#MeToo; How Does that Eradicate the Problem?


In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, women on social media are busy posting #MeToo on their status, to show the world how widespread the problem is. Do we really need a survey of this kind? Have we been blind and numb so far that we need a survey to show that women the world over, have faced sexual harassment in some form or the other? I’ll bet that not a single woman has reached 20 without having faced the same- and not once! This survey won’t give you the #MeToo’s of uneducated, below poverty line women or even women who are educated but not tech savvy or women like me, who think this is a waste of time, for isn’t it obvious? 

Credits: feminismindia.com
                                               

Our social media is full of emotional ranting and ravings of people who let out their frustration on how everything that is happening around is decadent in nature- I understand the frustration but how about coming up with a solution and not just coming up with one, but actually working towards it in whatever miniscule, limited capacity you can?!

Blame it on testosterone, on women’s sense of dressing provocatively (of course, the 72 year old Nun who was raped can be overlooked, her being too covered may have triggered passion), on alcohol, heat of the moment, the poor mentally sick man, the helpless sex addict, the woman’s ‘No’ wasn’t convincing enough…the fact is, women have been sexually targeted forever, all over the world, in all strata of society, across all age groups, by strangers, within the family, within the circle of friends, by trusted caretakers…the list is exhaustive and depressing. It is just getting worse and these days boys are target too (it is possible that it happened before but was seldom reported).

Credits: amarujala.com
I haven’t entered Palika Bazaar, New Delhi since 1989, when I was in grade ten, when I was groped in the claustrophobic market while my mother and friend were busy haggling over something. I couldn’t see who, I just struggled to get out. They were strong for me and there were clothes on my face. I was in tears at the exit and angry at a shocked mother, who didn’t know what went wrong. Had she known, she’d have protected me, the fighter that she is, but these guys are too smart and possibly, I was too dumb. The number of times I’ve got my bottom pinched on a local bus is scary. Exhibitionists are another tribe too. What to say of men that ogle and lewd comments – peanuts in comparison.

At the end of the day what is sad is that it so prevalent, that women take it as a part of their life and learn to ignore. You can argue that the situation has gotten worse because women choose to stay quiet but that is incorrect. When molestation and rape is rampant no one really cares if someone made a pass at you. All you get to hear is, “stay in a group”, “take the other route”, “why did you go there in the first place” and many such alternatives.

Again, just like everybody else I have narrated the number of problems I have faced and how worse incidents have happened and continue to happen to girls and women across the world. So what solution do I have to offer to my tribe?


  • ·        Mothers must have a free and open relationship with their children- boys and girls, both.

Credits:simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com
  • ·        The children must know at all ages that it could happen to them and no matter who threatens them they ought not to hide it. This is especially true when the episode happens within the family or by a close friend. Children especially and even grown girls tend to blame themselves and hide it to save face. 

  • ·        Parents must believe their children at all times, no matter who is involved. Incestuous episodes are not uncommon and need to be addressed with maturity.   

  • ·        Sons must be taught to respect women and not see them as objects and this is best done by example. If children see their fathers and mothers having mutual respect for one another, they learn the same.  

    Credits: sopitas.com
  • ·        We do want a safe world where women can enjoy the same rights as men; the liberty to wear what they want and go where they want and whatever time they want and yet, till we actually get there, a bit of prudence can go a long way in stopping deep scars.
                                             

  • ·        The movie ‘Pink’ was an eye opener for women in India – we do need to be aware of the Law and our basic rights.

  • ·        The Law must be stricter and asking for help from the Police shouldn’t be torture in itself. 

  • ·        Last but not the least is to make daughters aware of the dangers- teach her to listen to the God gifted sixth sense which alerts her well in time (it has saved me big time) and tips to protect herself, if possible self defense.   

My friend and I were in grade two and had gone to look for the baby tortoise we had seen the evening before  when we were stopped by an “uncle” who showed us his organ and asked us if we would like to touch it. We looked at each other and ran away. I was seven then, I am 43 now but I haven’t forgotten. We gasped for breath as we reached our home and promised we wouldn’t tell anyone. We felt we were at fault. I did not tell my mother then. She would have given me a mouthful for going there as she had forbidden us from going that far to play. 


Sexual harassment exists. We know that. We don’t need to re-iterate it. THE VICTIM SHOULD NOT BE EMBARRASSED, THE OFFENDER SHOULD. The fear of God should be put into anyone who tries to dominate a woman or man sexually against her/his will so that neither he nor those like him dare to do so again. 


Credits: dnaindia.com

 




Comments

  1. So true! There are so many instances that leave us embarrassed and humiliated for no fault of ours!

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    1. It is sad that it is true...the only way is to mould the next generation...

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  2. Women will never be equal unless their men let them be so. Likewise women will never be safe till their men allow them to be so.
    Whenever i have had harassment issues, few women have been brave enough to stand up for me. There is the initial indignation and anger, but often the process of following through tires you out and you end up thinking that staying safe, being in a group, ignoring such people,etc is the easier thing to do.

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    1. You are absolutely right...the thinking has to change and so the hope lies with the future generation...whom we have to teach!

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  3. So true... Me too has become a fad... I am not liking it much. A girl or a boy should be made bold enough to say no.. And should share such rapport with parents that they can come and tell.. Me too won't serve the purpose.

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    1. Hmm...and yet, there are men who don't really believe "regular" women go through this! May we all be illuminated this festive season!

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  4. Very true..... The victim should not be embarrassed....

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    1. I don't know why it happens...women are so ready to take all the blame... :(

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    2. replace women by victim actually...it is not gender specific completely

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  5. It is very brave to accept such things on social media. Having said that I personally find this "me too" campaign useless. It doesn't solve anything. Sexual harassment exists, still. I completely agree that educating children is very important. They should have the freedom to communicate with their parents on any issue. Campaigns of any kind might make one aware about the severity or intensity of the problem but without solutions they become ashes in the air.

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    1. Bingo! Campaigns like these die a natural death when the sensationalism dies down but the problem is deep and needs to be uprooted by gen next for the gen next...

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  6. Very true .. openess is required between parent and their children ..and also every parent should teach their child about bad touch and gud touch at their younger stage

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    1. Yes...and it looks like men need to accept that this exists ;)

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  7. Absolutely true... what a sad state of affairs... very well written Anu... kudos

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    1. Thank you Sree...it is disturbing indeed...and for every parent, a nightmare!

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  8. To start with.. I couldn't agree more with one of the previous comments about how it takes guts to pen something like this especially since you have chronicled the harassment that you have been through! Well.. like you rightly pointed out.. it isn't about women alone.. victim is indeed the apt term! #metoo.. for me is nothing but a fad.. sadly yet another horrifying reality that has been trivialised on social media like myriad other problems and issues!
    Brings me to the time when sometime in 2004 or 2005 I watched a movie titled Monsoon Wedding. Watched it with a dear colleague from the Air Force who is now a friend. One particular part in the movie dealt with the issue of paedophilia and what shocked me was my colleagues absolute ignorance about paedophilia and how he nonchalantly mentioned that this only happens in movies. Such things don't happen in real life was his comment and that is when the enormity of the situation struck me! Having been a victim of sexual abuse as a child myself, I went on to tell him that it is not just a figment of the movie maker's imagination but a harsh reality that is either brushed under the carpet or conveniently ignored! Sadly, we live in a society where a consensual sexual act between 2 consenting adults is punishable under archaic laws but issues like paedophilia, marital rape, sexual harassment are not addressed in the right vein!
    P.S. More power to you and keep the keyboard clanging! Hugs...

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    1. I am glad you brought it up...just as your friend didn't believe that paedophilia exists, there are men who actually believe that 'eve-teasing' doesn't happen to 'regular women'! I learnt this via a response to this very article on a personal level and I was at a loss for words! If that is the case, then I think #Metoo is opening the eyes of those in slumber...
      Thank you Jiji :)

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  9. The problem is indeed very big.
    The solution is in educating the people especially the younger generation.

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  10. I think it's very important to educate our kids from a very young age... N make sure they don't fear those creeps ...
    I've noticed in my experience at various instances that if u look right into their eyes fearlessly they retreat.... There used to be a lot of flashers around my area. Initially me n my friends were scared n used to run away.... I found out that it actually excites them... Later i used to stare right into eyes n keep my scale or stick or anything I had in my hand ready to hit n they would quietly walk away .
    Even in the bus initially i used to be right in front n the guys would keep pushing the girls ahead n falling on us..... But later it was the other way around ;).... I used to stand right where the last girls were n i would elbow the guys stamp their toes n keep poking them with the scale n compass so they would move back n they were so scared the minute they saw us they would quietly move back.... Sometimes they would get hurt so bad n try to fight ... When i would act all innocent n poke them once more ;)...
    I guess kids need to have confidence in themselves n their parents that'll help.

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    1. Absolutely Sarah...unfortunately the guts we need comes to us only after a few bad instances happen after which we are on high alert...but to live in constant state of alertness is unfair...and yet, it is the need of the hour...we used to carry safety pins too!

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