Why are grown men still attacking and blaming women for the actions of other men?

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal


The rise of online trolling Jemima Khan and her children have been forced to endure as Imran Khan was recently ousted as PM a few weeks ago proves how to our core, how truly women hating our country have become to hold them accountable for every wrong thing going on in our country. We have still not reformed the way terms like “rape” or “sexual harassment” are used by not discussing how they harm women, but how they are used as weapons to malign a man and his family’s honor. Honor killings are still present among our society because we think that a woman’s actions have more impact on the reputation of a family, and yet let men live comfortably even if they commit murder or assault. When we saw hideous crimes like the murder of Noor Mukadam take place, no man at a public platform stood up to educate the people on how to respect women or call for laws that hold rapists accountable, but more began lecturing women on the importance of pardah and good morals.

Afghani writer Khalil Gibran had said “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger will always point to a woman.” For our country, women are not individual human beings, but scape goats to further control and demean every time a man commits a crime.

This time now, it is Jemima Khan who has to still endure the consequences of being married to a man like Imran Khan even though she has been divorced decades ago, he remarried twice and she only lives in London where she takes care of his two children. Jemima has not been an active part of Pakistani politics, and has rarely visited the country since her divorce, but Pakistani men have kept badgering her about her marriage and begged her to come back and re-marry Imran. She recently joked that she could go on and have a lot of accomplishments in life, but publicly she will always be seen as the woman who was once Imran Khan’s wife

But this obsession has now reached to disturbing heights, and proves that to Pakistani men a woman will always be reduced down to the man she is related to. It doesn’t matter if the said man and her have legally ended their marriage decades ago and both have moved on, the public will consistently force her to remain on the same pedestal. Jemima recently tweeted that after Imran Khan’s announcement to hold a protest in Karachi, she had been constantly targeted by PMLN fans, who were now also holding a protest outside her house as a backlash to Imran’s constant attacks at the new government.

How is it still acceptable that a single mother has to endure abuse as well as anti-Semitic attacks for a being once married to a man who had held a powerful position in a country she hasn’t visited and is no longer married to the man as well? Some male journalists even had the audacity to defend the rising attacks from PMLN supporters by trying to justify that even women belonging to the opposite party had faced threats and abuse during the time Khan was PM. But how does this make it acceptable that a woman and her two children are consistently facing abuse and racist attacks? It doesn’t matter what party you are supporting, but if you’re still trying to justify the fact that a woman should be targeted for the actions of a man, then it proves how our misogyny runs too deep to notice how women-hating we are.

Women are not one-dimensional individuals who are responsible for protecting the honor of the man and the entire family, and she shouldn’t be burned at the cross because of the crimes committed by the men around her. The consistent harassment and racist abuse Jemima and her children are facing reflects the way Pakistani men cannot imagine that women are individual beings with their own lives, and it is not up to them to save men from their crimes. Men in our country are truly selfish to the core to consistently sideline the consequences of their actions on women, and we’re done allowing this to happen.