Women fear being catcalled and ogled relentlessly when they leave the safety of their homes. In recent times, news of various knife-wielding attackers has also left women in Karachi quite shaken. While certain movements have begun to combat street harassment, imagining a world without it is currently nothing more than a pipe dream.
Women facing harassment on the streets has been an issue for the longest time, and it’s prevalent all over the world
When a woman complains about street harassment, more often than not, the first question that she is asked is about her attire.
“Tum ne pehna kya tha?”
“Are you sure you didn’t signal to the guy?”
“Maybe he saw how you’re dressed and thought it was okay to do so?”
All of these do nothing to solve the problem. Such people forget that women in burqas face the same level of harassment as differently dressed women. Moreover, nothing is ever achieved by blaming the victim, thus adding to their trauma. The act of harassment is what needs to be curbed, not the women reporting it.
It is thus that a Samaa TV reporter, Kiran Naz, went undercover as a commuter on a busy street to expose harassers.
She stood on the roadside with a camera crew behind her, monitoring all activities. A motorcyclist soon came up to her, offering her to join him. The following video reveals what happens next:
Samaa reporter @Kiran_Naz_ posed undercover as a commuter – a motorcyclist asked her to go with him to a restaurant – see what happened next
Posted by Samaa TV on Mittwoch, 1. November 2017
The team’s attempt at exposing harassment and harassers seemed successful in the video. The motorcyclist was extremely apologetic and highly ashamed. However, when the video was posted online, it was met with a wide array of differing reactions.
There were those that appreciated the effort, and highlighted the need for more people to expose harassers:
And they stood by the reporter and her brave venture:
However, some people chose to blame women for the way the dress, likening them to prostitutes:
And it wasn’t just one isolated comment.
Some people weren’t happy with how Samaa TV handled the situation.
And others bluntly called it drama.
However, the recurring theme of victim blaming was evident through many comments.
However, fortunately, there were those that stepped in and defended the reporter.
People talked about how instead of passing judgments, our men should learn how to behave better.
Many continued to laud the team’s effort…
…and they hoped it would send out a message.
While it’s unfortunate to see people still choosing to blame the reporter and her team, it’s also great to see many appreciating this brave attempt. If we’re trying to build a safe society, there’s truly no place for harassment of any sort against any gender. Here’s hoping this video instills fear in the hearts of harassers and makes our streets safer for women.
What do you think of this attempt? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Cover image via Samaa TV