India’s #MeToo movement
According to the World Health Organisation onethird of women worldwide are affected by sexual violence. It is time the government treated #MeToo as a legal emergency in India.
India is finally waking up to its sexual harassment problem. Indian actress Tanushree Dutta calling out veteran film actor Nana Patekar for harassing her at the sets of one of her films in 2008, witnessed the #MeToo moment explode into a movement in India. Overcoming trauma and embarrassment, working women from the media, Bollywood and stage comedy fraternity shared their experiences of sexual assault and harassment by calling out their tormentors on social media.
The message sent out by the outpouring — namely, that there has been a disregard for making workplaces and common spaces free of harassment.
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was accused of sexual misconduct — including rape — by over 70 women. Skeletons tumbled out of other closets, both in the US and elsewhere. Scores of women began to say #MeToo, not just in English.
Raya Sarkar, a law student kickstarted the Indian arm of #MeToo last year in academia. The list, met with a lot of resistance and a counter campaign to silence the whistle blower.
Oprah Winfrey, In a powerful speech at the Golden Globes, framed the #MeToo movement as the latest episode in a long history of women’s resistance to sexual harassment and violence. But, even now, the contours of what constitutes sexual harassment remain murky. With the #MeToo movement gaining moment, hopefully men will finally be held accountable and forced to respond.
Journalists hold placards as they shout slogans during a protest against sexual harassment at the workplace in New Delhi on Saturday. Actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration.