On 23rd October 2017, Raya Sarkar, 24 years old law student published a Facebook post compiling a list of male academics and professors (mostly from so-called upper castes) accused of sexual harassment and Raya asked others to “Name and Shame” the harassers.
Soon that facebook post was shared multiple times and many who faced sexual harassment came forward and so the list of predators grew so did the anxiety among the Savarna feminist groups. At present, there are 68 names on the list, many of them well known professors. Well, then there is no correlation between doing well in academia and being a harasser!
On 24th October, self-proclaimed leaders of feminists issued the statement on the “Name and Shame” campaign. Savarna feminists asked to take down the list and wrote,
“This manner of naming can delegitimize the long struggle against sexual harassment, and make our task as feminists more difficult.”
I am not able to understand the logic here. How bringing out the names of sexual predators going to make it difficult? Maybe Savarna feminists can help me understand how naming abusive men became “delegitimize long struggle against sexual harassment”?
Instead of supporting those who came out to expose those who are abusive toward women, these Savarna feminists are doing the opposite. Savarna women coming forward to protect their abusive men! That’s what brahminical scriptures ask them to do. Isn’t it?
The first step to stop harassment is to know who the abusers are otherwise against whom you want to fight? Why not name the abuser so that others can beware of the predator? To protect their privileges and their abusive men, Savarna women are trying hard and shows the hypocrisy of Savarna feminism. If not from the names then from where Brahmin feminists want to start the discussion on sexual harassment in academia? Just because Savarna men are on the list doesn’t make the list invalid. Brahmins and sexual harassment dominate educational spaces. It is a reality which everyone needs not only to accept but also come forward and support fighting it.
Curious Case of “Due Process” and Hypocrisy of Savarna Feminists
One issue that Savarna feminists are raising is the anonymity of people who have named the sexual harassers. Savarna feminists’ problem with that is anyone can list anyone to defame anyone. But would Brahminical system or Brahminical courts provide safety to those victims? We all know how victim protection works in India! How many times when victims come out and their story is trusted by Brahminical society in India?
In many cases, it might be the case that victim is still studying in the same university or researching under the same predator professors who can ruin anyone’s career in a second. So, to ask to take down the list just because it doesn’t match your way is not the right choice. Saree-Bindi Savarna feminists, your first response should be of empathy rather than asking people to take down the list of Savarna abusive men.
Savarna feminists are trying their best to divert the issue of sexual harassment and how people who respond to sexual harassment when the focus should have been on those sexual predator professors.
Communist Kavita Krishnan wants “due process” before naming abusive Brahmin men! Comrade, what is this “due process” of the naming abuser?
I understand the importance of “due process” but in how many cases we have seen how “due process” has victimised the victims only. Everyone knows how complaints by students are listened and acted upon by universities – making lives worse for the victims while predators continue to harass others.
What is the “due process” by the way? Is it bowing down to some fictitious God and then taking 3 times bath in holy Ganga or drinking cow urine and eating cow dung? Only after following this procedure one can name abuser or what?
Furthermore, Brahminical courts are still following “Due Process” in Khairlanji, Bathani Tola etc Dalits’ massacres, millions of innocent Dalits and Muslims are locked behind bars because Brahmin courts are following “due process” but that is another discussion. Everyone wants to follow the “due process” till it is not skewed towards the privileged one but the reality is far from the “ due process”. Was University of Hyderabad following the “due process” when Rohith Vemula was killed?
When the whole system is corrupt and you want your voice to be heard, where do you turn? I hope that answers the Savarna feminists question why to put the list on facebook and not follow “due process”.
On 25th October, Kavita Krishnan (CPI-ML), one of the Savarna feminist also the signatory of the “statements by feminists” published an article explaining why she is uneasy with the list of sexual predators and comparing it with the blackening faces.
How is name calling the sexual predators & blackening faces have any similarities? How come naming and shaming abusive men compares to blackening faces? Why are Savarna women under the mask of feminism trying hard to save their abusive men?
You don’t need to tell victims how to bring out their story. They know better how to tell their story. Something similar was tweeted by Kavita Krishnan that “stop blaming and lecturing victims”, Kavita Krishnan looks like doesn’t follow what she preaches. And when you have all the privileges of life it is easier to command “due process” in your favour.
I wish Communist Kavita listens to her own words sometimes in which she is commanding someone on stop explaining how we should respond to abuse!
In another tweet from Communist Kavita, she asks why should we ignore abuse? Why should we not name and shame? Communists are so hypocrites or Savarna feminism? I leave it upto you to decide.
Here is one more gem/tweet from Communist Kavita Krishnan in which she says “they are being shamed and called out for resorting to such abuse. And that’s great. We need this to happen much much much more.”
Why don’t now we need to name them and shame them? What has changed now is that Savarna hegemony is at risk so Savarna women have to protect them! Isn’t this what their Brahminical scriptures say hence all in action to oppose the list of sexual predators?
We support courageous Raya Sarkar and efforts to bring out the sexual predators.
If you have faced sexual harassment at the hands of your professors or during your career, you can add the names in the Sexual Violence Hall of Shame list.