Women are coming forward from all the corners of the world and sharing their horrific stories of sexual abuse, harassment, molestation, and even rape with the hashtag #MeToo. The powerful hashtag started trending when Alyssa Milano asked people to come out and let the world know about the pain they have been through with.
Here’s what Alyssa Tweeted,
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Now, singer Sona Mohapatra has joined the #MeToo campaign and has shared her bone-chilling sexual abuse story. The poor soul had to go through such pain more than once.
In a column written for Huffington Post, the singer writes:
Like several other women, I have lost count of the number of times I have been scared.
– While playing a ‘game’ called ‘dark room’ with my sisters and other children of varied ages, including a teenage son of the hosts at a Diwali party. My parents refused to understand why I didn’t want to play ‘dark room’ and preferred watching them play cards. My father asked me to join the other children and stop being a ‘black sheep’. I was seven years old. These get-togethers continued and so did the discomfort, pain, shame and anger.
– On a train journey with my family as a child of 11, a Malayali uncle offering to share his food at dinner and after we retired for bed and I fell asleep, putting his hand down from the berth above, opening my jeans and shoving his hands in. Bewildering. Painful.
– Every time I took a train journey alone to home from engineering college and back every semester. Could never sleep a wink watching and waiting, sometimes for 36 hours. Was never ‘disappointed’. Some man or the other always tried some stunt.
– On my way to write the SPA entrance exam in Delhi in a public bus. When I objected, the man screaming back at me, “take a private car, if you don’t like this”, in Hindi of course. People around sneered and laughed.
I spent all of yesterday seeing the #MeToo hashtag and telling myself: ‘sexual abuse at work is what they are talking about. THAT hasn’t happened to me. At least not in some very hideous way. (We learn to grade such incidents and be grateful you see).’
I wake up every day thinking how differently a woman artist is treated at home and overseas. Just when I start to feel happy that it’s been a year of great concerts — one better than the other — playing in world-class venues, great cities, working on my stagecraft, musicianship, sound, costumes and band, I am reminded of the treatment meted out to several women artists at home in India.
The ‘bulls’ will occupy every big arena while, I, along with the other ‘cows’, supposedly revered by this land, will have to be okay playing second fiddle. The one odd amongst us will get to be a token presence at best to help make the men’s club look ‘politically correct’ and ‘fair’.