2017 will be the year that remains a testament to the immense power of social media and iron will.
It will go down in history as the year a movement was born out of a mere hashtag. The year will forever be remembered as the year when a suffocating wave of harassment and silence was broken, exposing lurking predators in its wake.
The #MeToo hashtag, as we all know, had quite the snowball effect.
It dragged numerous prominent names downhill as women and men came forward with their experiences of harassment.
The hashtag soon evolved into a movement.
People of all genders were soon coming forward with their stories. And each story held its weight. 2017 became the year when harassment was taken seriously – at least internationally.
— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) December 6, 2017
Pakistanis, too, saw an opportunity to speak up due to the #MeToo campaign.
And as they did, it was evident…
#MeToo Countless times! First sexual assault happened when I was in grade one. Still remembers, each and every bit of it.
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) October 16, 2017
…sexual abuse, sexual assault, and harassment do not see sex, gender, caste or creed. Predators are everywhere.
you can't forget how many "normal" seeming predatory men lurked around ur child self in the shape of a neighbour, a teacher, an uncle #MeToo
— Imaan Sheikh ? (@sheikhimaan) October 16, 2017
It can happen to anyone at any time.
A sexual assault, at the age of 10, changed me forever. As a male-survivor, I was deprived of the process of sharing and unburdening. #MeToo
— Snober Abbasi (@snobers) October 16, 2017
It’s for this exact reason why TIME Magazine naming “The Silence Breakers” their Person of The Year is such a HUGE deal.
One of the most prestigious magazines honoring those who facilitated the movement that caused countless victims to speak up is truly a great initiative.
It evokes a sense of cathartic pride in all those who have been a key force in pushing the #MeToo campaign forward. Moreover, it’s a ray of hope for all those who are yet to share their stories – especially back home in Pakistan.
TIME also shared a powerful video honoring The SIlence Breakers.
And a conversation with the creator of #MeToo was also shared.
— TIME (@TIME) December 6, 2017
One might wonder – how can a magazine cover ever instill hope and courage within the women who exist in a society such as ours?
The crux of the power in its entirety lies within the #MeToo campaign. The campaign has brought countless predators to their knees. Moreover, the power of the campaign was such that it spread to a country like ours, giving men and women the encouragement they needed to speak up. For our society, that’s a first. And a brilliant one at that.
To have that campaign acknowledged and honored only further highlights how no word, no sentence and no action is, or ever will be, too small. Change must begin somewhere.
While people coming forward with stories that have some form of a definite consequence may not necessarily be in Pakistan’s immediate future, such a campaign and its solidification as a beckoning force truly serve as a ray of hope.
Koi qadam chota nahi hai. Bas qadam barha ke dekhiye.
Cover image: TIME