Shuttler Jwala Gutta's tweets criticising an unnamed “popular” female actor, for her comments on casting couch, have caught the attention of many. Gutta argues that women who are in a position where their voices are taken seriously should speak more responsibly. She asks celebrities to accept the existence of sexual harassment at workplaces because that way we can start looking for a solution to it.
Just saw an interview of a popular actress..two things struck my mind...she says she can only speak for herself as she has not experienced casting couch it has been a wonderful journey!!— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
And this is an opportunist world..it’s upto us as women what to accept and what not to!!
So my question..— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
There is a lot of crime against women in general in our society..but if u haven’t experienced it..do we deny it?? Do we only speak when we experience something like that? Don’t we belong to this society where we r a minority gender??
Don’t u think u being in a powerful position can make a change for women who r being harassed at work place?— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
Second question...opportunities..— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
How many people get it?
If got an opportunity why a sexual favour should be an option?
Yes talent will last hard work will last blah blah blah...but why should there be an option of sexual favour at work place??
We as https://t.co/xkV0sbxeM9 position where our voices r taken seriously should speak responsibly— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
Sexual exploitation at workplace is https://t.co/dzSlwOOvb0 exists.we have to admit it..only then we can find a solution to this problem!
Maybe today u n me haven’t faced such crimes..but doesn’t mean our daughters won’t!!— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
Let us make this world a safe place for our children ✌🏼
Opportunities should be available to all..EQUALLY!!!— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) April 10, 2018
Do we deny the existence of a crime because we haven’t experienced it?
Gutta raises a very valid point here.
Should one not acknowledge the existence of crimes like rape, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation at workplace, just because we haven't experienced it first hand?
Many actors from the entertainment industry have spoken about the existence of casting couch. Going by Gutta’s tweet, if the actor has said that “it’s up to us as women what to accept and what not to,” then she is no better than social outfits who shake off all accountability and point the moral compass in women’s direction.
Those who shirk away from standing up for the plight of other women, just because they have never come face to face with an untoward incident, need to realise that their voices matter as well. Doesn’t it affect you to know that it could have happened to you, or your friends, or sister or daughter?
We cannot debate on the accountability of women who trade sexual favours for work. They need to realise that they embolden vultures who know that they can use their power and gain sexual favours.
But in many cases, the decision is not in the hands of women entirely.
Many would not choose to willingly go down this path if there was any other option. Which is the root of this problem at hand. Instead of blaming women for complying with sexual misconduct at workplaces, we need to ask why they have to do so.
Casting couch, for example, is a two-way street. The industry will have to block both its ends to stop anyone from going down that road. Instead of dumping the moral responsibility on women who opt to give in to such practices out of desperation, the industry should get its act together in incorporating fairer practices.
When you take away the option of sexual favours, and crack down on sexual exploitation at workplace, everyone gets equal opportunities and success is based on talent and skill. As Gutta puts out in her tweet, “Why should anyone have an advantage or disadvantage over each other when it comes to opportunities? Let there be the right opportunity and then let the talent take its course!”
Well served Jwala!
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.