#METOO A TIMELY WAKE-UP CALL: WE FULLY ENDORSE THE MOVEMENT
Have we been silent about an uncomfortable truth that is spurring a revolution of sorts? Are we, by choosing to hardly report till now, offering our tacit support to the perpetrators? As a publication we unequivocally endorse the #MeToo movement, believe in its noble intentions, trust the survivors and hope the monsters face the music. As an individual, I am shocked by the impunity and degree to which many personalities whom we know and respect have misused positions of power and influence. All through my corporate life I have only heard stray incidents of unwanted attention being reported among friends on the lines of pestering calls & messages, questions that are too personal, uncomfortable touch, distasteful jokes, misogynistic comments or an abusive retort. The maximum extent married men in the office would go was as far as delivering the usual pick up line of “my spouse does not understand me”. I have never come across sexting, physical aggression or blatant seeking of sexual favours intended as a quid pro quo. This is not to say they did not exist or the stories today are false. It is just that I may have been ignorant or people I know were plain lucky. Riyas Komu has been on our CEO Roundtable panel discussion. Gouridasan Nair and C P Surendran have been names I have heard at home spoken in high esteem. It’s a lot to process. We generally would like to believe #MeToo happens only in the media and entertainment industry. That is not true. The corporate world is no better place for women and needs clean up, too. The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) press conference and the line of questioning made me wonder, will most men ever change for the better? I don’t know how we as a media platform can help? Ideas are most welcome. To start with, we will report the #MeToo developments from a Kerala context without fear or favour. The audacity with which these men went about satisfying their perverse desires, needs to be called out. A friend of mine told me this recently: “The best thing the #MeToo movement did for us is that today many more girls instead of saying ‘I froze when he did that to me’ will most likely be able to say ‘I screamed and slapped him’.” This is worth fighting for and certainly worthy of defending – a safe working space for all.