How the #MeToo Movement is Growing in Pakistan Through People like Meesha Shafi, Ayesha Omar, Armeena Khan
In light of the recent controversy regarding Meesha Shafi and her accusations against Ali Zafar of harassing her, it has become increasingly obvious that Pakistan is at the verge of its own #MeToo reckoning. The movement started in USA when many artists came forward revealing high-profile Hollywood names to be molesters and abusers. Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey amongst the big names that were found to have harassed multiple people.
Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi has opened the floodgates and the women of Pakistan are now finding courage from her actions to speak up about their own traumatic experiences. Actress Armeena Khan talked about her experience being harassed on twitter:
I was in #Anarkali in Lahore in a burka (nobody knew who I was). I literally had my backside groped and breasts grabbed. NOT by one guy but by 2. Now, my family saw that and I asked them why? I was told it was a really common thing there. Did I deserve that? #Metoo #Horrified
— Armeena Khan (@ArmeenaRK) April 21, 2018
Talking about how she was harassed openly, in public, in the streets of Lahore goes to show that no matter how progressive we may think we are, we are still stuck in a time where women are considered objects of desire and not human beings with feelings. If an established actress of Armeena’s stature could face something like this then who is safe? It also shows that no matter what a woman wears, she will be subjected to the stares and actions of lecherous disgusting men. Armeena was covered head-to-toe in a burka and it still couldn’t protect her from the evil in our society.
Another actress, Ayesha Omar, has also come out to talk about her own experiences. On a tv show, Omar was discussing the Shafi controversy when she said, “I, myself, have been a victim of sexual harassment from someone within the industry. I don’t have the strength to talk about it like Meesha, but I hope someday I will gather the courage to share my story.”
Following her allegations against Ali Zafar, Meesha Shafi also gained support and encouragement from Rose McGowan who is one of the first few actresses of Hollywood that came out to reveal what Harvey Weinstein had done to her.
A heroine for our times. I stand with Meesha Shafi. https://t.co/ddWbzKdjSx
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) April 21, 2018
In response to the encouraging words, Meesha’s reply was simple yet grateful:
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