So far, the rule of thumb that prudent men followed was that if you are harassing someone, you will know that you are; it isn’t something you do unknowingly. But cooption of the tools of the #MeToo movement i.e. public shaming with a call to ostracise, by some women to deal with incidents that were basically bad judgment calls by them in their younger days is leading to two very serious problems. One, it is giving plausible deniability to men who have rightfully been accused of harassment. And more disturbingly, it is reducing career opportunities for women in industries that are controlled by men.
It is essential to criminalise marital rape in order to break the age-old understanding that “marriage sanctions sex” or that married women are incapable of giving consent or that consent is presumed/implied upon marriage. This understanding only legitimises the patriarchal notion that a woman is the property of her husband after marriage.
As per the 2013 Act, the definition of sexual harassment (Section 2(n)) is hinged at “unwelcome” acts, whether directly or by implication, which may include any physical contact and advances; a demand or request for sexual favours, making sexually coloured remarks; or showing pornography, or any other verbal or non verbal conduct of sexual nature.
The Writ Petition challenged Section 354A of IPC — Sexual Harassment and Punishment for Sexual Harassment — to the extent that it had been interpreted to deny protection to a complainant who does not conform to the stereotypical and binary notion of “woman”, based on sex assigned at birth, resulting in violation of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India, and being contrary to the decision in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India.
FIRs for offences under Sections 376, 376A, 376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB, 376E and the POCSO shall not be put in public domain. No person can print or publish the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts that can lead to the identification of the victim, even when she is deceased and the family agrees to disclosure, unless authorised by a judge.
The family of the slain eight-year-old girl, which has been subjected to a social and administrative boycott, pleads with the government to provide them a piece of land elsewhere in lieu of their land in Rasana village. Many of their own community members, according to the family, have started acting distant after the incident. The civil administration — in keeping with the majority sentiment — also seems to have imposed a boycott on the family.
#MeToo is a scream for help as well as a call to action — by women from all walks of life, united in their demand to end rape culture in general and sexual harassment at workplace in particular. The #MeToo tracker is a collation of all the names that have been accused of sexual harassment so far in India in the wake of the 2018 movement.