#MeToo is Going Global 🗺️

 Tanushree Dutta (R) - Atul Loke / The New York Times

Tanushree Dutta (R) - Atul Loke / The New York Times

A surging movement in India

India is witnessing its own #MeToo movement. This week, the co-founders of one of India’s top comedy groups, All India Bakchod“stepped away” from their positions due to sexual misconduct accusations. In addition, several female journalists have come forward against prominent male figures of Indian newspapers.

Addressing an ongoing problem

Sexual misconduct in Bollywood isn’t anything new; in fact, it’s an open secret that most women and some men are pressured to engage in sexual favors for the promise of fame and desired roles. This “casting couch” mentality has normalized the culture of harassment, strikingly similar to the whisper networks that existed for Harvey Weinstein in the US.


SUPPORTING #METOO:

Indian Express: Missing from India’s #MeToo movement – the men

Quartz India: It took a year, but #MeToo is finally roiling Bollywood and Indian media

Outlets supporting India’s #MeToo movement emphasize that its onset was a long time coming. They praise former actress Tanushree Dutta for enabling the platform by reviving her accusations against actor Nana Patekar. While articles from this side commend the bravery of the women who have come forward, they call for powerful men in the industry who identify themselves as allies to respond with support and reflection.

SKEPTICAL OF #METOO:

The Times of India: #MeToo in India: Rhetoric versus reality

Daily O: #MeToo is a watershed moment: Use it with power and care

Outlets skeptical of India’s #MeToo movement point out the flaws of the movement. They note that the fact that these stories are taking place exclusively on Twitter may erode credibility; they argue that the social media movement may not be enough to sustain action and accountability offline. Additionally, these outlets also worry about false accusations and unverified claims, which they see as undermining what is supposed to be an empowering movement.


A budding movement?

The movement is still in its infancy stage in India. The slew of public apologies doesn’t signal any real change, yet. The #MeToo movement has previously been criticized for ignoring women of "lower" castes who frequently experience gender abuses. However, credit should nonetheless be given to India’s #MeToo movement for opening the door to necessary discourse and building momentum.

Bring this guy to your next casting call

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