Shame-Leave, or How Sexual Predators Escape Consequences of #MeToo

Gender

Shame-Leave, or How Sexual Predators Escape Consequences of #MeToo

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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ver the past month of #MeToo, women have rejoiced to see some repercussions, however minimal, being meted out to harassers. Renowned editor and former junior minister MJ Akbar resigned from his post following numerous allegations against him, although he is yet to be expelled from the BJP. Author Suhel Seth, whose harassment was actually caught on video, had his consultancy contract with Tata and Sons terminated yesterday. And today, a prominent filmmaker, accused of assaulting a colleague, was reportedly booted off the post-production of his film. Dozens of important men have been ousted from the positions of power that enabled their abuse.

While there have not been any criminal convictions yet, and those, like actors Alok Nath and Nana Patekar, who face FIRs have countered with denials and defamation suits, this nevertheless feels like a promising turn of events. Has #MeToo created a climate where the trauma of victims of harassment are finally being taken seriously? Have we come to a breaking point, with the fuel of a hundred heart-wrenching stories of abuse that have, for now, managed to capture public consciousness? When the furore dies down, will the predators come out to play with impunity once more?

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