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Old 12th October 2018, 11:22   #16
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

I happened to read a very lucid argument on what's wrong with the "me too" movement by p*rn star Sabrina Deep on Quora.com. In case you're wondering, she's not only a prolific writer on Quora, her critical analyses on social issues have also been published in leading magazines worldwide with permission from Quora. So you know it's not just some fluff piece by some woman who earns on her back.

This was the crux of her argument - why most of these accusers opening up much later on? They kept quiet because they feared losing out on opportunities. Later on, when they're either washed-up in their careers or when it suits them (if they're well settled in their careers), they're opening up and saying "me too". No one forced them to go ahead despite the abuse they received. The moment they acquiesced in order to get the opportunities they wanted, they've lost the moral right to claim total innocence in the matter.

That is a contrarian stance to take, one which no one would have the guts to say to a room full of politically correct people. I guess it was always up to an adult performer to have the b*lls to say it like it is!
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:30   #17
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I'm for the safety of everyone, not just women, but even kids + senior citizens + men. I hate any sort of wrongdoing even to animals.
#MeToo, is perhaps another feminism driven movement in the country.. now by saying that I do not mean to belittle anyone's suffering or say that those that used #MeToo as a platform are wrong, they are not.

However every time a female cries about abuse (a decade after it happens), it seems to me that society jointly crucifies all the men at first sight. I've had two examples of such paranoia happen with me personally, one was at night when I girl who I was "stalking" on the road decided to confront my on why I was following her. I guess its my fault that the route that she was taking to her home was the same route I was taking on my casual walk back to MY home, that misunderstanding cleared pretty fast when she (living in a PG) saw that my home was on the same road. Another was official and I guess reprimanding an intern based strictly on performance using only very permissible, official language is also wrong and if it were a man it'd be seen as another day at work.. but since this was a woman, a complaint was raised on something like "crossing limits" if I remember correctly. Another discussion with the "poor victim" led to us becoming somewhat of friends and I told her that she'd need to be of thick skin in the HR line and not seek comfort in being a woman. She took that advice seriously and became a toughie, I kept my distance nonetheless as long as I worked there.

Most of my friends are women, and I've heard it all from them, genuine harassment in office, pestering for dates, pestering for a coffee etc.. I tell them to either quit the job or to complain (if they feel such complaints would be well received and acted upon), but the sad part is they do neither and say "I can handle it". The problem is not with all men, but the problem does exist.

As you've rightly said, I'm also an open minded man who refuses to jump onto bandwagon movements.. every living organism has its rights to survive and exist on this earth free of harassment, be it trees, animals, insects, man, woman, etc, again irrespective of age. There should NOT be an erosion of trust just because a few people misrepresent humanity and societal living.

We have this one life, and all we wish for is some respect, some love and freedom while we seek our greater purpose in life and grow as individuals. Let's not get dragged away into areas where very little is under our control. Show-business has been a playground for the morally depraved and sexual deviants since the time of its founding, be it Hollywood or Bollywood. Most of the people working there know this all too well, and if they chose to get pulled into it and keep quiet for years on end just for the sake of fame, money or pride then it can only be their fault. Both of the genders are victims there, according to many thousand stories easily available on the net.

Last edited by dark.knight : 12th October 2018 at 11:36.
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:38   #18
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

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Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
....

This was the crux of her argument - why most of these accusers opening up much later on? They kept quiet because they feared losing out on opportunities. Later on, when they're either washed-up in their careers or when it suits them (if they're well settled in their careers), they're opening up and saying "me too". No one forced them to go ahead despite the abuse they received. The moment they acquiesced in order to get the opportunities they wanted, they've lost the moral right to claim total innocence in the matter....
She makes a compelling argument. I agree with her premise, but not necessarily with the conclusion.

The bit in bold is the most important one, and it applies everywhere, not just to sexual harassment.

People often succumb and keep quiet because they aren't given the confidence that they'll be heard and supported if they come forward. If the choice is between stirring a hornet's nest where you'll most probably end up at the receiving end, or having a successful career, I'm not sure if most of us wouldn't be tempted to evaluate our options. Come to think of it, haven't we all made compromises (not necessarily of a sexual nature) in situations where we now sit on our online armchairs and expect others to walk away from? Did we? Would we?

That premise draws an interesting parallel to an unrelated argument in the employment thread. A lot of people compromised with all sorts of stuff to get opportunities they wanted, and now that the good days are over, are making a moral argument of their rights when they knowingly signed them away, morally and often legally.

P.S. To apply the lady's own argument to her, I hope any claims she or her colleagues in the profession bring forward for sexual harassment aren't dismissed on moral grounds because 'well you have sex for a living, so you have no moral right to complain now.' Even porn-stars deserve to be protected from sexual harassment.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th October 2018 at 11:42.
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:46   #19
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

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Not everyone has the ability to get proof. My friend was astute enough to recognize the symptoms and take action in advance. .
Okay. It's a coincidence that DailyDriver started this thread on the same day that Suresh Rangarajan @ Tata Motors has been accused of harassment.

Let's talk about the specifics of this case. My basic argument is:

- He has been accused on social media.

- He hasn't even been accused formally.

- It is one Twitter message sharing a screenshot of a complaint from an anonymous person.

- No proof. No text messages shared (they are referred to in the complaint) or anything at all.

On the basis of this, Suresh Rangarajan's reputation is finished? And he has been put on 'forced leave' by Tata Motors?

Give me a break. Again, my argument is, back up your SERIOUS allegations with PROOF before taking STRONG action.
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:47   #20
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

While this is an extremely sad thing to have happened, like all social media campaigns, I hope the cacophony does not drain the society of its outrage.
As we are all aware, public memory is extremely short and too much of anything would end up trivializing this serious issue.

For now, its only the elite crop of ladies who have decent amount of resources at their disposal who are raising their voice. What about those millions who cannot? Ask any lady who has to use public transport in India. Social media awareness and outrage should be channeled for their cause as well.

I hope there is no unintended consequence of this : Change in hiring dynamics. Companies may not want to risk it.
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:54   #21
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I have a small question. How are these cases investigated in absence of any evidence? I mean such kind of abuse can happen verbally too right? In case the incident occurred on text/whatsapp, there exists at least some evidence that the conversation actually happened. In a scenario where there have been allegations of physical harassment, one might check security cameras. But these incidents can happen in areas where there are no cameras. How does one prove his or her innocence?

I remember one such allegation against Chetan Bhagat (an author of few famous books) where he was accused of saying inappropriate things. He accepted that he had said those things and he was really sorry for it as he made the other party feel uncomfortable.
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Old 12th October 2018, 11:55   #22
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Give me a break. Again, my argument is, back up your SERIOUS allegations with PROOF before taking STRONG action.
Haven't seen the news or haven't seen what the company did before taking the action, but usually before such a major decision has been taken I would expect an internal committee on sexual harassment would have met and decided if prima facie the claim is worth investigation.

Just read in today's papers about the claims being made about the sanskari on screen character, and it made me realize how little we know about people.
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Old 12th October 2018, 12:03   #23
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She makes a compelling argument. I agree with her premise, but not necessarily with the conclusion.

People often succumb and keep quiet because they aren't given the confidence that they'll be heard and supported if they come forward. If the choice is between stirring a hornet's nest where you'll most probably end up at the receiving end, or having a successful career, I'm not sure if most of us wouldn't be tempted to evaluate our options.
That's the difficult part to navigate around. This is very similar to what unfolded at the Nuremberg trials with ex-Nazi holocaust perpetrators, after WW2. "They made me do it" wasn't bought as a defence argument because mankind always has a choice. You should contrast the conduct of Nazi officers with that of the US marines in Vietnam. The officer who reported the chief perpetrator of the My Lai massacre was initially put under huge duress under threat of losing his career, but he stuck to his guns.

This is where the #metoo accusers seem small in comparison to moral giants. They acquiesced. Yes, it is never an easy choice, but still. They acquiesced when it suited them, and they've come out of the woodwork and protested when it suited them. Their protests need to be investigated but they aren't celebrities to be idolized.

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P.S. To apply the lady's own argument to her, I hope any claims she or her colleagues in the profession bring forward for sexual harassment aren't dismissed on moral grounds because 'well you have sex for a living, so you have no moral right to complain now.' Even porn-stars deserve to be protected from sexual harassment.
The irony in Sabrina Deep's case is that she was harassed by unnamed producers in California's p*rn valley and she raised her voice against it. She has since been blacklisted by the entire US p*rn industry so she has moved and settled in Italy from where she runs her website successfully. She's a gutsy one and has my respect, unlike Tanushree Dutta or any one of these accusers who lack the courage to do what's right irrespective of carrots or sticks.
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Old 12th October 2018, 12:15   #24
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

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...
On the basis of this, Suresh Rangarajan's reputation is finished? And he has been put on 'forced leave' by Tata Motors?
Shouldn't you be blaming Tata Motors here for their knee-jerk reaction, if it was one?

They could've refused to take unilateral action based on (yet) unsubstantiated accusations, instituted a thorough, transparent investigation, and taken action based on findings.

Yes it would've been difficult, but the fact they were keener to get their name out of the news ASAP is a reflection on the society we live in, not the person making the accusation.

The whole episode cruelly demonstrates societal attitudes as a whole. We're more interested in protecting our name than finding the truth. Then we wonder why people hesitate to speak up.

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....This is very similar to what unfolded at the Nuremberg trials with ex-Nazi holocaust perpetrators, after WW2.
That's a false equivalence. The Nazis had a choice not to commit the crimes, victims of sexual abuse don't always have a choice not to be abused.

For example, how about people that were abused by their own relatives as children, and only managed to speak up about it years (or decades) later? There possibly won't be any evidence and the accused may be someone well-respected while the accuser a nobody. How should we handle something like that?

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This is where the #metoo accusers seem small in comparison to moral giants. They acquiesced. Yes, it is never an easy choice, but still. They acquiesced when it suited them, and they've come out of the woodwork and protested when it suited them. Their protests need to be investigated but they aren't celebrities to be idolized.
Admittedly, not everyone has the same fortitude, but one could argue it's the weaker ones who need support more because they'll buckle under the weight of the situation faster than those willing to fight it out. Judging all people and situations by a single black & white standard will make things worse, not better.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th October 2018 at 12:35.
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Old 12th October 2018, 12:35   #25
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This is a faint line here, we are talking about. While there might be (and definitely will be) false accusations, to settle some score, these incidences should be encouraged to come out. I guess, no one will be prosecuted in absence of any proof, but it (the #metoo movement) does provide a opportunity for people who were harassed to come out and vent their anger. I don't know if it is right or wrong -the media trial thing.

But those of us who work in private companies, those who are the only source of income for the family, and do not have the courage to speak out fearlessly against unfair treatment by bosses, consider the situation the female colleagues would have faced! Lack of social acceptance to someone raising a voice against sexual harassment is the biggest roadblock to climb, and hence most of the females choose to stay quiet. When they eventually muster the courage (having already made a mark in the industry or not anymore enamored by the career or getting more social encouragement to be brave), they are now speaking. We cannot expect females who are being subjected to some sort of uncomfortable dual-innuendo talk during normal conversation to record that and gather some proof of it.

Then, there is a genuine threat of this movement being stretched too far, with even usual corporate talks being used to malign someone.

This is really a two-edged sword.
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Old 12th October 2018, 12:53   #26
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3 further points - My Personal Perspective:

1. Many years ago, a woman candidate that I was interviewing said to me - "Sir, I can do anything-pause-anything for you. Please give me this job", after I had explained to her why I cannot. Who's the harasser and harassed, and a few years down the line, who could have been the harasser and the harassed? Thereafter, I stopped providing feedback to candidates on their interview performance.

2. I have been part of an investigation committee that was examining a sensitive allegation of sexual harassment against a manager. Eventually, the allegations couldn't be confirmed, because the story kept changing under questioning. The woman, shortly afterwards, left the organisation of her own accord and moved on to another job, but the guy probably lost out on growth or promotion opportunities for close to 3 years, because his reputation was destroyed.

3. In a previous job, I directly observed a director openly being suggestive and inappropriate on the floor, with a few women clearly enjoying it and some clearly in discomfiture. Needless to say, no one either resisted or complained.

All of these are also as equally #metoo as the other.

Last edited by roy_libran : 12th October 2018 at 13:12.
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Old 12th October 2018, 13:05   #27
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...
All of these are also as equally #metoo as the other.
Precisely the point, thank you.

This debate needs to stop being demarcated along gender lines where there's clear separation between which ones fall into perpetrator/victim brackets, because that line doesn't exist in real life. I've known men who've been harassed, and I've also known men (and women, shocking but true) who genuinely think men can't be harassed because they aren't weak like women.

Anyone can be a perpetrator and consequently, anyone can be a victim of harassment & abuse. The faster this discussion gets away from gender-based finger-pointing and side-taking, the more progress we can make.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 12th October 2018 at 13:21. Reason: added a point
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Old 12th October 2018, 13:25   #28
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It is clear that for centuries it has been "a Man's World" no one disputes that. Women have been treated as 'second class' citizens, sometimes as 'objects' and sometimes as 'property'.

It is also pretty clear that AS A SOCIETY our attitudes towards women needs to change and that this change will come slowly. Much slower than women expect it or want it. Society changes slowly.

Developing countries like India are some of the toughest places for women to work. Oddly one would have expected that a country that worships a female bovine (Cow) and is often called "Mother India" also treats women so poorly (as a Society).

How we went from "Swayamwar" to "Dowry" baffles me.

How a country that worshipped (and still worships) Goddesses like Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati could also once have practiced Sati/Jowhar, and condoned female foeticide and infanticide and honour killings is strange to say the least.

The fact is that today India (in several surveys) is lumped along with several other "backward" Asian and Sub-Saharan and African countries (most of which are far lower in GDP or economic prosperity) when it comes to treatment of women in Society and in many cases the practical privileges of women. Other countries on this list (just an exmaple) are: Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, .... are our women (as a society) really this poorly treated? If so we should be ashamed.

That is AS A SOCIETY. As a Society we are not prepared to accept bra-less or scantily clad women even in the "more progressive" metros. We ask our daughters and sisters to cover up but don't ask anything of our sons and brothers. This is what needs to change.

I get the feeling that #metoo has swung the pendulum in the other direction. Suddenly women believe that as long as they can classify any incident as part of #metoo they can rightfully "seek revenge" for all the "wrongs" of the past. It does not matter what the facts of the case are as long as you can add #metoo to it, it is justified and right.

Take the case of the "Girl who cried Wolf". How many men would like to be in the position of the man in this aritcle? https://lifeofpai743708595.wordpress...ho-cried-wolf/

Or in the postion of Aziz Ansari?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/o...arassment.html

No one is excusing the eve teasing men you find in the local trains and buses in India's cities and towns and no one is excusing the men who use their position for extracting "favours" from women but we can't paint the whole Indian Male population with the same brush and we can't accept all Indian women as being "Savitri".

As genders mix, the roles are going to get even more mixed and muddled. Both parties will face a backlash. What if either partner who engaged in "consensual sex", regrets it the next day? Can a man accuse a women of rape or molestation with the same impunity as a woman can? Currently under the universal umbrella of #metoo it seems not.

Last edited by navin : 12th October 2018 at 13:27.
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Old 12th October 2018, 13:26   #29
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Haven't seen the news or haven't seen what the company did before taking the action, but usually before such a major decision has been taken I would expect an internal committee on sexual harassment would have met and decided if prima facie the claim is worth investigation.
Link to news

Tweet went live yesterday morning & Tata put Suresh on leave the same evening. Can a slow behemoth like Tata complete the due processes in 1 working day? I don't think so. It was only done to douse the fire.

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Shouldn't you be blaming Tata Motors here for their knee-jerk reaction, if it was one?
I do, and I also blame all the commentators running him down on the basis of one 'allegation' without any proof whatsoever.

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Yes it would've been difficult, but the fact they were keener to get their name out of the news ASAP is a reflection on the society we live in, not the person making the accusation.
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Old 12th October 2018, 14:37   #30
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I am a bit taken aback by some of the comments in this thread. There will always be bad apples trying to settle scores by coming up with bogus stories as part of #MeToo. But in the vast majority of cases, one needs to understand that it takes a lot of courage by the woman to disclose a harassment.

See for example the chilling narrative by a then fresher who suffered harassment at the hands of editor MJ Akbar. After reading the story, it is very difficult for me to believe that it is fabricated.

https://thewire.in/media/mj-akbar-sexual-harassment

In one of the comments above, a member felt bad when a woman wrongly accused him of stalking. When we think about it from the woman's perspective, you will have to consider the countless stories that appear in the media showing how women are abused by stalkers. So, she was right in questioning when she feared that someone is stalking her.

A female aquaintance once mentioned that she avoids a shorter route while walking to her home. Why? To avoid facing some group of men who pass lewd comments. How many times would a man have faced such a situation ?

It may be easy for us men to believe that women have it easy when it comes to career, promotion or profession. But we should not fail to be aware of the invisible barriers/harassments that women face on a daily basis.
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