Rabia Butt Criticizes Harmful Stereotypes: ‘Crying Woman Sells,’ Blames Audience and Writers

Web DeskDecember 10, 20233705 min
Rabia Butt Criticizes Harmful Stereotypes: 'Crying Woman Sells,' Blames Audience and Writers

Pakistani actor and model Rabia Butt recently took a stand against the prevalent ‘damsel in distress’ trope during a panel discussion at a local university event. The Jeevan Nagar star criticized the common practice of depicting men cheating on their partners, arguing that this narrative often reinforces the portrayal of weak heroines.

She pointed out, “The hero typically has an extra-marital love interest,” before condemning portrayals that stigmatize strong women as morally questionable characters. Expressing surprise at the popularity of such depictions despite real-life examples of resilient women, Rabia emphasized, “Our mothers are so strong, they’ve got all of us on our toes.”

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However, she acknowledged that these stories are not the sole property of an individual but are products of a systemic issue. Rabia questioned, “Who writes these stories? You can’t pin this on directors solely or production houses. Writers pen these stories. Everyone has done their part [in encouraging these stories].”

Rabia placed responsibility on the audience, making such exploitative narratives profitable for showrunners. She argued, “The audience who continues to watch is also culpable. If a drama is made featuring a strong woman and ends up being a flop, why would the production house deliberately risk loss?” The actor highlighted the industry’s tendency to cater to what sells, stating, “The crying woman sells. This is why production houses adapt such stories. And how does this sell? Because people watch this.” Rabia boldly declared, “People lie when they say they want something else. They don’t. They want the same old beaten and downtrodden woman who cries to herself in her room alone.”

This isn’t the first time Rabia has advocated for better portrayals of women on screen. In her role as a female police officer in the mini-series Gunah, she delved into the character’s consciousness, shedding light on the challenges faced by women in a male-dominated society. In an Instagram post, she emphasized her responsibility as an actress to address the harsh realities of a society that often fails to recognize women’s true potential.

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