The gentleman in question rather reckoned himself. Swanning around the newsroom as if he were ‘it’. He was, in fact, one of those chaps who enjoyed a bit of banter. Particularly with female colleagues. A most brilliant disguise. His reputation was well deserved. From the literally toe-curling sessions with interns in his office to the suggestive request to come over to watch the latest instalment of this or that box set. He didn’t do anything to me.But his brother did. And when I finally mustered the wherewithal to broach the subject with senior editors — after one whole year, no less — I suddenly found myself blacklisted from writing. The editor-in-chief lamented there was nothing to be done. I had left it too long. Work went suddenly from being something I relished to provoking feelings of dread. Silent bullying does its own damage. This was before the age of instant gratification. Social media with its information overload. And its court of public tweets. As a platform for outing sexual harassers — it offers anything but an easy piece. Affording the tormentors a voice with which to troll. Thus only a certain kind of woman goes on Twitter to name and shame a local pop icon and Bollywood import as having crossed sexual proprietary’s boundaries. A courageous one.Smashing the patriarchy will not come easy. Rather, it has to be chipped away at bit by bit. By many hands all at the same time. And men, with their axes to grind, need to understand that women will have the last say. In fact, it has already begunMeesha Shafi is that woman. Admittedly, she has privilege on her side; especially in terms of social capital and outreach. Yet she is using this for the greater good. Taking the personal and turning it into the political. To carry forward the much-needed debate on consent. And for this she has been vilified. All of which reminds me of another time and another newsroom. The same fellow had turned up; still unpleasantly suave. Spouting the same dated lines in what he believed passed for convivial chit chat. This didn’t make him appear cheap so much as the sale of the century; if truth be told. An English colleague and I were sitting together. When she suddenly blurted it out. She feared for our Pakistani female co-workers. For they wouldn’t knowhow to deal with his unwelcome advances; whereas she wouldn’t think twice before screaming and not letting him ‘get away with it’. Taking this in, I set about detailing an alternative reality. One in which men in positions of power don’t always try and strike it rich straight off. Many are in it for the long haul. Grooming is the name of the game, subconsciously done or otherwise. All the while gradually blurring the boundaries of conversation and convention until one fine day the woman — any woman — is left reeling and asking herself how on earth did they get going on this unchartered road to somewhere. Yet women like Meesha, like Ayesha Gulalai, like Mukhtaran Mai do fight back. And each of them has had question marks raised over her character as the knife goes in for the final assassination. In Mai’s case, Pakistan’s last military dictator infamously accused her of spinning some rape-to-riches yarn to fast-track a foreign passport. And despite immense international media attention — the courts failed to deliver her justice. Nevertheless, Mai remains a symbol of resistance here and abroad. And rightly so. But what differentiates her from the likes of Meesha?Simply put, Mai doesn’t rattle the progressive status quo in quite the same way. After all, much of the elite were desperate to appropriate her as a mascot for their benevolent feudalism. This illiterate peasant woman; the perpetual enfant sauvage. They can’t do this with Meesha. And this is what irks. Ali Zafar has now thrown down the gauntlet. She has to either publicly apologise and delete all accusatory tweets or face a defamation suit in court to the cool tune of Rs100 crore. Meesha is not backtracking. She is going for gold. Smashing the patriarchy will not come easy. Rather, it has to be chipped away at bit by bit. By many hands all at the same time. And men, with their axes to grind, need to understand that women will have the last say. In fact, it has already begun. They are refusing to keep calm and carry on. A conversation is taking place. One I wish I’d been part of all those years ago. But instead, I had been suffering from The White Man’s Burden in some sort of reverse. So conscious was I of my First World privilege and the need to adapt that I allowed myself to become blinded towards this indecent email or that drunken text. Physical shoving in the newsroomEveryone has their tipping point. This is mine. The writer is the Deputy Managing Editor, Daily Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets @humeiweiPublished in Daily Times, April 29th 2018.