Recently, a new movement has kick-started in India where women are opening up about their past sexual harassment experiences. This has made many Indian men scared and spreading counter balancing statements about its misuse. Any movement is subject to misuse but this doesn’t mean that the whole movement loses its credibility. Plight of women in India is already weak and fragile and a sudden outrage against this movement reveals it more. There’s still a lot of confusion about this movement that it is only about women. Let me reassure you, this movement is gender neutral. Anyone who has experienced a sexual misconduct at workplace or around is free to speak-up.
The Me Too movement is not new but was used in 2006 by an american model, actress, and activist Alyssa Milano. Later after Harvey Weinstein incident, this picked up again on social media in 2017. In India, this picked up very late and only when Tanushree Dutta opened up again about her past incident. The social media went viral after this and people started the hashtag movement to open up about themselves.
As a society, every woman has the right to speak up about their present or past harassment incident. Some people argue that speaking up late only indicates publicity stunt. It may be true to an extent but is not true in entirety. This leads to a point where we could implement our laws a bit differently. A way where sexual harassment laws become gender neutral. The 2013 amendment in Indian penal code section 354A about sexual harassment did indeed described misconduct about women and established rules to punish men. But the law needs to be amended again and made gender neutral so that we don’t come to a point where a bias argument would book an innocent man.
There’s a need to form a public redressal system within workplaces to quickly look into the matter and take immediate action pending an inquiry. Apart from this a code of conduct class must be mandatory at workplaces for both men and women. At present, it exists as an online test which can be easily cracked. Despite all this, behavioural aspects of Indian men needs to be looked more closely because this is where we lack. The main reason I keeping mentioning that there’s a lack of culture in India.
The Me Too movement is a worldwide phenomena and needs to be addressed in Indian context more deeply because our society is still more masculine and doesn’t give much importance to other genders. Speaking and opening up about your past incidents through any means possible needs to be welcomed.