Actor and singer Ayushmann Khurrana’s wife and filmmaker Tahira Kashyap has joined the #MeToo movement raging across the country. She has extended support towards the victims of sexual harassment by sharing her own story of getting abused as a child.
“My #MeToo moment… wish I didn’t have one and neither did anyone. But glad we are speaking about it. Let’s have zero tolerance towards it. And let’s not question how long the victim took to speak. It took me around 20 years. Will it be held against me,” she wrote in a tweet on Sunday and attached a long note detailing her story. While praising the movement, she said that it gave the victims a place to vent and heal.
My #MeToo moment… wish I didn’t have one and neither did anyone. But glad we are speaking about it. Let’s have zero tolerance towards it. And let’s not question how long the victim took to speak. It took me around 20 years. Will it be held against me? pic.twitter.com/hYxUHBVI4v
— Tahira (@tahira_k) October 13, 2018
Tahira wrote that many more cases and stories of sexual abuse are not being shared as the perpetrators are often ‘friends, relatives or uncles’. She wrote that she finally found the courage to talk about it 20 years later when she shared her story with her husband and parents.
Tahira also shared how the trauma from years of child abuse made her scared of physical touch and she would cry ‘at every step of physical proximity’. She said having her first child could also not help her and so she decided to tell her husband and family about it.
She added that the movement helps women shame the delinquent and make them think twice about using their privilege as men to abuse women. She maintained that not all men think in such a manner. Here is her entire note:
The #MeToo movement has taken the country by storm. It’s disheartening to see so many victims and still many more are mustering up the courage to speak up. I wish them all the strength in the world to do so. I feel this #metoo movement is not just an opportunity to punish or bring to task the perpetrators but also for the victims to vent and to be heard and to heal.
When the person who inflicts pain and suffering is popular it makes a story worth a read , but there are many such incidents that are not brought to light because the victims and the guilty could be living under the same roof, could be friends, relatives or uncles . This movement, for me, is for those also who don’t have a popular face to point to but they do have a face that haunts them and has left them scarred.
I too have my #metoo moment and I found solace after around 20 years when I shared the same with my husband and parents. Often the closest people especially the relatives in your life (those whom everyone trusts) are the real creeps. I know how it feels to be violated & stifled inside for years altogether and how the memories of it makes one shudder. I was so scared of a physical touch that when I started dating my husband (then boyfriend) I would cry at every step of physical proximity. His patience and love healed me.
Also I know a heavy load was off my chest when even after having my first child, the memories of the torment still haunted me and for some reason I decided to tell my husband and parents about my childhood trauma. Communication and having people listen to you heals you partially if not completely. And what heals you completely is when you become a part of a significant movement which not only shames and brings forth the delinquent but also will make the men think twice before exhibiting this animalistic inherent privilege they think they are born with. At the same time not all men think this way.
When I see men giving a big push to this movement, I know the battle isn’t lost. I plead to all women to come forth and communicate, have a dialogue and express. Please do not feel ashamed to expose the transgressor and most of all we haven’t brought it upon ourselves as women, teenagers, adolescents. And in my case, being a child. I urge you to not stay silent. Also we should maintain the sanctity of this movement and not let our personal vendetta or spurious stories kill the movement. I really hope truth prevails, justice prevails. More power to women to speak, more power to men to enact and more power to truth.
Tahira and Ayushmann have been married since 2011 and have a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Tahira recently underwent a preventive mastectomy. She revealed the news in an Instagram post and urged women to get themselves checked. “I am 35, and I was returned twice over from a mammogram. If any symptoms come up, think of it as a protective force and get yourselves examined,” she wrote. Tahira will soon be directing her first short film.
The #MeToo movement in India took off after Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of their 2008 movie, Horn OK Please. Soon, more accounts of women accusing director Vikas Bahl, Rajat Kapoor, Subhash Ghai and Sajid Khan began propping up. Several actors, including Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, have refused to work with those accused of sexual misconduct.
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