For the past few months we have been reading about women and their #MeToo stories in the press and papers. This strong campaign is a battle against sexual assault and sexual misconduct. This movement was originally started in 2006 by Tarana Burke, a civil rights activist. After Hollywood, now India has also stormed up with the #MeToo movement. Many well named celebrities and politicians have been named and have been accused of sexual misconduct and harassment. Different victims have raised their voice against these powerful and famous personalities, and they need our applause and support. We need great courage to speak out against those powerful.
In our male dominant society, most men believe that they can treat women like objects and property. It’s so appalling when we come across such cases where males sitting on high posts, take advantage of their position and power.
It’s very sad and hurtful to read about such stories where women are raped or have been troubled and treated badly by their seniors.
Some courageous women have shared how they were devastated by the behaviour of some people towards them and society should be ashamed of itself. These kinds of predators are harmful not just for women, but for all members of society. It really is shocking that names like actor Nana Patekar, author Chetan Bhagat, politician M. J. Akbar, director Subhash Ghai, and more have been named and shamed for their misconduct. All the victims have their own horrific tales of sexual assault done towards them.
Most of the victims belong to Bollywood, the media and are from the fashion industry. Till now, not all these allegations have proved and some people are calling them baseless. However, the stories of these women need to be heard. My heart goes out to all the victims. Anything against someone’s wishes is intolerable.
However, let us not forget that men can be victimised too. If a woman wants to take advantage from such a campaign, she can point a finger at a man and misuse the whole movement for her advantage. We all have learnt about some cases in the past where a woman tried to blackmail and torment someone for money or other benefits.
But if any women does feel unsafe in a work environment or between friends and family, she should speak up and take action. If a person passes lewd comments we must strongly condemn this. This is so disturbing to find such stories of harassment in the workplace from victims. I think the #MeToo movement is a great platform to expose those guilty.
- The reader is a resident of India