#MeToo: Prepare For the Defamation Lawsuits, Ladies. The Hallowed Male Reputation is Under Threat

Gender

#MeToo: Prepare For the Defamation Lawsuits, Ladies. The Hallowed Male Reputation is Under Threat

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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nd it’s here, the prospective blowback to the upheaval at the heart of India. Men who have belatedly been called to the altar of justice by women’s testimonies on social media, now intend to use the hand that called them there – the law – to suffocate voices against them. Whether you stand by it or not, the law isn’t always the lubricant, as it can also function as the coarse instrument that intimidates and harasses the very people seeking refuge under it. We saw it coming from a mile.

MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs and former editor, and TV actor Alok Nath have both filed defamation lawsuits against women who claim to be victims of their predatory actions. In what is a sign of guilt, rather than a strong defence, men in power have therefore chosen to intimidate, rather than offer earnest accounts or humble, face-saving apologies. All of it to save the magisterial myth at the centre of all patriarchal societies – the male reputation.

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