he global #metoo Movement emerged about a year ago after the allegations against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein encouraged many women – and men – to come out with their experiences of being exploited or attacked sexually. The fire has caught in India; Tanushree Dutta has named Nana Patekar as her harasser on the sets of a film in 2008 and filed a police complaint in Mumbai. Patekar responded with belligerence to Tanushree Dutta’s allegation that he behaved inappropriately with her during a song shoot in 2008 and then using political connections to have thugs to threaten and intimidate her. While some stood by Tanushree, most of the netizens called it a publicity stunt. Meanwhile, there are many celebrities who got exposed on social media by a different woman and one of them is comedian Utsav Chakraborty that was erupted on Twitter. AIB has had to put out more than one statement with its apology and defence. Actor Rajat Kapoor is the latest film industry member to be called out for alleged sexual harassment on Twitter with two women accusing him of inappropriate behaviour and he has apologised for ‘having slipped’. The accounts were sent to journalist Sandhya Menon, who has been posting #metoo stories of her own and some sent to her by women who do not want to be identified. One, a journalist, details a telephonic interview, in which Kapoor allegedly asked her if she was “as sexy as (she) sounds” and “tell me your vital stats”. The second, an assistant director, reveals that the actor allegedly asked her to shoot with him in an empty house and would call her relentlessly from actor Saurabh Shukla’s phone. Since Tanushree Dutta started this #metoo barb, many have joined her on Twitter by accusing those men who once molested them. This hashtag has become a threat to all those men who once ill-treated a female; some are misusing the hashtag and some genuinely taking this up. This campaign is going to land many men in a mess. Google #metoo and you will see a horde of stories mainly about millionaire actresses and businesswomen that screwed their way to the top. What you won’t see are the poor or middle-class women that have been beaten by their spouse, or some single-mom working in the offices or as domestic workers that need to deal with responsibility. Those women who get assaulted and harmed, they do not have such a rich social media platform; they are not famous enough to reach media and grab public attention. The hashtag #metoo is actually kind of a rip off of #YouOkSis which was aimed at curbing the rampant street harassment experienced by Black women. But #metoo is a complete sham. It is a tragic state that how rich women have co-opted a movement that could have been a force for a change but now is looked on with derision by half of the country. Even if the man never touched any woman but had some differences, would now become a victim of MeToo, everything has become sexual harassment.
Now on to the most important thing about #metoo, it shows how the media controls us. How the media censors what they or we don’t want to see. How media has this extreme power over us. The MeToo campaign created a flock mentality and a false sense of security for women. They all stood up for each other, even if nothing happened. That’s not the real world; therefore, the false sense of security. Nobody covers or promotes what we do not want to see. We’re losing out on so much, but nobody cares. The #metoo mob justice witch hunt campaign enables women to harass, bully, threaten, and blackmail men based on hearsay alone and without supplying any real evidence. Even when women’s #metoo accusations are proven to be false and wrong, a woman doesn’t get charged or prosecuted, because society deems that politically incorrect and as an affront against all women. This social privilege elevates women above the rule of law and the traditional justice system. Falsely accused men, however, instantly lose their reputations, jobs, and scandalous women’s false and libellous accusations have destroyed even entire careers and families. These falsely accused and blackmailed men then have to go through the expensive, arduous, stressful, and lengthy legal processes in a rather futile attempt to clear their tarnished names through the proper and official legal channels. However, even after a wrongly accused man has managed to officially clear his name through the legal court system, his reputation will remain forever tarnished and damaged, because the false accusations against him will always remain online somewhere for everybody to find and read, irrespective of whether the accusations against him have been proven to be false. As it stands the MeToo campaign has already led to men refusing to mentor women in the workplace for fear of accidentally having their reputations ruined. Countless male personalities have been simply fired due to totally unsubstantiated #metoo allegations.
Good that it brought many fearful women out of the shadows, expanded the cultural conversation about what is and is not a respectful behaviour, and acknowledged women’s right to feel offended by harassment, and to take legal action if appropriate. Bad that it mostly ignored the fact that men are often harassed and molested too, and was carried to extremes by some feminists who seem out to ban normal flirtatious behaviour. I hope we can use this “Me Too” conversation to remind people of both sexes and all sexual orientations to simply treat others with respect and courtesy, as we would like to be treated. It shouldn’t be that difficult!
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