From #MeToo to #WeToo

The recent Me Too movement has for once brought to surface the magnitude of sexual harassment and violence in our society not only in our country but globally. Women and some men are openly admitting on social media, debating, discussing on television channels, which indicates that how deeply and widely this sickness is prevalent in our system.

Sunita Patel

absAlthough it is very important and welcoming to talk about the abuse as it is the first step and a very challenging and brave one on the part of the abuser it also puts a greater responsibility on the stake holders of the society to take appropriate measures to deal with it.

Passing the buck of lack of safety and security for women, children and the vulnerable on the government and ignoring the other very crucial social aspects will never help to treat this disease.

Let us first try to understand what motivates any predator to inflict sexual violence and then how to deal with it.

The goal of the rapists or predators is to humiliate, debase and hurt his victim; they express their contempt for their victim through physical violence.

For such people rape or sexual abuse becomes a way to compensate for their underlying feelings of inadequacy and it feeds their issues of mastery, control, dominance, strength, intimidation, authority and capability. The intent of the power rapist is to assert their competency.

Sadistic pleasure
The offender finds the intentional maltreatment of their victim intensely gratifying and takes pleasure in the victim’s torment, pain, anguish, distress, helplessness, and suffering.

The abused is seen as an object to gratify the sexual need and the predator has no inhibitions or remorse in using force, inflicting harm or violence.

Society norms
In societies, where use of violence is seen as a means to achieve objectives, have been strongly associated with the prevalence of rape or sexual violence. In societies where the ideology of male superiority is strong, emphasizing dominance, physical strength and male honour, rape is more common.

Gang rape
Gang rape is often viewed by the men involved as legitimate to discourage or punish perceived immoral behaviour among women, such as wearing short skirts or frequenting bars.

Research on convicted rapists
The research on convicted rapists has found several important motivational factors in the sexual aggression of males. Those motivational factors repeatedly implicated are having anger at women and having the need to control or dominate them. It was also found that male rapists had less empathy and more hostility toward women.

absEarly childhood environments
Childhood environments that are physically violent, emotionally unsupportive and characterized by competition for scarce resources have been associated with sexual violence. Sexually aggressive behaviour in young men has been linked to witnessing family violence, and having emotionally distant and uncaring fathers. Men raised in families with strongly patriarchal structures are also more likely to become violent, to rape and use sexual coercion against women, as well as to abuse their intimate partners, than men raised in homes that are more egalitarian.

We too – the answer to this sickness
Respect for a woman and human dignity starts from the basic unit of society – home. If we raise our daughters and sons differently, if in his childhood a son is made to understand that he is more important and special compare to his sisters and he is entitled to have all, then how do we expect him to respect women when he grows up to be a man.

If a boy raised in a patriarchal home watches his mother, aunts being ill-treated, violated there are more chances that he will believe this is how women are supposed to be treated. Why only men so many mothers treat their sons differently compare to daughters.

Unless we start a conscious movement at the level of each family to inculcate the values of equality, human dignity, unconditional love and support for both daughters and sons and correct our sons for any bad behaviour towards their sisters, school mates, cousins, neighbours, we will be left with more increasing numbers of me too…..

We Too – stands for yes we are for making this change in our house, school, college,

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