The #MeToo movement, a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault worldwide has once again raised its head in apna Bollywood. The latest one to talk about it is actress, model and winner of the Miss India International 2007 Esha Gupta. She has accused a Delhi restaurateur/hotelier of “raping her with his eyes”.
As per Esha’s tweet she claims that the guy was constantly staring at her and in spite of being warned thrice nothing came out of it and she finally had to ask her personal security guards to cover her. She felt if as a celeb this is what she had to go through she couldn’t imagine what other women in Indian have to deal with.
But Esha Gupta’s tweet, which instantly went viral, made us think twice. Mainly because…
1. Of the Timing of the tweet
Esha Gupta’s movie One Day released on 28 June, 2019. The crux of the film is crime branch investigating a series of missing person cases. Intriguing right? We have heard B’wood movies and actors have PR teams who work 24×7 to manufacture controversies that help to bring films into the media radar. No amount of news and interviews would do that as quickly.
2. We always believe the women
At the cost of sounding controversial, we will say we always stand by a woman because it is believed she would never put her own reputation at stake to bring sexual harassment to the fore. But there is no denying the fact that many committees looking into sexual harassment in the corporate world have come across cases where the woman filed a case against a man after their romantic relationship went sour. No wonder Pooja Bedi now advocates a #Men Too movement.
3. Why put a man’s reputation at stake?
The hotelier’s name, photo and video have gone viral. While it’s hard to fathom from the video that he is staring at Esha Gupta or misbehaving with her, it is also unfair to share photos and videos of a reputed person without any investigation.
Wonder how we would react if an actor shares a woman’s video or photo and says she was “raping me with her eyes”.
Bipasha Basu, Vidya Balan and even Sushmita Sen have earlier mentioned situations like Esha Gupta’s, but they have never named and shamed anyone. Mind it they are all very strong and gutsy women.
4. We could be victimizing men
We are very quick to jump to conclusions that a man is being patriarchal and misogynistic an immediate case in point is Kabir Singh. People are talking and talking about how Kabir Singh’s (Shahid Kapoor) actions are unacceptable. But what about Safeena (Alia Bhatt) in Gully Boy? Safeena is an over possessive, headstrong girl, who is ready to do anything for the love of her life. Every time her boyfriend showed interest in another girl, she is shown breaking bottles on their head, leading to police complaints and FIRs.
Safeena’s violence is lauded, Kabir’s condemned. That’s also a lopsided view point we are subscribing to.
5. #MeToo has been manipulated earlier
Has the #MeToo movement like almost every other social or political campaign in this decade, fallen victim to radicalism and opportunism from individuals seeking to fulfill a personal agenda? With those people brandishing something with name recognition, only to betray its very purpose. Has it simply become overshadowed by women using it to gain attention, money or revenge? As a result of these deplorable people, both sexes are suffering greatly.
Revolutions can be messy but they can’t be perceived as unjust. That’s why we need to take a second look at everything before we come to our own conclusion.