Amping up the discussion around the powerful social media hashtag campaign #MeToo that was started after the sexual harassment cases against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein started building up, closer home, actor Richa Chadha too opened up about the issue. Taking to her personal blog to address questions around the campaign and about the “Harvey Weinsteins in B-town”, Chadha wrote about how she was surprised that a lot of people were shocked at the enormity of the magnitude of the #MeToo campaign because this is “a country where violence against the girl child starts in the womb”.
Baring her heart out in the blog post, the ‘Jia aur Jia’ actor wrote about how little girls learn about ‘good touch and bad touch’ through first-hand experience and not through sex education first. “Rape is defined as ‘izzat lootna’ in Hindustani, or robbing one’s dignity. In whatever form one is assaulted, what do you think happens when prejudice like this exists in society – does it get easier or more difficult to report a gender crime?” she asked in her post.
Chadha is of the opinion that while political views could divide leaders, sexism is what unites them. “Why don’t we start a new party called United Sexist Front – a revolutionary re-imagining of governments and the opposition. Women can join it too and then everyone can watch porn in the Parliament with glee,” she wrote.
Probably trying to raise a whole gamut of problems that the women in the country face even now, Chadha poses a series of questions in her blog. “Why not shame the oppressor? Should he be behind bars or ever get a job again? Should he be allowed to function normally in society after paying off settlements? And again how about the very investigation of rape? In this prevalent culture of victim shaming, does it get easy or more painful to report a gender crime?” she questioned.
She wrote how women are easily made targets when it comes to settling the “worst caste and religious” scores. She goes on to ask a very pertinent question: “If half of the population is hugely disadvantaged one way or another, how will India EVER be a superpower?” She explained why it was important that people understand that Bollywood is not perpetuating these inhumane acts in the society. “In the Mahabharata, Draupadi was traded as property in gambling and Goddess Sita was abducted by another man in the Ramayana, (assuming you think of mythology and history in the same way), which was before the advent of films. ‘Bollywood’ hasn’t invented rape, torture, stalking and assault,” she wrote.
Instead of just bringing women who have been living with the harrowing experiences they have been through in the past to account, the Masaan actor is of the opinion that the onus is on all of us. ” Shouldn’t we all be ashamed?” she asked. While she ends by saying that she agrees with the hashtag #NotAllMen, she wrote that #ALLWOMEN she has known have experienced gender violence in one form or the other.