Move over, women; it’s time for men to rightfully use the victim card

Published: July 25, 2015

The two-minute video showed a couple having an argument with one another. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

Feminism has been rooted in history ever since the unceasing debate about gender discrimination began, which goes back a long way. However, our media has often glorified women as the only victims of social injustices, while men, who are also victims of domestic violence, sex trade, abuse, and other unjust practices, are side-lined from the spotlight.

They are primarily held responsible for almost all the issues associated with women’s rights crisis. I, for one, believe that this is yet another social stigma that exists in our society. In fact, our media has played a liable role in promoting feminism to an extent that the women’s rights issue has become secondary in Pakistan. Moreover, presently women are not the prime targets of brutality but in fact, they are the ones perpetuating it.

Recently, I interviewed an individual from Murree and asked him about his personal life. Surprisingly, the response I anticipated from him was quite unexpected, pretty much an answer that would involuntarily shed light on the real life experiences of individuals that are hardly depicted on television.

Jamal Ibrahim, a Pakistani national had been a victim of long-term verbal and physical abuse by his wife. Furthermore, the lady who hired Jamal described him as ‘kind and humble by nature’ while she labelled his wife as ‘sharp and cunning.’

Jamal also explained that his wife had her eyes on the property his father had safeguarded for his sons. Furthermore, he stated that his wife had married him for money only and that she had everything planned beforehand. The lady, who hired Jamal as domestic help commented saying that his wife would persistently flog him with an iron rod if he dared to object to her commands.

And when the lady would ask Jamal’s wife whether they had a fight, she would simply reply,

“What are you talking about, baji? Everything is fine.”

She would then smile, pretending that nothing had happened, when in truth, she had put him through severe torture. The lady also claimed that his wife never regarded him as a good husband, but Jamal always praised his wife behind her back, despite all her flaws. Although not educated, Jamal was a decent lad, but things were quite unstable between him and his family.

He also happened to share their brief conversation with me, while shedding a few tears.

“You better not meet your father tomorrow, or else I will fabricate a story about your torrid affair with another woman.” said Jamal’s wife over the phone.

The poor man was helpless in this regard. On one hand, he desperately wanted to meet his father after a long period of time, while on the other hand, his reputation was on the line. Jamal explained that at times, he felt helpless. But it wasn’t his fault at all.

Additionally, I came across ManKind’s initiative #ViolenceIsViolence that advocates men’s rights. The two-minute video showed a couple having an argument with one another. As the man flew off the handle, he started to manhandle the woman in public. Most people intervened and started yelling at him.

However, in the second half of the video, it was the other way around. The man was thrown under the bus. He was abused and jostled by the woman and people began laughing, thinking that they were in some kind of circus show. Sadly, no one helped him out.

As an individual, I had the misfortune of witnessing a similar case where a young newlywed man was murdered after his wife had sedated him with drugs. Psychological manipulation, emotional blackmail, and other cruel practices are all carried out by either newlywed young women or their mothers. After all, mothers are to be equally blamed for these horrifying drills.

I was glad to have witnessed a few other incidents on the basis of which I have written this very piece. If a man wants to evade transgression from a woman, all he needs to do is man up. He should be able to stand up for himself and confront his wife if she continues to abuse him without an apparent reason.

As time is rapidly passing by, these forbidding practices are becoming more prominent in our society. Furthermore, I have seen various morning show hosts, most of them being females for your information, who wholeheartedly bash men on national television not knowing the other side of the story.

I believe that media programs should not be based solely on women but must advocate those men who continue to bear the brunt of many social injustices. That way, we can bring in an effective change in our society and would be able to come to terms with gender inequality and its growing influence on Pakistan.

Haider Rifaat

Haider Rifaat

The author is a model, actor, talk show host and writer for fashion magazines OK! Pakistan and Good Times. He is a columnist and writer for Express Tribune, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer. He is currently the creator and host of Pakistan's first ever web talk show on YouTube titled 'The Haider Rifaat Show' and is set to make his film debut in '24 Hours'. He tweets @HaiderRifaat (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sam

    While I agree with the basic theme that violence (perpetuated against any gender is inexcusable), the blog tries to brush aside violence against women to highlight violence against men.

    “Moreover, presently women are not the prime targets of brutality but in fact, they are the ones perpetuating it.” Can the blogger please provide a link for this grossly exaggerated statement?

    “I was glad to have witnessed a few other incidents on the basis of which I have written this very piece.” Uh huh?Recommend

  • Akhwandk

    You can write about Men’s Rights issues without putting down Women rights you know, it took Pakistan 20 years to do something about acid attacks Recommend

  • Pakistani

    amazing articleRecommend

  • Tab

    Alas, we have a savior. No one gives a dime about that fine discriminatory line in between. We are hardwired for hypocrisy innately. We appear strong that’s sure assumption we don’t need anything duh. Rights are for weaker ones !
    Stereo World.Recommend

  • Jahangir Khan

    Woman’s right isn’t being put down, this is a world wide thing and Acid attacks happen even today in Western country. At least know what you’re blabbering about.Recommend


    How has it when the title states violence againist men which is the article and women need to realise they do these things especially when they come from pakistan to ukRecommend

  • hassan

    Before modern history people used to take revenge from tribe of the miscreant. Nowadays the revenge is taken from once gender rather than that specific person.Recommend

  • Xyz

    Violence against any gender should be condemned however to undermine women issues just to highlight men issues is rather irresponsible.
    Do you realize acid attacks are still quite frequent, rape and mutilation of women is much much more versus men, women are much more likely victims of domestic violence than men….. You should highlight men issues but you think it’s ok to ignore what women have been subjected to for centuries???

    If you had a son and daughter…. Whose safety would you be more worried about and why?Recommend

  • nnn

    Another sad tween tribune blog. Come on guys…Recommend

  • Susu

    Young man, you are referring to the effects of arranged marriages. Most, if not all your examples focus on marriage and the pitfalls of arranged marriage. That should be your plight actually- eliminating the cultural practice of arranged marriage, so that people are free to use their natural right to choose in such a delicate and lifelong partnerships, to avoid the outcomes you’ve highlighted.

    It looks to me, that it is the Pakistani culture that requires an update, because aspects of it; in relation to marriage are no longer conducive. That is not to say that I am condoning violence against men, not all. But address the issues you speak about from their roots. Then you can credibly address men’s equal rights.Recommend

  • Aether Skyle

    Sir, a few incidents does not an issue make.Recommend

  • Haris

    I remember a similar incident shown on American television where the husband was abused by his wife. As he was narrating the story, the crowd kept laughing. The host intervened and said that the audience’s reaction would have been very different if the wife was complaining of the same thing. Kudos to the writer for bringing this issue to limelight.Recommend

  • Absano

    please edit this article for clarity and trash it for lack of substance. please oh please. Give me back my three and a half wasted minutes.Recommend

  • Iqbal

    amazing? There may be a few horrible women. But in our society, as in may other societies, women are treated worse than animals. They are treated like property to be owned. Open your eyes. And act not like an ignorant guy.Recommend

  • Hero

    People are laughing becuase the man is not being a man.

  • Critical

    Yes women owned by MOTHER IN LAWS…..who are also women. It has been documented that most of the “sons” commit atrocities under pressure from their MOTHERS…
    The point is women rights are a discussion but one should not get so much carried upon to forget that Men are also human…..
    If you still dont believe than just explain me the video above .::!!!Recommend

  • Yousuf Farhan

    40% of whose victims are male. Yet they are barely given any recognition, let alone help.Recommend

  • Yousuf Farhan

    Current DV laws in Pakistan do not even recognize adult males as victims. Disgusting. The new law itself is torture for the male. It is non bailable. Makes verbal abuse a criminal offence (majority of whoe rpeperators are female yet males cannot be victims of it. A woman calls his husband a sissy, the husband calls her fat. The husband goes to jail,) and allows monetary relief even before the accused is proven guilty.
    The Aurat Foundation, whom I had high hopes for, has shown its misandry. Hopefully these issues will be brought to light.Recommend

  • Yousuf Farhan

    Do u know that rape and acid attacks happen to men too? Majority of the victims of violence are male. But we do not treat violence in general as a gendered crime. Then why treat these as a gendered crime?Recommend

  • Yousuf Farhan

    Males are no better. Hence, we shoudl work for the betterment of all people, not just a particular gender.Recommend

  • k kAMRAN

    Very well written, have seen many homes where the wives are mentally torturing their husbands to fulfill
    their egos and to dominate by having separate house etcRecommend