By Sudha Dixit
The avalanche of “me too” movement has flabbergasted our society. All the dirt that was supposed to be swept under the carpet of “honour” is being thrown out in the open. Men, specially, are crying hoarse in indignation and denying the charges. Obviously they will deny, it’s but natural, no thief confesses his crime unless he is caught red handed or resorted to third degree.
The movement has originated in West. In the so called liberal and advanced countries too, women have been victimized at work places. They are sexually exploited, abused and made to compromise their dignity in return for favour. But those countries did show courage and fortitude to showcase and identify the disease. That rot is in no way absent in India. In fact it is more deep rooted over here. We chants “Yatr naryastu poojyante ramante tatr devtah”- meaning ‘Gods reside where women are worshipped”; Yet rape victims are blamed for being raped. How absurd!
The paradox is glaring – the land of “Khajuraho“ and “Kaamsutra” has extreme inhibition against sex. Here people can “pee’ in public without being considered vulgar but they cannot ‘kiss’ in public and it is denoted as vulgar so much so that lover are put behind bars, limit of hypocrisy. After reading Aravind Adiga’s Booker’s Prize winning novel ‘White Tiger ”I realized that men are made differently than women. They cannot control their physical (sexual) urge while women can and do most of the time.
The irony is even then it’s women who are constantly restrained from having amorous desires. Unmarried girls (whatever their age), widows and aged women should not indulge in sex. How funny and how atrocious! No such restrictions on men. After all it’s men’s world – at least so far. Of course, for the sake of social norms they, too, are lectured against random sex . The lecture is not to be taken seriously. Even in rape cases, our senior politicians breezily comment “Oh boys will be boys.” No one says“ girls will be girls“ for the same reason. Hence, the so called boys- big as much as eighty years old (N.D. Tiwari) or young as much as juveniles, have soft restraining hand –“very bad, don’t do it again” and get away with rape and molestation.
Cut to the present scenario. Women are fed up with patriarchic supremacy in society and men’s hypocrisy in general. Forget rape even a bad touch is very traumatic for a young girl or a mature woman. On top of that they only are tut-tutted if they speak about it. They are the ones who are asked to hush up the matter and keep quiet. Why? Now the proverbial urn of sins became full and started spilling; or the mythical Shishupal’s pardonable count of abuses crossed the line. It started in Hollywood where as many as seventy women accused Harvey Weistein of sexual misconduct. A big film maker had admit guilt. After that other women also came out of the closet declaring ‘me too’. The movement became a national and global furore. And why not? Otherwise the rot will continue. Instead of “ innocent until proved guilty” it should be “Guilty until proved innocent”.
The so called VVIPs want to be exempted. Again why? What is VVIP, just a tag. Who knows the man is not a rotten egg devoid of ethics or a swollen head misusing his position and power. The movement is real. To shush or abort it would be sacrilege. Some say that men are also abused. Yes, so come out and speak. Also such instance is not even 1%. Centuries of misogyny and violation mentally, physically, politically, emotionally etc cannot be dismissed. People say it came from West. Still it needs support. It’s as much our cancer as theirs. Some say why old cases, why ladies didn’t speak before? Is it easy for a young girl to speak out in the face of trauma. They are coming out now because of the social support. All those who are named and shamed are not innocent for sure. They did it and they must face the music. Writer Geetanjali Arora spoke against it. She said that she will slap anyone who’d misbehave with her right away, rather than waiting for 10, 20 or 30 years. Well, everyone is not Rani of Jhansi. Our moral duty is to support weak and uproot the century old malady.
About the Author: Sudha Dixit is a writer and poet. She currently lives in Bangalore and had a career in real estate spanning over 15 years. She is a graduate of Aligarh Muslim University, Luknow University and Banaras Hindu University. Her articles and poems frequently appears in various online journals and magazines.