Usually, in India, there is always an earthquake waiting to shake the nation, government, and society. On every other week there is always new trend ready to go viral, but now India and Indians are shaken by earthquake named #MeToo movement. Day by day shocking revelations is going on by victims on social media and on an electronic media. Everything is happening so sudden that, some people even not understanding that what #MeToo is exactly?, but they are just forwarding post and messages to get views and likes… Let me tell you and educate you hat what is #MeToo is?
A wave of #MeToo…
Firstly, w need to know, where it started and how Indians became aware of it. Apart from getting viral on social media, a social activist TARANA BURKE gave this movement to the world. In order to let women talk and express herself freely about what wrong had happened with them. This #MeToo movement specifically talks about and protest against sexual harassment and assault that usually takes place at workplaces. Due to shame, stress, and fear of losing a job women don’t express themselves or complaint to authority. This makes harasser more strong and harasser started doing this again and again.
American social activist Tarana Burke invented this phrase in 2006 when a 13-year-old girl told her that she was sexually assaulted. It is stated in her novel Me Too. But what makes this movement got sensational was statement publicized on social media by well-known actress Alysia Milano. In October 2017, she expressed herself on tweeter by tweeting that how she was sexually abused by a co-worker in working place. She encouraged the other women to tweet, to let people and society to know the magnitude of this problem. It became so viral that American Legislative Assembly passed a bill making amendments in their laws. But what society is still ignorant about is that there is #HimToo also.
(Tarana Burke Interview)
#MeToo and India
In India freedom given to women is considered a revolutionary thing. In pre-independence time, women had no right of freedom and too many other restrictions. But after independence, gradually women also got social freedom by achieving education, career etc. but as she exposed to social life, she also got torn between her free will to become independent and abusive behavior of ill-mental people. As a time passing, people in India are becoming more used to read and watch the sexual harassment cases, which goes further to rape cases. It is astonishing that it is happening everywhere like in relatives, schools, offices and in religious places. There are various factors causing to increase in these incidences. Illiteracy, ignorance towards inappropriate behavior, loopholes in laws and what most important is women hesitate to launch official against this crime.
In India recently #MeToo became popular after actress Tanushree Dutta accused famous actor Nana Patekar about sexually abusive behavior. When she gave an interview and tweet on social media about this past incident, a wave of #MeToo came on the internet. Like her, more actors and actresses came forward with their sad stories. Well, it is very astonishing that after so many years of passing, Tanushree Dutta realized that she was harassed.
What is sexual harassment?
When we people hear, watch, or read about sexual harassment, we have a general picture but not very clear from technical perspectives of law. For ex. Many people in India don’t know that rape and sexual harassment are both different things and in the constitution, we have different penal codes for them. In simple word, “ sexual harassment is unwanted sexual advancement” Let me explain the main two types of sexual harassment.
- Quid duo qou
- Hostile work environment
Quid duo quo:
This first type is very commonly seen our society and known to people. Fewer readers may have gone through such experiences. It is Latin term explaining “this for that”. In this type, sexual favor is demanded in the exchange of benefits. Mostly it is seen that this happens in working places. Benefits could be like promotions, raise, individual cabin, travel opportunities etc. in this type harasser misuses his position and power to target victim. Nowadays corporate world, MNC sector, government bodies are tormented by this type. In quad duo quo method, sexual favor is considered as a bribe to resolve request or problem. In government bodies like Municipalities, Banks, corporations, universities, mostly this phenomenon can be seen.
Hostile work environment:
In this second type, there is no such “this for that” condition. Here harasser doesn’t offer anything, but by passing comments, jokes, consistent messaging, taunting, expresses his sexual advances. If they are not punished or stopped there, they feel encouraged and can make unwanted advancement like touch. By doing such behavior harasser shows his nuisance value to lure victim. After some time due to stress, the victim becomes traumatized and stressful. It becomes alive nightmare for the victim to face harasser. It causes the victim to underperform in his job and in personal life.
The major difference in this both method is about position and power. In quad duo duo, it is generally done by harasser who is positioned at a high level than victim by power. In the second method, it could be anyone like co-worker, colleague, relative, neighbor or any unknown person.
Sexual harassment and Law ( India):
Considering the increase in sexual harassment cases, the government of India enforces “sexual harassment of women at the workplace (prevention, prohibition and Redressal) Act in 2013. This act ensures that women should be protected at all times in their working environment. As per this law, every company or employer is required to form the internal complaints committee. After the complaint, it hs to complete the inquiry within 90 days and submit a report to the district office and further civil court. This act states that, if a guilty found person may be imprisoned for one to three year.
But in India, it is considered that laws are made to be used as a weapon. Nowadays this law is mostly misused by women. Women are blackmailing men for her favors! There are various cases are found and proved that women are effectively misusing this preventive law as leverage for her.
Recently, through the social media, various Indian actresses declared that they were harassed, and what most important is they claiming this incident had happened before 5 to 10 years!! When this incident had happened, where were they sleeping at that time? Why suddenly they became aware of their rights? Are doing this only for publicity? Most of the actor or actresses making these accusations on social media are mediocre performers who didn’t do well in their career. This sudden coming wave shows that there is something FISHY! This behavior of Bollywood and misusing this important law, causing to lose faith in genuine sexual harassment cases. If this persists, the day will come when any genuine victim will be ignored by society see it as a fake allegation or a publicity stunt!
Shishir Kharade is a Digital Marketer from the city of “Preeti-Sangam”- Karad. He has done B.E(Electronics) from K.B.P. College, Satara. Now, he is working as a Digital Marketer, Graphic Designer, Blogger for almost 4 years.