The global #MeToo movement shook the Earth beneath our feet- men, powerful men who were used to living in their castles where male privilege protected them from any sort of retribution were called out. They were named and shamed by women who had been living with their truths for most of their life and their castles finally began to shake- there was a reckoning coming for all those people who pushed boundaries, sexually harrassed, didn't understand consent or thought it was well within their rights to exercise power over another.
Many people criticise the #MeToo movement because they feel taking to social media and calling out someone isn't the 'protocol' one should follow if they face sexual harassment. They believe it's better to go to the police or take an issue to the mainstream media where due evidence and the process could be followed. But my question is--what if the state machinery works against us?
Most of the times going to the police could result in the shaming of the survivor. Because if a survivor can't recall exactly what time of day it was, or who and what was where at any given time – the kinds of details police and prosecutors often focus on to establish the facts of a crime – they may struggle or contradict themselves, undermining their testimony. Even with mainstream media, we know by now that biases, advertisement, and funding comes into play while reporting an incident and hence many stories don't come to the forefront.
The official #MeTooIndia Twitter handle conducted an online survey and the results were shocking. Women feel safest to share sexual harassment they have faced on social media rather than mainstream media, police or with NGO officials.
The account even highlighted that because the police and media got the least number of votes, it sheds light on how both these entities handled the situation.
They released another poll where people could vote about people who were enablers. According to the BBC, 90% of sexual assault victims know their attacker and these attackers also need enablers to either excuse this behaviour or partake in it in some ways- directly or indirectly.
People voted that the harasser had access to their lives through leaked private pictures or leaked private chats, which is just as scary and saddening.
Me too- two words otherwise pretty harmless in their own, when put together scream revolution, scream we won't take it anymore, they scream enough with the violence against women, we aren't standing for it anymore, together they scream and whisper 'no' and demand to be heard equally.
Featured Image Source: Sify
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