Best of Arré: The Year of the Fearless Femme


Best of Arré: The Year of the Fearless Femme

Afew months ago, no one could have imagined that a Hollywood producer would spark off a worldwide movement on sexual harassment. In fact, a few months ago, a worldwide movement that galvanised people on the subject of sexual harassment might have seemed unfathomable. Yet, the Harvey Weinstein scandal that broke out more than two months ago, became the biggest story of 2017, whose aftershocks we continue to feel.

The fact that sexual harassment was pervasive, even in the realm of the world’s most well-known women, and those with — presumably — a great deal of agency, opened the floodgates of a long-overdue conversation. If we ever needed evidence that we needed to talk about the things we brush under the carpet, to confront the shame and the fear that is the unfair lot of the victims of harassment, this was it.  

The story of this year can be summed up in three hashtags: We went from #NotAllMen to #MeToo to #SoDoneChilling. And in the process, women across the globe found a kinship that was warm and cathartic. In other fields, other battles continue. But as far as the online world is concerned, this was the Year of the Fearless Femme. The Harvey Weinstein story was a reckoning like none other. Hopefully, we won’t need another one in the days to come.  

The Cost of Creep-Proofing My Career

At Arré, our writers responded to the story with confessionals and analyses of their own. One, in particular, titled “The Cost of Creep-Proofing My Career”, resonated with our readers. “As women, we learn to develop a kind of ‘minority report’ attitude to men who enter our stratosphere, judging them for their future predatory potential before we allow ourselves to feel safe in their presence. How many missed opportunities are there to account for?” Read the full story here.

What Do We Do About the Sexual Harassers’ List?

A fallout of the Harvey Weinstein story, was the list of sexual harassers compiled and circulated by American journalists, which spawned cousins of its own across the world. Raya Sarkar’s was one; it spiralled into a debate all its own, marked by the divide between “millennial feminists” and “aunty feminists”. The complexity of the situation begged the question: What Do We Do About the Sexual Harassers’ List? We tried to answer it here.

Dear SRK, I was Molested outside Mannat. On Your Birthday

Even as we dealt with the aftermath of #MeToo and #TheList, a young Mumbai woman was molested outside Shah Rukh Khan’s house on his birthday. “We’ve all heard the familiar condescending voice of a female Bombay-ite telling a Dilliwali, ‘Oh please, at least in my city, I am safe.’” she wrote “I have been that person. That changed on Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday, after I was molested by a mob outside his house.” Read about her ordeal here.

How to Hit Your Harasser with a Comeback

An under-reported aspect of harassment, is the daily barrage of low-key insults that are hurled at women in the public space: From the shady songs that Indian men begin to sing at the sight of any woman, to brazen questions like “What is your rate?” How do you hit back at your harasser with an equally biting abuse? We compiled a handy manual for you.  

Breaking the Creep’s Code

For those of us who spend our lives on the internet, online harassment spans the spectrum from “irritating” to “deadly”. A young actress wrote about how, “every day, some red-blooded young man asks me on social media, ‘How are you?’ I count the number of messages it will take before he asks if I want to have ‘hot sex’ with him.” How does she deal with it?