The revolutionary women’s movement against sexual harassment in 2017, has been manjacked. A prominent UK daily published an article on journalist Ronan Farrow recently with the headline “The Man Who Took Down Weinstein”.
For those who do not know, Ronan Farrow indeed played a very crucial role in the downfall of Hollywood moghul Harvey Weinstein. He worked for months to collaborate and write his expose piece on Weinstein. Farrow's reportage helped in the ouster of the infamous sexual predator from his own company.
This is worthy of praise considering how Weinstein was notorious for terrorising his victims, media and the entire film fraternity, who could do nothing but talk in hushed tones about his misdeeds.
We definitely need more men like Ronan to stand up for women’s rights. His journalism deserves accolades and we have only good things to say about what he did. But we majorly disagree with the headline.
However, in giving the credit solely to Farrow the daily has sidelined all the efforts put in by women all around the world and especially the ones who were victimized by Weinstein. They manjacked the credit. By manjacking it, the media is doing great injustice to the women who rightly deserve to be celebrated for this historic moment. Their struggle has rid the entertainment business off creeps like Weinstein, Louis CK, Dustin Hoffman, and Kevin Spacey. They have encouraged many victims to come forward and confront and openly shame their harassers.
The 2017 movement against sexual harassment was not led by a single person, but by all the women who participated in it.
The credit should go to celebrities and anonymous women who came forward with the accounts of harassment at hands of many powerful men. Every woman who shared their horrifying experiences of sexual harassment on social networking platforms, deserves credit. If at all it goes to people then it should go to Tarana Burke and Alyssa Milano; the women behind #MeToo. Essentially, it is due to journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who first broke this story.
Editor of the i newspaper Barbara Speed pointed out in a Tweet that it was interesting to see the two female journos, who actually broke the story were being written out of history already.
Interesting to see the two female journos who actually broke the story being written out of history already pic.twitter.com/06LzCf2Q5Y— Barbara Speed (@bspeed8) December 10, 2017
It is ironic that the paper chose to take the credit away from women for a movement that was for the women, of the women and by the women.
Yet, this is not the first-time men have intentionally or unintentionally manjacked our achievements.
The media simply loves to praise men. The stories of their achievements and struggles always take precedence over that of women. Just last year Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu won gold in the Rio Olympics. But a commentator gave the entire credit for her win to her coach and her husband. It is as if by giving credit to a woman, the discovery would lose its relevance.
Its time newspapers and dailies put some thought into their headlines. Ronan Farrow did not take down Harvey. ‘The Silence Breakers’did.
Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.