The Arrest Lucknow girl trend on Twitter is replete with tweets that drag feminism and women's rights into a case that can be called road rage at best. A woman, allegedly, got almost hit by a cab and ended up thrashing the man for driving recklessly in a fit of rage. Was the way she reacted to the situation at hand correctly? No. Should we endorse a violent act, just because it was committed by a woman? Certainly not. No feminist in her right mind would back the woman, let alone applaud her for assaulting the driver, even if it was his fault. So then why did feminism get dragged into this unnecessary controversy? Because, this time its about the gender, for the other party.
The so-called "men's rights advocates" whose sense of morale only wakes up when women demand what is rightfully theirs, wasted no time to point out that the "poor driver" was being mercilessly beaten by a woman. "Is this the kind of empowerment feminists want? What do feminist women have to say for themselves now? You always cry victim and paint men as villains, look how she is behaving." Or do they want to crucify an entire movement, negate the plight of an entire gender, based on a half-baked narrative offered by two tiny clips of an incident. Isn't that akin to holding the entire mankind accountable for one man's crime? What is this brigade's reaction when women speak out on sexual crimes? #NotAllMen. I'll just leave it here before moving on...
Here's a quick Twitter tutorial on how to derail a conversation on equality, assault and road rage, all in one go:
Men of #Lucknow, if you won't step up today, its surely gonna happen with you tomorrow. Candle march in rape cases, media coverage, but if you can't show your unity for men, it's a disgrace to humanity. #RIPequality #ArrestLucknowGirl pic.twitter.com/EAWorzJ1r5— Sandesh Chinchapur (@sandychinchapur) August 2, 2021
Viral Video: A Girl Continuously Beating a Man (Driver of Car) at Awadh Crossing, Lucknow, UP and allegedly Damaging his Phone inspite of him asking for Reason #ArrestLucknowGirl #lucknowgirl— Mr._shivansh_09 (@09Shivansh) August 2, 2021
Today woman are making misuse of their power on the name of feminism 😭😭😡🤬😠😤 pic.twitter.com/1uUOvAeYNh
That incident happened in Lucknow is shameful.— Shubham Tharwani 💎 (@ShubhamTharwani) August 2, 2021
Such Pseudo Feminists Are Poison To Our Society. That girl should be taught a lesson other wise other fake feminist will get encouraged.
Stop this bullshit #ArrestLucknowGirl
APOLOGIZE TO RAHUL VAIDYA
Now where are those people who always yelled for feminism. Why they didn't utter a word about that lucknow girl who continuosly slapped a cab driver at the crossroad and nobody did anything.— Saksham Singh (@Saksham23864826) August 2, 2021
After all girl didn't seek apology for her shameless work.#ArrestLucknowGirl #UPPolice
The only valid argument that has been raised, from a gender perspective, in this matter is what would have happened if the genders were reversed? Can we imagine the amount of outrage that would have exploded on social media, if a woman had been thrashed so mercilessly in the middle of the street, with cops being present but not intervening? However, if you followed the story, the majority of women criticised the girl's behaviour and called for strict action.
CCTV से ऐसा लग रहा है कि ये लड़की इस गरीब टैक्सी चालक को इतनी बुरी तरह से पीट रही है क्यूंकि उसने गाड़ी नहीं रोकी! ये बेहद शर्मनाक है. किसने अधिकार दिया इस लड़की को मारपीट करने का? इस मामले में @Uppolice जांच करे और कानून को हाथ में लेने के अपराध में महिला पर कड़ी कार्यवाही हो. pic.twitter.com/IrVUKkeINC— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) August 2, 2021
People are more angry at feminists & feminism than the Lucknow girl. That’s patriarchy 001 #ArrestLucknowGirl— 🇵🇸 پربھا 🚜 🏳️🌈 (@deepsealioness) August 2, 2021
Whatever happened in #lucknow is unacceptable. It's about basic human right that you can't slap anybody when you're not even injured or in any respective situation.— Bhumika Agarwal (@Bhumikaaa20) August 2, 2021
And who are taking this an opportunity to attack feminism, STOP. It's pseudo- feminism, Not feminism.
Shameful act by the woman who slapped the driver in Lucknow. Must be punished for this— Yakult (@snake_dha) August 2, 2021
But why do such acts make people talk about feminism which literally advocates women rights? Such acts are misuse of individual rights, not something that should make you question women rights
These are the same arguments that we had gone over when last year, the Zomato assault video went viral. Feminism was dragged in a story where it didn't belong.
Physical assault is a serious matter, and the digital men's rights brigade does a huge disservice to men who have to deal with it, by shifting the agenda to "evils" of women empowerment. If the woman is at fault, she must face legal repercussions, similarly, if the cabbie was driving recklessly, he must be booked too.
Nowhere does the definition of empowerment advocate or demands the right to hit or injure someone. No feminist is jumping up and down, holding a banner of Nari Shakti for this woman, because that would mean advocating abusive behaviour. There is no excuse for such actions and no one knows it better than women themselves.
Sadly, it is this kind of misplaced narrative that limits men's rights, a valid and urgent cause, to the comments section of tweets and YouTube videos. When an entire narrative is based on not uplifting men and freeing them from the clutches of patriarchal oppression, but pointing out flaws in the drive to uplift the opposite gender, what more can be expected? What is being done to address male sexual abuse, male domestic violence, oppression of men at the hands of patriarchal practices, male career policing, etc, apart from targeting feminism and women empowerment?
Today, I am raising these questions because feminism has taught me, and countless other people, to advocate equality for all, to be better allies, instead of fighting over who is the "real victim." But sadly, those who call themselves advocates of rights for the opposite gender, have failed to provide any concrete answers.
Views expressed are the author's own.