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#MeToo brings a Force of Encouragement this Diwali – It is Time to Act!

Remember this famous picture taken in 1945 when World War II ended? ‘V-J Day in Times Square’ has become an iconic photo for Romance, but it was recently discovered that the picture didn’t showcase Romance, instead Sexual Assault.

“He was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him, he was kissing me”, said Greta Zimmer Friedman.

It’s a shock isn’t it? I know I’m lamenting for the nurse who recently passed away, being forcefully kissed in front of all those people, and the picture becoming an illustration for Romance, out of all things!

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#MeToo

You’ve probably seen many posts on your social media timeline blaring the words #MeToo.

What is it exactly? On Sunday night, after a tweet from actor Alyssa Milano, social media was bursted with personal stories of sexual harassment or assault.

 

Here are a few tweets showing the insane amount of courage and bravery it took these women to speak up, also there’s an insane amount of tweets with the hashtag Me Too.

There are famous celebrities coming out with their story of being sexually harassed or raped, be it men or women. If celebrities being heavily guarded can be sexually tormented, imagine the plight of a common human being just walking down the streets. And it’s no surprise that women get the bigger share of the torture, it would be inhumane to ignore the men who are victims too.

 

More often than not, its always the ones you love, because a majority of women speak or stand up against bullies/strangers who sexually harass, it hurts the most when its a person you trust the most.

Another case in Pune that has been in the news for the past few days is about High Spirits, the 13 year old bar has been under a lot of accusations made by women and men alike for sexual harassment. Most of the arrows point to the owner of the bar, Khodu Irani.Many comedians have taken a stand against the cafe/bar and vowed to never perform there again.

 

It all started when an ex employee decided to come out with her story via a thread of tweets, and what followed was women sharing similar experiences.

And in came the tweets to support her and to speak out against High Spirits. The Hashtag #ByeSpirits has been trending since.

 

There will be more tweets to read, many more, but you have to read another ex employee’s story about High Spirits in this article by Medium

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This might not be happening just at High Spirits, women have to face cat-calling, groping, pinching, vulgar abuses, comments on their breasts, asses and even their vaginas. And it might be a surprise that men aren’t the only ones who comment on girls or fat-shame them. Both men and women doing these horrid acts should stop, answer for their behavior and apologize immediately. No one is safe from sexual assault unless we act on it.


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Since its Diwali, let’s take a pledge to end this crime. If you ever catch someone harassing someone, man or woman, stranger or friend, lover or enemy, please Stand Up! And if you’re a victim of it, please write to us so we can call out the person in public and make him apologize without revealing your identity.

This Diwali, don’t let the evils take over you, be a part of the force which drives to end it.

In the end, I just want to say this, #MeToo, you’re not alone. Let us help you.

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Shweta Mustare

Blogger at The 60 Minutes
Shweta Mustare. A girl living in Pune, India, waiting for life to give the big break. Blogger, Thinker, sometimes funny, always a weirdo.

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