iOS Conceal Carry: Women in India Fight Sexual Harassment with SmartphonesPosted: February 14, 2015 | |
Interest in phone apps with SOS buttons to alert contacts and websites to report sexual harassment has surged as more women challenge the view that they have a lower status than men
New Delhi — Nita Bhalla and Alisa Tang, report: Indian women armed with smartphones are using the clout of social media to fight sexual harassment by filming and publicly shaming men who molest them as greater awareness of violence against women spreads.
In the latest of a series of incidents, a young Indian woman used her smartphone to shoot video of a man sitting behind her on an IndiGo airline flight who tried to grope her between the seats. She filmed her rebuke of him in front of the other passengers.
“A video is a weapon that scares patriarchy. The proof, like in the IndiGo case, is mostly undeniable. It leaves the woman with more power than usual to fight for her own cause with little need of either empathy or logistical help from a man. It pins a man down for his crimes with little scope of escape.”
— Piyasree Dasgupta, on leading news website firstpost.com
The video, posted on YouTube last week, went viral, adding to growing anger over gender violence in the world’s second most populous country where women are frequently sexually harassed in public and on transportation.
The trend to name-and-shame sex offenders comes after the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012. The incident sparked public protests and led to a national debate about the security of women – encouraging victims once embarrassed to come forward to use smartphones to expose perpetrators.
Interest in safety apps with SOS buttons to alert contacts and websites to report sexual harassment has surged in the past year or so as more women challenge the age-old patriarchal attitudes in India that view women as lower status than men.
“A video is a weapon that scares patriarchy. The proof, like in the IndiGo case, is mostly undeniable,” wrote Piyasree Dasgupta, on leading news website firstpost.com. “It leaves the woman with more power than usual to fight for her own cause with little need of either empathy or logistical help from a man. It pins a man down for his crimes with little scope of escape.”
EMPOWERED BY SOCIAL MEDIA
The latest video made on a domestic flight by budget airline IndiGo from Mumbai had been seen by 4.4 million viewers as of Feb. 5 and sparked outrage across social media.
“Because I’m a girl, and you have the right to touch me anytime, anywhere you want to?” the woman yells at the middle-aged man, who tries to cover his face with his hand.
The man eventually responds, saying he is sorry and asking forgiveness, watched by passengers disembarking the plane….(read more)
(Writing by Alisa Tang, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)
- Nsanje flood victims fear for sexual harassment: Men and women sleep in one tent (nyasatimes.com)
- Rep. Farenthold Issues Formal Response To Sexual Harassment Allegations (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Questioning of District Police Commander for Sexual Harassment Completed (israelnationalnews.com)
- Southern Police Commander in Sexual Harassment Scandal Named (israelnationalnews.com)
- American Apparel’s “Less Sexualized” Focus (kontrolgirl.com)
- Workshop focuses on harassment, bullying (laketahoenews.net)