Two words that have the power in them to shake the world are resonating with one and all and everyone’s going “Me Too”. The hashtag has created a lot of ripples and people, after mustering up courage, are coming out and sharing their sexual harassment stories.
In the light of all the Harvey Weinstein harassment stories, and numerous instances of abuse and assault, everyone’s speaking on the issue of sexual assault, molestation and abuse. Even Indian women spoke up. So did men on the web.
On home front, penning her thoughts about the whole issue of sexual assault and harassment is Richa Chadha in her blogpost.
“For a country where violence against the girl child starts in the womb, I am surprised at the number of people surprised at the enormity of the #MeToo campaign. Unless you have been in hibernation in the Himalayan caves for the past millennium, there’s no way you would not know that sexual assault- verbal or visual, and gender violence are the rites of passage for the average Indian girl.
As children, we learn the ‘good and bad touch’ with first-hand experience unfortunately and not through a sex-education class. Sex education is a luxury in a country where education itself is a privilege. The disparity between the education, health and mortality ratio between men and women is huge. Again, what can one expect when the gender ratio itself is a 1000 men for every 940 of women in India, as per the 2011 census.
Rape is defined as ‘izzat lootna’ in Hindustani, or robbing one’s dignity. In whatever form one is assaulted, what do you think happens when prejudice like this exists in society – does it get easier or more difficult to report a gender crime?”
She further spoke the attitudes of the people doesn’t change.
“Each time we are outraged at a woman’s modesty being outraged, a slew of insensitive, irresponsible and downright moronic comments echo from all quarters of our political leadership. Governments change but the attitude doesn’t. Bhaktroll or Libtard, Right or Left, sexism is the one thing that unites our leaders cutting across barriers of region, religion, caste and class. Why don’t we start a new party called United Sexist Front – a revolutionary re-imagining of governments and the opposition. Women can join it too and then everyone can watch porn in the Parliament with glee.”
Richa also spoke about how in our country victim-shaming is also one of the major problems and how the oppressors walk free in our country. She spoke how during Navratris made her feel special, but then she grew up.
“The navratras make me feel proud of belonging to a tradition that acknowledges, reveres, worships and in fact CELEBRATES the feminine. I was raised to feel equal, even special on some days. Then I grew up.”
She further asks an important question.
“Boys will be boys. Cute. When will they grow up? What happens if they never do?”
The Fukrey star also said that it’s not solely Bollywood’s blame to share and it’s deep-rooted in our culture.
Chadha had the best metaphor for misogyny.
“Misogyny is to society what nitrogen dioxide is to the air we breathe – no matter what we do, we ingest a little.”
Richa signed off saying she knows that not all men are same.
“I agree with #NOTALLMEN. Surely, not all men are the problem here, many are part of the solution. That’s what keeps the world going. There are patriarchal women that participate in their own subjugation and feminist men who point it out.
Not all men, but #ALLWOMEN I know have experienced gender violence or molestation one way or another. This shouldn’t it be the only way of life women know. Are you human and hence born from a woman? How are you not embarrassed?
This is not a problem, it’s an unfolding tragedy and an everlasting nightmare.”
Celebrities like Shabana Azmi, Shashi Tharoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Pritish Nandy and a whole bunch of people are lauding for Richa’s words.
And we just want this nightmare to end, one day. That day maybe faraway, but let’s all work together towards that future, at least.
You can read her full blogpost here.