Where there is power, there is always risk of misuse of power. Although #Metoo has empowered women but it is also being misused. Blaming male of harassment is the worst ever tool used against men. Women use this tool to gain material benefits or blackmail innocent men.
‘Me Too’ is a movement against sexual harassment but till now many women have used it for their personal interests and leveled false allegations against men. This has not even damaged their repute but also ruined many lives. Fake allegations have also destroyed the cause of genuine victims. Many men have been blamed of harassing women but finally they have proven innocent like in Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar’s case.
Recently, a sad incident occurred at MAO College Lahore where a lecture named Afzal has committed suicide just because of being blamed for harassing his female student.
The actual incident was that a student of BS Mass Communication semester 2 wrote an application to the Principal that Mr. Afzal, English teacher stared at her and she felt uncomfortable in his class. A committee was made to investigate the matter. Findings of the committee showed that Mr. Afzal did not accept girl’s request to improve her marks which led her to write an application against him. Although, the professor had been declared innocent but the letter for his exoneration was not issued. He was defamed and his family life also disturbed. This all incited him to commit suicide. Before suicide, he wrote a letter describing that he left the matter in the court of Allah.
The painful incident of Afzal’s death reminds that not all men are wrong. Sometimes, women are also wrong.
‘’My wife has also declared me a man of bad character. I will be considered a bad man unless I am acquitted of the charges in writing’’, I can feel how much depressed he was while writing these line because I myself have also been a victim of misuse of #Metoo. His suicide has left a question mark whether power of #Metoo being used or misused. It must be understood that just like all Muslims are not terrorists, so all men are not harasser. Many of them have also been brought up by good, educated, mature and pious mothers.
Although many men have been found guilty of harassment after investigation but who will repair the repute of those who have been blamed only. Who will pay the damages to their repute? Even I was blamed of harassment by one of my colleagues but she could never prove it. I was not brave enough to commit suicide. I also saw no one to repair my damaged repute except Allah. Many of my friends suggested me to sue a case against that lady in the court of law under defamation act but like Afzal, I also left the matter in the court of Allah.
It is unfortunate that till now, no action has been taken against that false accuser student. People are demanding severe punishment for those who did not issue the letter of resurrection to the victim and also for the girl who put fake allegations. It is also need of the hour to make rehabilitation centre for those who are falsely accused.
Many social media users including women showing their sadness and anger are commenting that such women only play ‘’woman card’’ and try to blackmail men. Just like not all men are innocent, all women are not also innocent. There needs to be a counter punishment for the false accuser. This is so heart wrenching that one had to sacrifice his life to prove his innocence.
There is a trend rising on social media that men who are sexual predators, are punished for their misconduct but women, who level false allegations and destroy the honour of men must also be punished
My forefathers used to say, Beta Ji, whenever a woman has nothing to say against a man, she blames him of harassment. Same seems true in Afzal’s case. I have witnessed many examples where false allegations of harassment have ruined lives of men.
It is also need of the hour to make rehabilitation centers for those who are blamed for harassment and they become successful in proving their innocence. Hence, a mechanism is also needed to distinguish truth from false allegations and those who level false allegations must also be punished.
The writer of this article is a student of law at Punjab University Law College and can be reached at MShareef844@gmail.com.