Why ‘NotAllMen’ is a terrible response to the Minar-e-Pakistan incident

Shanzay Salman

Shanzay Salman

Features Editor

In what may be understood as being a disheartening turn of events, the hashtag ‘NotAllMen’ has been trending on Twitter, after a video went viral of the 14th August catastrophe in which a mob of 400 men can be seen collectively harassing and assaulting a woman who had come to celebrate Independence Day along with her friends, in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park.

We believe that ‘NotAllMen’ is one of the most insensitive and inconsiderate responses you can come up with after witnessing such a horrendous, gory and criminal act. And here are all the reasons why we think so:

The victim needs time and space to at least process their shock and trauma 

Imagine you were attacked by violent bears one day. Managing to somehow escape the situation, upon your return home when you express your fear and shock to your family and loved ones, and the fact that you have been petrified by the entire incident, in response they immediately start explaining to you why you need not be afraid of bears anymore because not all bears are the same? Some are wild and dangerous for humans, but others are more friendly and tame and do not harm humans. Hence, demanding you to stop ‘irrationally’ calling all bears dangerous and being afraid of them. How would you feel?

The rising cases of violence against women in Pakistani society, reflect our everyday values and behaviors as individuals

The news we hear everyday about horrendous attacks on women and digressions on behalf of men, are not isolated incidents. They are not divorced from the lives we lead. They represent the society we live in, and the values we are raised with as both men and women. They are just exaggerated incidents of what we as women, or men face on an everyday basis, and they trigger something in us every time we come across them. Whether we chose to accept it or not. Therefore, the responsibility to check our selves and our actions also lies with us, because we are the ones who make our society.

Women have an extremely valid reason to be cautious of ‘All Men’.

If 400 men could collectively be complicit in attacking a female under broad daylight, it means something is deeply wrong and dangerous about the society we are living in, and the mindsets of the men that surround us. With constant updates about our fellow women being assaulted, attacked and victimized, there is a reason for women to be cautious and careful of ALL MEN, and that reason is completely justified and valid. There are no two ways about it.

When advising your own sister/daughter against leaving the house too late, do you also think ‘Not All Men’?

Whether we like to admit it or not, we hold double standards and we are unashamed of it.

The responsibility to check our selves lies with us alone; after all we are the ones who make our society.

What goes onn in our society, the dramas we watch, the news we hear everyday, is just a reflection of the culture of the place we live in and the lives we lead on an everyday basis. Even though you are not directly doing the acts you are hearing about, you are living in a place which breeds the attitudes and behaviors that are allowing for them to take place. Therefore, as a man living in this patriarchal society, the responsibility to constantly check your own thoughts and behavior rests only and only with you!

Therefore, Yes All Men.