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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Sakina Bootwala And Several Others Call Out Popular Poet Shamir Reuben For Sexual Misconduct

  • IWB Post
  •  February 8, 2018

Since October 2017, we have seen some strong feminist movements gain momentum, like #TimesUp and #MeToo. Women are calling out sexual predators and abusers, and the men are finally facing some consequences. But this had been limited to mostly the US, until yesterday. Poet Sakina Bootwala exposed the many instances of sexual misconduct by Shamir Reuben on social media yesterday.

Shamir, who is a well-known slam poet and a member of Kommune, has been called out by a number of women along with Sakina for harassment. In a long Facebook post, Sakina wrote, “An extremely well-known face of the community, who speaks about women empowerment, equality and pretty much all the other relevant social issues there are, is a closet predator who preys on young, naive girls, of whom a lot were minors when he sexted them, coerced them into sending him nude pictures, and in some cases even forced himself on them.”

She shared how Reuben made sexual overtures to her despite her trying to shut it down and urged other women to speak up if they had suffered something similar. To her surprise, she got an overwhelming response from several women, with some of them even sending her screenshots of Reuben’s texts. There were so many stories that she had to make a second FB post to be able to include all the screenshots since Facebook only allows 30 pictures to be posted in one post.

Here is Sakina’s post:

Sakina Bootwala

Edit: I cannot post more than 30 images here, so I’m posting more here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10216028348007824&id=1422468241 Trigger warning: abuse The poetry community has…

Here is the second post she made:

 

Sakina Bootwala

Context: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10216025037165055&id=1422468241 Note: all the screenshots of conversations have been sent to me by various girls. Shamir has not personally…

Reuben’s friend Harnidh Kaur, a well-known poet herself, also took to Facebook in solidarity with the women and for all those who had raised their voice against Reuben.

Here are Harnidh’s posts:

Harnidh Kaur

The last few months have been exhilarating. Women have been coming up and speaking out about the discomfort they’ve felt, and it’s been a heady moment of finally feeling heard, of being supported, of…

 

Harnidh Kaur

I’m trying to collate information and statements against Shamir Reuben and his sexual intimidation and harassment of underaged women. If you’re willing to give me a statement and if you’re willing to…

Kommune also issued a post on Facebook condemning Reuben’s behaviour and announced that his role in the community has been suspended pending investigation.

 

Kommune

Kommune recognises that posts have been shared about Shamir Reuben’s past conduct with certain individuals. We acknowledge and respect the individuals who are speaking up about these issues. The…

After 24 hours of the outrage, Reuben took to Facebook to post what looks like an explanation and not an apology.

Here is Reuben’s post:

Shamir Reuben

A lot has been said in the past day about me. If any of my messages or actions may have made Sakina or any other woman uncomfortable, I want to apologize profusely for any discomfort felt because of…

 

 

 

 

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