In the 1960’s or 70’s, a Bollywood flick released by the name of “Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan” literally translating into “Bread, Clothe and Mansion”, in which was tried to illuminate the three essential needs of a man to thrive on this sphere – food, clothing and shelter. The producers were, one has to say, fortunate for the fact of that film being produced in that era because if it had to be produced in this era, they would have had to add another essential need of the modern man – defaming and objectifying women: lucky them!
It is an acknowledged and somewhat ridiculous fact that women must have had existed for as long as men for a man to reach the realms of progress that it has so ‘peacefully’ achieved over the epochs and likewise, it is a believed proposition that the subjugation of women happened only a few thousands of years later. Well, the law of Nature dictated that most of the animal communities were matriarchal or at least conformed to the rules prescribed by the ones with the capability to bear off-springs or in other words, the feminine gender, but the humans always had that knack for being different and hence the first societies that evolved were egalitarian but soon compiled with mother Nature’s law thereby starting the rule of the ‘mothers’. The universal rule of the mothers lasted for a few thousand years but the knack for being different intervened once again and somewhere near the 6000 to 4000 BCE, the concept of fatherhood gained stronghold and patriarchal human societies evolved which went on to rule most parts of the flat earth thus bringing patriarchy into prominence and thereby setting the trend to be followed right up until this precise moment.
With patriarchy firmly established, men evolved from the pharaohs to the presidents subjugating women, pushing them back to the harems and kitchens with whatever technology that might have been available to them but somehow and somewhere, a few women with the support of some reasoned men came out and elevated womanhood out of their ‘deemed’ places and thankful to their efforts, women now comprise a substantial component of the modern-day patriarchal human society; women are yet not equal in stature to men but are gradually tending to be so in some specific domains. Yet, it’s a welcome change for the good old egalitarian values, however misogynists, who abound in hordes even now, are resentful of this pseudo-equal treatment of women and tend to oppose the same; the powerful do it through their little political games while the powerless do it in the form of bullying and harassing. Moreover, with the advent of the Information Technology age and the pleasure of anonymity, the powerless misogynists are starting to become powerful through cyberbullying, defamation, and identity fraud; and it is this modern practice of demeaning women that is sought to be discussed herein.
Facebook – the paradigm of the social media – is littered with millions of fake ‘profile’s with half of them personating as women and ‘updating’ statuses or ‘adding’ photos that no self-respecting woman would not even consider even in her silliest of dreams, indulging in sexual conversations with over-the-top desperate or lunatic males, or making statements that shouldn’t be made, all in order to defile and defame the woman whom they impersonate. This, of course, happens with persons of the ‘dominant’ gender but as it is, it is far more common and even farther sensational in the case of the ‘recessive’ gender with consequences ranging from ‘a small trifle with one’s family’ through ‘scarring some relationship forever’ to ‘murder or suicide’. And this form of bullying is just not limited to identity fraud, it well knows to spread its wings and accordingly it also encompasses of a million more real profiles and pages defaming women with weapons of posting derogatory comments about some women in specific or in general, and that of posting photographs of women, either lewd or with a lewd ‘caption’, without the consent or even knowledge of the concerned women as several like-minded jerks jerk off to their picture while the innocent and the ignorant doze off in a boring economics lecture. However, the devastating consequences and ramifications of such harassment do not bear any significance as such but if one could imagine one’s sister, mother, aunt, neighbor, friend or even an acquaintance at the receiving end of it all, it suddenly bears enormous significance and spite.
Now, shit happens and the above is just bull-shit and hence, it is, sort of, bound to happen. In spite of that, one has to know the reason behind the problem to even attempt to solve it and the reason behind these angelic actions is not singular but pretty obvious. The obvious reasons are spite, jealousy, hatred, insecurity or just pure insanity. Spite as in some boisterous girl making fun off your freckled cheeks in middle school and you acting upon it on the web; Jealousy as in being envious of someone’s health, wealth, opportunities, whole life or even failures and as to stun this raging fire, indulging in cyber-bullying; Hatred as in that cold feeling and desire to destroy every single atom of a person as soon as the thought of that person crosses your mind and you setting on to fulfil your destiny; Insecurity as in that stupid notion of self-centeredness where one believes the whole universe conspires against one’s will through some specific agents and at such why would one not take measures against such agents; and Insanity as in INSANITY, Stark and Sadistic Madness: either alone or in combination, these angelic traits forces a man or a woman to indulge in bullying someone anonymously in front of the whole wide world.
To prevent this ‘shit’ from happening, one could always resort to keep one’s ‘posts’ privacy’ limited to a certain known close affiliates or to keep a check on the people one chooses to interact with on social platforms but as with almost everything, the real solution is propagandizing a rational and an egalitarian belief in the minds of the masses which is, in present terms, difficult for the rotten apples but it is quite feasible for the batches to come if one could catch them all young through proper educative policies: education, education and solely education is the one real solution. Regardless, if it happens, what can one do? Well, to be frank, one could do several things but one chooses not to; the men because a quarter of them enjoy it unafraid, another quarter take a guilty pleasure while the other half chooses not to get involved in some other’s war and the women because the ones who were victims want to face no more publicity by waging a war and then how could one expect the others to raise their voice if the victims themselves choose to be preyed and forgotten. Yet, the sun shines on odd days in this sordid winter and a few daring individuals choose to battle and if you are one of those rays of sunshine, here is how the battle unfolds.
The battle starts with the reporting of such profiles and pages to the concerned administrators of the website and for the ones who want to make a difference but just don’t have the guts to make a large one, that’s just about enough. For the ones who seek larger things, they could file a formal report at a Police Station and press charges and be as involved as they’d want to be and allowed to be. The battle should culminate only when the guilty are found and proved, which they would be in most cases because the ones indulging in such activities are often dim-witted for if they had been half as intelligent, they wouldn’t have this amount of free time to waste, and later sentenced in accordance with the laws of the country which range from compensation in millions of the staple currency in some countries to seven to ten years of imprisonment in others; will then be the battle won and the war but half won .
Half won for only a meager proportion shall be convicted while others would continue with their disrupting activities with one hand while masturbating with the other. To stop this, an inner awakening is required which can only be installed if young kids are taught what to do and what not to, how to deal with emotions and how not to, and all in the proper and hitting way; let what had been done with this generation and the generations ago be done, but for the generations that are to come, the future that is, one must have a plan and that plan must be one filled with egalitarian values- where everyone is equal and neither men or women are demeaned for whatever reason it might be. As they say in the science fiction novels, the future is here and it’s time we acted.
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Arunabh Debendranath Konwar