Since yesterday, social media has been abuzz with the video showing a middle-aged lady (now identified as Soma Chakrabarty) shaming young women for wearing short clothes. The 10-minute video was shared on Facebook by a Delhi resident, Shivani Gupta. The incident occurred in Gurgaon, where the girls were at a restaurant and the lady told them that they should be ashamed of wearing such short clothes and that they were asking to be raped. To top it off, she allegedly even asked a group of seven men to rape these girls because they were asking for it by dressing inappropriately.
In a sit-down interview with The Quint, Shivani narrated the incident saying that they were all minding their own business when the woman rudely called her over and told her to sit down. She then started telling her how she should be ashamed of what she was wearing and that other women get raped because of girls like her.
People even went to the length of finding her personal photograph wearing a dress and saying that she was being hypocritical while shaming others.
Through the video, the girls are asking the lady to apologise to them for saying such regressive things and promoting rape culture and finally she has. She shared a statement accepting her mistake on Facebook.
Is it the end of this chapter? Clearly not.
What Soma did was wrong on many levels, but to target her and attack her family is not the solution the society needs. Things escalated so quickly after the video went up that no one thought of the irony here - we are trying to punish a woman for her insensitive, misogynistic comments by subjecting her to online harassment and bullying.
If we look at things more rationally, we'll understand that by targeting one person or making them the subject of all the criticism and hate, nothing is going to change. We together need to tackle the mindset as a layered, societal problem, which will happen step by step. A better idea would be to have an open dialogue about what rape culture is and why the onus is never on the victim. It doesn't matter what the victim was wearing, who she was with and at what time. Rape is about power, not clothes, never clothes.
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