Knowing that Sana Bucha is one of my favourite TV anchors, my mother sent me a link to Maheen Ghani’s interview with Sana Bucha for Newsline Magazine. As a young woman who aspires to have an impact on the world, I see her as something of a role model. Yes, I read the fashion and entertainment news also, but what inspires me about Sana is that she reports on serious topics and does not allow herself to be limited by gender stereotypes. I was excited to read the interview, but while I was reading it, my heart sank. Not because of what Sana said, but because of what Maheen asked.
Sana did a great job of explaining that professional and successful women are not some Western creation, either, but come from all parts of society. She also explained that just because talk shows were mostly hosted by men, she did not accept that it was out of her reach to be a successful host herself only because she is a woman.
I have never really thought ‘I’m not a man, therefore, I can’t do something.’ Actually, in our society, there are many fields more dominated by women than men. There is a perception, for example, that modelling is a women’s profession, not a man’s.
As I said, the interview was inspiring me. But then the question came that made my heart sink.
Q: You have covered some extremely emotional stories like the one on the Sialkot lynching. Being a woman anchor, was it difficult for you to hold your emotions in check or did you manage to keep your cool?
Being a woman anchor…? Why would it be any more difficult for a woman anchor to hold back her emotions or manage to keep her cool than a man anchor? In the midst of an inspiring interview about how women can break down the barriers of sexism, up comes an age old sexist stereotype that women are “emotional” and can’t keep their cool in difficult situations. It’s not just women, however, who sometimes let their emotions get the better of them. Actually, looking at high profile journalists, is it really the women who lose their cool?
Since Twitter has gained popularity, many high profile journalists have joined and use the social media site daily. These guys have filled their Twitter feeds with petty gossips, insults, and emotional rants. Following some of our more prominent men TV anchors on Twitter is like having a never ending live feed of a Star Plus drama. Seriously, some moustaches will never be full enough to fully hide the phappay kutnis underneath.
Meanwhile, woman journalists on Twitter like Sana Bucha and Ayesha Tammy Haq have Twitter feeds that are informative. Where some of the men are re-Tweeting trolls and other juvenile insults, the women are debating and educating. Isn’t that what journalism is supposed to be about?
And it’s not just Twitter, either. Watch a few episodes of some of the talk shows hosted by men and see how often they turn into emotional shouting matches. Maybe we should be asking why these men cannot control themselves and behave in a professional way.
Thankfully, after the question about whether Sana could control her emotions, the interview got back to important questions about journalism and the struggles of a woman in a field dominated by men. Women have a lot to contribute to whatever career we choose, but we still have a lot of stereotypes to overcome while we do it. Thankfully, young women like myself have role models like Sana Bucha who refuse to be intimidated by these stereotypes.