#WomenForWomen: When world let us down, we stood together
The week which went by has been tough for women (not that any day is easy). The toxic population has jumped to defend Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee of US, and closer home Nana Patekar's philanthropy is being talked about to argue how an amazing man he is. Both are accused of sexual harassment. But the best part is women are sticking together, now more than ever before.
The recent days were all about testing a woman's patience. Did you allege harassment? No, you are doing it for publicity. You have an ulterior motive. But the ones pointing fingers at women forgot that if she has mustered enough courage to speak about abuse, the accusations won't bring her down. The calm and heart-wrenching testimony of Dr Christine Blasey Ford proves it.
Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Dr Ford stayed composed, reiterating what she has been saying all along: She was sure Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, years ago. And then came Kavanaugh, filled with rage, his expressions giving away his frustration and tears telling he is scared of losing everything. Dr Ford connected to women globally, Kavanaugh probably to sexual offenders.
Since women felt what Dr Ford did, many were quick to point out the flaws in Kavanaugh's testimony. For example, his tears got this response from author Ana Marie Cox: The boyfriend that abused me cried a lot. Journalist Beth Newell tweeted: This woman is reliving a decades-long horror so that we don't give this man the keys to millions of women's bodies.
Interesting that both Christine Blasey Ford and Debra Ramirez have searing memories of Kavanaugh laughing at them.— Jane Mayer (@JaneMayerNYer) September 27, 2018
But Dr Ford's incident is bigger than one would imagine. It has helped survivors of abuse unite, even if it is virtual. When Trump wondered why she didn't speak earlier, women helped him. The hashtag #WhyIDidntReport got humongous reactions. Women explained it was fear, stigma, horror, trauma, betrayal, and so many other reasons due to which they kept quiet. If Trump doesn't understand it, it's his loss.
In a bid to encourage survivors to speak up, Padma Lakshmi wrote an op-ed narrating her ordeal. At 23, her boyfriend raped her, while she was sleeping, saying it "will only hurt a little." Now, that she came to terms with it, she urged everyone to believe survivors. After her piece, an assaulter apologized to the victim. Speaking up helps others too.
While Padma Lakshmi penned a piece, Dakota Johnson shared her number at Global Citizens Festival in New York City, urging women to speak to her. "I want you to call me and tell me your story in a voicemail," the 'Fifty Shades' star told all women who have suffered or still are. There's no language barrier, she said. Dakota's initiative deserves all the praise.
WATCH: Actress Dakota Johnson shares her phone number on #GlobalCitizen stage and encourages women to call her:— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 30, 2018
"This is my phone number, and I want you to call me. And I want you to tell me your story in a voicemail." https://t.co/vnTTLys9ru pic.twitter.com/NoKRHbb754
Fortunately, we have also been setting the right example. After Tanushree Dutta episode, where her character was dissected, her movie choices questioned, it was women who stood for her. When no one believed her, journalist Janice Sequeira confirmed Tanushree's story, and so did AD from the movie, Shyni Shetty. With a strong-worded letter, Renuka Shahane also proved she is with Tanushree. We stand together!
When our industry fails to stand for and protect its own.They get their chance and lose it.Makes our films on women empowerment hollow.The deafening silence on #TanushreeDutta case is sickening. remember the controversy breaking out .( part 1)— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) September 28, 2018
Since consent is a skewed knowledge beyond the understanding of abusers, writer Maura Quint posted tweets to educate. In 7 tweets, highlighting her own experiences, Maura busted all the myths around consent. Once a man understood she didn't want to have sex, another time another said: "maybe isn't yes", and left her un-assaulted. The onus to abuse (or not) is on men, not us, explained Maura. Take note!
I've been assaulted. I've also been not assaulted. The difference didn't seem to be what I was wearing, how flirty I was, how much I was drinking. The only difference seemed to be whether or not the men felt it was ok or not to assault.— maura quint (@behindyourback) September 29, 2018
Yes, men, we get it, not all of you are abusers, and for some of you, concepts of consent and respect aren't alien. However, many women are abused and it is times like these which prove we are on our own. The unwavering support women have lent to Dr Ford, Tanushree, and all survivors, testifies we aren't letting each other down, even if the world does.