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The Hollywood industry was shattered on 5th October 2017 when New York Times released an extensive report about American film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment over three decades promising women a bright future in their careers. Since then, allegations have been pouring in against him. The #MeToo caught fire when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a call-out to victims in various countries, industry, age and gender to give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Rose McGowan has been the most prominent voice in speaking out against Harvery Weinstein. In a blog she says – The bigger question is why we never spoke out, even when we knew deep down it was wrong? There are plenty of reasons: Fears of being disbelieved, personally scrutinized, shamed, ridiculed, blackballed, having your name publicly tied forever to an ugly thing that happened to you. There’s the ordeal of having to defend your account against your aggressor’s and having to explain what happened over and over again.”

Why do you need to read this? How is it relevant to you? – Not all of us have gone through sexual harassment; but certainly everyone must have gone through some kind of harassment (it is commonly understood as behavior that disturbs or upsets, and is characteristically repetitive). But for the reasons Rose McGowan mentions, we hold back speaking about those harassments. Let me attempt to make it more relevant to you by giving some instance which might have disturbed you, bothered you or upset you for a long/short time – 

  • You were punished in school for no fault of yours
  • Your parent’s angry nature made you feel scared to speak your heart to them; especially things which you know they might not like
  • You would not speak up amongst friends, thinking – it is such a small thing to share
  • Your girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancée ditched you without a real reason
  • You would not speak thinking people will make fun of you
  • You had creative thoughts, but never worked upon them. The thought being – if the idea was so good, someone would have already done something about it
  • You were ridiculed and made fun of when you took initiative for a good cause
  • Your loved ones kept telling you – you are good for nothing; if this is how you behave you will never be able to do anything in life
  • You were always asked to let go because you were the elder sibling
  • You are supposed to touch someone’s feet just because they are elder to you. Whether they are worth the respect is immaterial
  • You are supposed to keep others happy. In the process it is okay to lose your peace of mind
  • You must do things to earn livelihood. Your passion, interests and hobbies are supposed to be forgotten once you walk into adulthood
  • The person you trusted the most, duped you
  • If you are inheriting your father’s business, you must do things according to him and not trust your own brains and fresh ideas
  • You were penalised by government agencies despite being honest, whereas the miscreants got scot free
  • Despite being more capable, your colleague who is a sweet talker got the promotion
  • Your customer gave payment to other suppliers, but doesn’t release your cheques

I am sure you could connect with many of the above. The point here is – all these instances (big or small) are harassments in various degrees. Some of them make us feel low for a couple of days while some form a permanent belief in our minds, hence charting a way of life and thinking. Our present and future decisions are based on such above instances.

The second important point I want to make here is that all of us go through such negative instances. Some of us open up and talk about it, whereas most of us bury it deep in our hearts thinking less / demeaning ourselves. You are not alone. Though #MeToo, which was trending on social media was about sexual harassment, my #MeToo in this blog is about all above instances and broader.

There would be enough people who have gone through negatives instances just like you across the world. You are not the only one. But like Rose McGowan says, people do not open up for various reasons. I think it is time to move out of the shell we have formed for instances that have happened in past. The feeling of being cheated/ harassed will lead us nowhere. What will certainly lead us somewhere is –

  • BANKING ON OURSELVES more than ever before!
  • Let’s learn from the past experiences, be mature and TRUST PEOPLE WHO ARE TRUSTWORTHY!

Let the suffering wala #MeToo remain a hashtag of the past. Let’s have positive wala #MeToo from now on …..

P.S. – what is positive wala #MeToo ??? Wait for my next blog!

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Amit Kothari

… always upgrading!

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