#IWill for #MeToo

Posted by Shreya Chatterjee
October 18, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Come Monday, and it’s all either discussing about the weekends that just ended or sticking your head between work. Sometimes Facebooking though. Okay! Mostly Facebooking *sshh*

It all started with #MeToo posts. Wondering about the origin and pitying the self-ignorance, quickly ran my fingers through Google and then Twitter.

By this time, my tech lead comes and asks about the status of my work. I end up showing him the trending hashtag instead and saying the world has greater problems than us migrating applications from Google cloud to AWS. Poor fellow! Gave me a blank glance and left, which gave me more time to read about the issue.

I was going through my newsfeed where my friends and colleagues counted themselves in as the victims of sexual assault and harassment with #MeToo. Same two words over and over again in front me. I could see the magnitude increasing exponentially. It made me feel glad that women are raising hands in solitude with #MeToo. It made me feel glad to hear the resonating voices coming up, some sharing their stories, some adding support to those voices. But soon it made me realise, for every woman choosing to raise their voice loud, there still exist many choosing not to do so.

It could be home, school, shop, street, office, car and many other places where you could have possibly been harassed. Victims have chosen different paths to define sexual harassment or assault in their own way: sometimes something unspoken, sometimes something silenced, sometimes something hush private, sometimes something to be too ashamed of acknowledging and sometimes fabricating the details in the fear of getting judged.

We have all done this before even without the “MeToo” hashtag. But either our incidents were not heard or believed or if heard, then ignored or if heard and believed then, sometimes fortunately addressed. But did it change the state of your trauma that you had to go through that you never deserved. Did it happen to you or to anyone close to you again?

True that uncovering the magnitude of the problem is revolutionary in its own right. True that this has helped victims, to raise their hands and share their stories. But the call for action is missing. The hashtag has the power to make people understand the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. But it lacks the power of courage, to name the person who victimised you. It lacks the power to state what will you do or not do to make it never happen to yourself or anyone around you.

I do not intend to belittle anyone who chose to post #MeToo. I stand with you. I am among you in so many ways.

But it should never take a trending hashtag to remind yourself that you were wronged and your body has been wronged. You should never feel more victimized with the #MeToo hashtag. Rather empower yourself and everyone around you to share their stories and to name the perpetrator. Hashtags come and go, but nothing should discourage you to stand up and act against the perpetrators.

Let there be enough power around you so that there is no #MeToo victim. Let there be enough actions with #IWill, so that we all are one against any kind of sexual harassment or assault.


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