By Ila Ananya
It looks like there’s nothing a woman can do that won’t result in her being abused online.
News Minute reported yesterday that 25-year-old Juhi Sharma, a Chennai based cinematographer, has got a series of abusive responses to her attempt to crowdfund her education. It’s shocking — she’s been asked by various men to become a prostitute and stop ‘begging’ for money, all because she wants to study in New York.
Sharma, who’s been selected for a three-year Masters programme in directing at the Brooklyn College in New York, was given a partial scholarship. She’s the sole earner for her family and she doesn’t have enough money to cover the remaining money she’ll need. News Minute reports that since all the banks she approached told her they don’t provide loans for students who want to study ‘cinema’ abroad, she decided to try and raise funds for the money that she can’t afford, which will help her manage for one of her three years in New York. Once she gets there she plans to find work immediately, to fund the rest of her two years there.
Of course nobody would expect that such an attempt — one that in itself tells so much about how eager she is to study and work her way up — would invite abusive messages. Men have told her that if she stands near Marina beach, she’ll find enough people to give blow jobs to so that she can raise funds, and that “prostitution is better and respectable thing to do than this shit begging.” Another person reportedly says, “People donating here are aware girls will do crazy stuff on webcams for money, right?” Evidently, it isn’t only women posting photos of themselves, or working (we’ve seen journalists and many others getting trolled for their work) that bothers these men: it’s any woman showing that she’s capable of making choices and decisions for herself.
Sharma said to News Minute, “Today, heroes are these macho men who wink at a woman to woo her. If she does not respond he stalks her till she gives in. This is the story we tell children in our society.” This is exactly what she says she wants to change, and she believes that learning how to tell a story in her college in New York will help her. We hope it works out and these foolish men shut up.