With Pakistan’s education indicators improving and media playing an active role to highlight the role of and respect for women, one would hope that as a nation we would at least let go of eve-teasing as one of our favourite bad habits. Alas! Every now and then we come across an incident that reminds us that we are still a long way from truly respecting women and their right to enjoy themselves in public places.
Recently, a Facebook post popped on my mini-feed that left me with mixed feelings. Mixed feelings because on one hand the story of how a girl was harassed in broad day light by a group of boys was disturbing to say the least, on the other hand it was encouraging to know that girls in Pakistan are no longer tolerating eve-teasing silently but are taking to social media to teach their harassers a lesson.
So, as the post goes, during an expedition to Khunjerab Pass during the holidays the girl in question, Meenah Tariq got separated from her group. And as the mentality goes, seeing a girl roaming alone, without “male chaperons” proved an encouraging sign for a group of boys to harass her. They kept insisting for Meenah to click pictures with them and making snide remarks as she refused. As is the case with all eve-teasers, the girl’s visible discomfort became a source of entertainment for them.
Sick of being followed around and hearing the eve-teasers pass distasteful comments, Meenah finally lost her cool and fear was overtaken by rage. She screamed her lungs out to successfully ward them off.
While she did not click any pictures with the boys harassing her – duh! – she did manage to take a few pictures of them and took to Facebook to make their faces known to all and sundry.
You can see the original post by Meenah below.
This post is especially important because it will give a lot of other girls the courage to come forward and teach eve-teasers a much a needed lesson.
However, while most people condemned eve-teasing, there were still some who questioned the girl’s integrity and wanted to know the “other side of the story.” For all such people: there is no reason valid enough to harass another person – female or male. Harassment in all its forms and manifestations is WRONG and nothing – absolutely NOTHING – can justify it. The day we, as a nation understand this simple fact, we will finally be able to put an end to eve teasing.
From our end we can only applaud Meenah’s courage and hope that these boys will face the music for what they did. More power to you girl!