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Twitter cancels PPP leader Nabil Gabol for shocking rape analogy



Fatima Bhutto and Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari have condemned the “misogynistic” and “filthy” analogy about rape made by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Nabil Gabol during an interview.

During the session on a YouTube channel, the interviewer remarked that political parties had been “used” by only to be discarded. He then asked Gabol whether it was an issue.

Gabol replied: “I will answer this with an English proverb. When rape is imminent, just enjoy it.”

The interviewer responded that there was no such proverb, but Gabol insisted: “Yes there is.”

He further went on to explain: “If you have the tolerance for it and if your body can endure it, you should. But if you have any dignity, you will speak up against it. I don’t believe in the claim that someone is being forced. Even if you are being forced, you must stand your ground.”

The video surfaced recently, leading to collective outrage from people across the country.

Social media users could not hold back their horror and shock as they struggled to understand the nuances of the analogy, its context, and the offhand-ish way the statement was made are numerous.

Among those who have condemned the statement are Bakhtawar — daughter of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto — and Fatima Bhutto — daughter of Murtaza Bhutto.

Taking to Twitter, Bakhtawar wrote: “His (repulsive) rhetoric belongs to his individual only & is in no way a representation of our party. In case it wasn’t already abundantly obvious- we absolutely & unequivocally stand for the rights & protection of women. Misogyny has no space in our religion nor our party.”

Whereas, Fatima said: “Utter filth. Nabil Gabol exposes the absolute criminal mindset of Sindh’s government. He has done nothing for Lyari, for the people he supposedly represents, and laughs while talking of such violence. Horrendous.”

Twitter reacts

However, the Bhutto women are not the only ones perplexed. Here are some other responses to Gabol’s statement.

1. ‘Deeply troubling’

Lawyer and women’s rights activist Nighat Dad also condemned the remark.

“Deeply troubling and unacceptable for politicians like Nabeel Gabol to make light of rape. Such behavior is not only insensitive and offensive but also perpetuates harmful and dangerous attitudes towards sexual violence,” she wrote.

2. ‘Filthy’

3. ‘Unsurprising’

Final take

Of the many serious matters that get treated as a joke in this country, one that people — especially women — can no longer bear with is rape. From the women chanting at the Aurat March rallies to those struggling in their homes, incessantly and emphatically women have said: Rape is no joke.

However, in this case, as in countless others, the surprise is that there is no surprise. A quick Twitter search will reveal that this is not the first time Gabol has come under fire for such a remark.

Previously, he has been called out on social media for making statements with sexual innuendoes when speaking of women politicians and for joking about abducting women.

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