Mumbai: Why do some men exhibit such traits? Says a keen observer of male psychology: ‘‘Men in position of authority often tend to treat women as their ‘little conquests’. One ‘conquest’ invariably leads to another, as the harasser is emboldened by his initial success. Often, the harasser exhibit these ‘trophies’ in their inner circle of male friends. Soon, it becomes a bad habit. Psychiatrists in the city have welcomed the #MeToo campaign, saying it is good that people are coming forward to share their stories of sexual harassment. Such incidents have always been happening, but it is only now that women are finding the courage to speak about it, they feel.
Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist, said that in the past, women would quietly endure Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of which they would never go against their harasser. “It takes time because the victim is so traumatised by the experience that they start having PTSD and are only able to speak about it after many years,” added Dr Sagar. He further added that if a prominent figure speaks about having undergone harassment, it encourages others to do the same because they feel they are not alone in their suffering. When asked why those called out in the #MeToo campaign behaved in the way they did, Dr Mundada said, “Sometimes, those occupying high positions feel they own their subordinates and can abuse or harass the latter and ask them to do whatever they want.”
Dr Anshu Kulkarni, consulting psychiatrist at Raheja Fortis Hospital, said it is a show of power play. People in high places think they have the power to do anything with a lower-ranked employee. “Most of the time, the sufferer will not report such abuse for fear of being judged and are unsure if they will get any help,” said Dr Kulkarni.