It is not uncommon among men to have each other’s back, come what may. But knowing that your friend is a sexual predator and doing nothing about it, is wrong and finally it is earning strong criticism and serious consequences. As we saw how both Anurag Kashyap and Tanmay Bhat suffered professional consequences for allegedly keeping quiet despite knowing that their friends/collaborators were preying on women.

Certainly, they did not see such backlash coming their way, for merely choosing to keep mum or turning a blind eye. But people are now sick of the bromance that runs thicker than blood. No justification is now enough for the common public as to why it had to be a #MeToo to out these men. But then it is too easy to blame celebrities.

How many men can cross their hearts and swear that they took a stand against men they once called their brothers? Isn’t bro code, a common call among most male friendships?

The unspoken bond of brotherhood has put numerous women in harm’s way

Actor Imran Khan recently confided to The Indian Express that Vikas Bahl’s predatory behaviour was an open secret in Bollywood. “Everyone in the film industry knew,” he says. He also claims that he was “advised” to not speak up about it. Perhaps now would be a great time for men to realise that not speaking up about misdemeanours of other men puts so many women in harm’s way. Not just that, it can also portray you as an enabler of harassment.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Knowing that your friend is a sexual predator and doing nothing about it, is earning a lot of woke men strong criticism and in some cases professional consequences.
  • Tanmay Bhat and Anurag Kashyap have faced a lot of flak for protecting friends preying on women.
  • Now men should realise that not speaking up about misdemeanours of other men puts so many women in harm’s way.

To many men, this would sound extremely unfair. Why must they be responsible for the conduct of other members of their brotherhood? Why must they bear the professional and personal brunt for something as benign as keeping quiet? But please remember that sexual harassment is all about power dynamics. The power of being superior at the workplace or being popular, which these men duly abuse.

Had Bhat or Kashyap taken action almost immediately when they came face to face with first allegations of sexual harassment against Utsav Chakraborty or Bahl, other women would have been spared from going through harassment at hands of these men.

Instead, their silence further enabled these men. They kept getting more work, more fame and eventually more power, which they continued to abuse further. It is an endless cycle which got cut short finally when women took a collective stand. But had collaborators and friends stepped in, wouldn’t the picture be different today?

So, why would any person risk his fortune and fame and his own hard work, to take a moral stand? Isn’t morality a wee bit overrated in today’s times? AIB and Phantom films, a fruit of the labour of many deserving people lie in shambles today, because bro code motivated some men to keep quiet and let the predators carry on. So in trying to protect their work, reputation, friendships, these men eventually ended up losing those very things.

Also Read : #MeToo Is A Complicated Process. It’s Not Black Or White. It’s Grey.

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own

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