What trends on digital platforms, especially social media sites, are short-lived. But it does not change the fact that such platforms are powerful in giving a voice to the voiceless and thus empowering them.
In the past week, what has stood out is a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of rape-accused basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter, along with seven other passengers. Netizens quickly logged onto Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in mourning. A few highlighted that the player who inspired millions across the world was once credibly accused of raping a minor as well.
At the same time, the trailer release of Taapsee Pannu-starrer Thappad has sparked a much-needed conversation around domestic violence. One resounding message from the trailer - that physical violence, even ‘just a slap’, is wrong - was well-received.
In addition to these, women have also tweeted reminders on claiming their right and equality. Here is what a few women have tweeted this week.
Ranjana Kumari, Director of Centre for Social Research and Chairman of Women Power Connect on the need for Women’s Reservation Bill:
There is no other way but to get Women equal political space . It will happen but it is not easy.Our struggle to get the WRB pass is going on for over three decades. Controling political power is the last bation of Male power. We have to keep fighting till we get it.— Ranjana Kumari (@ranjanakumari) January 27, 2020
Following the trailer release of Thappad on Friday, Indian women on Twitter reiterated the fact that equating domestic violence with expression of love is wrong.
Another gem by @anubhavsinha and @taapsee— Advesha (@Advesha_8) January 31, 2020
"Haan bus ek #thappad, par nahi maar Sakta"
Time to stop normalising violence in the name of love.
Nahi maar Sakta, kisi haal mein nahi maar sakta.
Let this be our anthem.
Can't wait for the movie. #ThappadTrailer https://t.co/a6cPh7FX3f
#Thappadfirstlook has somewhere hit me so hard! It's a thing of behind the doors, behind so many faces, so many pretentious smiles! It's so powerful. We've all seen it somewhere, someone doing it, someone living with it! Thankyou @taapsee @anubhavsinha sir. #Thappad is piercing! pic.twitter.com/vb9QC8ygcN— Mimansa Shekhar (@mimansashekhar) January 30, 2020
Journalist Faye D’Souza sums up the current political tension in India in her tweet:
Right now it feels like we are collectively watching the good in us burn. https://t.co/zCyGmDSoS4— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) January 30, 2020
Investigative journalist Rana Ayyub put things in perspective:
That all commercial airlines have decided to put Kunal Kamra on their 'No fly list' to please the government just exposes the rapport Arnab Goswami shares with the regime. A reminder that neither Modi nor his ministers condemned the assassination of journalist Gauri Lankesh.— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) January 29, 2020
Lawyer Karuna Nundy said this on being a conscious citizen:
While we are alive, we must live. Because a day, a month, a year of life lived as a courageous citizen, is worth a lifetime as a cowardly subject.— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) January 30, 2020
Poet Harnidh Kaur’s word on growing also caught interest:
I look at the people I grew up with and really don’t know how we’ll find the time and space and the emotional courage to be the people we have the potential to be because we’re all struggling to survive in the skins of the people we’ve been made into.— harnidh|孔知韵 (@PedestrianPoet) January 29, 2020
This important Tweet, reminding how fame and power often comes in the way of justice and women safety, came from Aishwarya Subramanyam, editor of Elle India.
And the thread that followed shows how followers tend to live in denial.
Everyone posting about this case and I can’t find her name anywhere? 🤔— Hannah Yohance (@HannahYohance) January 28, 2020
UN Women reminds netizens to believe women when they speak up on sexual violence.
When they speak up about harassment— UN Women (@UN_Women) January 29, 2020
When they report their abuser
When they share their story
When they ask for support pic.twitter.com/3su76gihqm
And when it took a jibe at the sorry state of gender equality across the world. The takeaway:No countries have achieved gender equality