#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Strong socio-cultural force needed to counter violence against women | Kochi News

KOCHI: Kerala needs a cohesive, forceful socio-cultural opposition to check abuse in all forms, especially in the wake of the massive use of the digital space as a means of communication. Hiding behind the veil of digital network and technical chicanery, many are getting away because police has not been able to send across a strong message that offenders will be caught.
“I was shocked to see the sleazy video at 8.30pm on Friday and lodged a complaint with the state DGP and Thiruvananthapuram city cyber cell. I needn’t mention that there has been no response to the complaint so far,” said Sandhya Janardhanan, advocate and trustee of Sakhi resource centre.
There exists no scope for legal action against a vulgar, voyeuristic video on YouTube. “Instead they have booked a case against the three women who attacked him. Is this how the government views the whole issue? So in this cyber age can we then expect more such videos? Maybe we should all start stocking charcoal and grease to blacken such faces ourselves,” Sandhya said.
A common reaction from most women who saw the news and the videos was one of disgust, yet it is even more disturbing that the video has had more than 4,000 likes against over 10,000 dislikes.
“People are realizing the market possibility of making such videos; making money out of our lives. We are always on the run from such abuse and we are always with the victim. If the state cannot see the video made by that person which is the cause of that violent act, then they should not see the attack on that man, too. There is no accounting for the humiliation and mental agony caused by such videos and posts. They keep on bullying and do not allow us to live with dignity,” said actor Maala Parvathi T.
A victim of cyberbullying herself, Maala said she was targeted because of something her 27-yearold son had done. “As a mother and a woman, I apologized. But why should I be attacked for an act that my adult son had done. And nothing was done to stop it despite approaching the police for help.”
One of the reasons for the continued targeting of women is the fact that there is no feminist cultural force that can stand as a wall against such attacks, said Rekha Raj, feminist thinker and assistant professor, School of Gandhian thought and development studies, MG University.
“Feminist faces are shrinking. There are individuals who react but no strong force. Democratic forces are weakening. We just have political parties that are not bothered about cultural changes in society,” she said.
“We are not even educating our children on dignity of women … The fact is the woman and her body has been made the measure of society’s standing. Sexism and misogyny have been normalized,” said Rekha.

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