Using “beat me” as an ironic message to hit out at domestic and sexual abuse in Pakistan has gone viral on the internet. But it seems that this powerfully shot video by the UN Pakistan Women has already been beaten by a hashtag #TryNotStealingIdeas. Photographer Fahhad Rajper from Pakistan had started a similar campaign called #TryBeatingMeLightly.
Rajper initiated the photo-essay campaign in June 2016, when Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology recommended a Bill that permitted a wife to be hit lightly if she defied her husband’s wishes.
The video by UN Women Pakistan, published on November 20, looks at the bigger picture of ending mental and physical violence against women, which affects at least one in three women and girls globally.
It features Pakistani women from different walks of life such as Samina Baig, the only Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest, Singer Meesha Shafi and journalist Sana Bucha, among others.
“As much as (I) like how #BeatMe is done, I think there’s a lack of originality,” said Rajper in a post on Facebook. “UN Women Pakistan have done this to support very good cause but sadly we’re part of the society where so called inspiration has been there to blatantly copy others’ ideas and not crediting the artists at all.”
Still, although the campaigns may seem similar, perhaps the message is more important in this case.
Many people have applauded #BeatMe but felt that a video in Urdu would have had a wider reach in the Pakistan.