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Disability Activist Virali Modi’s Viral Twitter Thread Puts A Spotlight On Sexual Harassment By Predatory Men

One cannot even begin to call out the problematic things in this message. This man has the audacity to shame a woman for her disability even as he sexually harasses her!

Trigger Warning: This deals with sexual harassment and disability shaming, and may be triggering to survivors.

Recently, Model & Disability Rights Activist Virali Modi reportedly responded to a casting call on Instagram, only to be sexually harassed, while also being shamed for her disability.

One would think that the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2018, would deter potential sexual offenders. But this doesn’t seem to be the case.

She posted screenshots of her conversation with a person who responded to her DMs stating he would be “horny” for her if she was “normal”. One cannot even begin to call out the problematic things in this message. This man has the audacity to shame a woman for her disability even as he sexually harasses her!

Not one to take it lying down, Virali has called this person out publicly, only to learn of multiple such experiences from other women looking for modelling opportunities. One such anonymous woman claims that the same person asked her for “bold selfies” in exchange for a modeling gig.

She says how on digging further, she has found that he is a fraudster, running a fake website using morphed pictures with celebrities, on top of identity theft.

#MeToo in 2018 was revolutionary, but our spaces remain unsafe for women

Casting couch has always been a dark secret in the modelling and film industry, and women have been sexually exploited for ages in the guise of being given an opportunity. In 2018, several media women took the internet by storm as they exposed the harassment they faced at the hands of popular, well-established actors and media professionals.

Social media has opened more avenues of opportunity for aspiring models and actors like Virali. But this also means that predators scout for women online, often asking them for sexually explicit photos and sexual favors in exchange for working opportunities. One may think that this is less dangerous than the harassment women face in person, but the trauma is the same. It makes women feel unsafe, with the constant need to be “careful” even as they struggle to find working opportunities in an already unlevel playing field.

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It is NOT women’s responsibility to oust sexual predators and fraudsters

It is laudable that Virali took a public stand against her harasser and potentially saved multiple other women from being sexually exploited. But she shouldn’t have been subjected to such lewd messages or have been shamed for her disability. The onus shouldn’t be on women to make online spaces safer, but rather on our systems to deter such unscrupulous men from taking advantage of women.

How long will women have to be wary of such creeps around them? Will we ever see a day when women can hope to respond to a work opportunity without the fear of being harassed?

Editor’s Note: This post is based on Viral Modi’s Twitter thread, which will give more details. This is also a developing story as more facets are coming to light, and are being updated on on the same twitter thread, seen as you scroll down.

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About the Author

Jayashree Ravi

An engineer turned SAHM of two who wants to be known beyond that. Passionate about words, parenting, making eco-friendly choices, feminism and lifelong learning. read more...

23 Posts | 9,079 Views

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