Women Are Not Safe Online & It’s Really Sad

Women Are Not Safe Online & It’s Really Sad

Actress Fatima Sana Shaikh put up a photo in a saree three days ago, and trolls called her shameless.

In a recent interview actress Mahira Khan opened up about how she was “completely shattered and broken” after pictures of her and Ranbir Kapoor from New York were leaked and she was incessantly bullied for wear a backless dress and smoking. Let’s not forget about the invasion of privacy here.

And just couple of days back, Abhishek Bachchan reproached a photographer and checked his camera to see if he had clicked any uncompromising pictures of Aishwariya while she was stepping outside of the car at designer Manish Malhotra’s house.

Because we all know how it goes down. Once a photo goes up, rudely accentuating parts of your body, there is no point of redemption. Whether or not there is consent involved, the toxic hate spewed on women is beyond appalling.

Women are born with this inevitable curse. No matter what age we are or how independent we are or what strata of the society we belong to - our lives are never free from scrutiny and ridicule. It is exhausting how we need to keep justifying ourselves, how we have to think twice before wearing what we do, speaking our mind and we try to hold our hard-earned lifestyle close to our heart. Because after a point, what else can we do, right?

internal online harassment

In a recent survey of over 4000 Americans, conducted in the US, 47 percent reported to have experienced some form of online harassment. The percentage increased to 65 for the age group of 18 to 29 year olds.

No prizes for guessing that 41 percent women are more likely to have censored themselves online as opposed to 33 percent men.

In India, 62 percent men are more likely to log onto the internet as compared to women.

And yet, even when just basic access is in question, women - famous or otherwise - continue to be ridiculed for having a mind of their own.    

It is easy to sit behind a screen and degrade people about whom you know nothing. And social media networks give this bullshit time and again about how if something doesn’t meet their standard of “online harassment” they are going to just let that toxic energy exist on their platform, without doing anything about it. Women took to boycotting Twitter for 24 hrs recently to draw attention to how unbearable the problem has become.

Just last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised, for the umpeenth time, that more transparency and aggressive policies would be put in place. This was after Twitter came under fire for blocking actress Rose McGowan’s account for violating the platform’s policies. 

internal 1 online harassment

This needs to stop somewhere. Rape threats in real life weren’t enough for women to be subjected to aggressive online behaviour, too. And this sure as hell doesn’t speak volumes about us as a society, for constantly making one half of the population feel that we don’t belong.

That we will never belong.

GIFs: Giphy