#MeToo TO #MenToo

India is known to be a patriarchal society wherein little girls have grown up hearing the phrase “It’s a man’s world” way too often. When it comes to sexual assault, women across the globe have faced issues with men-either at home, at the workplace, while commuting, you named it and women have seen it. We often hear of a women being the victim and a man being the perpetrator. But have we stopped to think of a possibility of the man being the victim?

tarana burke - me too movement founder
Tarana Burke-founder of #Metoo

Me Too was a movement that began briefly in 2016 and gained immense popularity in 2017. This movement begun with the motive to raise awareness regarding the sexual assaults faced by women. Women The 2016 case followed sexual-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Tarana Burke, an American social activist and community organizer began using the term #MeToo and later in 2017, American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted the same whilst speaking up against her assaulter. Post that, many women took to social media to speak about every way they’ve been assaulted. Women became each other’s strength as they confided in each other about their darkest and most troublesome memories. Across the world, women at all positions and ages spoke up and shamed the patriarchal society that used to turn a blind eye to these assaults.

In the same year, 2016, the hashtag #HimToo was tweeted to help men speak up about the sexual assaults they have faced. The hashtag wasn’t used very often and even less about rape allegations. But as of today, the hashtags #HimToo and #MenToo are being used to help men speak up about the false rape accusations that are put on them.

The History of #Mentoo

The movement began in order to provide support to men facing wrongful accusations in front of a judicial system. The current laws suggest that any woman can accuse a man of sexually inappropriate behaviour and can take the man to court with minimal evidence. The MenToo movement began to throw light on the evident breach of the constitutional rights of a man.

Digging Deep Into The Emergence of The #Mentoo Movement

Tanushree Dutta sparked the #Metoo movement in India
Tanushree Dutta sparked the #Metoo movement in India

Why exactly was such a movement needed? If India is believed to be to patriarchal society, one would assume that it would be fairly easy for a man to speak up and get justice for any crimes committed against him. That however, is not the case-

This movement was needed for the following reasons:

  1. Young boys are taught that in order to be accepted and liked by other boys two things need to happen: we need to be tough, strong, and confident; and we must play hard to get and always team up with the boys. We are moulded in such a way that we have to appear resilient and in total control of our emotions all the time because being emotionally “weak” (read: aware) is considered a feminine trait.
  2. Gender plays a big part. While the sex of a person is biologically determined, gender is a social construct that society imposes on us. From toys to colour choices, acceptable emotions and suggested demeanour, men are taught that if they have any similarities to women or even view other women as anything other than sexual objects, they are less of a man. This distancing is one of the main reasons men don’t speak up and instead, excuse the behaviours of other men.
  3. Many men are afraid they will not speak up correctly, and you have seen some of this in response to #MeToo. Men come forward, and because they don’t have a deep understanding of sexism like many women do, they don’t always say the right thing, or know what to say, and often face consequences to that. Men need to be taught how to rightfully go about raising their concerns so that the justice can be served.

Recent Events of The #Mentoo Movement

men too survivors march

The stretch between India Gate and Rajpath witnessed a peaceful protest by the supporters of the #MenToo movement on May 18th 2019. Activist Barkha Trehan, along with members of her city-based NGO marched to fight for justice for victims of false rape accusations. With slogans such as, “I am a man and I have the right to live with dignity,” and “Crime has no gender”, the protest had victims and their family members demanding the formation of a Men’s Commission.

A campaign was also launched by NGO Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (Crisp) to protest against the #Metoo movement, false cases against men among others. National President of Crisp, Kumar V. Jahgirdar  would addressed the gathering on the occasion pointed out that the group would fight for gender neutral laws and will fight to demand punishment for those filing false cases under #MeToo campaign. While he agreed that the #MeToo movement was a good initiative, he rose the point of women misusing this power to bring men down.  

“This movement has only resulted in bringing disrepute to men who have worked hard to earn respect in society,” he said.

Later, talking to reporters, Jahgirdar said unlike #MeToo victims, who bring about sexual abuse stories that happened a couple of decades ago, the #MenToo stories would be related to recent incidents.

Further, Jahgirdar was the opinion that if women had genuine allegations they must take to court and try to find legal evidence against the man rather than taking to social media and defaming a possibly innocent person.

Former French diplomat Pascal Mazurier was a victim of a wrongful accusation. He was acquitted in court in 2017 in a case that stated he abused his daughter. He was also part of the protest. He said the the MenToo movement was not to counter or to throw backlash on the women or victims of the MeToo movement, rather it was to give men the courage to speak up. He spoke about a time wherein he felt real pain and sadness during this time in court but was unable to speak up and express himself rightly.

“We make laws to protect women. That is fine, but let us not forget half of humanity are men,” said Pascal.

Cases of #Mentoo

The #MenToo movement has been trending news over the past few days with a number of men speaking out on sexual harassment at their workplace and support for them has been pouring in from various quarters.


Former Union Minister M.J. Akbar, film personalities like Alok Nath, Subhash Ghai, Nana Patekar and Vairamuthu have been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women under the #MeToo movement.

We only hope that the citizens of the world stop misusing the power of social media to put others down; and while it is a good thing that men and women are speaking up for the challenges they face, other minds must not be influenced to take wrong advantage of these movements.

Also Read: Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?

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