Since sunday, the cry of #MeToo has been rallying across our social media feed. It’s no longer a viral campaign but a movement taking the internet on storm! The cry resonates with each heart, ripe with the petrifying ordeal of sexual harassment and assault. More than half a million, women and some men, tagged their profile for being sexually assaulted, confirmed by Twitter.
How It Started!
The movement started in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the American film
producer, who is accused of bulldozing eminent actors for non-consensual sex. The star from the sitcom- ‘Who’s the boss’, Alyssa Milano’s tweet gained the movement its momentum, it needed.
Milano’s tweet, instigated an onrush of famous women and many not so famous; and even men, who tweeted their experience of such encounters with the #MeToo.
The Origin- An Activist and a Victim!!
Milano’s call out to the victims was “so we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”, actually started 10 years back with Activist Tarana Burke. Burke is the program director for Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity. Its goal is to empower young women of color. The seeds for this movement, were sown back in 1996, after an encounter with a young girl, afflicted by the atrocities, inflicted on by her stepdaddy. Burke couldn’t help her and so she sent her to another activist, who, according to her would help the girl better. However the eyes, screaming of the monstrous deeds, her developing body had faced, was unforgettable!
“The shock of being rejected, the pain of opening a wound only to have it abruptly forced closed again — it was all on her face,” Burke wrote.
That was the genesis of the movement — to help young women of color who had survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation.
“On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that ‘I’m not ashamed’ and ‘I’m not alone.’ On the other side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says ‘I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it,'” she told CNN.
Read the whole story on CNN, click here.
With over 12 Million comments, shares and posts on Facebook, more than 300,000 Instagram posts and 800,000 tweets; this movement is paving a way for everyone irrespective of gender, to have a voice. It’s promoting a ground of empathy and making one feel that you are not alone in this.
But what saddens me is the fact that the perpetrators are still out there, shaming and molesting another woman, man or the LGBTs, while you read this article. The ‘Nirbhaya case’, :The gurgaon rape case’ and the many unnamed, unrecorded and unjust cases, that vanish into the thin air; continue to torment every soul. It’s time to introspect where we are going wrong as a nation, a society, a family member, a bystander, or more importantly as humans.
“Why is our society so?
People sit with facade faces in a row,
They sigh and sympathize giving fake hopes.
Oh mother why did you allow me to be a part of this pathetic world?
With no true feelings and word!”
( An excerpt from my poem - The fear of being! , I wrote as a 16-year-old, shook by The Nirbhaya case)
I feel the world at large is, perplexed and confused. On one hand we objectify women in superhit songs, teaching our sons- ” Zyada padh liya hai toh pankh nikal aae hai, mutthi me rakhna isey”. And on the other, considering the fairer sex, as ‘khuli tijori’, lashing them at the commands of the so called society; in order to protect them from the lustful eyes? The most disgusting irony is that we worship Maa Durga, Maa Laxmi and what are we doing about our ghar ki laxmi- betiyaan?No wonder, You are a strong woman, ready to fight, to carve your niche, to be an example. No matter what you are- a young woman, an adolescent, an old woman or a new-born; the fact that you are a woman, makes you a perpetual victim.
It’s time for a change! To propagate - ‘No Means No‘! And the change begins with each of us pledging to Say No to - elicit/ propagate/ participate/ be insensitive and initiate any spark that would burn the very foundation of a safe, just and liberal society.
The #HowIWillChange hashtag kicked off last night, with Sydney-based writer Benjamin Law calling for men to share how they will help tackle the culture of sexual harassment.
“Guys, it’s our turn,” he wrote on Twitter.
It was a welcoming stream, where men stepped out in support of the #MeToo movement, accounting zillion stories of assault and pain. Some used #IHearYou while some used #MenToo and some pledged to stop this all!
The need of the hour, a dire need I’d say; a Revolution! An anonymously created spreadsheet got men from media circles, shaking in their Vans, is being passed around, listing “Shitty Media Men” accused of everything from sending creepy direct messages to violent sexual assault. Finally the world seems to take up arms ( Social Media platform) against the hypocrites, so-called powerful men, to end their reign.
I feel gifted to be a woman and am proud of my naari shakti. To all the brave women out there here’s a thank you from my side-
Coming out strong, with your harrowing encounters, is a brave thing to do. Your courage, will help many victims to voice out their similar experiences. It will give wings to the lost confidence, it will ignite the lost fire to live, in the hearts of those who felt their voices were crushed under the stings of patriarchy and strangled at the hands of the society, which shames the victims. I am thankful to you all, that i got the strength to discuss about my fears and experiences as a woman, through this article!