I will probably be lynched for saying this but the current movement of MeToo leaves me cold. I am skeptical of women who suddenly turn up and say they were victims of sexual harassment years ago. Their claims of having been groped or having been targets of verbal sexual attacks may well be true but many of them have continued to work with their attacker or even partied with him moving as they did in the same social circles. Evidently the harassment did not affect them enough that they moved away or dropped out and certainly not enough that they protested or complained at the time. If they had been child victims who picked up courage years later to complain, I can understand. But many of them were grown women who knew what was happening and could have responded suitably.
Much of this assault is of the kind faced every day by many women on a crowded train or on a footpath from a passerby who quickly walks away. To remain quiet for years, and even continue to meet the man socially or professionally, obviously because it was to their benefit, to then cry “wolf” is what is unacceptable. This trivializes the actual and terrible abuse faced by really vulnerable women and children who are forced to remain quiet in the face of threats to life and fear of social stigma, or the fate of those who did complain only to suffer retribution because they were on the wrong side of social lines of birth and position.
The three month old rape victim is seen less as a victim than an affluent grown woman who says she is suffering prolonged trauma because she was touched on her backside thirty years ago by someone she is still friends with.
Then there is the woman who complained of molestation because her superior touched her hand in the course of an argument/discussion…
Women in India are quick to lodge complaints of molestation in cases of dispute because it is easier and because the onus of disproving it lies with the other person. In our building a woman who had a running dispute with the society over feeding stray dogs inside the complex, accused a society member of molestation and lodged a police complaint. It was fortunate for the member that there were at least twenty witnesses who knew the complaint was false. Even so it took several hours before the man could be extricated from the hands of the police.
There are men who are worried about being alone in the house when the maid comes to work and make it a rule to leave all the doors and windows open.
It is not my case that women do not have a right to protest. But a much-delayed protest is of no value especially when it becomes a case of she says he says. The veracity of the woman becomes doubtful when years have passed since the incident and she seems to have been happily carrying on with her life meanwhile. All the talk of trauma does not convince.
Move on, woman. Make way for the women and children who have actually been raped or abused, and have received no justice.
You have had your fifteen minutes of fame.