Time to speak up
PC: Peter H. Reynolds
An Atif Aslam concert made headlines recently about some men’s ugly behaviour towards the women in the crowd. Atif Aslam had to stop the concert and intervene on the girl’s behalf and apparently it was sorted. As the expected outrage poured in, there were some elements of our society which started blaming the girl for this harassment. I was shocked to see that this judgment came from other women. A tweet that started circulating actually tried to trivialize the guy’s behavior, calling it “no big deal” and actually had the nerve to say that the girl shouldn’t have gone to a concert since this is what happens at them. Umm really? Have we really become so insensitive to the wrongdoings in our society that we accept harassment as the norm?!?!
To all these women I say this. Today I am going to judge you. If you are going to do victim shaming and blaming then you are equally responsible as these men. If your mentality is that “boys will be boys” and “men will be men” then you do a great disservice to the rest of the male population who is decent. You insult my father, my brother, my husband and all the rest of the men in my family who have never done these abhorrent things and most likely won’t ever do.
If you as a woman, ever ignores such types of cases and actually says “boys will be boys” then I am sorry but you are part of the toxic patriarchy and misogyny prevalent in our society and fall into the following category:
- You are going to become the mother who will control her daughters but turn a blind eye to her son’s activities
- You are going to become the mother in law who will tell her abused daughter in law that, “Control your thoughts and tongue. Aurat zabaan chalati hai tabhi mard ka haath uthta hai” umm how do I say this? NO Aunty! Just No!
- You are going to become the society which accuses the woman for all sorts of problems ranging from divorce, infertility, money problems etc etc. Not realizing that your interference is what causes half the problems in the first place . This part of the society comes up with gems like “zara sa bardasht kerleiti tou kia hojata” chahe jootay kha rahi ho larki.
(Please don’t take this in the wrong way. I am not talking about petty issues which occur in marriages and which can be compromised upon.)
My point is if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. These are serious matters, do we really want to live in a society where it is accepted that public areas cannot be safe for us and our future generations? Why do we still have the mentality that accepts these elements? How about I will try my utmost to raise my son in the manner that he will become a productive part of the society where everyone will be safe from him and you raise daughters who are strong enough to know their rights, who can go out and call out these criminal behaviours if they occur. How about we lay down a platform with laws in place that make sure these things don’t happen again?
Enough is enough. I don’t want to accept the status quo and I will not let my son accept it either. Our future generations deserve better than this and the time is now to change things. I know I might sound like an impractical person to you, I am a dreamer and this sounds like a pipe dream which might not happen in my lifetime, but I will go down fighting this mentality and these attitudes. This is not me and I know there are thousands like me out there.
Take the small steps and imagine the legacy we can leave behind.