Flix Monday, March 23, 2015 - 05:30
Monalisa Das| The News Minute| March 22, 2015| 12.05 am IST  Follow @Mona_Lisa_Das Last month, Arundhathi B Nalukettil, a social activist and a Hyderabad University student, posted several screenshots of numerous lewd messages she had received from random men on Facebook. The screenshots ensured that the men’s photographs and names were also published for everyone to see, along with the obscene texts they had sent her. The crude messages, in English and Malayalam, varied from "You look so sexy" to "Would you like to have sex with me?" (Translated version). Read- Tired of lewd, offensive messages on Facebook, activist takes screenshots and posts them What transpired next seems to have encouraged several other women to make public the name of perpetrators who sexually harass them. "More people are coming forward and are daring to do the same as Arundhati did," says one of the admins of the Facebook page "Sexually Frustrated Mallu" (SFM). Started by a few youngsters from Kerala around four months ago, (all of whom wish to remain anonymous), SFM attempts to bring out "the hypocrisy that exists in a subset of our society." The group for some time had been observing how women, including their friends and celebrities, were being targets of "sexual bullying." "Most women were not comfortable with publishing the messages. That is when we decided to start this group and give a platform to them to expose the trolls," says the admin. The page has since garnered around 10,000 likes, but like the admin points out, ‘it has also been reported against continuously’. Though they have not faced any legal issues yet, they are expecting one any time now. When asked why they chose to focus on one community, the admin says, "We had sufficient data from Kerala highlighting similar issues. Starting an all India page means we would need more data and also more admins, which we do not have". "Patriarchy is deep-rooted in the minds of people here," the admin says. "Their attitude is similar to somewhat like Mukesh Singh’s (one of the convicts of the December 2012 Delhi gang rape ). If you read their comments, you’ll know they are more or less like Singh," the admin adds. Stating that "it is disgusting how some chose to take out their frustration on others and have no remorse whatsoever", the admin says the SFM’s aim is to let people know that someone is "watching them". Speaking to The News Minute, Arundhati says that she was "fed up" of receiving filthy messages and was "left with no other choice than to post the screenshots". "I was receiving such messages from quite some time. But since I did not revert, the men were encouraged by it. I had to reveal their names and faces," she says. Most of the trolls exposed on the page either delete or go on to deactivate their social media accounts, the SFM admin says. As for support, plenty of men and women have written back to SFM saying they found it very helpful. “If we want change, we are the ones who will need to change first. The public should know the kind of society we live in”, the admin asserts. Though such measures of ‘exposing’ trolls may not bring about a change in mindsets, it is likely to create a ‘fear’, like Arundhati says, in their minds. “Now people will at least think twice before acting perversely”. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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