In a country where women are constantly made to feel like the lesser, we expect other women who have been subjugated by the same patriarchy to at least understand our plight. It's not too much to expect, is it?
When it comes to sexual violence, women are often blamed for their behaviour that prompts someone else to assault them. This viral video brings the horrifying mentality around rape culture in India to the forefront.
One of the girls being shamed, Shivani Gupta, shared the video on social media and narrated how the incident occurred. According to media sources, she said, "When we reached there, the lady asked me to 'come here', to which I went over to her. She then said 'sit down'. I then asked her what this was about, a little upset with her condescending tone. She said it was about my dress. She yelled saying 'Aren't you ashamed men are looking at your thighs?'"
Shivani even added that the woman said things like 'other women get raped because some women decide to wear clothes like that'. Furious, Shivani and her group of friends went to the restaurant manager and raised a complaint who requested them to have their food on the upper floor since the lady could not be asked to leave.
They then followed the lady to a shopping centre, imploring her to apologise for her statements, but to no avail. She went on about how she thinks they deserve to be raped for encouraging men. She even said that the parents of these girls should exercise more control over them.
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The video has since been shared and viewed numerous times and people are appalled at the behaviour of the woman. The regressive and misogynistic words are a mirror to how the society puts the spotlight on the survivor of a violent crime for doing, wearing or suggesting something to provoke the crime. Rape is not about clothes - long or short; it's about power. The lady in this video is herself a victim to internalised misogyny and inherent patriarchy. Her callousness while spitting out the insensitive, violent remarks is evidence enough that we need serious sensitisation about the rape culture, starting from the grass-root level. If only the guardians of our society would stop screaming at each other on TV screens and talk about things that really matter right now; if only the media would take two seconds before sensationalising a violent crime; if only we would teach our kids better at schools.
Amidst all this, the lady was cornered and body-shamed at the mall for moral policing the young ladies. However, it didn't stop there. People started sharing her Facebook profile and now she has become a target of vicious online harassment.
While these women told her off in the mall, one said — "she has a body to flaunt, so she does. You clearly don't have a body to flaunt, so shut up." I mean, they were angry, but clearly no one has it right. Body shaming someone while standing up against victim blaming? +
— Asmita (@asmitaghosh18) 30 April 2019
How does it solve anything? It doesn't. If we're fighting against harassment, then targeting her isn't an effective way of going about it. Sure, she needs to be chastised and educated, but we can't change her mindset by trolling her.
Disclaimer: This article is based on the report on social media. We're yet to hear from Shivani Gupta.
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