What Happens When Memes Transcend The Line Of Personal Space?

After the video in which two random people claiming that women of Shaheen Bagh are receiving money for sitting on protest went online, it went viral. This video was extensively shared by right-wing supporters, including BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya.

Till now, nobody has proved its authenticity or is telling how this validates their claim. In the last few months, women are at the forefront of protests across the nation. Ladeeda Sakhaloon and Ayesha Renna N fought with the Delhi Police cops to save their friends and became the symbol of women’s voices. Similarly, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, who was injured in the violent attack against students, also showed courage to the protesters and inspired them.

Subsequently, Bollywood actresses like Swara Bhaskar, Deepika Padukone and Sharmila Tagore set the example in front of the nation. On the contrary many voices also emerged, which disdained these women. Social media is the witness of such hatred or insensitive jokes or memes.

Here is a Facebook post misrepresenting students Ladeeda and Ayesha. The post shared their layout picture with a porn star to malign their image.

Screenshot provided by author.

“The insensitivity of people towards such a serious situation is baffling. What will it take for people to actually say enough is enough, stand up and fight? The people supporting CAA-NRC-NPR come up with such baseless statements, it’s actually hurtful.” said Debolina, a student.

This is not the only case of misogyny on social media. After Deepika visited Jawaharlal Nehru University, there was a massive uproar against the actress. In this context, people shared memes, in which they depict Deepika as stricken as Aishe Ghosh. This was not the limit, people also shared memes in which they mock acid attack survivors.

A post shared a picture of Deepika’s character in the movie Chhapaak and wrote, “This could be you, par tu maan gayi.” (This could be you; however, you agreed.)

“When Anupam Kher shares a video supporting the bill that is cool. But when Deepika Padukone just stands in solidarity, and people turn her life inside out to humiliate her. It’s disappointing.” said Debolina after watching these memes.

Screenshot provided by author.

A video in which a girl was rolling a joint during the protest was also trolled on social media. This video completely damaged her privacy as the video was shot without her consent. Mockery on social media played a similar role in deteriorating her personal life.

In the same protest, Kaushal Bodwal, a queer person was also mocked, when his picture was shared with the caption, “When Kavita Krishnan forgot to shave her beard for a day.” Both Kavita and Kaushal were mocked in this meme.

Screenshot provided by author.

CPI(M) leader Kanhaiya Kumar also made a statement in which he mocked the BJP leader and asked him to wear bangles as a misrepresentation of weakness. Later on, he apologised for his comments. Jokes and memes are the new generation’s way to show their dissent and to say things which are not easy to describe in words.

When humour transcends the line, then it turns into an insult. These posts are the microcosm of the daily struggle of a woman.

Featured image for representative purpose only.
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