#MeToo #TimesUp – The 21st Century Women Mutiny

“Because I was shamed and considered a ‘party girl’, I felt I deserved it. I shouldn’t have been there, I shouldn’t have been ‘bad’. #metoo,” tweeted a young victim of sexual harassment. 

 

By Prerna Lall
I
nterns – CASA Communications

Women globally are telling their distress tales using the hashtag ‘metoo’, confirming that ‘she too’ has been harassed. #MeToo is a movement which was started in 2006 by Tarana Burke, a civil rights activist, to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women, find pathway to healing. Time’s Up shares a similar vision for women’s empowerment with #MeToo, but with a solution-based, action-oriented next step aiming to create concrete change, leading to safety and equity in the workplace.

The #MeToo campaign began as a hashtag on Twitter in 2017 amid the Harvey Weinstein, where the noted Hollywood producer has been accused of sexual harassment by over 70 women, including high-profile actresses Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Shonda Rimes who opened up about their personal experiences related to sexual harassment at their workplace.

Storming the media and entertainment industry, the movement encouraged several women to courageously come out with stories about harassment and sexual abuse at workplace by famous editors, producers, directors and actors.

The move was triggered by actress Tanushree Dutta’s allegations that Nana Patekar misbehaved with her while filming a special song for a movie in 2008. Ever since the month-long wave has named and shamed many well-known comedians, journalists and actors on social media as allegations of sexual misconduct continue to burst out.

Actors like Alok Nath, Nana Patekar and Rajat Kapoor were accused of misconduct on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Award winning Queen Director Vikas Behl, AIB co-founders Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba and Hindustan Times Political Editor and Chief of Bureau Prashant Jha were forced out of their jobs.

While many are coming in support of this movement, there are others who are calling it “attention seeking” and “exaggerating”.
Women and child development minister, Maneka Gandhi backed the movement saying that “she doesn’t care when the complaint is filed, but action should be taken”. “It is important to understand that all these women who are coming out are those who know the consequences of speaking against sexual harrasment and yet have shown courage, so they should be heard”, she added.

World-renowned actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said “the #MeToo movement has been the need of the hour since time immemorial and I hope together we keep the momentum going. At the same time, if a case gets sub judice, we have to respect the law of the land.”

In a recent development, actor Emraan Hashmi sheds light on the importance of having a sexual harassment clause in his contracts. “In the circumstances, lying down a universal moral code on the film set, dictated by the government’s guidelines, is the need of the hour. This will safeguard the interests of women and men will be forewarned so they don’t cross the line. In my company at least, it will include both male and female cast and crew members,” he said.