Zainab Abbas was the subject of a lot of media attention a few days ago when her interview with Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Rizwan went viral. In a clip, the cricketer was seen looking uncomfortable because of which he kept looking down, so Zainab decided to stand behind him to continue the interview.
Pakistani sports journalist Zainab Abbas during a sports ceremony interviewed different Pakistani cricketers.
While approaching Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Rizwan, she realized that the pious cricketer usually avoids making eye contact with female journalists.👇
— Komail Ahmad Muaviah (@KomailMuavia313) January 20, 2022
When the clip reached Twitter, some users lauded the professional attitude and respect displayed by the sports journalist
Zainab Abbas during the PCB awards realised Rizwan wasn’t comfortable with her standing in front so she decided to conduct his interview from the back
Great presence of mind and a hallmark of a true professional pic.twitter.com/m1jGxiWbSP
— Ammar. (@Ammar_AliKhan) January 17, 2022
Other women tweeted that the act shown by Zainab Abbas represented the misgoynist attitude shown towards women journalists, and how they are made to deal with demeaning attitudes of men who refuse to answer their questions and also often create unsafe environments for women.
This user tweeted how men often disguise their respect in the form of misogyny, by refusing to get interviewed by women in a professional setting, and which further makes it difficult for women to do their jobs without facing barriers
Idk about others but not considering women worthy of civil interaction(s) in a professional setting is deeply disrespectful. Goes for all orthodox beliefs. I mean why are you unable to civilly interact with a person who happens to be a woman who’s just trying to do her job?
— FM (@fatimah_withanH) January 19, 2022
Other women journalists shared their own experiences of facing issues like this while working. Journalist and radio host Sabah Bano Malik shared her own experience of being ignored by men while trying to interview them for a subject
I’ve been on a report where a man straight up would not respond to me and would look at my camera man only to not only answer but FIRST have him repeat what was said so there was no him ever speaking to me, even through a third party. it was so degrading!!!
— Sabah Bano Malik (@sabahbanomalik) January 19, 2022
Many other women shared their own instances of interactions with men who refuse to look them in the eye or listen to what they want to say, and pointed out how this treatment reduces them down to sexual objects rather than human beings
Rizwan being unable to talk to Zainab reminds me of my mechanic who can’t even look at me, let alone say two sentences even when I keep asking, and does whatever the fuck he wants to my car 😭
— Lexus LS 460 (@ranaslander) January 20, 2022
Writer Tazeen shared how Zainab Abbas’ actions weren’t exemplary or worthy of being applauded, but actually revealed how difficult it was for women to be taken seriously as journalists in a professional environment. She tweeted that such an action further fuels the misogynist narrative that men cannot control their actions when they see a woman in front of them, and also blames the woman for seducing the man
It feels like Zainab Abbas set a new & regressive benchmark for other women in her field, because the applause she’s getting for this absolutely unnecessary act means others who won’t do the same in future might be shamed or judged.
— T a z e e n تزئین (@tazeen) January 20, 2022
Do you think that what Zainab Abbas did was exemplary or do you agree with other women that this was a misogynist action? Do let us know in the comments!