Recently, a video of an older woman chastising young girls for wearing “short clothes” in public went viral. The woman had allegedly instigated nearby men in a Gurgaon eatery to rape the young women for wearing short clothes, thereby justifying and propagating rape culture. The young women followed the older woman to a nearby store in the same mall, and started filming her while demanding an apology which she adamantly refused.
But all hell broke loose once the video gained traction on social media and many started trolling the older woman. While some went as low as body shaming and age shaming her, some took it too far by sending her rape threats which is equally problematic.
After the social media onslaught, the woman finally relented and extended an “unconditional apology” to the young women she harassed. She wrote, “I realise that I should have been protective and progressivein my outlook and not conservative and regressive… As a wife, sister and mother and more importantly as a woman, I value every woman’s dignity.”
She also put up a post on Instagram requesting people to stop their trial by social media. While some people have been urging people to refrain from resorting to a mob mentality and attacking her, there are still many who are sending her abuses.
Shivani Gupta, a 30-year-old copy writer with a private firm, who was at the receiving end of this woman’s public shaming, has also been receiving rape threats for attempting to publicly shame her harasser. She told TOI, “While most people supported our views, I also received rape threats. I think around 10% people feel whatever we did was incorrect. All I want is for this lady to apologise. It was disrespectful to all women. I can’t change primitive mindsets of some people but I am glad that the issue got highlighted.”
After coming across the apology, Gupta took to her Instagram account with a call for some sense to prevail. While she thanked everyone for their support, she also wrote, “The conversation around removing rape culture will continue.”
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Let’s hope this incident teaches people the right lessons about the need for a civil public discourse when it comes to overcoming rape culture in our society.