Sexual harassment and privilege

October 30, 2017
Samaa Web Desk
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By Minerwa Tahir

Note: This piece is a work of satire

“I have received over 700 sexual harassment requests, bro.”

“I haven’t been able score a girl as yet. I fear the remaining chances of scoring one will soon be over due to Sharmeen.”

“As per Bay-Sharm-een’s logic, friend request is harassment and sending your rishta is tantamount to rape.”

After the Sharmeen-doctor scenario, we all have seen such statements posted on our Facebook News Feeds and Twitter TLs. Women are not surprised, men not ashamed. This is what masculinity warrants as well.

Feminists sure have a problem – I can’t seem to figure out what that is though. Sexual harassment is a normal part of our routine and we should embrace it with open arms. Women often share their sexual harassment ordeals with each other, concluding the discussion on this note: “Now what can we do, let’s forget it.” What do men do? Watch that for yourself through observation of a female bystander on any road of the city and the men who walk past her.

Men give women such affectionate, sincere attention. Despite that, we keep crying over harassment. Shocking, right?

A few days back, Karachi earned the accolade for being the second-most dangerous city for women across the globe in a poll. Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on the poll. In such pressing times when the entire world and international media are conspiring against our Land of the Pure, dimwitted Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy raised her voice over a matter as trivial as her sister’s sexual harassment. Unbelievable, right? Her sister got herself treated in the emergency of Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH). The doctor who treated her later sent her an innocent, sincere friend request.

The doctor was suspended by AKUH. Later, it surfaced that the doctor was already undergoing an inquiry over several complaints lodged by other staff and faculty members. This inquiry had been going on before Sharmeen and her sister registered their complaint with AKUH. Dear God, such injustices over simple, sincere gestures!

Naturally, Pakistani men lost it when the doctor was suspended. They all united on social media and undertook the responsibility of putting some sense in our slow female brains. Sense: sending unsolicited friend requests to people who are not your friends is NOT harassment. Women have the choice to accept, ignore or reject the friend requests, hence it’s not harassment. (Credible sources have informed us that the Protection of Male Rights Movement (PMRM) is all prepared for its next mission. After attaining victory on the front against Sharmeen, they will undertake the very important task of informing all slow brains that the idea of sexual harassment is in itself a farce. The movement’s spokesperson said: “A woman has numerous rights and choices. Nonscientific arguments like ‘sexual harassment’ are basically tools used to exploit men. For example, a man rubs his hand on the back of a woman while walking past her. Now you tell me, does the woman not have a choice? She can accept the kind gesture and keep his hand on her back. Or she can reject and walk away, right? What more rights do these women want now?” His eyes welled up while delivering the last sentence.

On the other hand, a private TV channel’s reporter handled the mainstream media front. Exposing the unreliability of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s report, he informed us all of us, especially women, that the results of the poll were not true. Yes, a credible man told us that you sheep are safe in our city and there should be no reason to bring shame to the country through mudslinging in international media.

Meanwhile, Facebook Event Pages Wing also fulfilled its responsibility. Mission: Send friend requests to Sharmeen. The task of character assassination of Sharmeen and her sister was accomplished at par with national duty.

Tbh, Facebook Guidelines are a conundrum of their own kind. Who the hell does Facebook think it is to tell us to whom we should and should not send friend requests? Soon the breathing of poor, innocent men will also be termed sexual harassment.

FACT: The men of our society are extremely progressive and modern. To found a free society, our men are advocating the freedom to send unsolicited friend requests to people who are not your friends. At the same time, you can see how conservative and backward we, feminists, are that we want to deprive men of their basic right to harass.

Men have a dream and it is to see their wives getting friendship offers when they visit their doctors. Dimwitted women like me are so backward that we are actually opposing this free society.

Sharmeen should let go of our collective feminist backwardness and embrace progressive male ideology. The fact that had it been Sharmeen’s brother in place of the sister, the doctor would never entertain the idea of sending a friend request… For the sake of national security and freedom, we must ignore this!

Nonetheless, we must appreciate Sharmeen for the only thing right she did: those tweets, reeking of privilege and intimidation. Privilege and show off of family name for intimidation is super impressive. Privilege is the beauty of a liberal society. Addressing any feminist issue, it is imperative to forget all those common women who are exploited in their daily lives. Women should represent their elite class alone. After all, who needs the support or validation of women of the unprivileged, poor classes?

Sexual harassment is a problem pertaining to all the women of Pakistan but we will only speak for the elite and influential women, okay? The tone of Sharmeen’s tweets conveys the message that she achieved justice because she belonged to a family that could not be pressured. This should be the message, too. After all, justice is the exclusive right of women belonging to the elite class alone.

Read this in Urdu here:

Published in Pakistan

Story first published: 30th October 2017


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