Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested two men after they were seen sexually harassing a South Korean national who was live-streaming across the city. A video from the incident shows the YouTuber streaming from a Mumbai street. She is soon approached and harassed by a man and his companion on a motorcycle. The video showed the man coming very close to her in spite of her saying ‘no’ to him. He tries to pull her towards the motorcycle when she protests and even grabs her face in an attempt to kiss her. A gentle reminder that we are a land that equates guests to gods. And Mumbai is considered to be one of the safest places for women in India.
Later in the video, she is able to dodge him and begins to walk away, visibly shocked she says on the stream, “Time to go home”. But soon the man, along with another person on a bike, follows her and offers to drop her home. “Come, this seat,” he says in English to which she replies her vehicle is parked nearby.
A Twitter account by the name of Mhyochi which probably belongs to the woman has retweeted a video clip from the live stream. She also noted that people around her attempted to make her believe that she had “initiated” the harassment episode by “being too friendly.”
The Mumbai police, following an investigation, arrested two men named Mobeen Chand Mohammad Shaikh and Mohammad Naqeeb Sadrealam Ansari in the matter, Asian News International reported. An FIR was registered by Mumbai’s Khar police under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code for outraging a woman’s modesty.
South Korean YouTuber Slammed For Being ‘Friendly’: Why put the blame on women always?
No matter how they are dressed, whether they have had a drink or two, or in this case travelling solo, women are clearly not inviting harassment. And yet statements like ‘she was dressed provocatively, she was being friendly, she was asking for it, you must have sent wrong messages’ come to the fore. Why is it so convenient for society to blame women for everything? Blaming the victim marginalises the victim/survivor’s stories and makes it harder for them to come forward and report the abuse. It perpetuates the notion of ‘getting away easily’ and helps abusers avoid being held accountable for their actions. Victim blaming also ridicules their traumatic experiences. At the same time, it is unhelpful to watch your predators avoid punishment instead of getting the justice they deserve.
Despite the uproar of #MeToo and rising resistance to disable gender inequality, victim-blaming remains a constant undercurrent. We must openly and collectively challenge this kind of dehumanising discourse in our communities and media. Survivors deserve respect and compassionate listeners as they engage in the healing process, not further victimisation.
It is absurd to think that the South Korean Youtuber couldn’t raise her voice against the harassment because she was made to believe that she was wrong in engaging in a conversation. She was just being a tourist in a foreign country, seeking help as anyone would do from strangers. We need to overcome and beat this culture of shifting the blame on women. We cannot overcome injustice if we keep enhancing the victim-blaming tendency, and airing the oppressed for their own oppression.
Hence, instead of focusing on victims’ behaviour, we need to ask more pertinent questions about why the perpetrators continue to commit acts of violence, and why is one gender put more on a pedestal than the other and condemned to see a just world.
Suggested Reading: When Will Society Stop Blaming The Victims In Horrifying Murder Cases?