We’re all well aware of the plethora of harassment cases we hear about in our country on a regular basis. And a majority of us have faced harassment ourselves as well, whether it’s at our work place or on the streets, something which is insanely common. When we think of sexual harassment, we automatically assume that the victim is female. While women do face harassment at a higher level of harassment than men, this doesn’t mean that men don’t face harassment at all.

Recently, a customer of Careem named Ali Akhtar (name changed due to privacy reasons) took to Facebook and posted a status in which he outlined an incident which made him uncomfortable. He stated how a Careem captain tried to converse with him and since Ali wasn’t in the mood, he hardly indulged in the conversation. Later that night around 5:30 AM, he got a call from the same captain who said:

“Hehe lagta hae soye huay haen jee. Akhtar sahb main ap k dropoff k pass hun. Aaien namaz parhtay haen phir nashta saath hi karain gy.”

This disturbed Ali, who then took to Facebook to write:

Tf is wrong with these thirsty pakistani guys? If they have the balls to go after a guy whos 6’3″ with a beard covering half his face, a load of contacts and perfectly capable of ripping him a new one, i can only imagine the shit they try with the poor women who cross their path. Not everyone has the same luxuries I do. We are embedded in a culture that seems oblivious to the impropriety of behavior bordering on harassment. Men generally have a hard time taking seriously the reality that certain kinds of advances are unwelcome, and to the extent women worry that confronting a perpetrator would make her a pariah. Someone told me that the only way to teach straight Pakistani men about consent and harassment is to lock them in a room with some gay men and honestly now i agree with that. Dear ladies, i can’t imagine the horrors you face everyday, the fights you fight. Stay strong!
P.S. the next time someone asks, “wHy Do wE nEeD fEmInIsm?” Tell him to talk to me.”

Ali’s post shows us that while the situation isn’t limited to one gender, women certainly do face the brunt of harassment in our society. However, with recent movements like #MeToo coming to Pakistan, many women have been emboldened to speak up against their perpetrators, decreasing the stigma associated with speaking up against issues that society dubs as taboo. 

Ali has since then deleted his Facebook status due to which Careem was unable to reach him and respond to his concerns.


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