#MeToo Movement against sexual harassment is taking a lot of space in the leading news portals, websites, newspapers and magazines. However it has largely engulfed the media and entertainment industry. Celebrities and high profile personalities are talking against sexual harassment but the voices of the marginalised women are still unheated. BeyondHeadlines has started a #MeToo Campaign to become the voice of these women who do not get an appropriate platform to talk against the harassment they face in their day to day life. We have received many emails regarding this. As of now we are publishing such stories with anonymous identity just to avoid their further harassment.
Sexual harassment is a crime, largely gender-specific but not age specific. Whether you are an infant, an adult or an elderly person, you are just a body in the eyes of the harasser. Moreover, your very identity as a human with female genitals makes you an even more convenient target for the harasser. My own instance as an infant victim of sexual harassment, as my mother narrates to me for I hadn’t even developed the capacity to reason then, finds its origin in this deep-rooted misogyny. In the verandaah of my father’s joint family home, my mother carries me dressed in a beautiful frock and a black ‘teeka’ below my ear symbolising a fear of the ‘evil eye’. My uncle comes to my mother and asks her to verify if the child under the frock is really a girl or not. Further, he wishes that my mother lift my frock and show him the sexual organ that I have been born with. Of course, my mother handled the situation by rejecting such behaviour outrightly. However, whatever happened was wrong and a major attack on my rights as a child (ironically an infant).
We never know how deeply this evil thought and practice is prevalent in our society. We have to stop this and a proper training of each individual of our society can help us change the mentality which see woman or even a new born girl as merely a ‘sexual object’ not an independent human being. For this training a long term plan has to be prepared.
Note : If you have a story or opinion on #MeToo, you can share it with BeyondHeadlines at [email protected]