In 2018, Thompson Reuters Foundation released a survey which found India to be the most dangerous nation with respect to sexual violence against women. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), every 20 minutes, a woman is raped in India. 93% of these rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. What do these numbers reflect? What role does patriarchy have to play in this? The #MeToo movement, a war cry that united woman across the globe to boldly stand-up and raise their voice against sexual harassment found huge support in India. Discovery Channel explores this movement and the study of patriarchal pressures that have been part of our culture for over decades through the VICE Studios produced show ‘Man Woman #MeToo’ which premieres on 29th November at 9 PM on Discovery Channel and Discovery Channel HD.
About a year ago, the #MeToo movement was at its peak across India when the entertainment industry opened up one case after another giving way to a culture of speaking up about crimes against women. Women from the industry shared stories that revealed shocking misbehavior by their male counterparts – actions that have gone unheard for years. In less than a month, several well-known personalities were outed as sexual offenders and others as enablers of this sexual harassment. The documentary while tracing the #MeToo movement across India delves into the origins of patriarchy in the country, the magnitude of the problem and how each one of us has played a part in it – as enablers, almost on a daily basis. Psychiatrists, gender studies experts, lawyers, police personnel, and other specialists explain the reasons – the structures and the social conditioning behind different aspects of male privilege and what effect this sense of entitlement has on men, women, children, as well as organizations – through real life examples and case studies.
Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discover Communications India, said, “The #MeToo movement was an eye opener for a lot of people in India. However, along with empowering women to call out their abusers, the movement also compelled us to reflect upon how easily we all become enablers of patriarchy, reinforcing dangerous behaviors which lead to the propagation of crimes against women. With Man Woman #MeToo, we hope our viewers will be able to understand how deep rooted the issue of patriarchy is, and what equality of genders means. We are immensely proud to present this very important film which puts into perspective the very way we are raising our children and how we need to change the way we think if we ever want to bring about change!”
Samira Kanwar, Head of Content, VICE Asia, says, “On 17th December 2012, India woke up to the news of one of the worst ever reported crimes against women that the country had ever heard of. Everyone thought this incident was going to change the tide of crimes against women in India. But sadly, it fizzled out faster than it should have. It took six years after that for the #MeToo movement to give hundreds of women in India the courage to come out and speak up against the men who inflicted abuse on them. Man Woman #MeToo unpacks the movement to bring out the devastating effects of patriarchy on a woman’s daily life.”
India has a long way to go before it can be free of crime against women. The answer does not lie just in creating stricter laws or reporting more crimes. What India, and the world at large needs, is a change in the way we perceive the concept of equality between men and women. Preventive Law and Equality advocate, Naina Kapur who also features in the film neatly sums up what we need to really work towards, “Equality is the ground on which I walk, not the sky to which I aspire.”
‘Man Woman #Me Too’ premieres on 29th November at 9 PM on Discovery Channel and Discovery Channel HD.