After being released on bail last week for the alleged abduction of a Malayalam actress, all the misogynists flocked to Dileep’s yard. Many publications went on to say that the man needs his family time and should be left alone. His fans have been rallying behind him since day one and even the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, spoke in support of Dileep.
But in the violent joy of seeing his favourite harasser back on the streets, a Dileep fan on Facebook went two steps ahead. A report states that a fan posted misogynistic comments about the women who’ve been raising their voices against Dileep’s bail, saying ‘you will be reduced into a sex clip on the phones of men’. The post, written in Malayalam, went on to say that feminists raising their voices against Dileep should be careful if their don’t want to see what the ‘real quotation’ (referring to contracting to commit crime) looks like. This is not even a wolf’s threat in sheep’s clothing. Dileep’s fans are actual wolves believing everyone to be their sheep, to threaten and to pick on.
But imagine if, instead of Dileep, it was a woman who abducted or harassed a man and got released on bail? People would not blink an eye before coming out in support of the victim, not because he is a victim, but because he’s a man. Only Much Louder’s founder Vijay Nair was stalked by a woman in April this year and found himself being surrounded by support and empathy. But when Gurmehar Kaur courted controversy through her video asking for peace between Pakistan and India, guess what she received? Yep, rape threats. She was forced to flee Delhi as a consequence of the onslaught of online attacks on her.
That misogyny thrives on the shoulders of hyper-masculinity flag bearers like Dileep is no surprise. But what always stands out is that the ultimate weapon of all these misogynists is a sexual one. It’s always a rape threat or a threat of releasing sexual videos of a woman online that becomes a go-to for harassers. It’s almost as if they think that sex and the stigma attached to it, is the ultimate Achilles’ heel for women and sexual threats triumph all else. Someone please tell all these misogynist chettas that road to stabbing a woman’s heart is not through her vagina. If they really want to rattle women, maybe they should consider actually standing by Dileep’s victim. That would shock women enough to be unnerved.