Shiffa Yousafzai |
The kind of pieces I write are about the subjects upon which I want my readers to ponder, for I believe they could affect us or our future, politically or socially. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and her recent shallow act of playing the victim card was not something I wanted to write about in the first place. But this incessant debate forced me to jump into it.
On one hand, the world is going long lengths to cater and control sexual harassment, on the other hand, we in Pakistan are trivializing this issue – intentionally or unintentionally. The legal definition of harassment according to law constitutes that, “the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands.
None of these so-called feminists really care about women or their due rights in Pakistan. All they care about is international recognition, western applaud, and admiration.
The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious.”
While we were already struggling to understand how exactly Ayesha Gulalai was “harassed”, by the chairman of the political party she was a member of. Because she stayed the member of the same party, enjoyed all the perks of her MNA-ship and after years she thought she should end the state of quietude and raise her voice against the harassment? Had there been a genuine trouble of harassment why would she keep all of this in concealment all this time?
Now another case highlighting ‘sexual harassment’ is just breaking the social media. This time its none other than Oscar awardee filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy accusing a doctor. According to Sharmeen, the doctor crossed his limits and had sent her sister a friend’s request on facebook. How dare he?
Anyway, I am pretty certain that when she accused him of harassment merely over a friend’s request on Facebook she by that time didn’t even know what actually harassment is. Did the doctor repeatedly send her friend’s requests? No! Did he threaten her sister? No! Did he demand anything? No!
Real victims of harassment are left suppressed and oppressed only because women like Sharmeen take advantage of being a woman, that too a powerful one and enjoy the enormous degree of freedom in their expression.
In all probability, he was simply carried away with the fame and persona of Sharmeen Obaid. And out of excitement of meeting a celebrity’s sister, he sent her a friend’s request. Sharmeen has been lambasted for getting the doctor fired. And when I came across one of Sharmeen’s interview on an international forum of ‘Women In The World Summit’ where she said that she enjoys making men uncomfortable, I felt that she has been rightly lambasted.
Furthermore, in a conversation with Karan Johar, prominent Indian anchor and film director, she admitted that she can do whatever she wants by saying, “Being a woman is my asset and I can get away with doing a lot of things in Pakistan because I am a woman.” And when she was asked if she plays that card, her answer summed it all up. She replied, “Of course I play the woman card, Hell yes! You’re a South Asian woman you’ve got to play the woman card.” She also in the same conversation told Karan that she enjoys scaring Pakistani men.
Is there anything left after this, to debate upon? She in her Oscar-winning movie told the world that Pakistan is a place where women are not safe and every single one of them is being harassed at every step of her life. But when you have women like Sharmeen Obaid, it’s the men who are trying to keep themselves safe. For the reason that such women would either bully you or play the woman card and get you in trouble by shedding a few crocodile tears.
It wasn’t a case of harassment at all but the power drunk Oscar awardee who tried to play the damsel in distress and tell the world once again that Pakistan is a place where harassment isn’t taken seriously.
I am not a celebrity but I have set an option of friend requests on Facebook which allows the ‘friends of my friends’ only, to send friend requests to me. It was that simple. If Sharmeen has blocked the option for the public to send her friend’s request, and if her sister feels that unsafe and endangered she should have blocked the option too (Ironically now she has done so).
Agha Khan Hospital’s management was also criticised – perhaps fairly – over rusticating the doctor. And has been questioned for not providing media and publications with enough evidence that could prove that an investigation on similar charges against the doctor was carried out.
It wasn’t a case of harassment at all but the power drunk Oscar awardee who tried to play the damsel in distress and tell the world once again that Pakistan is a place where harassment isn’t taken seriously. For at least this is what she portrayed through her movie – isn’t it? Why couldn’t Shoaib Mansoor get an Oscar for Khuda Kay Liye? His movie created an impact but certainly wasn’t something the US and west were looking for – ‘Defaming Pakistan’.
All those people on social media who are being influenced by these feminists out there standing with Sharmeen and her sister need to understand that it’s because of women like these that the actual harassment cases in the country are left ignored and unheeded.
Is there anything left after this, to debate upon? She in her Oscar-winning movie told the world that Pakistan is a place where women are not safe and every single one of them is being harassed at every step of her life.
Women who really are the victim of any sort of harassment stay mum because they think they will also be arraigned the way Sharmeen, Sharmeen’s sister, Ayesha Gulalai or others have been. But they overlook the fact that these women are criticised because they are trying to make a non-harassment issue look real.
Real victims of harassment are left suppressed and oppressed only because women like Sharmeen take advantage of being a woman, that too a powerful one and enjoy the enormous degree of freedom in their expression. Where were all these women rights’ activists, feminists, when PTI’s supporter Nida Luqman was beaten up by a thug from PML-N on the main road in Lahore?
In all probability, he was simply carried away with the fame and persona of Sharmeen Obaid. And out of excitement of meeting a celebrity’s sister, he sent her a friend’s request. Sharmeen has been lambasted for getting the doctor fired.
Where were all these people criticising the doctor’s action against his code of conduct when Nida Luqman was dragged out of her car, in front of her two young daughters?
Why none of them uttered a single word when those muggers ripped her shirt and humiliated her on the road in broad daylight? And do you know why she was maltreated by that man? That was because she was chanting slogans against PML-N and was making a video of their VIP protocol.
None of these so-called feminists really care about women or their due rights in Pakistan. All they care about is international recognition, western applaud, and admiration. That’s their target market and that’s where these women want themselves to be heard. Women like Sharmeen, therefore, only work towards glorifying the ugly picture of Pakistan in the west. Because this is what, their market is.
Shiffa Yousafzai is a freelance writer; She is an International Alumni Ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, where she studied Multimedia Journalism. Earlier, she graduated with business and marketing at Air University, Islamabad. She had been vice-president Air University Cultural Society; She is a singer and has performed in cultural events. Shiffa could be followed on twitter @Shiffa_ZY and on facebook @Shiffa Z. Yousafzai. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.