Thursday, May 17, 2018
The movement began in 2006 when an African-American social activist, Tarana Bruke met a young girl who told Bruke about being sexually abused by someone.
The movement began in 2006 when an African-American social activist, Tarana Bruke met a young girl who told Bruke about being sexually abused by someone (SHOULDER)
Social media has changed the lives of millions and has made it easy to spread a word or opinion around the globe. The recent #MeToo trend has shaken the social landscape around the world and has had a great impact on people’s lives either directly or indirectly. A lot of people seem to comment on the relevant issues under the #MeToo trend,, but most of them might not know the actual rationale of this movement. So here is a brief background of the massive and pressing campaign for all those who have been discussing “the issue”.
#MeToo is an international movement against sexual harassment and assault. It is aimed at spreading awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault. The essence of the movement is to fearlessly talk about any sexual abuse one might experience and to rebel against the prevalent toxic culture of staying silent after going through such traumatising experiences.
The movement began in 2006 when an African-American social activist, Tarana Bruke met a young girl who told Bruke about being sexually abused by someone. Bruke said that she could not do anything for her, but when the girl left, Bruke wished she could have said “me too” to that girl. She then formed an organisation named ‘Just Be Inc’, and a page on the social networking site MySpace that would serve as a platform to spread awareness against the near ubiquitous prevalence of sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can happen to a male, but the number of such incidents is far lower than the number of cases of abuse against women. So people ought to refrain from passing such comments that disrupt and divert from the actual motivation behind the movement
The movement gained momentum when renowned American actress, activist, producer and former singer, Alyssa Jayne Milano came forward to join this significant cause and encouraged other women to talk about the issue. After that, a lot of eminent personalities from Hollywood, politics and even from simple backgrounds came forward to highlight their stories on social media about suffering at the hands of sexual abuse, with the use of the hashtag ‘#MeToo’.
The campaign, however, was not restricted to America and spread all over the world. The hashtag ‘#MeToo’ was then translated into many languages. The campaign challenged the reputations of many illustrious people as well. A series of allegations and confessions about high profile personalities from Hollywood, South Korea, and Pakistan emerged.
The importance and significance of the campaign lie in the fact that people need to understand how the movement is about more than just feminism and aims to spread and empower the very basic right of speaking against sexual abuse. Most societies continue to remain socially conservative in terms of talking about this very issue.
Whenever a girl faces sexual abuse, the first thing she hears from those around her is to “stay quiet”. Many women choose to remain silent their entire lives just because of the misguided notion of ‘honour’. The essence of the #MeToo movement is to break this silence.
As the campaign continues to spread, what we on an individual level need to do is educate our sons on how to behave and how to deal with the other gender properly.
Critics of the campaign question why the movement focuses solely on female sexual abuse. ‘Why can a male not be abused by a female’, they ask. In reality, this is exactly what people need to realise about sexual abuse. Yes, it can happen to a male, but the number of such incidents is far lower than the number of cases of abuse against women. So people ought to refrain from passing such comments that disrupt and divert from the actual motivation behind the movement.
The movement, as has already been mentioned, started in 2006 but only gained traction when powerful and renowned women took it up and highlighted their personal experiences. There are hundreds or thousands of untold stories that do not come to the limelight simply because these voices were forced into silence by society’s obsession with tradition.
Supporters and followers of the ‘#MeToo’ campaign should continue to raise their voices against sexual assault, but one thing they should keep in mind is to not take advantage of the movement, as false allegations can risk someone’s personal life and mental health; that is not the very purpose of it. Instead, we must continue to stand in solidarity with those who suffer at the confines of patriarchy.
PPP chairman Bilawal Zardari has said that his party will continue to protest against IRSA’s discrimination and Federal Government’s callous attitude. Condemning the discrimination of IRSA and Federal government in his twitter he further said that water shortage needs to be shared equally. Divisive policies must end.
We argue with India for water rights but then deprive our provinces of the same.
We argue with India for water rights but then deprive our provinces of the same.
Saad Sayeed As they were about to enter the office of the Commissioner of Karachi for a meeting to discuss a rally planned in Pakistan’s largest city, leaders of a Pashtun-led rights movement were intercepted by armed men accompanied by paramilitary Rangers. “A car with men in plainclothes pulled up in front of us and men with guns got out and told us to stand still,” Said Alam Mahsud, an organizer with the Pashtun Tahafaz Movement (PTM), told Reuters. He said three PTM activists with him were put in a truck and taken away by the armed men, as uniformed Rangers stood by. They returned two days later saying they had been interrogated, threatened, punched and kicked by the unidentified men, then handed over to the Rangers, who released them. PTM, which drew nearly 10,000 people to its Karachi rally on Sunday, was founded in January in protest against alleged extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention and “disappearances” of young Pashtun men. Leaders of the emerging movement have blamed Pakistan’s military for these abuses, in an unusually direct challenge to the country’s most powerful institution. Now, PTM’s activists themselves have started disappearing, according to Mohsin Dawar, one of the movement’s leaders. PTM organizers again blame the powerful military, saying the movement’s growing popularity in major cities, even amid a local media blackout, has left the security forces feeling threatened. The military’s press wing did not respond to requests for comment on the allegations. In the past, the army has said it does not detain individuals without evidence. Officials from the paramilitary Rangers, which are part of the security forces and have broad powers in Karachi, also did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did the office of the Karachi Commissioner, who is the head of the city government. “ANTI-STATE AGENDA” In the past month, PTM says dozens of its activists have been detained across the country, while newspaper columnists have had articles on PTM rejected. Some students and academics say they have been threatened and universities forced to call off talks about Pashtun inequality. In the week leading up to the Karachi protest, PTM’s leadership said Rangers and unidentified security officials detained and interrogated more than 100 of its supporters and kept nearly 30 workers in custody. “The amount they are trying to stop us, it shows they are scared,” student activist Manzoor Pashteen, who has become the face of the movement, told Reuters. “I don’t think they know they are our guardians, their behavior is that of criminals.” Despite the apparent crackdown, the protest in Karachi drew nearly 10,000 people. Pashteen himself was stopped from boarding a flight from the capital, Islamabad, to Karachi on Saturday after the airline told him his ticket had been canceled, he said, adding it took him 40 hours to drive to the city after being stopped and detained several times while on the r While there has been no official action against the PTM, army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa said recently that “no anti-state agenda in the garb of engineered protests” would be allowed to succeed. His comments were widely interpreted as being directed at the group. Many of Pakistan’s 30 million ethnic Pashtun’s hail originally from the borderlands with Afghanistan, where the Pakistani Taliban controlled swathes of territory until they were pushed out by military operations in 2009 and 2014. PTM leaders say they do not want to challenge the government or undermine security, but complain Pashtuns - many of whom have moved to the cities to escape a near-decade long insurgency by Islamist militants - are unfairly targeted and suffer abuses at the hands of security forces in the name of fighting terrorism. CAMPUS CHALLENGE In April, a week before PTM was due to stage a rally in Lahore, Habib University in Karachi and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) called off talks related to Pashtun rights organized by students and academics. On the morning of the talks, both universities received calls from security officials, including representatives of Pakistan’s spy agency the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), telling them to cancel the discussions, faculty members said. “Calls were made to the administration as well as in-person visits from people who identified themselves as ISI,” said a LUMS professor. “I received a call and was told to refrain from anti-military activity.” Officials from the ISI did not respond to a request for comment. At Habib University, the administration received visits from security officials and a call on the morning the lecture was due to take place, three different faculty members said. Representatives from LUMS and Habib University did not respond to requests for comment. Three students who had expressed support for PTM on social media told Reuters they had received threatening calls from unknown numbers telling them to stop, adding they knew of a dozen others who had received similar calls. The same week, Punjab University professor Ammar Ali Jan said he was removed from his post for encouraging students to be vocal about human rights issues and supporting PTM. Punjab University spokesman Khurram Shahzad said Jan was dismissed because of incomplete paperwork. Pakistan’s minister for state and interior affairs, Talal Chaudhry, said such actions “by unnamed forces” were part of a wider clampdown on freedom of thought in Pakistan. “We now have to listen to the people of Pakistan,” Chaudhry said. “There have been very few such things in Pakistan’s history where people come out on their own, to support a leaderless group,” he added, referring to PTM. Relations between the army and civilian government have been increasingly strained since the removal of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the courts last year, with some ruling party insiders accusing elements of the military of trying to destabilize it ahead of a general election expected in July. The military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half its history, denies any interference in civilian politics. CRACKDOWN IN KARACHI Mohsin Dawar arrived in Karachi on May 6 and, along with other PTM leaders, began meeting local Pashtuns to plan the weekend rally. “From the day we arrived they [the Rangers] began arresting our supporters,” Dawar said. People who provided PTM with logistical support, such as a place to hold their meetings, were picked up for five to six hours and threatened, he said. “They told them not to support us; that we will leave Karachi but they have to continue living here,” Dawar added. Karachi is where the killing of a young Pashtun, Naqeebullah Mehsud, by police in January sparked nationwide peaceful demonstrations about Pashtun rights, from which PTM emerged. Organizers say they attempted to contract vendors to supply chairs, a stage, and a sound system for the rally, but none of the equipment was delivered. One vendor, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters he received a call after meeting PTM members. “They said that if even one candle was delivered to the rally, my body would never be found,” he said. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-pashtuns/founded-to-protest-pakistan-disappearances-group-now-sees-supporters-go-missing-idUSKCN1II07C