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#MeToo makes waves

Friday, December 08, 2017

These are bad times for men who think they can treat women as objects of lust and get away with it. For too long have women suffered the obnoxious advances of male predators.

In recent months, America has seen an uprising of women (and a few men) who have come out and strongly protested against molestation, abuse and sexual harassment, bringing shame to many famous and powerful men for indulging in inappropriate behaviour.

Such is the power of an idea, that when the #MeToo social media hashtag was launched by actress and activist Alyssa Milano, following the suggestion of a friend of a friend to post “me too” on social media “if you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted”, the hashtag was tweeted a million times in 48 hours.

Earlier this week, Time magazine named the “Me Too” movement as the most influential “Person of the Year 2017”. Time magazine calls all those who used #MeToo as the “Silence Breakers” who came forward to tell their story of sexual harassment and assault.

There needs to be zero tolerance the world over for such behaviour and all victims of sexual harassment, be they men or women, need to feel emboldened to call the culprits out instead of suffering in silence.

Care, however, needs to be taken to ensure that wrong and malicious accusations are not made. In recent times, one has also witnessed women falsely accusing men of harassment and molestation as a ploy to blackmail and publicly humiliate them on false charges.

This undermines the cause of genuine victims who need all the help they can get. Time magazine’s award to #MeToo is reflective of a new gender narrative. The erstwhile power equation of unchallenged male superiority is changing. The windmills of change grind slowly but surely!

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