New year’s eve started with parties for many people, but for Muslim women who are active on Twitter and are opinionated, it started with an auction, auction of them as products on an app called bullibai. This is the second time they are seeing themselves being “auctioned” on the internet as products. Before this incident, sulli deals, a website was auctioning off Muslim women as products. These women include activists, journalists, women who are vocal against the right-wing in India.
A lot of women are traumatized by this constant dehumanization that is becoming more common day by day. This is not the first time that Muslim women have been harassed on social media channels and the internet. During the conversion of J&K into a Union Territory, a lot of viral posts and songs were directed at marrying Kashmiri Muslim women and liberating them from “oppressive” Islam.
What do right-wing men want? : The oppressive nature of conservative men
The idea of protecting Muslim women from “cruel” Muslim men has been actively spread among right-wing circles showcasing their lack of awareness and hero-complex. A similar thought process was used while discussing triple talaq and ignoring the fact that women of all religions get abandoned by their husbands in India.
The right-wing men often use similar views for oppressing women of different ideologies. Journalist and Author of The Gujarat Files, Ms. Rana Ayyub often has to go through rampant abuse and harassment on social media for speaking against the right-wing elements of the country. Similarly, former JNUSU Vice President Shehla Rashid Shora had to bear both physical and online violence for speaking against the government.
The oppressive nature of right-wing men comes in different forms. These are –
- Fetishizing women
- Abusing women online and offline
- Possessing hypermasculine ideals and harassing anyone that does not follow them.
Not just Muslim women, communist and feminist women also often have to bear the brunt of this behavior. A few months ago, activist and lawyer Ms. Kawalpreet Kaur were harassed while walking on the street at Delhi University. This is a common occurrence and a nature of the right-wing ideology. The upper class, upper caste men since the beginning of time have harassed, coerced, and bullied women across identities.
Dalit-Bahujan women are also not immune from this violence and so does the LGBTQIA+ community. Often, artist and activist Priyanka Paul, academician Kaushal Bodhwal gets cyberbullied for expressing their views or for merely existing in the digital space. However, this discussion needs another article or series of articles for that matter.
During the anti-CAA protests, a lot of right wing leaders tried to attack the agency of Muslim women who were protesting in large numbers by calling them paid, brainwashed or by slut-shaming them. This only depicted their islamophobia and misogyny. It has always been the key feature of right-wing men to harass, bully and harm Muslim women since the beginning of the rise of right-wing ideology. Whether it is through sexual harassment, verbal harassment or cyberbullying, men have found a way to threaten the women because they are themselves afraid of vocal women, women that read, women that understand things and women that express their opinions fearlessly.