Published: 03rd November 2018
Making sense of #MeToo: Here are a few pointers which can help us safeguard ourselves from perpetrators
The victims have suffered in silence for so long. Imagine how violated they would have felt. The psychological scars would remain, haunting them forever
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times — this popular line borrowed from Charles Dickens seems so apt for today.
It’s the worst of times because it appears that half the male population consists of gropers, abusers, paedophiles and other sexual predators.
It’s best of times because the so-called victims have thrown caution to the wind and have collectively decided to expose the offenders and bring them to book, unmindful of the consequences.
The rich, famous and powerful are all facing the heat, the movement has spared no one, everyone has a story to tell. Sadly, the offenders have misused their position either as trusted caretakers, relatives, mentors or opportunity providers. These twisted people have been posing as decent folks and living amongst us. They have had evil intentions and have subjected our children to acts which would make them cringe with shame and leave them scarred for life.
Most of the victims when asked why they did not report the incident, said that they were made to feel guilty, the perpetrators made it look as if the victims were at fault and used this guilt trap to blackmail them. So it became a kind of a vicious circle.
The victims have suffered in silence for so long. Imagine how violated they would have felt. The psychological scars would remain, haunting them forever, effecting their self-worth which would have suffered major erosion. The #MeToo movement was a kind of cathartic release and so, in a lot of ways, caught on like wildfire. Since this can happen in our own homes and neighbourhood, let’s look at a few pointers which can help us safeguard ourselves.
We are unique and hence valuable: Our self-worth dictates our lives, whatever rotten things people do to us, our self-worth should remain intact. We are valuable and nobody can take that away. A positive self-worth reflects in the way you communicate and behave with others, when you are confident other people will treat you with respect and this will further reinforce your confidence in yourself. The key to your self-worth is with you, don’t hand it over.
Be bold: When you are loud and bold, sexual offenders usually stay away. They usually pick on the shy and lonely. Even if you have an introvert personality, you can learn to adapt when you are outside or in front of people. Try to be as noisy as possible. The gropers will usually stay away.
Learn self-defence: There are many short-term courses which teach you to defend yourself. Remember in times of need, your pens, mobiles and bags can be transformed into valuable weapons. At least learn how to disengage yourself and run away.
Be resilient: Behind every successful person there are tons of setbacks and heartbreaks. Cultivate skills to bounce back, this will make you stronger and less vulnerable.
Name and shame: Remember you are not at fault, be brave enough to expose the perpetrators. Make society look at these people with disgust and say “You too?”.