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#MeToo : 5 Takeaways from Richa Chadha’s blogpost

richa-chadha Targeted Social Media Abuse

It all started with Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano urging women to share their ordeal. Her tweet grew into a gigantic movement and there came a time when social media got flooded with #MeToo. Closer home actress Richa Chadha’s blogpost has focussed on sexual harassment, its prevalence and the changes that need to be brought about. In her blog, she talks about the insensitivity exhibited to the survivor of such incidences. She points out how instead of helping the woman seek justice, she is often bombarded with a volley of irrelevant questions.

Also: Nepotism Pulls Down Films’ Standard: Richa Chadha

“What was she wearing? Why was she out so late? What was she doing with a boy? She asked for it. Why didn’t she report it sooner? What took so long? Why didn’t she just request them not to? What did she expect?”

Do folks that pose questions such as these ever read the paper? Do they know that infants are raped in India, as are grandmothers? Pre-teen girls are molested, as are women covered from head to toe in a burqa. 

She also talks about the hypocrisy that Indians show while observing Navratras. She reminisces about her own childhood days when she would be treated in a special way but the scenario completely changed after she grew up.
Growing up in Delhi, I have fond memories of ‘kanjakein’ or Ashtami. It’s a day when pre-pubescent girls are worshipped symbolically as Goddess Laxmi. I would cherish this day, awaiting the vast number of pencil boxes with 5-Star chocolates inside, hairbands and other knick-knacks that I’d receive along some great food from neighbours and relatives. Coins would jingle in our pockets as we sprinted home. The navratras make me feel proud of belonging to a tradition that acknowledges, reveres, worships and in fact CELEBRATES the feminine. 

I was raised to feel equal, even special on some days. Then I grew up.

She also wrote about the plethora of decisions women have to make everyday because they belong to a specific gender. This leaves them baffled most of the times.

We live in a nation where women have to fight- to be born, then educated, then marry when and who they want, to have children or not to in most cases, while doing almost all of the house-work. Women work post-marriage if they are ‘allowed’ to by their in-laws and husbands. Women who work outside the home have to carefully decide what they will wear keeping in mind their occupation, (traditional  and covered options safest), mode of transport (public transport means avoid sleeveless, wear higher necklines, longer bottoms unless you want to be asking for it…actually whatever you wear, you are asking for it) and what time they will return home (always preferably before sunset). Private transport? You can be followed or worse.

She also highlights the dire consequences the world should brace itself for if it fails to respect the “feminine”.

The denial of the ‘feminine’  could cost us our progeny. The mother gives life. Mother Earth, Mother Nature…et al.  What have we done to it? Food for thought.

The Fukrey actress wants the society to shun using some specific phrases that reek of misogyny and instead change their mindsets.

 Don’t say ‘ghar pe ma-behen nahi hai kya’. Don’t say change is necessary because you have a daughter to raise. Don’t exclude your complicity. Don’t absolve your responsibility. Don’t ask women to share their horror stories so some experience them vicariously. Don’t do it for female relatives, mothers, sisters and friends. Do it for you. Because the survival of the species depends on both the male and the female. Because in the end we all belong to each other.

A lot of celebrities hailed Richa Chadha for her powerful words.

More power to you!

Read Also: Gup shup with Richa Chadha on life’s good, bad and the lovely