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29 Oct

Being a victim of sexual assault doesn’t make you an inadequate man: Osman Khalid Butt

Osman Khalid Butt

Osman Khalid Butt is an actor who has always been vocal about social issues and has never shied away from taboo conversations. In response to filmmaker Jami’s personal #MeToo story that he posted on Twitter, Osman came out in support and shared a detailed post addressing how men, who are sexually assaulted, are expected to keep their mouth shut in our patriarchal society.

“Trigger Warning – some thoughts on the distinct context and connotations of male sexual assault in a society like ours, and a salute to Jami for the tremendous courage he has shown,” he wrote.

 

 

Osman took to Twitter and wrote about victim blaming and so-called ‘manliness’ that attaches shame to men who are sexually abused.

“In a conversation over dinner three days ago, the subject of Jami and his recent horrific rape allegations came up. What was astonishing to me was that every man on that table freely admitted to having been sexually harassed in one way or the other: in classrooms, in public transport, in their own homes, in vulnerable moments; as children, as adults; by strangers, by men they trusted. Wherever on the spectrum it might lie, our bodies and our psyche have been violated,” the actor said.

He explained that in a patriarchal society like ours, men are expected to be mighty and protective. Any attempt to admit that you have suffered abuse is viewed as weakness.

“We do not speak openly about the trauma inflicted upon us; we try suppressing the violence, the shame, the stigma – even though, as Jami says, the details remain etched in our DNA. I say ‘shame’, because in a society like ours, where sexual harassment is already under-reported, admitting that something like this happened to you makes you a lesser man,” he added.

Read: #MeToo: Filmmaker Jami says he was raped by a media giant 13 years ago

Osman continued: “When the first signs of vulnerability make you fodder for mockery, how does one dare speak of such an ordeal, when you’re most likely to be met with incredulity, when you’re likely to be urged to stay quiet because of how it might reflect on your ‘manliness, where you might be met with a homophobic reaction. Men are supposed to be tough. They should be able to resist. They should be able to protect themselves.”

 

Osman also spoke at length about Jami’s rape allegations and lauded the filmmaker’s courage.

“What Jami has done is immensely brave, especially knowing how the #MeToo movement in Pakistan has been met with such a ferocious backlash. I am so sorry you had to carry such heavy psychological scars for so long, Jami. Your story has resonated with so many men, men who are now finally ready to acknowledge the ordeals they went through, and see how they can prevent this from happening. It has given them strength,” he wrote.

The actor also stressed on speaking out and getting rid of the taboo associated to sexual assault.

“If you’ve ever been violated, you are not an inadequate man. Reach out to those close to you; seek professional help. It will be difficult, but it is so, so important,” he added.

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