There has been a wave of women who are coming forward with the stories of how they have faced sexual abuse and harassment in the wake of sexual harassment charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delivingne, Rose McGowan, Heather Ross all came out to talk about the abuse that they have faced in life and in the entertainment industry. Rose McGowan who called out Harvey Weinstein and Ben Affleck even got her Twitter suspended which led to a revolt by women to boycott the social media site for a day. Alyssa Milano started a revolution when she asked women who have been abused to share their status with the hashtag #MeToo. #MeToo has been doing the rounds of all social media sites ever since then. Now, The Print published an article on October 17, 2017, where they asked six people from the entertainment industry to share their views on sexual harassment in the film industry. And guess what, Tisca Chopra an established actor who starred in films like Taare Zameen Par, Rahasya and Qissa went ahead and laid the blame on the women victims for being sexually harassed and assaulted.
As if the society was not enough to blame the victim even Tisca Chopra, a woman, has gone ahead and trivialized such a gruesome and important issue. The social media sites are reeling under the status updates of countless women who have shared #MeToo as their status but Tisca Chopra had some really problematic opinions about the topic. In the interview, she said, “Why do these women go to hotel rooms? Do they not fear for their personal safety? Have they not heard of people’s reputations, and why do they engage with those men? Why do they not say “no” point blank? And why be alone with a person like that? Every human being is hardwired to protect themselves. Self-preservation is the biggest instinct human beings have, why do they lose that? They think that somehow they will be the one that will duck the pattern and will escape. Knowing someone’s reputation, why would you put yourself in that position with them?”
This is not the first time that a woman is blamed or shamed for being assaulted or raped. Remember Nirbhaya, when people asked that why was she out at 9 pm? There are countless idiots on the social media who are trivializing the sexual abuse that happens in society and there are thousands of men who are saying that it is not only a woman thing. However, at least they are a different gender and we might give them a benefit of doubt if they can’t understand the constant terror that women live through in society, but what about Tisca Chopra who herself is a woman. Maybe, the privileged few don’t have the empathy or the moral sense to understand such a grave situation and should probably not acquiesce to feature in such panels when they don’t understand the gravity of the situation.
If we go by Tisca Chopra’s words then women should probably just sit at home. However, she did not elaborate on the fact that many times sexual abuse is committed by a close family member in the confines of one’s home. When Harnidh Kaur, poet and writer pointed out to Tisca Chopra about her problematic reasoning she retorted saying that her comment was made in reference to the Harvey Weinstein situation in Bollywood.
Tisca Chopra received flak for her statement
The obvious fact
Even in the context of Harvey Weinstein, we can’t blame the female actors because as Harnidh pointed out most producers book hotel suits for meetings and script sessions. Instead of telling a female actor to not go for an audition and sit at home doing nothing doesn’t it make more sense to tell men not to abuse or harass. But alas, people like Tisca Chopra are still putting the blame on the women’s doors. Feminists are busy trying to bring equality to women so that they don’t get treated like objects but as humans but our so-called elite are still living in dark ages and nullify all the good that social activists and feminists are doing. She even shared her thoughts on consent and needless to say that it again opened a can of worms.
The meaning of consent
Tisca Chopra replied
This reply of Tisca Chopra is steeped in the Bollywood mentality that the film industry is trying to propagate since ages. A ‘no’ means ‘no’ and the fact that many of our Bollywood movies depict that the girl first rejects and then accepts is a complete farce and is what is wrong with the Indian society and mentality. Tisca Chopra, we understand you are a Bollywood celebrity but you are a woman first that too an educated one, please don’t belittle the countless women who face harassment and have undergone the trauma related to it by your insensitive remarks. The women who are coming out today must have taken years to come to terms with their trauma and have finally found a voice through their hard work to be finally taken seriously and heard, their experiences are not negligible just because they found the courage to reveal it today.