In a society where women have to work doubly hard to be where men are in different fields and fight all the prejudices aimed at them, it’s just not right when some use the same woman’s card to play the victim. Yes, women have been victims of sexism and gender-based oppression and women. Women’s history is witness to how many women’s rights movements it took to gain so many basic things that we have today, like the right to vote. Feminism has often been misconstrued and misunderstood as a movement to undermine men whereas it is just about all genders having equal rights and opportunities.
At the same time, stereotyping men and women under a bracket of social and behavioural constructs again is what feminism is not about. At the same time, saying things like “A woman is always right” and “never argue with a woman”, “women don’t do that” are wrong because one cannot generalize in such broad terms.
While some women emerge as survivors, battling all odds of crime, abuse, lack of opportunities, etc, some others are misusing it to their benefit instead of trying to gain equality.
#NotAllWomen in Women’s History
However, in some instances, women have used their gender and played victim to garner attention or get away from a situation, or have just used their gender as an advantage. People do indulge in various kinds of psychological tricks to get others to side with them in a conflict. While some try to wiggle themselves out of trouble by their speaking skills, others use intimidation, extortion, bribes, pleas, or play the weaker sex.
Here are 5 times women portray themselves as victims
1. Incident of the Rohtak sisters beating three young men with a belt alleging that the men had harassed them. Soon, the video was being broadcast by television channels. The girls were praised by the media and given the nickname “Bravehearts”. After a second video emerged within a few days, which showed them kicking another boy, the opinions began to shift towards negative. Six women claiming to be passengers on the bus had testified in front of the police. They said it was not an issue of harassment, but a dispute over seats as the girls had been occupying a seat allotted to a sick woman.
2. Saravjeet Singh, a 28-year-old Delhi resident, was labeled an “eve teaser” and a “pervert” by media channels after Jasleen Kaur, a former Delhi University student, had in 2015 accused him of verbally harassing her at a traffic signal in West Delhi. He was later acquitted of these charges in 2019 by a judge, claiming that the complainant’s testimony was not trustworthy. But the harm was already done to his reputation and career.
3. A man, who faced trial for over seven years for a crime he didn’t commit, was awarded a compensation of Rs 15 lakh by a court in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2016. Santosh won the compensation suit against a woman, who had falsely accused him of raping and impregnating her in the year 2012. However, a DNA test confirmed that Santosh is not the father of her child.
4. Actor Payal Rohatgi went on a rant on both Facebook and Twitter on January 3 from the Mumbai airport after two Jet Airways ground staff denied her and her partner Sangram Singh permission to board a flight to Thiruvananthapuram. The fault was on her part when she reached at 6:20 am for a 6:50 am flight when reporting 45 minutes prior to the gates was the rule. She even tried to give it a communal angle since the staff was Muslim.
5. Actor Kangana Ranaut used Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide to talk about unrelated issues in the film industry. She had urged Mumbai Police to question Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar, and Aditya Chopra on Sushant Singh’s demise for “systematically sabotaging his career” and abetting his suicide. She sparked a debate of favouritism and nepotism in Bollywood whereas it was later proved that the actor was suffering from mental illness and drug usage which led to him taking his own life.
The boy who cried wolf
It is said that in a conflict you should always take the side of the victim. Women’s history has seen victims of oppression and hence society’s first response is to offer protection and benevolentness towards women and children. This factor is used by some women to gain something they may want or get out of threatening situations at times.
In this fight for equality, it becomes difficult to know the true intentions of the victim and if this is then proved false, imagine the kind of harm and mistrust it sets towards others. These tactics however are usually not resorted to by true feminists, on the contrary, these are probably the ones not interested in equality, though they may claim they have a special interest and claim to be part of a lobby group. They exaggerate the reality, use false and misleading statistics, and use inflammatory language to gain power and demonize males.
These instances make others distrust them and can make them later doubt the truth in another incident. These incidents sometimes mar the entire future of the alleged perpetrator of the crime who may be innocent, but since the harm has been done it is too late to correct the wrong. It is akin to the story of the boy who cried wolf and when the wolf really attacked, nobody believes him. Women’s history has them fight hard battles and is still fighting them but because of a handful of such bad seeds the voice of genuine victims will not be heard and they may continue to suffer.
Infano condemns such victim playing in the name of feminism and women’s rights. Do you have a similar incident to share? Write to us at email@example.com