The country has been in shock since the news about a mass molestation case on New Year’s eve in Bangalore, came up. Citizens have voiced not only their concerns, but have also called out the need for immediate action to ensure such events don’t take place in the future. At the same time, the responses from several politicians have left many feeling frustrated. When Samajwadi Party leader, Abu Azmi placed the blame on women for these horrific incidents, those on Twitter were swift in condemning his words and sexist views.
“In these modern times, the more skin women show, the more they are considered fashionable. If my sister or daughter stays out beyond sunset celebrating December 31 with a man who isn’t their husband or brother, that’s not right. If there’s gasoline, there will be fire. If there’s spilt sugar, ants will gravitate towards it for sure,” he reportedly said.
Here’s what some people on Twitter, including Bollywood actors Farhan Akhtar and Varun Dhawan had to say on the subject.
Women should not dress like westerners b’coz men dressed like westerners are molesters, says the man in the shirt.#oxy(deprived)morons
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) January 3, 2017
Despite positivity being a scarce commodity lately, I’m hoping today sees a new dawn of understanding in the minds of misogynists #AbuAzmi
— Bindu Rai (@BinduRai) January 4, 2017
The Indian culture Abu Azmi speaks of is clearly one where we normalise rape & molestation, where women are guilty & men can never be blamed
— Neha Poonia (@NehaPoonia) January 4, 2017
What exactly is Indian Culture?
— Ra Ch Na (@raggedtag) January 4, 2017
What are you gonna do?
Execute us for going out alone?
Punish the rape victims? Ask ’em why they got raped? #AbuAzmi
— Pallavi (@TheHalfBl00d) January 4, 2017
Argggh how this angers me.Sir punish the criminals not the victims. Women can wear what they want it’s their choice. https://t.co/HSpRjlRq8A
— Varun Dhawan (@Varun_dvn) January 3, 2017
If a guy so confidently asserts that western clothes cause rape, should we assume that seeing women in western clothes makes HIM feel rapey? https://t.co/Y6z3BBnF8E
— Rohan (@mojorojo) January 4, 2017
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) January 3, 2017
Educate your sons so they respect women and not talk rubbish like “blame the dress.” #AbuAzmi
— Varsha Agni Vadhyar (@varshaagnihotri) January 4, 2017
— MumbaiMahila (@jenny1481) January 4, 2017
It wasn’t just Azmi who was under the fire on social media. Many took to Twitter to defend men with the hashtag #NotAllMen. While it trended for hours, it found hundreds of detractors who argued that now is the time to discuss more pertinent issues like how the country can be made safer for women.
Journalist Sachin Kalbag’s thread about how instead of Tweeting #NotAllMen, one should Tweet #WeWontTolerate, is an interesting one.
1/ What people (both women and men) need in times of distress is empathy. With #NotAllMen hashtag, men have conveniently run away from it.
— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) January 3, 2017