Long thread incoming. I wrote something abt #rape in 2011 which I want to share here.
Would you marry a rape victim?

A few years ago, I asked that question to a group of my under-graduate sociology students at a popular university.

I was met with stares, awkward coughs, quite a few moments of silence and a random impulsive “Yes!” from someone who later admitted
he hadn’t heard me right and only got the “would you marry” part of the question.

The word rape is weighs big on the list of taboos in our society. The act itself is a one-way ticket to social exclusion. Pakistanis can hear about ‘ziyadti’ on television and tolerate it in movies
even, but when it comes to actually embracing its people who are recovering from rape and any other act of sexual violence, or harassment, all we’ve got are awkward coughs and silent ignorance of a giant elephant in the room that just can’t be addressed.
That’s what worries me
about this young woman, who was gang-raped in Shahkot. This young, bright woman who topped her Secondary School examinations and was picked up using false pretenses and then she was subjected to rape by two ‘influential’ men.
More than being physically treated, her wounds are
psychological. Her healing will be less about bandages from this point onward. Let’s remember that rape is not sex, rape is an act of violence. Rape is a psychological offense against a human being that takes ages (or maybe not even that) to recover from. Let’s remember that more
than a quarter of the reported cases of rape, more than one assailant is involved, so gang rape isn’t a ‘rare’ occurrence. Someone doesn’t even have to be pretty or young or drunk or amidst strangers to be raped.
You can be physically disabled, and it doesn’t have to be a crazy psychopath to be the attacker. Cases report where the assailant can be a coworker, a family member or even a spouse.
What’s worse that in rural areas, rape is termed equal to ‘sex outside marriage’ and she is
labeled as ‘kari’. She is meant to be a victim of honor killing, because obviously a society that can easily LET gang rapes happen, cannot LET a woman victim live after it. Urban societies don’t offer hope either. While a woman may be expected to earn an education and have a
career and stand for her rights, if she is a victim of rape, she is just not worthy of the dignity a ‘pure’ woman (an unraped one, that is) would be. Even relatively minor offences (in comparison to rape) such as molestation are obvious taboos amongst us.
The personal accounts of women who are forced to deal with molestation in silence are absolutely shocking. What is even more disturbing is that no one has the courage or the capacity to come out publicly and talk about it. Why? Because this society does NOT provide courage and
support to anyone who is a target of sexual violence or harassment.
It’s a strange image. A society where women are placed on a pedestal when it comes to chastity and protecting her dignity, it offers no protection once the pedestal is swooped away from her. It offers no question
to the psychological torture, the nightmares, the inability to trust others, the shame, the fear, the feeling of being unsafe that she goes through every living moment of her life. A society that says women are to be modest and subordinate punishes them for being robbed of
their modesty.
Remaining silent and distant from these ground realities is, in a way, condoning the horrendous acts of sexual violence. By not accepting such victims into our inner circle, by not allowing them to lead normal lives, society is supporting the assailants and the act
itself. We’re saying that it’s okay – you go ahead and rape our boys and girls, we’ll just quietly turn away and not do anything about it because we are too afraid of what people will think and say and judge.
I worry about that woman and so should you.
We should be worried for every man, woman and child who has to carry the burden of being sexually attacked. Where does a young woman like her, who has her entire life ahead of her, go from here? Does she attempt to gain television fame so she can be taunted and teased for the
rest of her life? Or does she move to a different province or a city and change her identity? Does that stop it from hurting? Does she know that she needs years of therapy and treatment to alleviate her sadness that stems from an event no one can understand unless they’ve
(God forbid) been through it themselves? Does she know she is more prone to suicide than anyone among her peers? Does she know she deserves the strongest support system anyone can offer? Can anyone extend her hand out to her and tell her that she’s okay and she’s brave and she’s
not the one at fault just because she’s a woman and that she can grow and be everything she wants to be, regardless of what two psychologically ill people did to her?
There is a glassy-eyed ignorance of the people who quietly stand and watch the show and have nothing to say
that can help her on to a path of healing and harmony. Women like Mukhtara Mai and Kainat Soomro are evident examples of the tough road to justice.
And there are hundreds of others in Pakistan who are abducted, raped, thrown in gutters and then society shuns them out. She then becomes a statistic. A news report. A blog.


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Mahwash Ajaz 🇵🇰

Mahwash Ajaz 🇵🇰 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @mahwashajaz_

7 Sep
Pakistan graduation on TikTok is a thing and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Thread.
Read 18 tweets
23 Jul
This is why I think @AliZafarsays has been targeted maliciously, criminally and in a disgusting, defamatory way.

(Information that I'm sharing here is on the public record and public documents.)

#AliZafar #MeToo #FalseAllegations
(I was going to wait to do this but apparently a fake account cell is already active in targeting me with baseless claims - as is their habit - so I am going to share some stuff here which you can read at your own peril.) #MeToo #AliZafar #FalseAllegations
The first thing you should do is watch this entire program. I had not seen it until a few months ago. Please watch this in full if you haven't already.

(and please don't quote me stuff AZ has said in rejoinders before, I know it already)
Read 31 tweets
27 Mar
“Now here today, this room is full of medical students. Don't let them anesthetize you. Don't let them numb you out to the miracle of life. Always live in awe of the glorious mechanism of the human body. Let that be the focus of your studies and not a quest for grades...
which'll give you no idea what kind of doctor you will become. Don't wait till you're on the ward to get your humanity back. Start your interviewing skills. Start talking to strangers. Talk to your friends, Talk to wrong numbers, everyone.
And cultivate friendships... with those amazing people in the back of the room-- nurses that could teach you. They've been with people every day. They wade through blood and sh*t.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!