#Metoo going overboard, time for #HeToo: Activists

Mumbai: Trump did it first. It all began last week in the United States of America (USA) when its president, Donald Trump, said in a speech, “It is a scary time for men in America”. He also said one in every six men has experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Activists in Mumbai second that emotion.

A post on social media reads, “As long as women who accuse men of sexual attacks are believed without evidence or due process, no man is safe. I’m not safe. Your husband isn’t safe. Your father isn’t safe. Your son isn’t safe. Your grandson isn’t safe. Your male friends aren’t safe. #HimToo.”

Clearly, the men’s #MeToo movement has arrived, along with #HeToo and #HimToo, to express the trouble and harassment they have suffered at the hands of women.  Activists said a powerful movement started on an equally powerful platform for expression is now being misused to exact personal revenge and with other ulterior motives. “It (the #MeToo movement) began as a groundbreaking movement and exposed the male-dominated society, wherein women’s voice was smothered for years.

But of late, the same phenomenon is being used for revenge, which is a misuse of the movement and a grave injustice to men,” said Ashok Pai, an activist.  “Just because men are infamous doesn’t mean women will speak the truth on every instance. The movement has reached a level where all the good has been sucked out of it,” said Archis Patil, another activist.

However, while a woman activist concedes the movement is spreading its wings and may have gone overboard. “Such a movement has risen after ages and women are speaking up. Just like men feel not all of them are culprits, not all women want to avenge personal heartbreaks. There must be more women genuinely wanting to speak out against sexual harassment,” said Teesta Setalvad, activist.

Support on social media has come from men as well as women, who feel the #MeToo movement has no substance left. A woman tweeted, “So many men go through similar (sexual harassment) situations just because of a few sympathy-seeking women. And all the bravery stamps of approval that the media awards them are beyond my understanding. Without solid evidences, these are mere woven lies!”

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