#MeToo: Two Words, Innumerable Stories

The last few days saw #MeToo being plummeted across various social media sites. Women across the world and a few men have stood in unison to speak out against sexual abuse at various levels of our so-called civilised society. This post Harvey Weinstein campaign has spread so rapidly throughout the world that it is scary. So many women, so many stories, so many nightmares, yet it’s only now that we have come to know about them. And this miscellany of women are just the ones with access to the internet. How many more are still without a voice? And who knows how many men have suffered sexual abuse and aren’t speaking up for the fear of being judged?

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It was actor Alyssa Milano who suggested, on Twitter, that anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse use the hashtag, so that the immensity and depravity of the situation is seen by the world. She credited the creation of this campaign to activist Tarana Burke. The overwhelming response shows courage in these women but, it also points to a horrifying fact that there is just as equally a huge population of abusers.

This campaign has certainly given a much-needed jolt to our otherwise lax society, but it is still far from getting justice. Justice is something only the judiciary system can hand out, but the legal system has not yet been notified by the victims. Lack of solid evidences (mainly because of the extended time period between the occurrence of the abuse and the coming out) is one of the main reasons. It is incredibly remarkable that so many have come out with their nightmares now and bravely presented it out for the world to see. But now that we all know that we aren’t alone, we must never delay. If you have been abused, it’s not your fault. It is that fucked-up bastard who thought he (or she) could intimidate you, seize the opportunity and get away with it, who is to blame.

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You may think that the world is full of perverts like Weinstein. But the truth is, high-profile, power-wielding men as abusers are in minority. Majority of them are friends, lovers, family, colleagues, teachers, acquaintances and strangers; people you would never suspect to be the kind they are. Then how do you save yourself? Well, you don’t because you can’t. I mean, how do you catch the pervert who groped you in the busy metro, and take him to the court? How do you convict the boyfriend who pushed himself into you even though you kept saying no? The only way out is by changing the mentality of people, so that no more abusers are born and raised. In a way, this means you have to change the world.

This is not all though. Like everything else in the world, #MeToo too has its downside. The biggest one being that not all assertions are true. Women can be idiots too. The other day I was talking to this woman who said she felt ‘left out’ as she didn’t have any #MeToo story to share. She went on to say how she wished something had happened to her so that she too could be a part of this. To those who resonate her thought, listen, this is a serious campaign which might even be the start of something gargantuan. Don’t malign it and make people doubt the intention of this campaign. If you really want to be a part, find those without a voice and lend them yours.

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