Leading superstar Mahira Khan recently appeared on a podcast ‘Positive Solace’, with Attika Choudhary where she discussed the problem of victim-blaming in rape cases, and the pressing need to use different outlets to educate the public about it and against it. ‘No more shame, no more excuses and no more blame’, said the actress, talking about violence against girls and women.
The actress threw light on how whenever a rape case surfaces, public concerns and questions become heavily centered around what the victim was wearing, where she was and what she was doing at the time of assault. “Those are the wrong questions to ask”, asserted the actress. Even in the most educated of households, these are the questions that are asked, she pressed, despite the fact that rape happens to women clad in burkas, children in their own homes, and even to young boys, logically rendering all such questions and allegations baseless and meaningless.
Talking about her film Verna, she said many found it hard to sympathize with and relate to her character, who was raped in the film, because of the fact that she was someone who wore jeans and spoke English. Simply because of these reasons, psychologically, for the public, whatever happened to her became okay, owing to this very mindset which leads up to questions such as ‘Why did she wear jeans?’, ‘Why did she go there?’, ‘Why did she do this?’. Even though all that is absolutely and thoroughly- irrelevant, “and that needs to be ingrained, if not in the generation before us, then in the generation after us.”
Stressing the importance of creating awareness regarding the plaguing issue of victim-blaming and using different outlets to educate the public about it, Mahira stressed “This is something that should be taught in schools, put on TV, there should be programs where children understand this. The drama and TV Industry, I think we also have a very big part to play.”
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