“Men get abused too”, says Sheheryar Munawar
Actor, writer and director Sheheryar Munawar got candid about one of the sensitive issues in our society, domestic abuse and its portrayal in dramas and films.
Domestic abuse is one of the growing issues in our society. Through dramas and films, we are trying to shed light on this issue but often failed in delivering a meaningful message.
Recently during an interview with a digital magazine, the actor talked about his directorial debut Prince Charming which is also based on domestic abuse.
“We felt spent while working on Prince Charming. Completely spent as if something literally left our bodies while working on it. After a few months of Prince Charming, Mahira called me and said she wanted me to do this project for her. The theme which was explored this year was domestic abuse following Noor Mukaddam’s case. And mind you, I also had to keep in mind that I was creating a third episode for it, and it had to stay in the original story’s world”, the actor said.
Sheheryar Munawar also shed light that abuse is not a one-time thing and the victim who is involved in a toxic relationship needs time to say no and take a stand for themselves finally. The actor mentioned his short film scene starring Mahira Khan and said, “abuse isn’t a one-time thing, and is often followed by a grand apology, each one grander than the last one and it melts you, absorbs you with time. So to show the pattern, I repeated the same line that Mahira’s to-be-husband says in the beginning. The ‘Maheen, have you lost your mind?’ was a set pattern and the person who rewatches the film will understand that layer. They’ll understand how Maheen did not lose her mind but actually found it when she finally says no”.
The actor-turned-director also shared the reason why women continue to stay in abusive relationships. “It’s not like women are only scared of the consequences. They’re also in love with their abusers, that’s why it’s a toxic relationship. You can have a courageous moment to stand up for yourself but you’ll end up breaking the next minute because you don’t know life without that man. That is why you’ve been tolerating the violence. It doesn’t take a brave woman to stand up for herself, it just takes momentary courage”.
While talking about gender-based abuse, Sheheryar said, “Men get abused too. I’ve been in a bad relationship too. But Pakistani men aren’t allowed to cry and when they’re not allowed to feel pain and cry, then the man becomes an animal and then beats the women up. I’m not justifying it but it happens this way. We need to endorse sensitivity amongst all genders”.