#metoo: Are we moving in the right direction?
#MeToo

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a lot of furor over the #metoo movement. Almost everyone has come out in support of the movement. Celebrities have been showing their support via Twitter and other social media platforms. The movement which started in the US in 2017, has now also spread to India.

Just last month, Tanushree Dutta came forward with an allegation on actor Nana Patekar that the latter sexually abused her back in 2008. Since then, almost every week we hear about some of the other celebrity coming forth with complaints about the so-called “casting couch” amongst many others. But one must stop and analyze whether we’re moving in the right direction?

We are now fast moving towards a time when laws are being made, bills are being passed and statutes are being set up to protect women. Even corporates are now moving to a stage where they’re supporting women-in-leadership. Every company, country and community is now moving towards making the world a safer place for women. Latest labor law changes stress on women’s safety in India. The advent of social media helps women to reach out to many people and reach the right authorities in a short amount to time. It helps them garner support in their favor as well.

The #metoo is not a movement for the women, by the women and of the women. It is a gender-agnostic movement. According to Wikipedia, it has been noted that 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse of some sort during their lives and often feel unable to talk about it.

But since the #metoo movement started, many men have felt the need to keep women at an arm’s length since they’re unsure if anything they say or do might be considered inappropriate. They were also not very comfortable in talking about it initially since they feared its ramifications.

A few years back, we saw a false allegation made against Delhi based Saravjeet Singh by a woman by the name of Jasleen Kaur which later was refuted by the Delhi Court. This incident really opened the eyes of everyone who read about that incident and widened the rift between men and women, instead of bridging it.

The power of social, television and print media was clearly highlighted here. On similar lines, the Mumbai High Court has warned people not to misuse the #metoo movement adding, “We need guidelines in these cases, else all this will be misused and abused, and we do not know where we will end up… Authorities can lay down guidelines.”

What everyone needs to understand, is that the #metoo movement is a step to bring about equality among men and women and not for anyone to gain quick popularity or be trending. Used in the right way, this movement will go a long way in ensuring citizens’ security against sexual abuse but if not regulated and monitored closely can bring about cataclysmic problems between the relationships of men and women.

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