During New Year’s Eve celebrations on MG Road and Brigade Road in Bengaluru, a mob of drunken men harassed and molested numerous women present at the venue. The event has been termed a “mass molestation”.
How weird does that sound? Sadly, terms like molestation and mass murder have become commonplace in the news, but mass molestation is proof that our society has hit a whole new low.
Although believe it or not, Bengaluru did not invent this crime. In fact, on the very same night, in a different time zone – the city of Cologne, Germany – a horde of men molested women attending the New Year celebrations.
Ah, what a time to be regressive! The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to squash the spirits of women and remind them where they belong, isn’t it? We don’t want them getting any absurd notions about our society moving forward with time.
If news of the incident itself isn’t frustrating enough for you, our politicians can help with that. Karnataka’s Home Minister casually remarked that “such things do happen on New Year and Christmas.” These things happen, guys. No need to make a big deal out of it. Millenials, amirite?
And then there was Abu Azmi with another one of his sexist rants about it’s-all-because-of-women-dressing-scantily.
The situation took an even sadder – and sadly predictable – turn within a few hours of the news when #NotAllMen began trending on Twitter.
Please, please, pay attention to the fact that pretty much nobody is blaming “all men” in the first place.
A bunch of hooligans decided that molesting women was their idea of a fun party, countless women are coming forth to speak up about their own experiences of being harassed for the “crime” of saying no, and you want to make the conversation about your hurt feelings?
The very fact that you are more worried about your bruised ego than about the very real epidemic of violence against women is shameful. You are right, #NotAllMen are misogynists, but if you are supporting this hashtag on social media, then you certainly are.
Another hashtag, #YesAllWomen, soon gained momentum on Twitter in response to the #NotAllMen trend.
And it’s by no means an exaggeration, trust me. All women – and many little girls not old enough to be called women – have faced some form of sexual harassment. If you don’t believe that, you are ignorant about either the status of women in our country or about what counts as harassment.
Most reports of this incident are referring to it as “Bengaluru’s night of shame” and calling the Twitter scenario a “battle of the sexes.”
No, please, no. Stop. This is not the time to shame the people of one city or pit men and women against each other.
Delhi has earlier been dubbed the rape capital of the country, but everyone’s personal story is different. I have faced more harassment since I moved to Mumbai than I ever did in Delhi.
This isn’t about all men being pigs or women being sluts. And as Chak de India as it sounds, this is certainly not about Bengaluru, or Delhi, or Mumbai. This is about India and the mentality of Indians.
None of us are free from blame, because by fighting amongst each other instead of condemning the molesters – and ONLY the molesters – we are letting India become the rape capital of the world. We are allowing it.
Stop derailing the conversation.
Speak up against sexual assault.
End the patriarchy.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.