In the wake of the Gujranwala Motorway incident, a question that did rounds on social media was:
“How can men play a role in uprooting the systemic rape culture in Pakistan?”
I came across a wide range of opinions on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I also brought up this question to a number of friends at university to gather some insight into how people see this.
Of course, not everyone responded in a positive and constructive way, but I was able to extract some meaningful ideas upon which we can base the long fight against this social evil.
Take a pause as you go through the ideas below and think about how you can help in each way:
Redefine your masculinity:
It’s time men let go of the chauvinist and patriarchal definition of manhood. Socially constructed ideas like
“Real men don’t take no for an answer”,
“Man up and stop whining like a girl!”,
play a role in constructing unhealthy and unsafe relationships. Choose yourself the kind of man you want to be.
Get a woman’s perspective:
Talk to women about how the fear of harassment and rape affects their daily life. If they know someone who has been a victim, listen and learn from their experience how you can help bring down rape culture.
Get a man’s opinion on how it feels when fellow men commit heinous crimes against women. Ask if they know someone who has been sexually assaulted. Brainstorm ways men can help facilitate women’s struggle in creating a safer environment
Be wary of pop culture’s messages:
Be aware of the messages communicated by TV shows, movies, magazine articles, and advertisements about masculinity and relationships. Don’t let them dictate your social behavior.
Choose your words carefully:
Be mindful of your choice of words when referring to fellow women. It’s easier to ignore women’s well-being when they are seen as inferior. Replace socially accepted, misogynistic terms with respectful language.
You may never see a rape in progress, but witness attitudes and behaviors that degrade women and promote violence. Speak up if you hear a misogynistic remark or victim-blaming. This can help deter a potential rapist. If a friend makes a joke about rape, tell them it’s not funny.
Talk it over:
Communicate with your partner in sexual situations, listen, and state your desires clearly. Marital rape can be eliminated by creating a space to speak honestly to make relationships safer and healthier.
Join an anti-harassment and/or anti-rape group. If you don’t know one, you can start a support group on your campus and/or in your social circle. Such spaces allow victims to share their experiences and help others.
To bring full circle, rape has deep roots in the patriarchal pattern of our society, and it’s up to the younger lot to change how we see and behave towards women. Men need to drop the role of blamers and take up the role of facilitators in bringing the desired systematic change.
Meet the Blogger
Hi, y’all! I’m Hassaan & this blog is my journey through life as I observe & learn from the world as it unfolds in front of me. Sounds interesting? Grab some chai and let’s go!