It’s been more than a year since the #MeToo. I did a short interview with a few common people who belong to a different age group, and I asked them about the impact the movement created and their story. Did it help people to come out of their shell to speak out?
Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes because the people were ready to share their story with me, but they were not okay with sharing their real name and their photographs. Still, I see the movement as a positive sign because all these years I haven’t seen a lot of people speaking up.
Names changed. Also, Trigger warning.
I lost my father when I was young and my mother went on to marry another man. He was a good guy. For everyone. Not to me. There used to be inappropriate touches and he used to rape me whenever he felt like, but he was so good to every other person that no one even had a doubt. I used to cry every single day. I was afraid to speak at that time. The funny part is that he used to be a “motivational” speaker and spoke about women defence. I tried telling my mother about this and she neither took me seriously nor questioned him. Years later, when I finally graduated from college, I badly wanted to do masters because I wanted to escape from the hell I was living. Now, I’m away from the man, married. I don’t like to go back to that place. It’s been years now. I’m in Canada. Happy with the only person who believed in me. Even today, People respect him a lot and I can only laugh about it.
Talking about Me Too: If not for the movement I wouldn’t have had the courage to talk to you about this without any hesitation. It is good that something like this is happening and I believe we can see a lot of people coming up to speak about it.
I belong to a joint family and my husband’s elder brother is like the leader to the house. Nobody takes a decision without consulting him and he is everything to our family. Unfortunately, he is not a good guy. When my husband was out, he used to behave in a way that is totally not acceptable and I had to put through all these because everyone was afraid of him. I was told “Ambalainganna Apdi Ipdi daan iruppanga”. This gave me trauma and those days, therapist and mental health were not common as it is today. I had to put up with hell. One day, I gained the courage to talk to my mother about the same and all she could do was to make sure to call me whenever my husband was not in the town. It took me years to talk to my husband about this and he took care of the situation well. We are not in talking terms with him while we still are in touch with his wife and sons. I’m a grandmother now and I’m happy and proud that I brought up my child in a better way.
Me Too is an important movement for this generation. It is important to teach our kids what is right and what is wrong. Sex education is important. I see Me Too not only as the movement to help people speak up but also this would help many parents to look after their kids because most of the harassment and rape happen in the family itself.
I don’t want my name to be put up because I don’t think people understand that men go through hell too. This happened during my college days. I was living in a hostel and was harassed by my roommate. He was stronger than me and I couldn’t do much but to cry. I cried every single night. After a while, I wanted a change of room but I couldn’t get one because the warden did not think that it was a valid reason to change the room. He laughed at me. I was in a bad situation that I feared to face the world most of the days. It made me an introvert and I was afraid even to talk to people. After going through hell the first few months, I decided to beat him up and it became huge news in the college. Later, we both were suspended and now, I was given a new room in a different block. I was happy to escape from him. I didn’t talk to him again. It’s been years now. Still, nobody believes me and would troll me for the same. Only I know what I had to go through living with him. I was helpless then. I’m helpless now as well even though I moved on.
To me, Me Too or should I say Men Too is an important movement not only because it gave me the courage to speak up but also helped me to realise that I’m not alone here. It is so nice to see many men coming forward to talk about this without being judged.