“A wonderful day to spend among women in leadership” said Rashmi Karthik an attendee of Women #BreakingBarriers Bangalore. Breaking Barriers is now coming to Pune, Panjim, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Chennai. Register now to attend!
We as a country will succeed only if we ensure a neutral viewpoint towards situations without passing hasty judgments on issues we don’t fully understand.
I have been following the recent developments in Tanushree Dutta’s case and couldn’t help but notice the concerning dichotomy between posts hailing it as the dawn of the #metoo movement in India and others labelling it as fake. A woman’s traumatic experience is being leveraged to garner clicks, views, and traffic!
The harsh truth is we live in a hypocritical and judgmental society, to which we all contribute in some form or the other. A society which already has its preconceived notions and beliefs, from which it wouldn’t budge even in the face of cold evidence.
Numerous questions like, ‘why didn’t she file a case then?’, unironically creep up, brushing aside the obvious answers. What if the reason was you?! Your judgemental attitude which would rather victim shame than hold the culprit accountable.
It takes immense courage to open up and talk about past traumas, and the victim shaming doesn’t make it any easier. These people perpetuate the culture of oppressing survivors by feeding them the concoction of repercussions and effect, coming out with their experiences might have on their lives, their careers. This is what delays many such stories and nip others even before they could open their mouth. Whatever strength and courage some can muster is quickly dashed to the ground owing to this.
It takes time for the wounds to heal, the gashes run deep and instead of mending the damage, all the hullabaloo further aggravates the situation and makes life hard for those who are reliving their nightmares all over again.
Why can’t we just be composed and hear both sides of the story? If the accused is indeed innocent, they wouldn’t mind answering the same probing questions that the victim has to. Let the law take it’s course and justice prevail.
We shouldn’t have to resort to a wake-up call like #metoo or a #timesup, for victims to open up and share their traumatic experiences, holding the perpetrator accountable. It goes without saying, that we should strive towards building a society that empowers the victims, the survivors, not silence their voices.
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need a #metoo movement as our last ditch effort to hold the culprits accountable. All the pain, the trauma that comes with the harassment, the helplessness that creeps in can’t be encompassed in one movement alone but it’s all we’ve got for now. It’s time we stopped being sorry and took responsibility. It’s time we stood by those who were wronged instead of questioning the reasons behind the delay of breaking their stories. It’s time we create a non-judgemental safe space for the people who have struggled through a lot and want to open up about their ordeal.
Don’t be that person who questions the authenticity of the case just because a legal complaint wasn’t filed all those years ago. It’s not easy answering blunt questions in a court of law, living the nightmare over and over. And we all know how well to do perps are roaming around free with their head held up while the victims hung in shame.
There are thousands of reasons why someone who chose to be silent all those years ago, decided to bring that up now. That doesn’t change the fact that the culprits, the abusers, need to be named and shamed!
So the next time a victim speaks up, just listen; nobody needs your validation, they need support; either you show your support or you stay away!
Make it easy for those who want to tell their survival story, those who have been through hell and back.
Image Source – Pexels
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