Out of all the struggles a woman goes through in her daily life, what happened to Ayesha Akram on the 14th of August at the venerated monument of Minaar-e-Pakistan was shockingly unanticipated for most of us, including the victim herself; she had gone to Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park with 7 other companions to curate content for her Tiktock profile and that is when some boys approached Ayesha, asking for a picture together; little did Ayesha know that in a matter of minutes she will be manhandled by hundreds of strange men.
Ayesha was ambushed, entrapped in an inescapable swarm of 400 men, tossed around in the air like an object- with these men violating her body in every way possible-, and in the end had all her clothes torn into rags after this atrocious incident.
Even those who tried to help her were swept aside by the enormous mob and her companions also found themselves helpless; the security guard at the monument opened the gates to provide a safe haven for her but alas, the sea of men flooded inside the monument as well.
The ruthless crowd also mugged an amount of PKR 15000 from her friends, forcefully took her rings & earrings, and snatched one of her friends’ mobile phones.
It is beyond anyone’s imagination that a casual trip to a monument can turn into a traumatic episode; unimaginable to most people, yet an everyday reality for us women.
Several video clips of the incident have been making waves on social media platforms, and yet another spat has erupted among-
1. Those who condemn the act and the perpetrators of the act
2. Those who are shamelessly victim-blaming and cooking up stories against Ayesha to justify shifting all the blame on her and preserving the pride and prowess of their nation: Pakistani men
3. Those who condemn the act but partly blame the victim just for exercising her rights as a human being to wear whatever she chooses to, do whatever she wants, and go to places as per her own free will.
The moral police on Twitter once again has its sirens going off in full volume with countless tweets indulged in victim-blaming Ayesha.
Many ‘tweeps’ have claimed that this was a PR stunt pulled off by Ayesha and her team in an attempt to widen her fan base, by culminating worldwide sympathy for herself by bruising the image of Pakistani men.
Any men or women who would go to such disgusting lengths so as to create conspiracy theories against a woman who did absolutely nothing wrong, blame her for the crimes committed against her saying “she should have gone to a place with so many men in the first place”, and when they’ve exhausted all other options, urge the government to ban harmless content creation platforms such as TikTok because apparently there is no other reason for women getting raped; are fair and equal contributors to the consistent hikes in crimes against women as their direct perpetrators.
Many wealthy and ‘privileged’ women have been subjected to domestic violence and murder; including former diplomat’s daughter Noor Mukadam, whose ghastly assault and beheading shook Pakistan to the core.
If this terror prevails in the elite section of women in Pakistan, one can only imagine how rotten the grassroots of Pakistan are for its women.