When there is nothing better to do, and as a handy mode of passing my time, I end up scrolling through the endless number of posts on Facebook. A fun way to engage yourself in something that lets you escape the harsh realities of life. But, lo and behold! It slipped my mind that realities are indeed an integral part of the virtual world as well, isn’t it?
I was, as usual, scrolling through my news feed only to stumble across a video taken by someone, and shared by a friend of mine. The the caption was disturbing. In an ordinary world, I am known for my patience, but, that day, I had given up on it to find out what was the hoopla all about. I clicked on the video; the first five seconds were as bleak as the future of India, but when the camera rolled on, I was appalled. What followed next blew my top, and I felt a tinge of guilt to be a part of society where thrives some vile and repulsive people.
One so-called “journalist” by profession, let’s say, Mr X, from a local media house in the city of ABC, verbally abused a transgender woman, who was getting wine for herself from a local wine shop. The person concerned has forgotten his ethics of journalism and resorted to sexual harassment and bullying, while shooting the entire scene on his cell phone. He called her out in a very inhuman manner, and one that resembled a hooligan’s. He shouted at her, and demanded, in a boorish tone, to know where she was from and what her name was. She was apprehensive of his demeanour, and wanted to skirt away from the cameras and his entire cohort, but he stuck to her like a magnet. After knowing what her name was, and where she lived, Mr. X, apparently, decided to probe the issue further, and scratched it by accusing her of being a male in guise of a female to earn money.
She denied his accusations, and when things seemed to be getting worse, Mr. X asked her to prove it by commanding like a wild boar to remove her blouse and saree. Her expressions changed—from a nonchalant face to a terrified one. Pulling the thread of repulsiveness further, he threatened her to call the cops if she didn’t confess the truth. Constant denials from her side made him more virulent, and he seemed to be taking pure pleasure out of it. When she said it was “Allah” who made her what she was, Mr. X found a way to scratch the wound, and asked her questions immaterial on her religion, and why did she think “Allah” would make her so. The unfortunate video ended at that.
Mr. X, taking complete pride in what he did, uploaded the video, and asked people to “feel free to share” it. He thought he had won a massive battle against the trans community. Little did he know that, apart from a handful of birds made of transphobic feathers who were full of plaudits, his post garnered hatred galore, with people castigating his profession and questioning his ethics.
I was disgusted at what he did. The trans woman here was treated like dirt, and it bothers me to witness such an attitude from people time and again towards people from the LGBTQ community. A journalist, or any person for that matter, has got absolutely no right to FORCE a human being into confessing something that he/she is not. Mr. X is a disgrace to his profession, and the society. His questions were brusque and boorish, and his manners regressive. The job of a journalist is to lift the mass up from oblivion and into a zone of awareness, where people are enlightened. What he did was unethical from the standpoint of journalism, and intruding into the private space of a trans person, who meant no harm to him, is a violation of human rights. Is it a trend to broadcast anything under the umbrella of “NEWS” just so it sells in public?! They are just parasites in black and white who will do anything for news.
I condemn his act, and Mr. X should make a public apology for his obnoxiousness, as hr not only bullied her, but also sexually harassed her. No one is supposed to question the gender of a person, or their sex. It’s time people learn to accept the differences than make a hue and cry just because a person doesn’t fall under their expected standard of “normalcy”.