Samantha comes to Chinmayi’s support, husband reacts to Sowcar Janaki’s comment :
Certain remarks made by legendary actress Sowcar Janaki, during her recent interview with veteran actor Y Gee Mahendra, has once again stirred a controversy in the #MeToo row.
The Iru Kodugal actress said, “What these women are going to gain out of this? You would have accepted something a long back and using for your promotion now. Such things will bring down your family reputation.”
Soon after this, singer Chinmayi Sripada, who kickstarted the movement in these parts, said, “For those who don’t know what the Sowcar madam and YGM sir interview is – THIS is the one. If I have to be honest, I did cry after watching it. “Nadandhadhu and Nadakkadhadhu” How MANY from the industry have shielded and protected predators? And the MeToo jokes – Slow clap.”
Actress Samantha came to Chinmayi’s support and tweeted: “It’s sad that you have a better understanding than some women . God bless you .. prouder than ever”.
Meanwhile, Chinmayi’s husband and actor Rahul Ravindran came out with a lengthy post on his blog and wrote: “Dear young girls who are growing up trying to make sense of the world around you…. please respect people like Sowcar Janaki amma and Y G Mahendran sir and plenty of other ‘such’ people, for all that they have achieved in their respective fields.
But please don’t be influenced by what they say about things they clearly have zero understanding of. They are victims of the same centuries old conditioning that they are inadvertently trying to pass on to you. Before you realise it, you WILL be conditioned by their advice. You will lose your last drop of capacity for original thought.
If a man, or woman for that matter, misbehaves with you, always always remember that it’s not your fault. There’s nothing for you to be ashamed of. And if it rattles you, traumatises you into silence, let yourself heal. Take your time. Get over the trauma first, then slowly find the energy and mental strength to come out and talk about it. To tell people who did it to you. Even if it takes years for you to find that strength.
But definitely do it. Otherwise it could happen to another girl. In most cases it does. Don’t let these respected people convince you that you are bringing shame upon yourself and your family by doing so. The only one who needs to feel any shame is the person that did this to you. Not you. Not your family. Certainly not your husband or boyfriend. If these elders tell you otherwise, ask them if they felt any shame and stayed silent when they were robbed or pickpocketed or cheated. Ask them why in those cases it’s the criminal who should feel shame and why in this case it should be you. Ask them why they don’t think the perpetrator should feel even more shame than cheats and pickpockets who steal usually because of hunger.
Ask them why they feel sorry for the ‘respect’ that the perpetrator could lose but not for what you went through. They won’t stop here. They will tell you that it is easy for anyone to accuse ‘respected’ men of such things. They will ask for proof. Tell them that for centuries… millions and millions of ‘respected’ men have been getting away being serial predators. Ask them how long they will keep letting it happen and let these millions get away. Ask them why they’re so quick to defend the honour of a few who may be innocent and why they are so slow to empathise with the millions of victims that suffer. Ask them how long they intend to keep silencing you and not question even those accused by 10, sometimes 20 different women. Tell them that when a man was misbehaving with you, you were trembling with fear and frozen silent. And that in that state you couldn’t whip out your camera and ask the man to pose for a picture or video so that you can gather evidence.
They might even tell you if you insist on talking about it that you’re doing it for attention and cheap publicity. Ask them why someone would do it for cheap publicity when all you get in return is shame and abuse thanks to people like them. Tell them it takes even more courage and strength and the ability to suffer humiliation because of people like them. Ask them if they considered how much it would pain you to be accused of doing it for these reasons if you happened to be telling the truth. Ask them why some women who are already far more popular than they ever were, would still risk everything and find the courage to talk about it if they were doing it for ‘cheap publicity.’
Ask them what they would do if someone in their own family was victimised. I know the answer to that question. Most such people tell their own family members to also stay silent and not tell anyone because it’s shameful. Mothers tell their daughters that. It’s sad. But it’s true. Which is why you need to be very very strong. But never silent. Respect these elders who don’t know any better. But don’t be influenced by them. Don’t let them shut you up. Don’t let them enable these perpetrators to keep getting away with it. Don’t make these elders your heroes. Make courageous girls like Chinmayi, Parvathy, Bhavana, Shruthi Hariharan and many more such girls your heroes. They’re suffering untold humiliation at the hands of such elders so that nobody shames you again for having been a victim. So that you are never afraid again to speak up. They haven’t won yet. They probably won’t in their lifetime… thanks to such elders. But if you ask them these questions and find the courage to speak up… these girls will someday have their victory through you. That day these girls will find justice.
Generations back, such elders said women cannot vote. Then they shamed girls for wanting to go to school. Then they shamed girls for wanting to put that education to use by having a career. In every generation there were young girls just like you who were brave hearts and fought against such elders. Today it is your birth right. Someday it WILL be your birth right to speak about any such incident without the fear of being shamed. Hopefully, someday you may not even have to worry about your workplace or the world in general being unsafe.
Much love and regards from a husband who is certainly not ashamed but is very proud to be married to a brave heart.”