When Pakistani writer Zahra Haider wrote for Vice magazine about her premarital sexual adventures as a teenager in Islamabad, social media had a lot to say.
Haider, who is now in her twenties, relocated to Canada shortly before her nineteenth birthday. She stated that she utilized hotel rooms for her liaisons and that when her parents learned about them, they “threw a very ridiculous and histrionic tantrum.”
Her story has been shared thousands of times and has sparked an outpouring of controversy. Some objected to her assertion that Pakistan had one of the world’s “largest pornographic viewing populations” and that Pakistanis were “horny and thirsty for sex.” Others seized on her statement that she had intercourse with “almost a dozen people as a teenager in Islamabad.
Ali Moeen Nawazish, a journalist, criticized Haider in an open letter on Facebook that was posted over 6,000 times for casting “cultural judgments” on Pakistanis. According to Nawazish, there is no “evidence to support (Haider’s) allegation that Pakistan is the world’s most pornographic country or that Pakistanis are sexually inhibited.” He continued by stating that Haider’s experience as a member of Pakistan’s “elite” is not representative of the experiences of other Pakistani women.
However, other social media users in Pakistan were encouraging.
Haider explained to Trending that she authored the post to promote more open sex talk.
“For instance, I received a message from a Pakistani man who recently lost his brother to Aids. He stated that his brother had obvious embarrassment when addressing his sexuality. According to the man, he died because his brother did not understand what was happening to his body.”