Me Too movement is a movement against sexual assault and harassment. It went viral in the October of 2017 as a hashtag but soon it turned into a platform for the victims of sexual harassment to name and shame their assaulters. Many big names of the American entertainment industry found themselves in the middle of this movement. For the last few weeks this movement is knocking at the door of our neighbor India and many famous politicians, writers, journalists and media persons have been accused of sexual harassment. This movement can turn out to be a watershed moment in the struggle of achieving women empowerment and curbing violence against them.
My primary reason for supporting this movement is very different from the rest. I know many in west and here at home will not accept it but these Me Too stories have vindicated Islam and the limits it imposes on men and women. The sexual liberation has turned out to be just another weapon used by the powerful to exploit the weaker gender and here by weaker gender I do not mean women alone in some scenarios (whose possibility and probability is less) men can also be the weaker gender. I do not want to get into the validity of these claims but I believe that this is what all those men and women deserve who crossed the moral, social and religious bounds; bounds that are deemed as regressive but in actuality they are the guards that protect both the sexes and the bounds upon which our whole social system stands.
The common misconception here is that Islam limits a woman to her home and confines her to homemaking; the notion of “guli surri laash” gets its roots from here. First, the notion is wrong and secondly, rising the next generation- the future is not some easy task. It deserves a lot of hard work and conviction. Thus in the name of empowerment and emancipation we have made women more vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation. By offering her the so-called freedom we have made her a slave and a commodity.
I am not a sexist and I seriously believe in women empowerment but here in our part of the world women empowerment is reduced to mere symbols; these symbols talk of shunning duppata and barring one’s midriff. Still the concerned and the champions of the cause of women empowerment have failed to indigenize feminism, they have failed to bring the social change instead they have provoked and antagonized the related corners by opting for above mentioned gimmicks. Their actions closed many windows instead of opening new ones. The need here is to identify such social practices that act as impediments in achieving the goal of women empowerment and then remove them. Here many preach to change the whole social system instead of correcting the irritants that cause the problems. Resultantly, we have failed to achieve the desired change and it still hangs in limbo.
However, here arises a pertinent question that whether this Me Too movement will be able to play any part in liberating women and making this world a safer and better place for them. At the moment the answer can only be assumed and the optimist in me wishes the answer to be yes.
Me Too campaign’s main job should be looking at ways through which awareness can be created among the masses about the importance of treating women well and as equals, more importantly how to treat a woman that is a working woman and at ways through which the work place can be made safe for them but I fear that this campaign may end up only sensationalizing sexual harassment instead of sensitizing the masses about it. The main reason of my apprehension is due to the big names that are attached with this movement and all those that are being named under the umbrella of this movement. The names might hijack this movement for their self-glory and for garnering sympathy for themselves instead of the victims. It is very important that no body owns this movement. Nobody should be the face of this movement. It is very important that the campaign stays on the right path and purpose. Otherwise all the promises that this campaign makes will be lost and above all the golden opportunity will be lost to bring in all those who used their power to exploit and harm the weak.