The #MeToo movement gained a sharp momentum in October 2018 and it has not seen a decline ever since. However, a common mistake that goes about when Feminism and equality are spoken about is that we tend to forget to take into account the years and years of patriarchal and misogynistic behaviour that generations before us have been innately taught.
Just recently, a video took over the internet of a lady in Delhi urged men in a restaurant to ‘rape the girls’ because of their short dresses. The ‘woke’ youngsters refused to let this incident of slut-shaming go and decided to confront this woman on camera and make her apologise. Thus, aghast from what they’d heard from a woman herself, they decided to follow her to a nearby mall. The youngsters who were rightfully enraged demanded that the woman apologise for whatever she had earlier said on camera otherwise they would make her ‘go viral’, but the woman blatantly denied to do so. The incident went on when another woman who happened to be a mother joined the girls by supporting their views and demanding an apology.
This video has been made with the best of intentions, to disarm the beasts of shaming and rape culture in our country, but that being said, the question that I and many others have raised is, is it okay for us to drag her to the centre and blame her for the existence of patriarchy instead of realising that she is also a victim of the same culture?
Instead of finding her social media accounts and practically harassing her by infringing her private space, we should use the same amount of effort and knowledge in helping people like her in unlearning what they’ve been taught all their lives and dealing with them with nuance and reason. That said, this doesn’t mean that we let incidents like this, that happen on a regular basis, go. This incident was a serious threat to the safety of those young women and an example had to be set here. If a man had done something similar to what the woman did, even his face would be all over the internet, which is not okay. The girls had no right to body shame the lady who slut-shamed.
The mockery of her accent and mirroring her whenever she said anything is not at all justifiable and this is not how we young, educated and aware women should retaliate. Whatever the woman and the young girls did was obviously reflective of the patriarchal conditioning we all have gone through.
Written by: Manasvi Nag