#Opinion

Trisha Kar Madhu: Must Women Bear The Onus Of Shame When Private Videos Are Leaked?

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Trisha Kar Madhu leaked video has caused an uproar on the internet. In the aftermath of certain private moments with her boyfriend made public online, the Bhojpuri actor is at the receiving end of brutal trolling and slut-shaming attacks. Addressing the leak, Kar Madhu has stood up to claim responsibility for having shot the video with her boyfriend but appealed to people to delete it if they received it.

There was dignity in the way the actor made no bones about spending intimate time with her partner or even attempting to capture themselves together, as so many people do. And yet, she is the target of the defenders of morality alleging indignity on her part.

Instead of questioning the woman for engaging in the acts she did, would it not be fairer to question the depravity behind leaking her videos? Should the intent be to police women, taking issue to what we believe is ‘indecency’, or to make the internet a safer place for women? Why does voyeurism find such wide audience?

In the entire controversy, is there a larger show of moral degradation than that people, in a bid to pull a woman down, are humiliating her by not only slut-shamign her, but also violating her consent, by sharing the leaked video.

Trisha Kar Madhu Leaked Videos Show The Ugly Reality Of Voyeuristic Pleasure

Cybersexism and harassment is routine experience for every woman connected to the internet. It’s an unfortunate statement – one that shouldn’t at all have to ring true, but it does. Because that’s what the culture of patriarchy does, by organising a network of historical oppression that is so steeped in society that it now runs unchecked.

The worst and most dangerous bit is the impunity with which netizens and others act upon their contorted ways of misogyny online without any fear of consequence or accountability. Even though leaking a woman’s private pictures or information is punishable under the Information Technology Act.

Only this week, actor Radhika Apte’s old sequences from her 2015 film Parched were randomly pulled out with her being mass targeted for appearing semi-nude in them. Not just public figures, common women too experience this bullying up close, like this woman in Karnataka had to.

Change will not come with regard to cyber-safety of women until regulation is tightened on social media and big tech begins taking accountability. At the social level, however, it is pertinent to question the hypocrisy in what makes us uncomfortable. Are women like Kar Madhu compelled to bear the onus of shame in private leaks because their bodies are expected to house ‘honour’? Why are we measuring our warped perspectives of morality through female flesh?

Views expressed are the author’s own. 


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