#MeToo: Aisi dhaakad hai, dhaakad hai, aisi dhaakad hai
A couple of days back, a friend sent this, "How sad is that the #MeToo movement might as well have been #EveryWomanEver and would still be equally valid?" How sad it is, though? Do we want our next generations to inherit this world from us? I digress. This is not about #MeToo, #YouToo, #SheToo; it is about the #DhaakadYou. It is about every meek, and not so meek voice. Let's celebrate that, shall we?
50gms Patriarchy + 30gms Misogyny + 20gms Casual Sexism
First, the textbook definitions: A patriarchal society consists of a male-dominated power structure throughout organized society and in individual relationships. Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women/girls; or the belief that men are better than women. Casual Sexism means discrimination against people because of their sex, rather casually. Put them all together, and you get 100 gms of everyday reality.
Empowered women are entering workforce, are men entering kitchens?
Contrary to popular opinion, I think early men and women had gender equality. Men were hunters, women were gatherers - the roles were demarcated, and hence there were no conflicts. The problem arose when there were intersections in this patriarchal society. Everyone in the world is busy empowering women, but who is preparing men for these empowered women? Empowered women are entering workforce, but are men entering kitchens? Exactly! Hence, we need #MeToo.
It was always there, #MeToo just gave it a channel
Unless you live in a sheltered environment, you and I both know it is an unfair world, tilted heavily towards the powerful person. Pre #MeToo era, we didn't know how to deal with it, neither the victim nor the society at large. Now, everyone has a voice. Is it perfect? No. But it is at least out there. From hereon, one has to trust the society to do the course correction.
#MeToo is not perfect, but still believe most survivors
If you have been following #MeToo closely, you know it has its own flaws. There are no guidelines, no rule-sets, no defined methodology to punish or absolve the 'alleged' oppressor. More importantly, there is no clear definition of sexual misconduct, and there can't be. Everyone's threshold is different. But, a woman who is taking on powerful perpetrators head-on, has lots to lose - they can sue her or arm-twist her to silence.
It's a civil disobedience movement, there will be unforeseen damage
For far too long, far too many women have been silenced. This is their moment. Let her speak, let her vent out, let her decide how she defines sexual harassment, let her tell the world what a 'No' means, let her set the boundaries. She is but a warrior, today. Don't be intimidated by her. If she can encourage just one woman to speak up, or teach just one man about consent, she has done her job of passing the baton, right.
Empathy with logic is the answer
But, you don't have to be scared of her anger. Her fight is not with you, in fact, she needs you as a warrior. When she gets disillusioned in this fight, she wants you to give her some armour - sometimes by pep talk, and sometimes by your light banter. Show her empathy, because you know you also want to make this world a better place. End of it all, just believe her, pretty please? But, even if you won't, she still is 'dhaakad'.