In Focus 15th October, 2018
Deconstructing #MeToo, Feminism, And Other Such ‘Bullshit’.

Wow, I’m probably the first human who didn’t need to use ‘sex’ in the title in order to get someone’s attention.  But now that I do have your attention hopefully, I want to try and deconstruct or at least share a simpleton’s understanding of the concepts and all the conversations around the #MeToo movement, feminism, female anger, male fear, and more.

A lot of us don’t understand  what’s happening. And that’s OK. As long as you have an open mind to accept that there are things beyond your perspective and include experiences that you may not relate to but which are still valid, we should be OK.

We’re all learning and unlearning every day, so I’m going to share how I look at all of this. I, a 32-year old, city dwelling, corporate slaving, married man who tries to keep things simple.

Disclaimer: Please feel free to correct me where I’ve gone wrong. I’m going to try my best to be as objective and clear as possible so that everyone can understand this without getting offended.

What is feminism? Simply put, it’s a battle being fought for women’s rights by people across the world to bring equality among the sexes. Why is it needed? Because women have been subjugated to an unfair life by this society for thousands of years. Men have ruled over this planet, and they continue to do so for no valid reason.

“But women have extra rights! They have reserved compartments in trains, reserved seats in buses, laws that give them special rights. What more do they want?” Please understand, these are minor efforts to bring equality among the sexes (even if it doesn’t look like equality to some) and will rarely have any immediate impact other than give some possible respite to women’s everyday lives.

These may look like ‘privileges’ to some of us, but these are actually necessary for women’s safety in today’s world. What women are actually looking for is a behavioral change among the people of the world. A changed world where they are seen as equals in every sense of the word. They would, in fact, want a world where they don’t need these special ‘privileges’ at all.

It’s a long journey and a hard one at that.

Have you ever looked at the world around you from a woman’s lens? Well, the next time you are out, just look around. No matter where you are, no matter what you do, in all likelihood, you will see more men in the world around you than women. More men walking on the streets, more men working at a factory, more men in an office leadership team meeting, more men at a restaurant. More men everywhere.

Have you ever wondered why that is? Have you ever thought of why there are more women sitting at home than men? Is it because they all prefer to stay indoors? Is it because they think a certain task is a ‘man’s job’? No.

Just take a minute and think about it. And if you still think the world is not run by men, you’re mistaken.

And this is unfair. Men live in a kind of an imaginary world created by men themselves where they are seemingly more important and more powerful. The problem with this is, that in reality, men are not more powerful or more important than women. We’re all supposed to be equal. At the very least, we’re all supposed to have equal opportunities and be given a fair chance at whatever it is that we want to do or how we want to live our lives.

This doesn’t happen in today’s world. There’s a huge imbalance between men and women and the prospect of leading a life of their choice. And we need to fix that.

I am hoping by now you understand the larger concept and the need for feminism in the world and that feminism is not a fight to destroy men and their lives.

 

And then we arrive to #MeToo.

Hate it? Love it? Scared of it? Find it funny? Whatever it is that you feel about it, you can’t ignore it.

For the uninitiated and the ones living under a rock, it’s a movement driven primarily by women across the world coming out with their horror stories of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, sexual assault, and sexism in general faced by them at some point in their lives.

Why are they sharing these stories in public? More often than not, these are not crimes in a traditional sense of the word but are wrongdoings with no direct recourse. And even if there is any recourse, please go back within this article and look for the line ‘the world is run by men’. Even if women do take the official route (whatever official means – legal case, complaints to the HR, talking to family, etc), it’s not often they get the support they need.

What they are doing by calling out the perpetrators in public is to let the world know that these people exist and these are their crimes. It will help the world see their true side, and more importantly, help protect women in the future.

What happens from there, is anybody’s guess. Honestly, I don’t think any of us understand what the consequences should be or how someone should be punished. Even if someone has been punished, I’m not sure if people know what comes after that. Redemption? What is it that we want?

I think that only time will tell how all of this unfolds and what happens to the men who’ve been accused of these crimes, the women who’ve been at the receiving end of these crimes, the people who’ve been complicit. I wish for all to get fair justice and for the sufferers to have the strength it takes to deal with all of this.

I’d also like to address the burning question around “What about the people who are being falsely accused?”. What about them? I don’t know. I honestly don’t. Because I can’t deny that it’s extremely unfair. But I can’t even turn a blind eye towards the majority of the accusations which are probably true.

I believe it’s enough even if we just accept that we don’t have a solution to everything at this moment. This will drive us to create a world that is fair to one and all.

Here’s to more power to all women and men who’ve been suffering in silence. To all the people who’ve been just reading about all the craziness in the world and not being able to figure out what they can do to help. To all the people living in denial. To everyone battling their own battles.

Let’s not be rigid. Let’s be open to change. Let’s listen. Let’s listen to someone else’s story. Let’s believe them. Even if we don’t know what to do after that, let’s just be there with them. This is all that it takes to help make the world a better place.

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