#MeToo in India
Over the course of the last few days, a lot of Indian Men have been outed on Twitter for their sexual predatory behaviour. Most of these men belong to the world of Media and Bollywood. It is great to see women finding the courage and exposing men who have long been hidden in plain sight. These women have done it at a great personal cost. The anguish and the stress of listening, collating and sharing these hideous stories are unimaginable. I read through the multitude of stories and found myself irritated with a clumsy headache.
[Sheena] (https://twitter.com/weeny) is crawling through Twitter and finding all tweets/threads where men have been outed. She is making a repository. Turns out this is needed. Another journalist I follow has got a spreadsheet with more than 100 names listed in it. This made me think about having Sexual Predators list like the Sexual Offenders list. Technology can pitch in and help create this. This will actually make the world a better place.
I learnt a new word through this whole ordeal. Woke. Urban dictionary defines it interestingly as:
Getting woke is like being in the Matrix and taking the red pill. You get an understanding of what's really happening and find out you were wrong all along.
A person can be called as a woke when he behaves intellectually superior to others when in reality he isn't. In reality, he might be exactly opposite to who he says he is. A lot of Indian Stand Up Comedians have been called woke over the last few days. And rightly so. Tanmay Bhat the co-founder of AIB comedy troupe has also been accused of harassing young girls through inappropriate behaviour. Interestingly, he was distancing himself away from Utsav who was one of the firsts men to be outed by [Mahima Kukreja] (https://twitter.com/AGirlOfHerWords).
As someone rightly put up a screenshot on Twitter:
It has begun.
The public figures will be first. Then it will be the turn of the public. Though it might take a lot more time to trickle down to the level of masses. We should start with workplaces. Anyone and everyone who has worked in the corporate environment in India will have stories of men who have been creepy with women and got away. No one wants to speak up. And when people do the management usually doesn't end up doing the right thing. Why bother is the mantra. Though whispers of the said individual will be made prominent to every new woman who enters the system. It is common knowledge. If you believe this isn't the case then I am afraid you are living in a bubble. Go burst it now.
While I write all this I am feeling like a woke too. I am no saint. I have not stood up against sexist remarks made by men. Unknowingly I might have made remarks that were sexist and misogynist. Though consciously I have tried to be as decent as a man can be, I am sure I have committed mistakes over the course of my life. Some that come to my mind right now and others conveniently parked behind a subconscious paywall.
It is time for men to shut up and listen. To amplify the voice of women who are finding the courage to disclose the atrocities committed against them.
Me too has arrived in India.