Me Too Campaign : Me Too Movement
Me Too Movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual Assault.Me Too campaign and movement has been spread virally from October 2017 as hashtag used on social media in attempt to eradicate or to demonstrate the wide spread of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.
Tarana Burke , an american social activist and community Organizer , Began this movement using the Phrase ” Me Too” in early 2006.and this Phrase was popularized by a american actress Alyssa Milano, on twitter in 2017.
Alyssa Milano’s Tweet : ” give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”
How Me Too Movement Started?
Tarana Burke , a Social activist started a me too campaign with the help of Myspace social network to promote ” empowerment through empathy “ among woman of color who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse, particularly in workplace or unprivileged communities. she Began a documentary titled “Me Too”. She said she was inspired to use the phrase after being unable to respond to a 13 year old girl who confided to her that she had been sexually assaulted. Burke later wished she had simply told the girl, “Me Too”.
How the Movement Popularized?
American Actress Alyssa Milano encouraged spreading the hashtag #Me Too, on October 15, 2017 to draw the attention to sexual assault and harassment. Later it spread over the countries and so many victims started this movement “Me Too”.
#Me Too in India:
Me Too Movement in India has grownup gradually and this movement effect touches the hearts of many people in India who faced sexual harassment and assault.Over the last several days, a number of woman in India have called out influential men actors,journalists,politicians for alleged sexual harassment. In most of the cases these sexual harassment has founded in workplaces (like in office, industries, Hospitals,Finance sectors..etc).And government came up with different laws and Guidelines to eradicate sexual harassment .
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behavior that makes a person feel uncomfortable, threatened or scared. it covers
Rape: forced ,unwanted sex or sexual acts.
Child Abuse: Using power on a child to involve that child in sexual activity.
Indecent Assault: Indecent behavior before, during or after an assault.
Both men and women can be victims of sexual assault.
Under what Law is sexual harassment at the workplace covered?
The Sexual Harassment of woman at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.It defines sexual harassment and assault ,lay down the procedures for a complaint and inquiry, and action to be taken.
What is 2013 Act and How it works?
According to 2013 Act on sexual harassment it is mandatory to have a Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees. It laydown procedures and defines various aspects of sexual harassment, including aggrieved victim, a woman of “any age or color whether employed or not”, who “alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment”, which means the rights of all woman working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity, are protected under this act.
How does this Act define Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment includes “any one or more” of the following “Unwelcome acts or behavior” committed directly or by implication:
- A demand or request for sexual favors
- Physical contacts and advances
- Sexually colored remarks
- Phone call harassing, chatting abusively
- Showing sexual website and videos
- any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non verbal conduct of sexual nature
The Woman and child Development ministry has published a handbook on Sexual harassment of woman at workplace with more detailed instance of behavior that constitutes sexual assault and harassment at workplace. These include Broadly
Sexually suggestive remarks or innuendos; serious or repeated offensive remarks; inappropriate questions or remarks about a person’s sex life
- Display of sexist or offensive pictures, posters, MMS, SMS, WhatsApp, or emails
- Intimidation, threats, blackmail around sexual favours; also, threats, intimidation or retaliation against an employee who speaks up about these
- Unwelcome social invitations with sexual overtones, commonly seen as flirting
- Unwelcome sexual advances.
The Handbook says “unwelcome behavior” is experienced when the victim feels bad or powerless; it causes anger/sadness or negative self-esteem. It adds unwelcome behavior is one which is “illegal, demeaning, invading, one-sided and power based”.
Additionally, the Act mentions five circumstances that amount to sexual harassment — implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment; implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; interference with her work or creating an offensive or hostile work environment; humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.
What happens after the ICC report?
If the allegations are proved, the ICC recommends that the employer take action for sexual harassment for misconduct “in accordance with the provisions of the service rules” of the company. These will obviously vary from company to company. It also recommends that the company deduct from the salary of the person found guilty, “as it may consider appropriate”. Compensation is determined based on five aspects: suffering and emotional distress caused to the woman; loss in career opportunity; her medical expenses; income and financial status of the respondent; and the feasibility of such payment.
After the recommendations, the aggrieved woman or the respondent can appeal in court within 90 days
What happens if a complaint is found to be false?
Section 14 of the Act deals with punishment for false or malicious complaint and false evidence. In such a case, the ICC “may recommend” to the employer that it take action against the woman, or the person who has made the complaint, in “accordance with the provisions of the service rules”. The Act, however, makes it clear, that action cannot be taken for “mere inability” to “substantiate the complaint or provide adequate proof”.
News on #Me Too in India:
National Commission for Woman to take account of sexual assault victims:
The National Commission for Woman is going to gather details on every sexual assault case that has come out or is in the process of coming out in the media. The Commission will personally get in touch with every sexual assault victim through the telephone and make report.
Tanushree dutta’s allegations against Nanapatekar:
Actor Tanushree dutta recently gave an interview recounting an incident that happens almost decade ago. Thanushree alleged that Nana patekar misbehaved with her on sets of “Horn Ok Pleassss.”
Union Minister and Former editor MJ Akber accused of sexual Assault:
Union Minister MJ Akber has been accused of sexual assault on a massive thread on twitter.
Varun Gover – Lyricist and Writer
Award Winning lyricist and writer varun Grover was called out bya former student of Banaras Hindu University for misbehaving with her in 2001 on pretext of working on play.
Alok Nath – Veteran Writer and Producer
Vinta Nanda, a veteran writer-producer of the avant-garde 1990s’ show “Tara” fame, has accused actor Alok Nath — known for his “sanskaari” on-screen image — of sexually violating her almost two decades ago.
Alok Nath responded to the allegations saying, “I am neither denying nor admitting to this. It (rape) must have happened, but the culprit must be somebody else. I do not want to talk much about it because that would mean stretching the issue.”
A female journalist has accused singer Kailash Kher of harassment. She said: “This creep kept his hand on my thigh.”
In his defence, Kailash said in a statement to IANS: “For all those who know me and have come across me, will know how much I respect humanity, especially women, even more for the ones who work in media since their work is difficult.”
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s top-selling authors, got himself embroiled in the movement when a woman shared screenshots of WhatsApp conversations between them. The author then went on to issue an apology on Facebook.
A Mumbai comedian, Utsav Chakraborty, last week found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm accusing him of sending lewd messages to women and young girls such as requesting topless photos.
After an initial dismissal, Chakraborty, who now faces a possible police investigation, tweeted that he has “been the exact monster I’ve been trying to fight all my life”.