Women in India are showing a lot of courage in exposing sexual predators. This onslaught of accusations stems from the frustration of having suffered in silence for years and the sheer anger of watching the predators masquerade as progressive men. But as has been the tendency in our society, some people are still doubting the intent of women who are speaking up against these perpetrators.

Last week, Former CBFC chief, Pahlaj Nihalani said that Tanushree Dutta was accusing Nana Patekar of harassment for sheer publicity. Now a BJP lawmaker Udit Raj has alleged that women “habitually” take two-four lakhs to fling allegations at men. He says, “Habitually women take two-four lakhs, level allegations on men and then pick on another man. I accept it is in man’s nature. But are women perfect? Can it not be misused? A man’s life gets destroyed because of this,” reports NDTV.

Leave women aside, but just how much will Udit Raj charge us to just stop talking to the press altogether? His comments are both insulting and derogatory. They are baffled to the extent of popping a vein or two in one’s head. Two to Four lakh rupees are not worth the struggle these women are going through Mr Udit Raj. No publicity or money in the world can be worthy of all the legal, professional and social struggles these women are and will be facing.

Stop questioning women’s intent for once

Will there ever be a day when a woman will not have to justify her intent when accusing a man of sexual misconduct? Hundreds of women have put their personal and professional lives at stake to counter sexual predators across a spectrum of professions in our country. Some of these incidences are decades old, and most of these men are now in positions of power and enjoy favourable professional rapport. Do you think it must have been easy for these women to recount the horrors they have long kept buried? To relive their ordeal and overcome their prudish cultural upbringing, which shames a woman even when she is being hunted?

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • BJP lawmaker Udit Raj has alleged that women “habitually” take two-four lakhs to fling allegations at men.
  • Will there ever be a day when a woman will not have to justify her intent when accusing a man of sexual misconduct?
  • For once, our society needs to reflect on why does it feel so threatened when women find the courage to speak up.

What has Tanushree Dutta gained from coming out against Patekar? Two legal notices? Slut shaming? Being called publicity monger? This is not a stunt women are trying to pull off here. For them, this is about getting their ordeal out of their system. To expose the hypocrisy of woke bois who have reduced feminism to a stand-up show. To ensure that no other women fall in traps of these serial offenders.

Women are going through all this trouble to instil some fear in the hearts of men who think they can get away with sexual misconduct. They will feel both professional and personal heat of their misdemeanours, if not today, then tomorrow. And what does the society give them in return? It questions the credibility of their allegations? It alleges that they are after money and power and fame themselves. If only for once, our society could stop protecting the men. It should instead reflect on why does it feel so threatened when women find the courage to speak up.

Yes #MeToo can be used to settle personal scores, professional grudges and politicise matters, but when the dust settles down, innocent men will emerge unscathed from the ordeal. However, we will never be able to forgive men like Raj, who have put a price tag on #MeToo.

Also Read : The #MeToo Campaign Is Going To Have Far-reaching Effects

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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