Can Males be victims?

Males | Victims | Human Rights | 20th October 2021 | Virtual Wire


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What? What are you saying? Did I hear it right? Are you sure you’re saying it right? He’s acting like a girl. I don’t believe you.

This is what comes up when we hear that a man is facing harassment. Don’t worry you’re not at fault ‘cause this is what we’re made to think and believe throughout our life. The Indian constitution doesn’t recognize such a thing as “male harassment”. We do have a POSH act enforced back in 2013. Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) is a law as the name suggests, that was brought in to protect women from any harassment at work along with providing a safe, non-discriminatory environment within their workplaces. NOTE: it says to protect “women”, it isn’t meant for other genders, not males, and not non-binaries. WHY?

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Does our constitution assumes that only Men are “harassers”? Or males are supposed to handle their issues on their own? Or are we as usual waiting for something to happen like in the case: “Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan (1997)”? In the 21st century, where there are so many movements for bringing men and women under the same umbrella, why are our judiciaries, legislators still sleeping? Why there is no “GENDER-NEUTRAL” law against sexual harassment?

Is it moral to think that the male is harassed only through “Sodomy”, against which our constitution provides safeguards to males and completely ignoring all the other ways in which a person can be entitled to harassment? Most of the countries in the world have recognized harassment of males, what are we, Indians, waiting for? There’s no harm in adopting laws that can increase the well-being of the section, representing almost half of the country. According to some reports around 13% of males suffer from harassment every year.

It’s high time that we start acting like grown-ups and take the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment not only for females but also for males and non-binary individuals too. It's not the case that men can't be "victims", as in the “Vijay Nair” case. So, it's

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better to adopt ways to bring equality among all the people of the society than to build laws that have a biased terminology against one sex or the other.

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