Trigger Warning: Harassment, Rape, Sexual Assault
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s words shocked the nation yesterday when during an interview he said that women who wear skimpy or less clothing would ultimately attract men, since they are not robots.
“If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they are robots,” PM Imran Khan on escalating sex crimes in Pakistan. Absolutely shameful victim blaming, again. pic.twitter.com/jESwy7KE5x
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) June 21, 2021
Rape has nothing to do with the clothing of the woman, but it has everything to do with the misogynist mindset of the man and the society that continues to let him get away with his actions and blame the victim. Women on Twitter de-cried this misogynist statement by the PM and labelled him as a “rape apologist” for choosing time and time again to ignore the voices of countless victims as cases of molestation and harassment continue to rise. One Twitter user encouraged other women to step up and share stories of the clothes they were wearing and their ages when they were harassed by a man:
Pakistani women must start sharing the photos of the clothes we were wearing when we got harassed and assaulted! Just so we can be told if they meets the standards of “very less clothes” or not. Also men who don’t rape women please change your names to robots so we know !
— Tooba (@Tooba_Sd) June 21, 2021
This user shared that she was wearing her school uniform and was harassed while she was coming back from school
I was wearing a school uniform when I was harassed. I was coming back from school in 2009. I was in 8th grade. A white two-piece uniform with a green scarf.
— Mustajab Zahra Khoso (@MustajabZahra2) June 21, 2021
Another user shared that she was standing near the Holy Kaabah and was wearing a pardah when she was groped by a man
A loose abaya scarf and dark glasses to cover my black eye. Was standing in the sehan of Kaaba a guy groped me… He was in ahram still
Same attire, black eye performing tawaf pinched on the backside guy smirked when I turned
Same attire barely escaped a man in masjid e nabwi https://t.co/NSYlAMGhXm
— Rabia Ayub (@RabiaAyub9) June 21, 2021
Another user revealed that she was harassed by her molvi saab when she was eight years old and was wearing clothes that completely covered her entire body
tw sexual assault //
by my qari sahab when i was eight. pretty sure my whole body was covered even my head because he used to teach me how to recite the Quran. https://t.co/0BH2Ml5Gmg
— minahil (@ymirssidechick) June 22, 2021
These comments have clarified to all of us that time and time again, it has never been the dupatta on our heads or the abaya that has saved a woman from harassment or sexual assault. Even more so, this statement coming out when just three days ago, a madrassa once again was brought under investigation when a molvi saab was caught molesting a young boy, prove that rape has everything to do with power.
Instead of dismissing victims and blaming them for their actions, we need to collectively come together to push for legal reform that holds rapists and harassers accountable for their actions.