“Me Too” Ramifications in India

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Introduction:

#MeToo movement was founded by Tarana Burke but began as a much needed social phenomenon in October 2017 as a hashtag started by American actress Alyssa Milano who shared her story of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. The hashtag caught like wildfire when women from across the world began talking about their survivor stories. In India, however, this MeToo movement didn't take flight until actress Tanushree Dutta decided to speak up once against actor Nana Patekar. What began as one woman's story soon became a phenomenon when names of powerful men in the country started surfacing. From actor Alok Nath to journalist MJ Akbar, the movement has brought to light many stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

Impact:

The key impact of this movement, is that women are feeling the support and encouragement to shake off their trauma, sense of shame and hesitation to come forward and open up about their experiences. There is indeed strength in numbers. Not only is this important for women’s empowerment, but also a key factor in effective detection, control and punishment of such civil or criminal offences against women. Without a complainant coming forward, it is next to impossible to take action against the guilty. Without shedding the sense of shame, it is ipossible to ward off societal disapprobation.

Resignation of the accused:

The single biggest outcome of the movement to date has been the resignation of M.J. Akbar, who was minister of state for external affairs, after no less than 16 women came on record alleging sexual harassment by him in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Former DNA and TOI editor-in-chief, Gautam Adhikari, has quit the US think-tank Centre for American Progress (CAP) after he was accused of kissing at least three women in office without their consent.

A Business Standard reporter, Mayank Jain resigned after The Wire’s Anoo Bhuyan and others alleged that he had made an unwelcome proposition for sex and was also refusing to back off despite her refusals.

The Hindu’s Gouridasan Nair was sent on administrative leave after Yamini Nair and other women accused him of sexual misconduct.

K.R. Sreenivas, resident editor (Hyderabad) of Times of India resigned after journalist Sandhya Menon and six other women sent a petition to Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. detailing accounts of harassment by him.

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Technology over legal process for justice:

There have been instances where people have approached the ICC( Internal complaint committee) and have been dissuaded. One of the main problems with the ICC stems from the fact that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) (SHW) Act, 2013, says that the first step should be towards conciliation between the complainant and the respondent. When there is a complaint, such committees should only conduct an inquiry and arrive at a decision. But if reconciliation becomes the first goal, the woman could come under pressure. It is almost like being asked to withdraw the complaint and being dissuaded from pursuing adversarial proceedings, especially in cases where the offender in question has apologised. Many cases have been there in the history which shows that law sometimes ends up harassing even further than it helps. For instance the consider the case of former minister and editor MJ Akbar who has slapped a criminal defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani, who had accused him of sexual harassment. Senior journalist Seema Mustafa has described the minister’s move against an “ordinary” citizen akin to “bludgeoning a butterfly”.

With the development of social media, it is difficult to censor anyone who chooses to use it to get justice. What the movement has done is build a sense of solidarity, encouraging more women to share their stories and seek justice. It has also started a dialogue on sexual harassment. In that sense, there are many positives to the movement. “Victims hindered or intimidated by the legal process can use technology to facilitate justice”.

Negative Effects of #MeToo:

Some of the negative effects of #MeToo are like confusion about workplace etiquette and, paradoxically, the possibility of fewer opportunities for women, as male executives struggle to adjust to the new rules of engagement.

Men of a certain age appear to have the most difficulty adapting to the new work order. A Pew Research Center poll conducted revealed 66 percent of adults 65 and older believe it’s now harder for men to navigate workplace interactions.

The survey also indicated 51 percent of Americans believe the increased focus on sexual harassment and assault has made it more difficult for men to know how to interact with women at work. Only 12 percent said the interactions would now be easier.

Experts report increasing reluctance from men in positions of authority to hire or work closely with women, in some cases declining to hold one-on-one meetings with female employees.

India also has the chances of facing the similar pattern of behavior from employees , after all most of the culture in the organizations in India comes from West and so it is not hard to imagine or expect the similar behavior pattern in terms of safety and insecurities to flow from there.

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“Me Too” Ramifications in India. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/me-too-ramifications-in-india/
““Me Too” Ramifications in India.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/me-too-ramifications-in-india/
“Me Too” Ramifications in India. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/me-too-ramifications-in-india/> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
“Me Too” Ramifications in India [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/me-too-ramifications-in-india/
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