The impact of the #MeToo movement has been positive throughout Pakistan, without a doubt. This led to women feeling empowered to share their stories, knowing that the right action would be taken. There is, however, a darker side to this, as evidenced by some women who falsely accuse men of a crime they did not commit.
In times when harassment and rape cases are at their peak in our country, a renowned actor and social media influencer Ayeza Khan chose to sign up for a project that endorses falsely accusing someone of harassment for one’s own benefit.
False accusations are neither edgy nor new. They are stale, mainstream, imprudent, and as old as the hills. From how we think about sexual harassment to how we talk about it, it all matters. It ultimately determines what we, as a society, do about it.
The first episode of the new drama serial Laapata aired on Wednesday. Her character in the drama serial falsely accuses a man of harassment using her social media influence. During a time when the nation is clamoring for justice and its women are dying every day, this scene is hardly humorous. Perhaps the only funny part in the episode is the discussion regarding punishment for harassment of women in Pakistan.
Have a look at it:
This is exactly how the word ‘harassment’ gets exploited. Such baseless allegations mar the credibility of genuine cases of harassment.
In a country where women already struggle to come forward about harassment let alone rape, narratives like that in Laapata confute their struggle.
It may be recalled that previously, amidst the epidemic of rape, actor Fahad Mustafa made some absurd statements. “95% cases of sexual harassment are genuine but in some cases, people are falsely accused, so we have to tell every kind of story”, he said in an interview. The aired serial Dunk passed on a narrative that may prevent victims of sexual harassment from speaking their truth out of the fear of being labeled as liars.
In a bid to throw light on the plot of his drama serial Dunk, which revolves around false accusations of sexual harassment, the actor discredited the entire MeToo Movement.
Misrepresentation of what takes place in this country is the last thing we need. While women are murdered, raped, tortured, harassed, and abused by men, every day there is a new hashtag. There are people fighting for justice. It is time for these artists and writers to act responsibly and stop making light of matters which literally cause people to lose their lives.
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