#MeToo first became popular in October 2017, when women on social media came out openly about their experiences of sexual harassment. This inspired a chain reaction and one a lot of women spoke about the horrid experiences they faced at the hands of sexual predators. Many celebrities were also named and shamed as a result of this movement. Recently in India, after actress Tanushree Dutta accused actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment, the movement gained momentum in India. Tanushree’s case is ten years old, and a lot of people refuse to believe her. She is being accused of trying to revive her Bollywood career and gain popularity again. Also, Nana Patekar’s charitable work and great artistic portfolio are reasons why many refuse to believe the accusations against him.
Tanushree sparked the #MeToo movement again, and many more women have publicly called out their harassers. Celebrities like Tanmay Bhatt, Chetan Bhagat, Alok Nath and Aditi Mittal have also faced allegations of sexual harassment.
The media trails have started, and social media users are divided on the campaign. While many are siding with the victims, some are questioning the integrity of these allegations. A lot of them are also making a mockery of the situation. After reading a lot of these comments and posts, I tried to list down 13 observations on this ongoing movement. These observations might help the people to make better judgments about the campaign.
- A woman’s dignity is supposedly entrapped in her sexuality, and hence it has always been easy to ‘rob’ her of her ‘honour’.
- Yes, there have been false cases, where women have taken undue advantage of the law, and there is no way one can justify that. It is the collective duty of all women to understand that our struggle is a lot more meaningful and important. It shouldn’t be used to avenge oneself or ruin someone’ life and career.
- For ages, women have been victims of sexual crimes. Even national records on crimes against women are scary. In such a scenario, it is ridiculous to derail this movement based on a handful of false cases.
- The least we can do is stand in solidarity with womankind.
- While women are the major victims of sexual harassment, such cases are limited to one particular gender. Also, the recent episode of comedian Kaneez Surka accusing Aditi Mittal reveals that even women can abuse women. However, homosexuality jokes on this are just pathetic!
- No matter what her profession is, what her personal choices are, harassing a woman is not okay. We must understand and follow consent. So, Mr Chetan Bhagat, if a woman writes adult content or not, your harassment is not justified. Also, Sunny Leone and Mia Khalifa jokes in this scenario are downright disgusting. Similarly, no matter what is the profession of a man, how great his portfolio is, or how charitable he has been, he can still be a sexual predator.
- Casual sexism within our families, be it WhatsApp jokes, sexist remarks on the dining table or regular everyday sexism are not okay either. Raise a question even if it is coming from your father, brother, husband or other family members. These little battles are what need to be won before we aim for the greater revolution.
- “What about feminism when you have to lift heavy things or pay the bill?” Men are biologically blessed with greater physical strength. Physiology is not what the debate is about. Can we expect a man to give birth? No. Why? Because of Biology! Don’t open doors and don’t pay the bills. Ask your woman to split the bill or take turns, and she will be happy to be part of it. If not, you have the choice to choose what kind of woman you want to go out with and for how long. When it is about the women in your family, like your mother or wife, who have traditionally been managing the house, there is a clear division of labour and duties, and you are only playing your part. This defence is invalid. Therefore, calling us names and ridiculing the movement as “feminazi” is only making you look stupid.
- Not harassing a woman doesn’t make you a great man. It’s normal. Men are supposed to be that way.
- This debate is not about which gender is better and which is worse. It never was. Please don’t make it one.
- This is a chain reaction, one woman speaking up gives another strength, especially when the woman is a prominent figure, or the alleged harasser is a celebrity like Nana Patekar.
- It is not easy to speak up. There is a lot of social stigma that women have to break when they choose to call out their harassers. Some women speak up immediately, some take years, and some don’t speak up ever. That doesn’t reduce the trauma the victim has undergone. It doesn’t justify the harassment. Also, it doesn’t become a reason to question her integrity.
- Every action has consequences.
Peace and Love!