Having a long hard look

Areeba Tayyab

By: Areeba Tayyab

The gender movement has taken a 360-turn introducing #mentoo wave on the forefront which is a need of time considering the situation of Pakistan and worldwide stories dealing with harassment of men. Harassment remains harassment, regardless of gender. Still taking a long hard look upon the situation , one may ask, “With the increased ratio of women harassment in Pakistan and infinite amount of cyber-bullying as well as character assassination cases, by introducing #mentoo movement, are we not giving a way out to men from a system that has too many loopholes for culprits already? Is there no need to take a long hard look on the consequences? Like #me too, will #mentoo movement also be manipulated?

Not to mention that in all the cases men are culprits, they are definitely victims as well, but one cannot underestimate the current situation of harassment in Pakistan where one officer has 300 cases to resolve per year that deal with women being a victim of sexual and cyber harassment. In most of the cases, we see male culprits using fake accounts, using email ids of girls, or asking other girls to comment and share etc. Once these accounts are deleted, once the data has been removed the only thing one can see on the screen is your own messages or no messages at all. Sadly, the cybercrime bureau is also not so much advance in its working and hence these already complicated cases become ambiguous and ultimately becoming vague.

The purpose is not to create gender binaries, but this is an ultimate truth that men have a good grip on technology i.e. its excellent use and its misuse. Whenever we talk about international or national hackers, we see 95% of male hackers and if we talk about murder cases, you will see 70% of male killers, if we consider bank corrupts and many more, we see men leading the list. In such a situation, one cannot easily let #mentoo movement lead the way because men in majority have committed heinous crimes for years. We cannot forget what has been happening for centuries only in the name of this movement but at the same time we cannot entirely defy its presence entirely. In these hard times, things have to viewed from a critical lens; no room for emotional talks now.

Furthermore, #mentoo and #metoo hold their own significance but let’s take a long hard look and consider the third gender as well. The third gender in Pakistan has been a victim of harassment for a long time, but their rights has not been placed on the forefront. We are so absorbed in our verbal accusations and cyber bullying on social media that we forget that an increasing minority in Pakistan is getting sexually assaulted every day. In such case bringing a #wetoo movement may be seen as an interesting and intriguing phenomenon but let’s not forget that these movements have never come up with a solution but has created further complications for all the genders. 

Creating binaries and manipulating binaries has always been a very successful way of inculcating new theories to the front. They might have some significance but do not give a long-term resolving action. Giving ultimate solutions are impossible but at least, there should be some relevance and authenticity to the argument. We see all these movement busting the crowd in pieces and then we see people manipulating these movements for their own cause. Due to these manipulating tools and never-ending debates upon who is right or not, are we not getting confused about what we really want? Are we not detracting ourselves for the major cause which is harassment itself? By naming it a men’s movement or a feminist movement or LGBT movement, we are deviating ourselves from the right cause.

It is high time that we must understand that there needs to be a limit attached to the common public dealing with such movements. The think tanks cannot be restricted and should not be refrained but the emotional public with all its naïve and illogical sentiments must be filtered because the freedom of speech on social media has to be restricted as far as public insults , character assassinations and cyber bullying is concerned because we will not be able the resolve the genuine cause and people will eventually commit suicide out of the hatred that is portrayed on social media. Here PEMRA and other concerned department must take the plunge to filter the content and place trackers so that the hate speech can come to end. Sharing stories is one side of the narrative but trolling and trending has caused enough damage already to this country. Its time we take a long hard look about we were are initiating and what can come out of it.

The writer is Mphil in English literature and can be reached at [email protected]