It is extremely interesting how the interconnectivity via the internet allows individuals from all corners of the world to unite together for a cause. For the longest time, women in Pakistani circles have sought empowerment in isolation and have talked about issues relevant to women in the Pakistani society.
The global movements of #MeToo and #TimesUp which target sexual assault and harassment have made their way to the Pakistani setting as well
Victims, when they see others also taking a stand against these individuals, are encouraged to do the same. With global movements we witnessed the end of careers of several renowned people based on the allegations against them. And we are not talking about just an individual incident, these predators when go unreported tend to exploit as many as they can.
You know who deserves a Pulitzer Prize: Ronan Farrow. His expose on Harvey Weinstein was the catalyst that launched the #MeToo movement.
— Pablo Kutter (@Mossimo77) April 10, 2018
Earlier this week, we witnessed the resignation of a Pakistani music startup, Patari’s CEO after a number of women came forward with their claims about harassment. And there was proof to support their claims
It is very natural to question and ask victims for proof. Many would also ask why pictures of the conversations were uploaded, as that is a breech of confidentiality but remember that we have a tendency of victim blaming, which is why proof is needed.
Judging by the Patarai CEO sleaze and it’s aftermath am reminded of feminist Catherine Mackinnon who recently wrote an article that the #Metoo movement has done more for feminist ideology than any law, social change or philosophy in decades.
— Reza Ali (@RezaAli1980) April 11, 2018
A number of individuals, mostly females, are now taking to Twitter to expose other people who they felt harassed by
Many had to resort to either making separate accounts for this endeavor or asking their friends to do it on their behalf. Naturally this requires a lot of courage and strength, especially when it’s a social media platform; there is a lot of rebuttal.
Btw @stawanbaby is a huge creep who also forces girls to send him pictures… he started of normal and started getting so weird like “I’m not asking you I’m telling you to send a picture” I don’t have proof bc this happened on sc and I blocked his ass after so be careful girls!!
— $$$ (@mfstarlord) April 11, 2018
zaid khan suri FFS A PEDO (I did flirt with him at one point but this dude just started getting creepier) also he was 29 I was 17 pic.twitter.com/dptFSp7wJu
— sakina (@suckerstung) April 11, 2018
I have this older distant cousin who used to be really nice to me and we'd talk often. But then he became gross, vulgar and inappropriate. I managed to call him out on it, and he told me I was a prude. After some time, I was talking to him again because 'maybe he made a mistake' https://t.co/aaUWD4ZfDM
— نمرہ (@Namra_Gilani) April 11, 2018
And we can notice that these women who are bringing up harassment stories, it is not just random people who had the guts to talk to them inappropriately or harass them into giving in to their demands; it was also their colleagues, cousins or just family friends. Again reinforcing how anyone around you can be a sexual predator.
Some are using #XposeApril to put up their stories
— Ahmed (@azkhawaja1) April 11, 2018
Okay! Lets do this one more time. This would totally blow your senses away, but I need your support is all. pic.twitter.com/XZeAI6k37B
— R (@gonegoneygone) April 11, 2018
ive had a ton of creepy & abusive encounters with men here. but i was a kid, & in an attempt to erase them from my life i deleted most of the conversations. a lot of those men continued to prosper. now they’re being exposed. thank you, lovely women, for being braver than i was
— shy fawkes (@aloovibes) April 11, 2018
Some critics even called this entire movement a “Twitter drama” and advised people to do something better with their time
And this is them not realizing the consequences of certain actions, and how the lack of accountability lets them go on for years; causing irreparable damage.
Exposing predatory behaviour and warning other girls is not "twitter drama".
— sats (@yikesyouthought) April 11, 2018
But women came forward to support each other and to not let anyone threaten them into taking back their stories
How dare he wtf https://t.co/tPkc4QXeXg
— dolphins are dying (@naheinyaar) April 12, 2018
@gameover087_ WOMEN SUPPORTING OTHER WOMEN!! so proud to have such a strong sis amongst us. Thank u for all that u have done. And forever in awe of all the women who had the strength to come out. You are all so strong. This was not ur fault.
I love you all. You are all my sisters
— Shantul Khan (@staraymashay) April 11, 2018
Many people were taken aback with the names being exposed. And the innate reaction was to apparently say they’re cutting ties with such predators
omg with these stories coming out, no one can really be trusted, especially not trash men who have a way with words, especially them.
— Api (@apiiaintsorry) April 10, 2018
hey umm can i just say how deeply sorry i am for the ones who were close the people who got exposed today? it hurts. it truly hearts and i wish things could have been better or i would have done it in a different way maybe. know that im really sorry and i never meant to hurt you
— ? (@gameover087_) April 11, 2018
This entire endeavor led to many men deactivating their accounts to avoid being mentioned. Many even asked women to not put up their stories and apologized for prior behavior
If u are paki man & havent deactivated ur account at this moment then congratulations my friend we haven't sexually harrased anyone and we respect people who give us respect and donot try to interact with 17y olds here saying "send nudes" or" you are so hot why arent you with me"
— ع م ر! ?? (@omeralvii) April 11, 2018
I think by tomorrow morning there will be only 4 boys left on Pak Twitter
— Bissmah Mehmud (@bissmahmehmud) April 11, 2018
And for men, they did admit that this revelation of how common such occurrences are, might be a shock for women, but men know the frequency with which this happens
I told my cousin with genuine shock on my face even after hours of absorbing all of it and he deadass went, oh abhi aur bohton ka pata chlay ga. Y'all really know what y'all are. https://t.co/Au9mlsy27c
— Noor (@aliflaameem) April 11, 2018
For those indulging in victim blaming, here’s a response:
Women: I’m scared to trust men
Men: NOT ALL MEN
Women: So this one guy harassed-
Men: most men are like this only, you should’ve known better, why weren’t you cautious enough, why were you
— ?k (@kaystakes) April 11, 2018
The way women have stood by each other is phenomenal. Predators need to know that women are together in this
Hello ladies, i am proud of each and everyone of you. Thank you for existing and standing tall against misogyny and low-key sexist people here, yes that includes women and men. And all those, who are not applauding these women openly, i am watching you and you are not respected!
— Sidra Aziz (@NamkeenJalebi) April 11, 2018
In the scheme of things that happened today on Pakistani Twitter & #MeToo in the entertainment industry- the real shocker shouldn't be that there are men who harass/abuse privilege. The real story here is how women are standing up & speaking loud & calling these men out.
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) April 11, 2018
The best part about the movement was that it was not limited to a particular gender
we have a case in which a renowned female journalist has been harassing a boy 10 years younger just because he refused to "do it" with her after their well-understood one night stand #KhalidBajwa #KickTheTrash watch this space for details
— Z A Q (@KickTheTrashPK) April 12, 2018
While many of those who were exposed were men, women did not hesitate in standing up against other women who have harassed individuals. And this is a response to those who think women are out to get men. NO! THEY ARE NOT!
They are out to get those who disrespect individuals and their boundaries, and misuse the space that they have in the society.
Shahzeb Khanzada Urged Parents To Teach Their Children About Sexual Abuse And That’s Exactly What Pakistan Needs
cover image via chicagonow.com