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A Kerala man Vijay P Nair has been posting disgusting videos about women, and did not expect retaliation. Vigilante justice isn’t Ok, but we certainly need better ways of dealing with such misogynists.
When Vijay P Nair, posted a video on his YouTube Channel ‘Vtrix Scene,’ explaining why feminists, especially, feminists in Kerala, “don’t wear underwear,” he probably did it with the same confidence that most abusive men do – that his privilege as man, in a patriarchal society, protects him from any serious consequences.
So, I’m sure it came as a shock to him, when a group of activists including Ms. Bhagyalakshmi and transgender activist Diya Sana, confronted him for it.
In the video, he alleged that all feminists are prostitutes, and indirectly hinted at several prominent womxn, such as poet and activist Sugathakumari, who is now 86, and other activists like Trupti Desai, Bindu Ammini and Rehana Fathima.
Diya Sana livestreamed the confrontation, in which they pour motor oil on him, confiscate his laptop and mobile phone, and even slap him. When they ask him to apologize, he begins with the standard non-apology that men usually give in such situations — “If I have offended…”
Even though the womxn insist that he say “I have offended women…” he never gives that apology, and only says that “if I have voluntarily or involuntarily offended women, I apologize.”
Needless to say, people are divided over the issue, with some saying that he deserved it, and others saying that no matter what, this is not the way to solve such issues.
Personally, I am not for vigilante justice either – but I do get the rage that drove these womxn!
As they say in the video, they did this only because cyber laws, and laws in general are too weak to punish men who get away with insulting womxn. It wasn’t as though legal avenues weren’t explored. Many complaints have been filed against the man – but none yielded any results.
Every single woman on social media has received unwanted attention. Every day we come across pages and posts that denigrate us. If we protest, an army of trolls descends on us. If we post our own video/write against such misogyny, we are attacked. Some of us even receive death threats for stating our opinions, on literally anything. It is not always physically abusive/violent – but it is violence!
We have no avenue for complaint. Social media platforms, which instantly block our accounts for writing “men are trash,” allow men to say much worse about us. And as the womxn in the video point out – the laws are as good as nonexistent.
It is also interesting to note how many media organizations have reported this incident, with many focusing on the fact that the man was ‘attacked’ by the womxn. Reading only the headline, one would believe that he has been attacked without reason – that it was an overreaction by the womxn for a mere ‘sleazy video.’ Only a few have rightly framed this as a ‘confrontation.’
Compare this to incidents where violence against womxn is reported. There, usually, the passive voice is conveniently used to avoid placing the blame where it should be.
Misogyny has deep roots in our public consciousness, and in how systems are set up. It is like a game of snakes and ladders, where we somehow keep landing on the snakes.
How long can womxn be expected to just take it, and not retaliate? How long can we keep covering up our anger?
So yes, perhaps this isn’t really justice. This doesn’t solve the problems at the root. It probably will even act to confirm the stereotype that feminists are violent and unreasonable. But I can’t deny that it at some level reflect the same rage that I have always felt.
I don’t want incidents like this to happen. I don’t want womxn to resort to the same sort of violence that has been directed at us.
The only solution is for the government, the police force and the judiciary to step up and actually do their jobs. Will that day come? Or will the rage of womxn finally burn it all down?
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