A Muslim society that interprets feminism as anti-Islamic may not accept overtly feminist maneuvers to challenge patriarchy. However, there are subtle ways of steering out of the Islam vs. feminism dichotomy. What triggers anti-feminists are phrases like women’s rights, female emancipation, and women’s freedom since all these are interpreted as the agenda of the West and hence are considered anti-Islamic. In this paper, I argue that since feminists are fighting against all forms of oppression and have joined forces with other forms of activism such as child protection, human rights, animal rights, rights of the underclass and minority groups, and rehabilitation of runaways, exposing oppression and fighting against it should not be perceived as the agenda of the West. Television drama can be used as an effective medium to educate people along these lines. In this paper I use an Urdu drama serial Dil Na Ummeed To Nahi (The Heart Is Not Hopeless) written by Amna Mufti as a case to show (a) how various forms of oppression are connected and (b) how patriarchy that lies at the root of oppression can still be challenged without overt feminist activism in a Muslim society such as Pakistan where feminism is considered anti-Islam.
"The Heart Is Not Hopeless: Pakistani Television Drama, Patriarchy, and Activism,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss1/6