If you’re desi (or friends with any desis), you most definitely know who ZaidAliT is. If you don’t, hello, welcome to the internet.
Zaid runs a wildly popular YouTube page in which he makes short videos that parody Desi culture. Some have a problem with this already; whether Zaid portrays Desis in a negative manner or not is up for debate. For what it’s worth, his heart is in the right place. It is evident that Zaid’s videos are a love letter to his Desi culture. It is, for the most part, lighthearted fun.
Occasionally, Zaid’s videos stagger into preachy territory. Take, for example, his “sisters are a blessing” video. Still, this sort of video doesn’t do much harm to anyone (unless you count bad videos as harm).
Recently, I was clicking around on his YouTube page and came across a video titled “If you’re a Girl, WATCH THIS!” So I did. And then wished I hadn’t.
Disclaimer: His video was published in April 2012, a little over two years ago, which some may argue disqualifies this video from scrutiny. However, to the best of my knowledge, Zaid has not apologized or retracted his comments. As far as I’m concerned, Zaid still stands by his comments. People are still viewing, commenting on, and sharing the video. Therefore, it still has weight and impact.
Here is the link to the video. Watch it and try not to break the nearest object. Let’s go through his statements, sentence by sentence.
1. “Girls, I respect you and everything, but there’s one thing about you I don’t understand.”
This is Zaid’s safety net. Whether he was self-aware or not, Zaid suspected people may accuse him of being a misogynist after seeing this video. Therefore, he mentions that he respects women. He’s only doing this because he respects us. What a good soul.
2. “Why is it that most girls on Facebook have pictures that are half-naked or have cleavage showing? And then you girls complain that there’s no nice guys in the world, ‘the only guys I can get are jerks, and all guys are jerks.’”
I don’t see the correlation between revealing photos and asshole guys yet, but it sounds like you’re about to tell me.
3. “If you’re gonna show your body, the only type of people you will attract are jerks. Cuz they’re gonna like you for your body, not your soul, your personality, or attitude.”
Here, Zaid explains that being physically attracted to someone means they’re a jerk. And women who show their body cannot display their soul, personality, or attitude. Probably on account of all that body that gets in the way. Damn you, female form.
4. “And I know I’m no one to judge…”
You’re right. You’re not. You should’ve just stopped there.
5. “…but if you wanna dress like that, then stop complaining about the fact that you can’t find any nice guys in this world.”
It’s a fact, nice guys are repulsed by the female body. They are only drawn to women whose souls shine through their baggy turtleneck sweaters.
6. “The only person you can blame for doing that is yourself.”
Or we can blame the thirsty men who blame women for their lack of self-control and objectify them to the point where they feel entitled to a woman’s body simply because she is showing it. Just an idea.
7. “Let’s say a guy did go on a date with you. All your profile pictures are of cleavage, or of your body showing, or half-naked. He’s not gonna take you to the movies.”
Good. Movie first dates are a bad idea anyway.
8. “He’s gonna take you to his bedroom. And in his bedroom, you’re not gonna play Mario Kart.”
Aw, but I’d been practicing.
9. “He’s gonna ask you to have sex with him.”
Woo! Consent! This doesn’t sound like a jerk!
10. “And then you say all guys want sex, but in general, it’s your fault.”
Unless you’re asexual, you want sex, regardless of gender. Also, see #6.
11. “Girls need to understand that guys will still like you even if you don’t post naked pictures, half-naked pictures, or pictures with your cleavage showing.”
Wow. Thanks, men of the world. You saw right through our scheme to honeypot you with our revealing Facebook photos, but I guess we can abort mission since we are secure in knowing you’ll still like us. Pack it up, ladies, we’ve been found out.
12. “There are nice guys out there.”
Oh, thank god. I thought I was gonna have to settle for that guy who didn’t play Mario Kart with me.
13. “And you also need to understand that the best curve on a girl’s body is her smile, the only makeup a girl should wear is her smile.”
14. “So next time, instead of taking a picture with your cleavage showing, try taking a picture with your face, and just smile.”
Smiling ain’t gonna cover the zit on my chin the way makeup can, homie.
15. “In general, what I’m trying to say is, put your boobs away, get your butt off the sink, put your middle finger down, smile, respect yourself, and see how many people respect you.”
Plot twist: all of those revealing middle finger photos were directed specifically at you, Zaid.
There we are. ZaidAliT in all his mansplaining glory. The comments on the video are pretty divided between those who believe he is perpetuating rape culture and those who believe Zaid is on point. Surprise, surprise, most of the former group is comprised of women, and the latter of men. There are a few outliers, though, mostly women who start their sentences with “I don’t understand girls who…”
As an Internet celebrity, your words carry weight. Zaid, go back to making somewhat funny videos about Desi moms and stop telling women how to live their lives. You said it best yourself – you are no one to judge.