We as Womxn are often told to be “careful”. Being careful means having a list of measures to take to “avoid being abused”. For example- avoiding putting pictures in public settings of Facebook, avoid going out in evening or night and the list goes on for the rest of our lives.
And no matter how “careful” we remain, when something happens it is often blamed on us. Here, something could be something, harassment, trolling, rape, etc.
The idea of constantly putting limitations and surveillance on womxn is a patriarchal notion which later helps in victim-blaming.
Safoora’s trolling and Locker room bois/boys’ posts.
One may think that these two are separate events happening at the same time. But it one will look closely then they will see the common factors –
- Womxn being in the public domain- Safoora was protesting, other survivors were using social media. In both cases, womxn were out in the public sphere, doing something very basic because they are humans.
- Victim-blaming- Womxn were under scrutiny for sharing/ uploading their pictures on social media, while Safoora was blamed for going to protests while being pregnant.
- Further moral policing- Safoora has been trolled among other protestors at Shaheen Bagh because they are womxn in public domain asserting themselves. Safoora’s character assassination explains how misogyny is intersecting with xenophobia among the mind of the masses. Questioning her marital status, etc was a form of policing along with trolling to harass her and those who support her.
In another case, where victims are upper-class womxn, they were blamed for using social media and uploading their pictures.
How Brahminical Patriarchy played a key role in these incidents
Womxn were often kept an eye on. They were told to inform, update about their whereabouts. What they do, represents their groups although they never opted for this option to be a representative of their respective communities. The caste-class hierarchy maintains itself by homogeny. When womxn go out in public domain, they break barriers.
In the case of Safoora, brahminical ideology cannot stereotype Safoora as an “oppressed Muslim woman” which they usually do. They paint Muslim women as illiterate, oppressed by their religion and this rhetoric helps them to propagate their ideology as “an open-minded religion liberating oppressed women”. Safoora is studying, going out, and protesting, something that brahminical patriarchs doesn’t want to see.
On the other hand, in the case of victims of locker room boys/bois, womxn are still unknown but their fault, as dictated by brahminical patriarchal ideals is that they were out in public, using the internet, posting pictures and minding their own business.
One may think if they are so open-minded then why this dual morality? Well, they aren’t. Any religion is often based on patriarchal ideals. Hence, they fear womxn living their lives carelessly, with freedom.
The progressives pointed out that Safoora is pregnant or that the victims of lockerroom boys are underaged because both are vulnerable groups. Often, underage girls are groomed, harassed, and gaslighted over the years due to the fetishization of their childhood.
On the other hand, pregnant Safoora shouldn’t have been arrested, especially during a virus outbreak. It is a violation of human rights. Her character assassination started after the tweet of a Brahmin man, the same person who belongs to right-wing ideology. One can easily connect the dots about the fact that who instigated these troll attacks and for what purpose.
Many men are openly supporting locker room boys and trying to offer legal help because, for them, men matters more than anyone. They themselves do not wish to see womxn as people, as humans. Whenever a man accused of crimes against women is elected, their belief in patriarchy grows stronger than before. This is the time when men believe that if they are powerful enough, they can get away with abusing anyone.
I am not posting any pictures as a sign of protest for this article.