16th July 2020   •   opinion
We shouldn't be afraid of calling out sexual harassment by Asian men

Image: Photo by Sean Witzke on Unsplash
It recently came to light that a well-known British Pakistani comedian left Live Comedy Association after admitting "unacceptable behaviour" towards women.

He is well known among British Asians and it came as shock to me that despite him posting a statement on his Twitter, most British Muslims and Asians remained very quiet on the matter.

A few days later, it emerged that another well known Asian chef / comedian was accused of sexual harassment by over ten women.

When I spoke out on Twitter and highlighted how some brown men misuse their social status and positions of power to harass women, I got a backlash for mentioning the word 'brown'. Apparently, some people were more concerned about my use of language than women getting abused.

It is blatantly obvious that sexual abuse and misogyny aren’t exclusive to one community, religious group or skin colour. But we also need to speak out and highlight when it is 'our own' people and not deny issues by pointing fingers at others.

Some people don't like to criticise their own communities for fear of a backlash, and the fact it plays into the far right narrative.

Worse, there are some UK-based groups who claim to 'protect our girls' and highlight issues like grooming, but their activism is often motivated by hatred for other religious groups and making money via donations.

When a Muslim woman YouTuber takes her hijab off, there is outrage on social media. The same people are quiet when a man who claims to be a Muslim is accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

We need to be able to have adult conversations on these issues without pandering to the far right racists. It can start with having small conversations with people in your family and close circles.

Men have a duty to call out misogynist language used at social events and those speak up against those who treat women as sexual objects. We need to create a better society for our children.
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British Pakistani. Founder @because_desi.
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