Let's protect #MeToo survivors at least now

Published: Oct 12, 2018, 07:00 IST | mid-day online desk

That is the way one does not diminish this empowering and watershed initiative, or cause it to lose its teeth

Let's protect #MeToo survivors at least now

Yesterday, this paper ran an editorial on ensuring the sanctity of the #MeToo movement. The thrust was on calling out of perpetrators of sexual harassment. That is the way one does not diminish this empowering and watershed initiative, or cause it to lose its teeth.

What is important is the bigger picture. Currently, we are flush in the middle of the movement. #MeToo is raging, and the deluge shows little sign of abating. But what happens to these women later is equally crucial.

The accusers, those pioneers who started a thread on social media, who spoke out first, and through their courage inspired others to speak, will have to make a decision about filing complaints. All those who dared to put their names to accounts and continue to do so, must be safe. They cannot and should not be threatened months later, by those they accused, or others who have been affected by the movement in the sense of workplaces closing down, or events and performances being cancelled because of these revelations.

It is vital that the enablers, the acolytes and followers - we can also call them cheerleaders of the accused -not wait for the heat to die down and then turn on these women. Those who have called out the powerful, the influential, well know that there may be some price to pay for this, whether it is being trolled on social media, or worse. But that does not mean every effort should not be made to create an environment where these bravehearts feel safe and secure.

It is not just #MeToo, every initiative or individual who threatens the established order, a more powerful system or individual, may be in danger of repercussions. Let us change that narrative too. Repercussions or consequences should no longer be part of the package or come with the territory for speaking out. This is one of the big tests of #MeToo.

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