I remember talking about TVF to one of my older friends just yesterday. I was talking about Permanent Roommates (an online fiction series about a quirky couple in a live-in) and how it struck the right cord in the right places- it was gender sensitive, even feministic at a lot of places. There are several other concepts by TVF like tripling which is either gender neutral or very sensitive. And then I opened twitter, only to discover there was a huge controversy going on. Early morning yesterday, there was an anonymous post on Medium alleging TVF’s founder of molestation.
What began was a thread of responses from comedians at AIB, other comedians and inconsequential people like me. But what’s more shocking is that even other girls from random places came out to say that they had gone through molestation by Anurabh Kumar on varying levels. The Quint has done a compiling piece on the other allegations by different women.
We don’t know if any of these women have filed a police complaint yet and investigations will happen. But I could compile some of the disgusting responses that people/mostly men gave in response to what happened. I even got into arguments with a few of them.
The Worst Kind Of Responses They Give To Molestation Complaints
Most of the times there is a lot of victim-blaming that happens in such a scenario. When I had first told one of my closest friends of a disgusting that happened to me, what broke my heart was that he, while feeling sorry for me, said that he had never heard of such a thing and that this must probably be a one-off. When the case finally went to the police, one of them had told me to not go on my balcony if the guy stalks me there. It is important to be sensitised on what responses to give, so as to help the other person.
- Well, I haven’t heard of such a thing happening to any other girl around me
Dude, that’s a question to you. Why don’t your friends tell you about such problems? I have also gone through molestation. Look at my story here: https://aartinair.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/what-can-you-do-about-this-bitch/ Now you know someone who has been through it.
- Why did it happen just to you?
I don’t know. Well, are you trying to say that it is my fault? Or it is okay because this was a one-off case? Shut up.
- Oh, but it was not rape na. Leave it, this is no big deal.
It is of course a big deal. There’s nothing to explain in this.
- Why didn’t you leave the company?
Because normally people worry about getting sued for breaking a contract. Girls have double trouble. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t leave but if they haven’t, that doesn’t go against them.
- Why did she not speak until now?
Because she was scared, threatened, worried, etc. Perhaps she didn’t want to, until now. Perhaps now she wants to share with the world, something triggered it, whatever! Another baseless question.
- Let’s create sexual harassment meetups in. Next few hours. Right here, right now.
This is of course required. But only after some time. First, there needs to be an acceptance that such a thing has happened. I appreciate AIB’s efforts in trying to engage with people and immediately take action of workshops. But they kept saying that they won’t say anything until investigation. While TVF gave an official reply saying the letter was baseless, etc.
- Most rape cases are fake
Someone on Twitter quoted that 53% rape cases in Delhi were fake in 2013-14. Dude? First of all, we are talking about molestation here. Your report is dated 2013-14. Marital rapes are yet not considered as rapes in India. It takes ages for the case to be heard- until then victims turn hostile. But whatever, you want to say that we should shut up right now because most cases are apparently fake.
- Don’t write in caps lock. We can’t bear it.
The Grammar Nazis came forward against a girl who wrote in Caps Lock, on this matter. We are bearing so much sexual harassment while you can’t bear Caps Lock.
- Not All Men….
Of course. Not all Men are misogynists, rapists, molestors or eve-teasers. Of course not. I am lucky to know a hell lot of men who are not. Who is saying that all men are rapists? And why are you defensive if you are not one. What does that change about this scenario right now!
Things You Could Perhaps Say
- I condemn such kind of an act, as a guy and a human being I don’t support this.
- I am shocked. If this is true, this is unpardonable.
- Encourage and guide them to file a police complaint
- Create a support group which stays in touch if something goes wrong
Facing a lot of Backlash for Rubbishing the Molestation Voices, it would have been better if TVF later gave this as their Official Response (Made by Jose Cavanco). But they didn’t.
Freedom of expression has its perils too but we must try to condemn whatever wrong doings around us. And beyond everything, we need to learn How to Care.