Amidst rumours of a complete ban, the reality of partial ban, cinema owners reluctant at showing the movie at their theatres and censor board cringing away from the reality of rape, Verna released all across Pakistan.
And with the release of the movie, we can safely summarise that ‘not all men’ hate the word rape.
Not all men hate women empowerment, not all men call feminists “feminazi b*****” and not all men threaten women with cutting off of various organs (most favoured, the nose) when they dare post anything remotely progressive.
We get it. But there are SOME men who do these things and post-release, the view on Verna and its plotline of a victim surviving rape by a governor’s son has been testament enough.
Before we move on, let us just begin with this Facebook status which outlines what happened at a local theatre during Verna’s show, men giggling away the horror that is rape.
Shanzay states, “I am trembling with rage and furious with how powerless I am. Sitting in a cinema watching Verna and men giggling at the rape and mocking the destruction of a woman’s body and soul”.
The attitude of these men is horrible. Their apathy to the victim’s plight, even if make belief and happening purely on celluloid, disgusting. The idea that rape is purely the victim’s fault or that if such a thing happens, ridicule is the way to react are all too common themes we face in the real world as well.
Going through various social media platforms we came across men sharing similar sentiments.
Rakeem Khan writes,
“An actress [Mahira Khan] who herself is fake hypocrite who smokes and wears shalwar only when appearing on Pakistan TV and sleeps with Indian actors overseas. A lecture on social by these 2 pathetic ppl wont do much”.
Another disgruntled facebook user states,
“People don’t go to cinema to listen to the disturbing social messages which they see everyday on news media, they go for entertainment. Entertainment is the last priority in Shoaib Mansur film. Apart from the controversy related to its lead actress, the directors profile is not very positive. He only makes films arould rape, women and portray Pakistan negatively”.
Ali Hussain, unhappy that not much of a thrill could be derived from a movie about the journey of a rape victim writes,
“It was more like public service message conveyed in the most dulling and mundane way………. No suspense, no thrill and repeated dialogues. It was not worth waiting”.
We also have our charming men on Twitter who, in a logic best known to themselves, are trying to defend the movie by mansplaining how the rape and violence against women are two different things and since the movie is not about the latter, it should be watched.
— Usman Ghani (@whousmanghani) November 14, 2017
Another user tweets,
#Verna created lot of hullabaloo but when released, its silence.”
True. Silence. Something that women are fully aware of.
— انگوٹھا چھاپ (@navidnasiem) November 18, 2017
The reactions that have come across after the release of Verna are truly frightening. Even if some men think this way about rape and its depiction in mainstream cinema, women still have a lot to worry about.