Are women still going to be blamed for men exposing themselves to and assaulting them on the street?

Are women still going to be blamed for men exposing themselves to and assaulting them on the street?

It's got nothing to do with what a woman wears and everything to do with the man harassing her.
05 Jul, 2023

A truly disturbing incident has been captured on camera and sparked outrage on social media and we’re fed up. CCTV footage captured a man taking off his pants and chasing after a woman in what is believed to be Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar and now we have to ask — will women be blamed for this too?

The incident unfolded in broad daylight as the man exposed himself by taking off his shorts and assaulted a woman passerby in the street. Fortunately, the woman managed to escape the harrowing situation. What’s not fortunate is that she had to experience this assault at all.

That a woman is so unsafe on the streets in broad daylight is unbelievable. It doesn’t matter where this incident took place — it’s disgusting. Men exposing themselves to women is nothing new — ask any woman and they’ll have disgusting tales to tell — but for him to assault her is a new low when the bar is already six feet under.

The video has been widely shared on social media in an effort to identify the perpetrator, sparking a wave of anger and outrage among netizens.

People are calling for strict punishment for the assaulter.

People also expressed their frustration with societal double standards and highlighted the urgent need to address men’s behaviour as a fundamental issue in ensuring women’s safety. Some criticised the tendency to blame women for acts of violence against them, pointing out that abuse occurs even when women are ‘fully covered’ or within the confines of their own homes.

It’s crucial for people to realise that the victim cannot be blamed — it’s not about what you wear, where you are or what time it is — sexual harassment and rape culture has everything to do with the perpetrators, not the victims.

It is disheartening that our society often fixates on discussing the victim’s attire. If a woman is groped or assaulted, the first thing people do is blame their clothes. Blaming the clothes or assuming that abayas alone can ensure women’s protection disregards the deeper problem at hand — addressing societal attitudes and behaviours.

The woman was, as highlighted by some users, wearing an abaya and niqab and yet she faced such a terrifying assault, proving that it has nothing to do with what a woman wears. The responsibility lies entirely with the men assaulting women and their inappropriate behaviour.

One of the users rightly said, “Women’s clothes are NEVER the problem, men and their sexual frustrations are.

Some users shared helpful tips and suggestions for women to protect themselves in such situations.

It is crucial to move away from blaming victims and their clothes and instead focus on the main issue — how these men need to be held accountable for this disgusting behaviour. That some men now feel emboldened enough to strip off their pants in broad daylight without any fear of consequences is terrifying. There should be consequences for such brash and gross actions, yet very often, there are none.

How long will we blame the clothes, the street or the woman for the assault and when will we finally blame the man who assaulted her?