Momin actor later pointed out that she only tweeted about it to have a conversation regarding how ‘society functions on demeaning comments.’
Her initial tweet was followed by another one where she added that her dog would have only sniffed and kissed the man had he walked inside calmly in the first place.
…(cont) 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
Following this, Twitter did not let her sleep as users repeatedly asked her to go and apologise to the person who is probably underpaid and already overworked by delivering her pizza post-midnight, without wanting to have his masculinity tested.
More comments poured in as people realised the celebrity was speaking from a higher pedestal, where she was indifferent to the problems and mindsets of a lower/middle-class person, and refused to empathise with someone who was simply afraid of dogs without meaning any harm to them.
One user actually called her a fascist for her derogatory remarks, adding that it was not her challenge to his masculinity which brought him inside, rather it was her class and power, along with his will to do his job.
While another pointed out as to why the celebrity could not go outside and get the pizza herself, rather than playing ‘be a man’ card.
The backlash was bad enough, but not good enough for the actor who refused to understand what the issue was about.
She continued to refer to everyone’s concerns as ‘crying’, not much different than Priyanka’s ‘Are you done venting?’ and suggested that she was holding the dog for his safety, regardless of which he refused to come in.
“To everybody crying about my rant to the pizza guy. I was holding the dog. He refused to come in.”
She further added that she resorted to the mean and sexist comments when nothing else worked and she was ‘desperate’. However, the moment his ‘masculinity was challenged’ was when the delivery person walked inside. ‘It says more about society then it does about me,’ concluded the actor without realising that she is also a part of the society she so easily excluded herself from.
“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 [sic].”
The star did not just stop there. She continued to pen detailed justifications of what she said, why she said it, claiming that it was her ‘instinct which provoked her into hitting below the belt, as the man was a ‘Pakistani.’
“My tweet was followed by 3 or 4 tweets, but no one retweeted those because explanations don’t sell. I do not condone to using the “be a man” card. It was something I was not proud of that I resorted to at a desperate time. The fact that my comments were the only thing that worked, made me want to discuss it publicly…I was holding the dog for a good ten minutes and the boy wouldn’t trust me, Instinctively and desperately I resorted to that approach, knowing that it would work on a ‘Pakistani’ man, it was an instinct we all have in our patriarchal society.”
5 paragraphs instead of apologizing to that underpaid pizza delivery guy https://t.co/7XDWNWJlSj
— I am Po (@Mughallol) October 14, 2019
You thought Ushna was just ordering pizza at 230am while holding a snarling pitbull. In fact she was serving epic commentary on gender norms and reclaiming space by…*checks notes*…telling the delivery guy to “be a man”.
Ye baatein tum poors ki samajh mein nahin anay wali. https://t.co/wEqmgK5dcE
— Ali (@themaholupper) October 14, 2019
You literally just made it a MILLION times worse 🤦 https://t.co/8fgUieHfAv
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) October 14, 2019
Lol acha masla maloom kiya ha, she doesn’t understand, in fact, she is frustrated that the awam doesn’t accept her right to be a sexist because of the situation she was in. https://t.co/dTtQCJthoS
— Waqas Habib Rana (@waqas464) October 14, 2019
Nevertheless, social media is clearly not buying any of her clarifications.