American journalist Cynthia Ritchie became the talk of town after pictures of her riding a bike in Peshawar went viral and subsequently swept in ample praises for her, but not everyone is happy.
The circulating images were quick to crown the foreign correspondent as a hero in the eyes of most Pakistanis for showing a ‘tolerant’ and ‘positive’ portrayal of the country but the other half was appalled at the ‘hypocritical’ behavior most Pakistani social media users exhibit when it involves a white woman.
The country’s renowned feminist collective Girls at Dhabas was the first to point the double standards by giving an example of the kind of backlash they receive from Pakistani men upon taking to the streets with their bikes and how the hate transcends into admiration when it involves a white woman.
“*White woman rides a cycle* Men: applause! Thank you for promoting positive image of Pakistan! *We hold a cycle rally* Men: Haraam! Is this what feminism has come to? Women should know their place!,” read their tweet.
Further questioning the hypocrisy, the handle questioned: “We want to ask the men who are lauding this picture: where are your qualms about feminism now? Or are you only threatened when one of us cycles on the streets or sits at a dhaba for a cup of chai?”
“The colonizers might have exited this country decades ago but our need to seek validation from them still hasn't left our veins,” they added.
Soon after, a huge number of netizens took cue:
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Prince William greeted the young heroes and congratulated them for their achievements.