Its Rakshabandhan today and I see happy faces, with colored threads tied on wrists of brothers and sisters dressed in the best of their attires. The numerous stories that lead to the origin of Rakshabandhan as a festival, all have one theme in common- protection of a sister by his brother.
But keeping the feminist brigade at bay, what is this protection all about? Beyond physical protection, this thread gives you a feeling of care and a bridge that connects you to a place called family, a place called home. Today morning as I opened Quora, a platform where I write answers, I get a message “Hey Sexy”. My Facebook inbox is filled with “Hey Beautiful” message, So is Instagram. I am a writer (at least some say so). So I have a public life on social media because definitely I need audience. An artist is always greedy for audience and so am I.
Yes on Rakshabandhan too, I get random phone numbers and the almost stalking approach to connect on WhatsApp. Growing up I always saw my mother, my chachi or all the elder women in my family react to eve teasing as “Ghar me maa behan nahin hai kya”. As a little kid, I always thought “what does having a maa behan do with the harassment” (Blame the fucking zodiac of mine).
And today I write here to ask the fellow men and women there “How much is too much”? How much is the amount of online stalking that can be ignored. When does you say “Now that is enough”? What is our threshold to “block and move on.”
Dear online stalkers, let me tell you something. We all get little perturbed when we get phone numbers on inbox for “fraandship” and “fun” and that moment inbox looks like the wall of public toilet with abusive words scattered all over. I entered that toilet and chose not to look at the walls as they scared me. As a young girl, I uttered to myself “Ghar me maa Behan nahi hai kya”. I thought that was a magic wand to just say a “Fuck You” on your face.
I was wrong. This not looking at the harassment on face becomes a social behavior. We say to ourselves ”ignore kar” When I get random messages from girls asking for help against cyber harassment, I know you people are all out there. And no we don’t need to ask “How much is too much”. We need to act. And to act is to boldly confront them. A block and complaint for an abuse will make the inbox clean.
And they come in various shapes and sizes- Impersonation, Sadly, it’s easy enough to create an online presence in someone else’s name, simply by creating a social media account. The major problem is, of course, that these accounts are created with less-than-stellar intentions in mind, leaving the violator open to harassment claims when they Photoshop nude photos, brag about rampant drug use or otherwise inaccurately depict the person they’re pretending to be.
The call for help messages that I get from girls are about revenge porn. something I just don’t understand. Many relationships end very badly. Make a borderline-crazy person mad enough and those digital images of your bare booty are practically guaranteed to travel the length and breadth of the Internet. Revenge porn doesn’t even have to be put online to do damage. Some people opt to hit a person where it hurts, emailing or texting graphic images to mom, dad, husband or other family members.
The question is “How much is too much”. Be scared a little (I also get uneasy when someone stalks me on cyber world) but then confront them. Believe me, the one harassing you is the biggest coward you will come across.
Lets weed out the impersonators, the one who flash at your inboxes, one who have all the time in the world to send you continuous reminders to connect on phone, the one who fall for your heavily photoshopped pictures and then start stalking you, the one who comes straight to the point- sex, the one who blackmails you with your nudes, the one who threatens you and to all the ones who just don’t understand NO. How about explaining them the word with the help of cyber cell.
I have moved on from “Ghar me maa behan nahi hai kya”. I say “Fuck You”.
You can have a better way of saying it back.
Just act, act is the word.