From misinformation to doctored videos: Why are we so dismissive about the safety of our women?

Despite inappropriate fake videos of Hania Aamir being circulated online, her security and well-being was ignored almost completely

Shanzay Salman

Shanzay Salman

Features Editor
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Leading Pakistani actress Hania Aamir recently became subjected to sexual harassment, and video-manipulation. Believe it or not: despite the doctored video making rounds on social media, Hania’s safety and security was entirely dismissed in this entire episode, with most people failing to even acknowledge the incident for what it was- a direct case of sexual harassment and a cyber crime.

Trigger Warning ⚠️ 

The doctored video included manipulation of Hania’s live Instagram session to include a man who was ejaculating on Hania’s picture on the other side of the video, making it seem like this happened as part of Hania Aamir’s live session.

This fake video was soon being circulated all over social media with Hania trending on Twitter for many hours. What followed was an outbreak of memes, hate comments and mean remarks, most of which were shockingly directed towards Hania, instead of the cyber criminal.

This was also followed by extensive social media speculation over the incident, with many illogically dragging in Hania’s past with her ex, Asim Azhar. Soon the matter of Hania Aamir being sexually harassed publicly was dismissed almost entirely, and was reduced to becoming a debate about who out of the two exes, Hania and Asim was more worthy of blame or praise. Many celebrities also begin to pick sides making it about Team Asim and Team Hania. In lieu of this distressing situation, here are a few things to always, always remember.

“Be a man of substance” in a misogynistic world

Whatever Hania and Asim’s past history, remember there is always an appropriate time to address one’s own personal grievances, and when somebody else is already going through sexual harassment and extreme online bullying is actually the worst time to bring up old grudges, or address previous history, especially when you are choosing to go public with the matter. “A man of substance” would understand this.

Also, about Asim Azhar, Hania Aamir’s ex posting a Tweet on his account, amidst this situation, which seemed to be alluding to having been lucky to have broken up with Hania Aamir.

Whether Asim meant it or not, that is what most social media users understood it as.

He could/should simply have cleared the air by adding two lines to clarify what he meant, instead of using it as an opportunity to address past baggage.

Advising someone to be “thick-skinned” in the face of sexual harassment

It sounds like the most logical thing to do and say to somebody but really how many times do we need others to react to us logically when we are going through emotional turbulence? Research suggests in times of hardship, humans do not need to be told to be more tough, or more “thick-skinned” as that can cause them to shut down emotionally and start operating on a logical level only, if not make them feel worse. Instead what humans require from one another in such a time is sensitivity, empathy and support.

Video – manipulation is a serious offence

Doctoring anybody’s videos and circulating them online is a criminal offence, which can cause serious mental and emotional distress to the victim,  and is therefore liable to serious penalty and punishment. It stands no where close to misunderstandings or personal squabbles with an ex, and that needs to be understood!

Amidst the prevailing situation, we cannot help but speak up for the need to be more sensitive and responsive when it comes to harassment of our women, whether online or otherwise. Our support goes out to Hania Aamir who has been dealing with massive internet hate and antagonism, on top of having to deal with the trauma of public sexual harassment.