Meesha Shafi set social media on fire when she accused Ali Zafar of sexual harassment this past week. Needless to say, people all over the country were surprised at the accusations.
While it is true that sexual harassment is one of the biggest problems in the country, few could have predicted that something of this sort would ever happen and that too between two people who are a huge part of Pakistan’s entertainment industry.
The Reaction on Social Media
Naturally, everyone had something to say about the entire issue on social media. People rushed in to defend their favorite star. However, things took an ugly turn when people started targeting the characters of the parties involved in this particular issue.
Meesha Shafi was the primary target for the majority of the trolls on social media. People immediately started digging up old photographs of her with Ali Zafar where they commented on how she was standing too close to him.
Victim blaming is quite common in cases which involve sexual harassment and this case is no exception. People have started digging up old photos of Meesha Shafi and have, like always, criticized her choice of attire.
There have been some who have even commented on her looks implying that she is too bad looking to be harassed.
What majority of the people do not realize is that it takes a lot of courage on the part of someone who has been a victim of harassment in the past to come out openly and talk about their experiences. Blaming the victim only makes it harder for them to go on with their lives.
Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?
If there is one thing that this incident has taught us, it is that Pakistani people have yet to learn how to react to sensitive issues like sexual harassment. Keep this in mind that both Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi are celebrities.
Imagine what would have happened if the case had involved common people of the country. It is indeed an eye opener and shows how much we all have regressed.
As far as Ali Zafar is concerned, the man has already announced his intention to take legal action. No matter who is right or wrong, one thing is for certain; no one is coming out of this case unscathed.
Sexual Harassment in Pakistan
It is an unfortunate fact that more than eighty percent of the women in the country experience sexual harassment on a daily basis.
A common misconception regarding sexual harassment is that in the majority of the cases the victim is a powerless and helpless individual however as the case of Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi suggests, this is not always the case.
In a majority of the cases, the victims are forced to keep the matter private. Meesha Shafi has indeed taken a bold step by coming forward and actually talking about her experience. Hopefully, this will set a precedent for other victims to come forward and raise their voices against injustice.
The me-too campaign shook the foundations of Hollywood and only time will tell if something similar will happen in Pakistan as well.