In light of the recent accusation of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar by Meesha Shafi, there is a lot of debate around who might be right. There are thousands of people encouraging Meesha for speaking up, not just for herself but for the many young women and men who suffer at the hands of powerful people taking an advantage of their position to sexually exploit them. Many are bashing Meesha and indulging in victim-blaming as a means to shut down the very important conversation that Meesha’s public statement has started.
Ali Zafar has denied the allegation and informed people that he would take Shafi to court because, according to him, this was done out of personal vendetta against him
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) April 19, 2018
However, Meesha Shafi opening up about her experience has prompted more women to come forward with their own experience with Ali Zafar
Here's a thread of all the brave women coming forward with stories of harassment that involve Ali Zafar:
— Faizan ?️? (@merabichrayaar) April 19, 2018
One of these people is Humna Raza, an Instagram influencer and blogger, and here is what she had to say
She had a similar experience with the superstar and came out in support of Meesha, despite knowing the victim shaming mentality of the society.
@itsmeeshashafi you’re not alone. Please read this. #metoo @merabichrayaar @HaadeaP pic.twitter.com/3KzIenHnQn
— Humna Raza (@HumnaRaza) April 19, 2018
The second woman who came forward is Maham Javaid who is a journalist and knows someone who was harassed by Ali Zafar
She narrates the story of her cousin whom Ali Zafar tried to push into a washroom with him.
So @itsmeeshashafi's brave sharing of her experience reminded me of a story about @AliZafarsays from many many years ago, when Ali Zafar tried to kiss my cousin and pull my cousin into a restroom with him. Luckily my cousin's friends were there to push Ali Zafar off https://t.co/kBQbBiwyFP
— Maham Javaid (@JMaham) April 19, 2018
Another woman who came forward has now taken down her tweet and her account is not longer active on Twitter
However a tweet that is available mentions how she had to deal with a crying student because Ali Zafar molested her.
This is really sad. When he came to Washington DC for SK fundraiser, I had high school student volunteer crying in a bathroom bcos he molesyed her, women like you protect men like that and vulnerable kids pay the price; awful
— Sofi (@seraphina444) April 19, 2018
Leena Ghani, an activist and makeup artist, also joined the list of women who thought it necessary to not stay quiet at this time
Thank you @itsmeeshashafi for your courage and your bravery. It’s never easy. But that should never silence us. I am in total solidarity with you. You are not alone in this because #Metoo #TimesUp #WeBelieveYou pic.twitter.com/hkQ61bqnFH
— Leena (@Leena_Ghani) April 19, 2018
These ladies are exhibiting a great deal of courage coming forward with their stories and are being applauded for it
A lot of people are showing support to these women and encouraging them to not be pressurized into taking back their stories or get scared with defamation claims.
I’m glad you spoke up love. Big hugs.
— Tooba Syed (@Tooba_Sd) April 19, 2018
I’m so proud of @itsmeeshashafi for her courage in speaking out about #AliZafar. Even for an empowered and strong woman like her, taking on #Lahore social scene’s Golden Boy takes guts. Enough people will jump to his defense! But just as many women with stories on him ??
— Khizra (@KhizM) April 19, 2018
All power to you…
— M laraib janjua (@LaraibJ) April 19, 2018
All love and support to you Humna. But this topic is way too sensitive because when someone asks for a selfie, the other party might feel they have some kind of comfort level towards you hence the claim is more difficult to concretise.
— Ayesha Noor (@Ayeshamxnz) April 19, 2018
Celebrities, like the masses, are divided about their opinion about the incident but there are some who’ve found it in their hearts to stand by the women who’re speaking up
It is very brave of you to share your experience. We need to keep our privilege – as celebrities, as men – firmly in check. I am so sorry you were disrespected in this way.
— Osman Khalid Butt (@aClockworkObi) April 19, 2018
More power to you ! @itsmeeshashafi ?? https://t.co/aN8m8zNQq6
— URWA HOCANE (@VJURWA) April 19, 2018
Men get away with sexual harassment in a culture of silence, where women are blamed for being treated inappropriately & for speaking up about said harassment. We have to change our culture, believe & support women brave enough to speak up. Enough. #MeToo #meeshashafi #AliZafar
— Bina Shah (@BinaShah) April 19, 2018
Ali Zafar of all the people. Who would have thought?! Good on Meesha Shafi to expose him. Must take a lot of courage to do that.
— Umer Ali (@IamUmer1) April 19, 2018
So much respect for @itsmeeshashafi. I have heard many stories about Ali Zafar, from women who have been harassed by him.
Going to voice my solidarity with @itsmeeshashafi. Lots of love and support! https://t.co/BkF8sMjlH0
— Eman Suleman (@eman_anjum) April 19, 2018
The time right now, as bystanders, is to let the victims speak. Do not pass judgement either way because the truth always does prevail. It is high time that women and men who’ve suffered at the hands of powerful people find the space safe to speak up.
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