When it comes to public spaces, women in Pakistan aren’t safe from harassment. Lewd remarks, catcalls and whistling, blatant staring, obscene gestures, and non-consensual touching by men are some of the most common things women face while commuting using public transportation.
Most of the times, women downplay or ignore such incidents since they do not want to get people’s attention in situations like these. Hence, men tend to get away with whatever they do.
However, as of late, women have begun to take charge. One such woman is Farheen Ale Syed, a resident of Islamabad, and a regular traveler of Metro Bus.
Farheen uses the Metro bus service regularly from her office in Islamabad to the station near her residence, since she finds it really convenient, affordable, and safe for longer commutes at night. However, a few days back, her experience left her shaken.
She was travelling in the Metro bus with a friend, and they both were sitting at the last two joint seats after which the men’s portion starts. The bus was a bit crowded and men were standing immediately behind her seat. The two friends were chatting during the time but Farheen felt the leather jacket of a man touching her shoulder. She found it quite normal and ignored it at first.
However, when she was about to reach her bus stop, she strongly felt as if someone gripped his fingers from beneath the leather jacket on her shoulder.
Although she was chatting with her friend, she was alert enough to feel it.
In such a scenario, instead of being horrified, she stood and grabbed the hand of that person and slapped him across the face for quite a number of times and shouted too.
Meanwhile another person popped up from behind him and testified that he had been noticing this person intending on harassing her for the past few minutes. At first, the harasser kept denying and then, started apologizing.
However, Farheen was still mad and as soon as the bus stopped, she grabbed him out of the bus.
The management of Metro Bus also sprang into action and told her that he will be sent to jail until she forgives him. Horrified by the thought of going to jail and after being insulted in front of so many people, the perpetrator begged for mercy.
Farheen says that she did not pursue the matter further because she felt she had taught him a sufficient lesson herself.
Farheen feels that women should never ignore such incidents since this gives harassers the courage to repeat these kind of actions.
“We need to empower women of all ages to be able to confront these morons at any place, any time,” Farheen stated. “Harassers are shitty cowards, who cannot stand confrontation, that too by a woman, a so-called “weaker” gender. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not ignore such incidents. ALWAYS CONFRONT. Let nobody limit your space, or your energy, or your passion.”
Here’s the entire post:
#longRantSo, I'm a regular traveler of metro bus, returning from my office in Islamabad to the station near my…
As Farheen talked about the incident in a public post, people expressed how incredibly proud they were of the way she dealt with her harasser.
Some also shared their own experiences related to harassment and how they handled the situation
Truly, women like Farheen inspire others to take action in the face of harassment. It is time that we take some step about this menace too, so that we see more women around us in public spaces walking without fear. What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments.
The Islamabad Traffic Police Is Rewarding Citizens For Being Responsible Drivers And Pakistanis LOVE The Initiative
Cover image via dawn.com