Few had thought India’s would find a collective voice against sexual harassment. India has not had a safe environment for women and that’s the one thing that’s come out of the recent #MeToo stories. What’s worse is that we’ve failed to hear Indian women out. However, recent campaigns are giving us hope. Survivors are coming out to talk about what happened to them. Who did it to them. How it happened. Some are sharing names, the others are sharing the experiences. In every way, what matters is that skeletons are coming out of the closet and women are coming together collectively to stand for each other.
India’s #MeToo movement has arrived and it’s here to stay. Social media is been flooded with some really significant statements that many women have been making to express their #MeToo stories and of others as well. For those who can’t speak up are seeking help of others to do so. Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful #MeToo comments on social media.
1. “The advocacy of women’s right on the ground of equality needs to be crystal and clear now” – Tanushree Dutta, Actor
Tanushree accused actor Nana Patekar of assaulting her on the sets of the movie Horn ok Pleasss. The incident allegedly took place about 10 years ago. Tanushree, in a recent interview, spoke about her ordeal and also how she is not giving up the fight. “People need to wake up and be more intelligent. You can trash me. But people, for their own sake, should become more aware. The old constructs are falling down. The new world is coming. You need to adapt to that,” she stated.
2. “Things aren’t the same anymore (even though, they aren’t exactly different either). The
#MeToo movement has encouraged women to come out and speak about sexual misconduct in the West. If it’s, in turn, inspiring women in India to speak out, we need to find a way to encourage it.” – Janice Sequeira, Producer
— Janice Sequeira (@janiceseq85) September 26, 2018
Janice, soon after Tanushree’s claims, took to social media to share an eyewitness account of the incident since she happened to be on the sets of the film that day.
3. “I’m not looking to pursue this legally or have them reported to the police. At best, this is a civil offence. What I want though is 1) for them to be held accountable 2) For these workplaces to walk the talk when they say they have a “zero” tolerance policy. 3) For men to know what’s acceptable and what’s not and treat women, especially younger women, with respect. 4) To effect a general shift in the attitude of male journalists.” – Sandhya Menon, Journalist
Since I'm calling them out.
Let me tell you about @KRSreenivas who is currently resident editor @toi Hyderabad (I think) who offered to drop me back after a day's work.
We were about to launch Bangalore mirror back in 2008 and I had just moved to this city.
— Sandhya (@TheRestlessQuil) October 5, 2018
Soon after a girl called out an Indian comedian on Thursday, accusing him sexual misconduct, women journalists from across the country joined the conversation. Several Indian women journalists took to Twitter to share their encounters with sexual predators in the media industry.
4. “It’s very easy to keep your mouth shut and not speak up but Bollywood needs its #metoo movement. Bollywood is a men’s changing room and it needs to be called out. We need women to speak up” – Aahana Kumra, Actor to SheThePeople.TV
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) September 29, 2018
Aahana openly spoke out in Tanushree’s support. The actor said she’s not afraid of any Bollywood gangs. She chooses to live her life fearlessly, without following the unwritten ‘rules’ .
5. “Exactly…women are speaking out..and we need to stand with them united…and try and put a full stop to harassment of all kind..and women in position need to be more vocal…I want to call out all the sportspersons to speak against this…IT’S TIME!!” – Jwala Gutta, Badminton Player
This has been happening for a very long time…when I spoke up..I was banned from playing all tournaments…withdrew my entry from international tournament..tried to isolate me..etc etc…problem is that women speak..that’s their problem!
— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) October 6, 2018
Badminton player Jwala Gutta too joined in the #MeToo wave, speaking out against the powerful system that fears women speaking up.
6. “If you haven’t done a
#MeToo yet, can I kindly recommend that you consider it? It’s a full-body experience and its flipping fantastic. Importantly, it triggers community-healing. #TimesUp.” – Anoo Bhuyan, Journalist
Journalist Anoo Bhuyan was the one to lead with the movement in the media space. She also paved the way for more journalists to gather the strength to call out their predators. She alleged that a fellow journalist had approached her with indecent intentions.
— Anoo Bhuyan (@AnooBhu) October 4, 2018
7. “As women, we are taught to retreat to silence; tone policed into submission. Shame is weaponised, to discipline and punish, often by other women.” – Suchitra Vijayan
Barrister Suchitra Vijayan made some very crucial comments on #MeToo and everything beyond. Suchitra, in a meaningful thread on Twitter, spoke about burning silence and how the time has come to get due justice.
— Suchitra Vijayan (@suchitrav) October 5, 2018
“The question is not whether due process is being followed. Instead, the question should be what is considered due process; who decides the parameters of this process; and finally how is this process neutral or independent of the very language and systems in place,” she added.
8. “Journalists who have sexually harassed/abused women are being called out. Media needed this cleansing. The whisper network of women knew the incidents for years. They also know how power structures work in media. I recently saw first hand how HR deals with “due process”,” – Rituparna Chatterjee, Journalist
Also, Rituparna’s piece on India’s #MeToo is powerfully numbing. This is definitely helping more women speak up.
This can be India’s #MeToo moment if women consolidate and pressure organisations to follow process. Starting with taking allegations seriously and protecting the victim. A woman who spoke to me, backed out at the last moment fearing backlash. And I completely understand why
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) October 5, 2018
9. “As an actor, I often experience what Tanushree has experienced on almost a daily basis. My voice silenced, my words manipulated, twisted and used for the wrong reasons. I have had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented females in all kinds of respective roles within the business.” – Sapna Pabbi
In a statement posted on her Instagram account, actor Sapna wrote about how she has been disappointed with the lack of women’s support at the time she was “most vulnerable under the power of a man’s sexist behaviour”.
10. “As I said in 2016, in India only poor men go to jail for sexual assault, rich powerful men get sympathetic slaps on the back and almost complete protection from other male VIPs in crucial positions
#metooindia #MeToo” – Sagarika Ghose, Journalist
Sagarika also called for a #MeToo in sports, urging sportswomen to speak up.
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) October 6, 2018
These women, and more, have started a wave that is here to stay and cleanse the mess that’s been lying under the shiny careers and reputations. We must listen to women regardless of where they were attacked and when. It is only then that the #MeToo movement will really surface and bring justice.