Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pakistan's New Sex Talk-Show is Shitty & Dangerous.

There has been a lot of talk about a new 'call-in sex/health show' in Pakistan....liberal Pakistanis are quick to praise it as a step forward because it is willing to field questions about taboo subjects, like sex. Hold your horses.....think about it for a second.

This is the exact opposite of the step forward you are looking for. It is a vehicle to further perpetuate the misogynistic and religion based BS that our culture is rife with. It is in fact, a more effective way to spread religiously biased medical misinformation. And that thought frightens me. Things couldn't get much worse in Pakistan, regarding sexual misinformation.

In a country where I am sometimes feuding with doctors, yes real doctors, who take exception to me promoting vile vessels of immorality/promiscuity, such as contraception...where some women approach me with pride, telling me they are not like the 'sluts' who enjoy sex, they are good, moral, religious women...who don't feel arousal. A nation where major condom companies prescribe who is 'allowed' to use their condoms (*Married* heteros of course!)


From: http://www.greenstar.org.pk/Condoms.html

... where teenage boys are constantly told that masturbation will sap their body of energy and they will become weak and unable to perform daily tasks...This is not a place that is ready to dispense unbiased medical advice. Giving sexuality a platform in Pakistani mass media sounds like a great thing in theory. However, in reality it won't quite work out like that. We are still governed by religion, doctors will look to religion before science when they have to answer such questions... and *that* is where the problem lies. When religion is misogynistic, homophobic, allows things like polygamy to happen... how can any sex advice be given? The possibilities are alarming as fuck (no pun intended).

For example, what happens when someone calls in and asks if their daughter who has just hit puberty at 12 is ready for marriage? I cringe at what this 'doctor' would have to say... and it's not entirely his fault either... if he said or did anything that was perceived as contradictory to Islamic advice, he would be killed himself.

Lets look at an example quoted by the BBC article on this show:


/"I have developed that habit," says a reluctant female caller. "I think I am gaining weight because of it. How can I stop it?" she asks.
Dr Nadeem Siddiqui, the consultant who hosts the show, usually has to ask callers multiple follow-up questions to pin down the problem.
In this instance, Dr Siddiqui stares blankly at the camera for a while and then asks the caller to explain her question.
"I have developed that sex habit, you know, with a finger. I want to stop. Is there a medicine for it?" she asks in a hushed tone.
Now, most of the time Dr Siddiqui gives sensible suggestions to his callers. But every now and then, he goes off track.
After an uncomfortable pause, and a disapproving sigh, the good doctor has this advice for the female caller: "You should pray five times a day, refrain from watching inappropriate content on internet and read religious literature. You will be alright."/
******
THIS IS NOT SOUND MEDICAL ADVICE... not at all. Prescribing religious literature and prayer should honestly have a doctor stripped of his medical license.... Religious literature is not a medical solution to anything...and lets not ignore the demonization of a natural human process like masturbation. FFS. And weight gain does not occur from masturbation. (unless you have given up moving, because you're masturbating that much...)
It's no secret that Pakistani medical professionals are usually influenced by their religious and cultural beliefs, they are judgemental and not easy to approach when discussing something that could be perceived as 'immoral' culturally/religiously...
This is why I get countless emails in my inbox that I am not qualified to deal with. Because people rarely come across anyone they can speak to for objective medical advice about sex. I am not a doctor, I will repeat, so unfortunately I cannot help you when it comes to bumps and STDs - but if the other option is this religiously inclined sex & health talk show....then I don't think its much better, to be honest.  Try to seek out some actual, professional medical advice. Which is a tall order, I know... :/ 
Here's another quote from the article, that gets to the crux of the issue:
/After the show, I asked the doctor about his controversial advice.
"I can't be seen to be doing anything against Islam, or it would cause trouble," he said.
And therein lies the problem. While the show is giving people a rare chance to speak up about their repressed health issues, the quality of advice they may be getting remains questionable.
"Most doctors in Pakistan are not competent to tackle sexual health issues," says Dr Javed Usman, a family physician at the Dr Ziauddin Medical Hospital in Karachi.
"Our medical curriculum doesn't really address the subject. So invariably, what you end up with are doctors applying value judgements based on their own cultural and religious beliefs, not medical knowledge."/
*****
'Questionable' is an understatement - dangerous is more like it. 
I remember coming across a Muslim American website that discusses love and sexuality. "Great." I thought to myself... "Muslims definitely need a forum for this." 
Then I saw that an 'unmarried' girl who talked about experiencing arousal, and not knowing what to do with such feelings...was told to find a spouse immediately. They basically just stopped short of telling her to marry the next guy she came across. 
Again, this is the worst advice ever. 
I feel great despair...I am always working in the opposite direction to such things. And such things are given wider platforms than I could ever dream of. Because I am the enemy, naturally (employed by Israel to single handedly destroy the moral fibre of our great land).
It seems like a losing battle... please, please...be wary of praising such efforts. In fact do your part in calling them out. Spreading incorrect information about sexual health in Pakistan only serves to further oppress women and children...it gambles with the heath, and therefore lives, of many. 
Health TV's Faizan Syed: If you'd like to have a chat about how you can possibly improve your problematic sex/health talk-show, give me a shout: nicemangosDOTblogATgmailDOTcom - I'm no doctor, but I can do better than prescribe prayer for masturbation. 
And sorry, Dr. Nadeem Siddiqui and Ziauddin Hospital - it is NOT ok to spread false and problematic information about sexual health. I understand your predicament, people could probably burn your studio down for accurate medical advice. But then, isn't it better to just leave these questions off air? Rather than endorse this bizarre religious way of thinking...are you a man of science or are you selling snake oil?

3 comments:

  1. They are not ready for sensible sex talk. Put a proper sex show on for the public consumption and the place would go up in flames (maybe literally, they do have nukes and a half hour talk on female erogenous zones might incite someone to push the button). They are 110 years behind us. Look at this advice from 1894. Its where they are at now. http://www.feministezine.com/feminist/historical/Good-Wifes-Guide.html

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  2. Hello there!

    I have an avid reader of your blog from a long time, and at the age of 27 I have about 10 years experience of "myth busting" when it comes to sexuality and related subjects. There are no words to describe the sheer ignorance our people have.

    But recently I have developed some serious concerns, especially after the recent political events I realized that the younger generation thinks that they have some sort of right to break all social and even legal codes. That is fine, as far as being a young and energetic mind is concerned, yes that is what I have been trying to tell my friends too, have a good time! But, when you couple ignorance with such belligerence, the results are nothing short of catastrophic. It is a very delicate situation this 50% of our nation is in at the moment, that is youth, and having their minds clouded with crap is going to cause some serious social issues in the next decade. Thing here will get much worse than in India, frustration will manifest its ugly head very soon, and I just pray that our youth does not become a ticking time bomb.

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