The doubtful ascent of AP Abdullakutty, a minority community leader to the National Vice President of BJP, the turmoil within Kerala politics and the looming shadows of the pandemic across Kerala; were the probable contenders for the prime time debate across all media channels of Kerala. However, a viral video which emerged late on September 25, 2020, evoked a new social discourse regarding patriarchy.
A video was doing the rounds on social media late on September 25, 2020, wooing large audiences. Three women, including renowned dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi and two women activists, were seen barging into the lodging of a man who purportedly hurled abuses of vile and derogatory nature against them on his YouTube channel.
Video of Malayalam dubbing artist Bhagyalakshmi & Social Activist Diya Sana confronting Youtuber Vijayan for putting out a derogatory video on feminists in #Kerala, has gone viral. Both sides have submitted complaints with police, a case has been registered
Vivek K. reports pic.twitter.com/bQpksbya5R
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) September 27, 2020
The man identified himself as a clinical psychologist and had uploaded a video titled ‘Why feminists in Kerala do not wear underwear‘, only to be taken down by authorities. He justified the title by alleging that it helps them to have ‘quick sex’ with multiple men to curb their salacious deeds. The video that was uploaded two months ago barely had any views until the incident on Sunday, which saw people jumping onto the line to turbocharge the viewership to five lakhs within a few hours.
A peek into his YouTube channel would reveal that it entails the culture of the commodification of women, where the upper crust is saddled with sexual innuendos and misogyny, while the belly dip is immersed in taboo and other sexually perverted subjects including incest that remains a stigma considering the normative mindset of the public. There was drama in suffice as the activists along with the dubbing artist poured engine oil on him and seized his laptop and other accessories. It reached a bizarre situation when the women manhandled him and rebuked throughout the video in the same dominant language that was steeped in misogyny, and obnoxiously so.
Without any wonder, the issue soon metamorphosed from political unconsciousness to the cultural polity. Many probed from multiple angles finding fault with the YouTuber for his cringe-worthy video, while many responded in unexpected zeal becoming increasingly moralistic by pinpointing out the language used by the activists devoted to shutting down expressions that sounds regressive and misogynistic. Moreover, the political lineage of the activist towards the Left also ignited a discourse within the public sphere, citing the repressive state apparatus and absence of government intrusion into the issue even after the case was filed days ago.
If the aim is to sabotage toxic masculinity through venomously misogynist comments, then for the public, patriarchy seems natural and they seldom react to it. There is a fear that resides in many that difficult ideas can no longer be tested or debated. Inherently, there are no good or bad ideas, it all depends upon how you augur the idea and how you express it. But with such virulent hatred and abuse from both sides, they are simply switching places and shortening the distance among themselves. Political correctness is not a dystopian myth.
Even though sometimes, it is imperative to handle the social evils in a society by deifying the moral standpoint that condemns violence, such lone incidents can act as a precedent for the social lynch mobs in proliferating violence by making basic civil propriety repugnant. The government should move a step forward in orchestrating a new path for cultural imaginary and strong cyber laws that ensure safety for destabilising the female mystique and myths surrounding the social terrains of Kerala.