Google released its list of the most searched topics and people in Pakistan this morning. It’s no surprise that Meesha Shafi made it to the list this year. The singer came in third, right behind Bushra Maneka and Meghan Markle.
Meesha had one helluva year and it’s inspirational how well she handled everything. Here’s why we think Meesha Shafi was officially the most badass celebrity this year (and that she totally deserves to be on the list):
1. The singer made headlines for levying allegations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar.
2. A lot of people hailed Meesha’s move as the beginning of the #MeToo movement in Pakistan.
Following her statement, other women came forward with their stories involving Ali Zafar. It seemed like the movement had finally reached Pakistan. Of course, the accused launched a legal battle against Meesha. Internationally, the #MeToo movement was having its moment. Women were coming forward with allegations against big-wigs in the Western film industries. Names like Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein were accused and subsequently removed from their positions of power. Meesha’s case finally brought to light the plight of women in Pakistani context.
3. There were a lot of rumors of the singer moving to Canada.
After the allegations came out, Meesha Shafi was attacked online by trolls and haters. This hate got pretty intense and was actually scary. In the midst of all this, there were rumors of her moving out of Pakistan. It turned out that this story was created by people online who were out to protect Ali Zafar.
4. Meesha Shafi was (and is) seen as a symbol of women empowerment.
Even before her allegations, people knew that Meesha Shafi was a force to be reckoned with. She’s a woman who can stand her own and made sure everyone knew.
5. Meesha wasn’t allowed to speak about the case publicly but she found ways.
Hi brilliant folks at @gopro
For the betterment of all women everywhere, getting harassed with impunity, could you please develop a product they can strap to their bodies at all times to provide evidence, and call it #GropePro 🙏🏼 Thanks.
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) July 19, 2018
Using her Twitter, Meesha would send out tweets about ‘society’ and how people treat victims. The best example of this was when we tweeted to the people at Go Pro.
6. She also made a statement about not being caged up and being free.
🦅A thing of the past 🦅 pic.twitter.com/tsBNeWFGwR
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) June 11, 2018
7. At the Pepsi Battle of Bands, Meesha Shafi sang an empowering song, ‘Mein’.
Which, coupled with a catchy tune, had a veeeeeery powerful message.
8. The Meesha Shafi- Ali Zafar case highlighted some gaps in the anti-harassment laws.
When the case finally came in front of a judge, the case was dismissed because the law currently in place only protects women in the workplace. Meesha’s case was apparently not from a time when the singers were working together; therefore, an employee to employee relationship could not be established.
9. Regardless of the trolling and the hate, Meesha Shafi was still getting a lot of support from artist circles.
Digital artist, Shehzil Malik, released a series of digital illustrations celebrating Meesha Shafi’s work and her struggle.
10. Recently, Pakistanis on Twitter showed Meesha Shafi their support.
A lot of would want to believe that Meesha and her allegations are forgotten, however, it is clear that such is NOT the case.
Meesha Shafi has said that she will not go down without a fight, and it seems like she’s going to make good on that promise. #MeToo definitely did not have its moment in Pakistan in 2018, but there is hope. India had its time towards the last quarter of 2018, and we can only hope that the wave crosses the Wahga, and comes on over to Pakistan. This movement isn’t about ‘attention seeking’ or seeking pity, it’s about creating a safe world for EVERYONE, and if you stand against that, well you need a strong look in the mirror.
More power to you, Meesha!
Cover Photo Courtesy: tribune.com.pk // dailytimes.pk