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Women of courage: Social media rage against harassment

Yes, social media has empowered women like never before as supporters pour in to help locate the perpetrators and bring them to book. But does this public shaming of men harassing women really address the age-old problem?

morefromlifestyle Updated: Aug 25, 2015 11:38 IST
Priyanka Sahoo
Priyanka Sahoo
Hindustan Times
Yes, social media has empowered women like never before. As they click pictures of the culprits and post them on social media, supporters pour in to help locate the perpetrators and bring them to book. (Shutterstock Photo)

For Jasleen Kaur it was not going to be an ordinary day. She, like numerous other women of New Delhi, was teased on its streets by a man. But despite the fact that onlookers refused to help, Jasleen stood up against the harassment.

Joining the league of new-age women of courage, Jasleen posted the picture of an alleged harasser on Facebook and sought help to locate the man, who she claims, did not stop at his perverted remarks but went ahead and challenged her to file a complaint against him.

This man (misnomer) made obscene comments on me today at around 8 pm near Aggarwal, Tilak Nagar. He was on a silver...

Posted by Jasleen Kaur on Sunday, August 23, 2015

In her post, Kaur says that what disturbed her more was the fact that 20 other people were mute witnesses to the incident and nobody stood up for her even as she clicked the picture of the alleged culprit.

Yes, women have bid their pepper sprays good bye for the smartphones in their hands are more powerful than the strongest peppers of Kerala. Yes, social media has empowered women like never before as supporters pour in to help locate the perpetrators and bring them to book.

Well, what do these issues tell us about the status of women and their safety?

The surge in the number of these reports on social media only goes to prove that incidents of sexual harassment happen more often than the official figures report, a fact that we are all well aware of. And yes, it happens everywhere- roads, taxis, even in flights.

About a week ago, on August 18, a woman in Mumbai, posted a picture of a man, who allegedly masturbated at her in broad daylight, on twitter urging users to help her locate the perpetrator.

Read: Woman tweets pic of man who masturbated at her in Mumbai

But does this public shaming of eve-teasers really address the age-old problem?

Women are now sending a strong message, through the strongest medium possible, that it's not as easy to get away with eve teasing anymore. Men with dubious intentions will now be conscious that groping or whistling or passing comments are not inconsequential and 'harmless'.

So we women take this opportunity to thank all those social-media-empowered ladies who started this movement, for what they started may have a much larger consequence than they might have intended.

Here are a few of the women who stood up against -

1 In January this year, a woman on-board a flight from Mumbai to Bhubaneswar was harassed by a fellow passenger who tried to touch her through the gap between seats. She immediately made a video of the man in which she is heard scolding the man. The video went viral on social media. A complaint was lodged against the man in Bhubaneswar.

#ThebraveIndigoGirl This is a forward by a brave girl of what happened in the #Indigo flight recently with her ! Let'...

Posted by Geeta Khattar on Friday, January 30, 2015


Two months later, in March, a woman on-board an Indigo flight clicked pictures of two men who were allegedly taking pictures of air hostesses and ogling at a woman feeding her baby. She was quick enough to tweet the pictures to Indigo's official handle. The airline then had to take action.

3 In April, Telugu TV actor Ashmita Karnani posted pictures of two men who harassed her and fled the spot. Her post went viral and the two men were arrested by Hyderabad SHE team.

4 Later in July, The Logical Indian uploaded a video of a girl beating up a man at the police station while the police filmed it. The video later went viral.

Accused Harasser Brutally Beaten Up By A Girl In Front Of 'Police'

? Accused Harasser Brutally Beaten Up By A Girl In Front Of 'Police'This video was shot by a policeman and is of an incident that took place in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh. It shows a girl beating a boy who used to continuously harrass her and pass abusive comments on students passing. While the act of the boy is not correct and he deserves to be treated as per our law, what is also wrong is the way the woman is seen beating the man in the presence of a policeman.We believe such incidents will only perpetuate the lawlessness that is already existing in UP. This is similar to the incidents of mob justice witnessed elsewhere. And mob justice is never correct.An inquiry has been set up to identify the policeman who shot the video.Kindly let us know your views too.

Posted by The Logical Indian on Monday, July 6, 2015

5 On the very same day, in another incident, a woman in Mumbai posted the details of a taxi driver who masturbated in the taxi while she was in the rear seat. Her post became viral and led to the organisation fired, blacklisting the driver.

The author tweets as@priyankaa_sahoo

First Published: Aug 24, 2015 16:58 IST