Sexual harassment used to go unchecked, where women had to silently endure the pain and trauma of a grope, a kiss, unsolicited genital pictures, or remotely anything that made them uncomfortable. Going by what’s happening in social media right now, it’s imperative to acknowledge that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement in India is merely catching up, with women (anonymous and open) talking about years and years of abuse they’ve faced. There’s a moment of catharsis that India is undergoing and there’s no reason why it should stop anytime soon.
The #MeToo movement is against sexual harassment, particularly at the workplace. American social activist Tarana Burke used the term way back in 2006 and it was popularised by Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 after she implored everybody to use the hashtag if they ever faced any sort of harassment. This was right in the heels of the infamous Harvey Weinstein expose, a top Hollywood honcho who was known to be a sexual predator who targeted actresses, interns, writers, and other women who worked under him, often asking them for sexual favours in exchange to boost their careers.
In India, a lot of prominent figures are putting out their’s and other people’s stories as part of the initiative including singer Chinmayi. Speaking about the movement, Taapsee says:
“All I can say is, “Finally!” I’m so happy that it’s happening. When it was happening in Hollywood, people kept questioning of when it will happen in India. And there are two sides to the coin. Whenever you have power and authority, there are always those who will try to misuse it. First of all, I’m so happy that women have found a platform to tell their stories and narrate whatever that has happened to them. They deserve all the attention and support in whatever they have said.”
She further clarified why she hadn’t posted her thoughts on it on social media for a while.
“A lot of people ask me why I haven’t responded to this, especially on Twitter. And I want to say that I don’t want to take the attention away from this movement by giving my comment on it. I’ve said this in the interviews and I don’t want to keep writing tweets and tweets to tell them that I’m there and supporting this movement and take away the attention from their stories. I will not go on a rant on a Twitter saying this is right and what not. Whoever has asked me this question on Twitter, I have said that I will never question any woman of why she has come out with her story after 10-20 years. It’s shameful to even question like this. When I read that whole Aloknath incident, I couldn’t sleep for hours. When people question a woman for coming out with her story after years, it stops other women from speaking up about what they faced!” she says.
Watch the full video interview here: