If one thought #Metoo helped women and punished their perpetrators, then probably one needs to think again. There has been a long debate on what is appropriate and inappropriate dressing for women, and while the rationalists debate that a woman’s dress should and must not account for any form of sexual harassment, there are others who think otherwise.
Once again, the issue has become debatable as a writer and social activist, Civic Chandran, has been granted anticipatory bail in a sexual harassment case by a Kozhikode sessions court in Kerala. Kerala has been in the news for various incidents of sexual harassment, and in almost all cases, the men got away by hook or crook.
It is said that Chandran groped and touched the said person inappropriately during a camp convened by him in February 2022. However, Chandran happened to produce pictures of the person in court, and the court declared that to attract Section 354 A (sexual harassment), there must be physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. It also stated that there must be a demand or request for sexual favors.
Surely, this has come as a rude jolt to women across India as, on one side, the whole country is binging on international shows, and there is rising voyeurism among men who feed themselves on a constant flow of soft and hardcore porn.
Incidentally, Chandran managed to get anticipatory bail in yet another similar case earlier. Surely, men like Chandran seem to know their way around the system, much to the dismay of women who have to handle both personal and professional lives.