Added: Teah Pero - Date: 28.12.2021 03:50 - Views: 37439 - Clicks: 5957
The video of the sexual molestation incident and her distraught social media post resonated with young girls and women. She had put her finger on the crux of the issue: Sexual molestation and harassment have become routine occurrences in the lives of young girls and women, but addressing them is not as common. It calls for courage, it requires some privilege. The issue goes to the root of structural patriarchy and misogyny in society.
The Mumbai Police quickly registered a case and arrested the alleged molester, a middle-aged senior corporate executive. But it did not stop the trolling, disgusting abuse and sickening shaming she was subjected to. How was it her fault that a man seated behind her made her his target? And just how many harassers and molesters can be confronted, counter-attacked or taken to task?
The statistics are unsettling enough for mega campaigns to be launched. Each statistic means a young girl scarred in some way, her trust in society dented, an apprehension of public places settling in to her psyche, her powerlessness and her sense of shame deepening, her mentally working out an imminent danger quotient for the men she meets, perhaps a danger to her life itself. And all this possibly influencing her life choices.
It happens in the most innocuous of ways, but a young girl knows molestation or harassment. A skating instructor allows his touch to linger. The assistant at the rappelling wall blocks her descent with that gleam in his eye.
The watchman or gardener sizes her up, over and over again. An uncle lets his gaze linger below her face for just a few seconds more. The rickshaw or cab driver ogles at her in the rear-view mirror. Co-commuters touch and grope her on crowded railway bridges, in buses.
The men laughing away at the corner mock as she walks past them to the public toilet block. The incidents gnaw her.
The faces haunt her. But how many of them will she drag to cops? And what if the cops themselves make the ordeal worse? Eventually, as we know, teenage girls grow up developing their own self-defence mechanisms, form whisper networks about unsafe people and places, learn to watch out for each other.
But it should not be this way at all.
There should be no reason that a teenager experiences the world differently if she is a girl. Shaming and blaming her, denying her experiences, making her fearful of consequences of speaking up have disastrous long-term consequences for the individual and society, as psychologists warn us. The harassers ought to be shamed, if that. Each time a woman speaks up, a DJ stands up, a law student draws up The List, a bevy of famous Hollywood actresses open up about a media mogul like Harvey Weinstein setting off similar exposes elsewhere, the shrouds of silence around everyday molestation and harassment come off.
The MeToo is a powerful hashtag already. But, this year, sexual molestation and harassment have become a part of legitimate and loud public discourse. So far, so good. This year, sexual molestation and harassment have become a part of legitimate and loud public discourse.
The video of the sexual molestation incident of actor and her distraught social media post resonated with young girls and women. Hindustan Times By Smruti Koppikar. Get our daily newsletter Subscribe. Thank you for subscribing to our daily newsletter.
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Let’s talk about sexual molestation, say #MeToo, shame the harassers