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Assumed Authority of Men: A Presumed Privilege of Patriarchy

(Content Warning)

Why is it easy for men to take advantage of women in social media and denigrate them when they choose to report or not respond? What is this unforeseen power of authority that some men assume and why does that exist?

It is always said that being a man in this world is much easy, which is exactly the strong foundation of the tallest minds of men in our society, reassuring them of a special privilege the unfair world always did. Therefore, it becomes very difficult and damaging for many to swallow the fact that women must need to be given their privacy and space and that feminism must exist. It is pointless to reiterate the importance of feminism and equality, as the gravity of the ongoing debate of “Equating Feminism to Humanitarian activism” is increasing day by day.

The era of social media is no different in proving that women even in the 21st century are required to be consistently aware and awake with a mind strong enough to face any obstacle that might be a roadblock to the way she wants to express herself. It must be said that those individuals who try to equate feminism and humanitarian activism has a special sense of audacity to consider the facts right before their eyes to be myths. Mostly this happens because they have, never in their lifetime, had to experience any frustratingly unfortunate event that makes them question their existence. 

In social media, mostly women, in general, would receive messages from random strangers which range from harmless greetings of the day up to extremely obscene content which can be nudes, links to pornographic content, or a message “asking for it”. The extent to which this has spanned is horrifying as we realize that when women choose to either give no replies or block that account, they are slut-shamed and blackmailed. 

If a girl doesn’t reply to messages from completely unknown people who usually pass unsolicited remarks about our body or looks, (which they think is a compliment), there is apparently an implied meaning that we think too much of ourselves and that we are rude.

Aprajitha Gupta, 2nd Year, Economics Honors 

It is only common that women stop using social media sites due to increased toxicity and obscenity under these circumstances. This is because women are helpless as people behind fake profiles utilize the option to give little or no information about themselves out in the open for the public to track. This is one of the major drawbacks of any social media site. It is easy for anyone to make a fake profile, extract information and track other users, and then use it for their own benefits and pleasure. 

It is pathetic that many social media users even teenagers state it as a fact that when a woman willingly uses networking sites and actively engages in sharing, commenting, and reviewing instances, such things are bound to happen. Victim blaming and instilling guilt through manipulation has spoiled the peaceful days of many women across the world. 

A lot of people on the internet misuse the fact that very little is known of them, which makes it impossible for them to be traced and subsequently they do not have anything to fear. It is also a fact that if a girl is on the internet, ‘Aisi cheezein to hogi hi’ (things like this are bound to happen).

Swasti Mishra, 2nd year, Gargi College

There is a fault in the opposite side as well, as many women utilize this issue to deliberately endanger the reputation of others as they falsely allege individuals of committing cybercrimes. Hence, it is very evident that victim-blaming, false claims, and an assumed authority or entitlement of men that gives them the power to slide into direct messages are the key issues of rising reports of cybercrimes and harassment for both men and women. 

It is like we are always told (expected) to post “decent” pictures online, but nobody is ever told to stop sexualizing and objectifying women in them. People can just randomly send message request using porn videos, images, and GIFs.

Roli Rajpali, 2nd year, Economics Honors

The situation has now been such that no one can ever put a stop to this. It cannot be effective until people decide to do so. There is no proper solution until people decide to alter mindsets and choose to be faithful users of networking platforms. Individuals must stop utilizing such facilities to joke around and promote such shameful practices as heroic deeds. 

The service providers must devise a solution to end this cyber pandemic forever by increasing security guidelines and adopting further restrictive actions to accounts. For the patriarchy and faulty mindsets to be set ablaze, it is our efforts and corrective thoughts that need to be intensely carved out to be a potential aid, customized to heal this wound.

Watch this video to learn more about DMs affecting professional female influencers:

Feature Image Credits: The New York Times

Vaishnavi Varier

vaishnaviv@dubeat.com

Author

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.