India is a country where the voices of sexual abuse victims are often silenced either due to the fear of social exclusion or victim blaming. A report says that in India every one out of two individuals has been a victim of sexual abuse in their life. However, we believe in remaining in denial mode and ignoring the harsh reality.But, looks like Indian women along with the women across the globe have finally decided to break the silence.
On Monday, a hashtag #MeToo was flooding the social media, using this hashtag people opened up about their sexual harassment stories from past.In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo campaign was sparked off by actress Alyssa Milano.Numerous leading actresses from Ashley Judd to Angelina Jolie – have accused the producer of sexual assault attempts and even rape
Within hours the campaign went viral and people started breaking their silence.Netizens in large numbers, shared their nightmares using the hashtag. Along with the women, many men also used the hashtag to open up about their abuse.
Some of the men also came forward with their #MeToo tweets supporting women and acknowledging the fact that somewhere, someday they have also cracked sexist jokes, passed misogynistic comments which might have contributed to the creation of an environment where women are objectified.
However, a Mumbai based youth Gautam Mahajan’s Facebook post perfectly sums up the emotions of many men who are willing to apologize for their indirect contribution to the creation of a culture where women are objectified, victim shaming is rampant and voices of the victims are suppressed and silenced. The post also tears apart the false notions that we have created around masculinity
Here is what Gautam wrote
“Me too – I laughed and participated in sexist jokes and misogynistic humor, thinking it was just what ‘men’ do.
Me too – I was part of a toxic culture where a woman was considered a conquest, an object created for physical gratification.
Me too – I threw the word ‘rape’ around casually, without understanding the gravity of what it meant, of what it represented.
Me too – I thought that men were in some way superior to women.
Me too – I represented everything I despise about masculinity today.
But it was the strong, intelligent, brilliant women I met who showed me how wrong I was family, friends, flatmates, colleagues, and partners. They made me realize how difficult life can be for a woman in this fucked up, patriarchal world that has no basis or logic for considering men better.
They showed me the meaning of true strength, of what it takes to survive, even thrive, despite society trying to keep them down at every possible opportunity. And long before the sexual harassment they were subject to came to light, I knew that men have to do better, that women deserve much, much better.
I may not have the power to change this mindset, but I promise that I will not encourage it. That I will not be part of a conversation or social circle that considers women to be second-class citizens. It’s the least I can do. And I know that I’m not alone.”
We hope this online campaign goes a long way and creates an on-ground impact!