“The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”
Shamir Reuben, a writer and poet, who was adored by men and women alike as a man vocal against patriarchy, was accused of sexual misconduct, sexting teenage girls on private platforms. Until the allegations came out, he was angelic to his fans! But the allegations shocked them, and made them see him for what he truly is with his devilish attitude: the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Every woman, who was harassed by him and are now vocal about it, says, “I shared it with my friends and none of them believed me.”
Why do people, in this case, women fall for the wolf? Why don’t women believe other women when they share an abuse story, especially when the man in question is famous for pro-women stance? What makes people trust someone blindly, conveniently invalidating the allegations?
It’s nothing but the desperation to find solace in someone, who understands and empathizes with what we go through every day. Women here, tired of explaining all the time to men, crave for someone from the opposite sex to speak on sexual abuse they go through. Yes, he did speak against it and that’s all it took for them to put him on a pedestal.
Had we been vigilant, had we been less prejudiced towards the victims and listened to their allegations instead of brushing aside the accusations, we could have prevented people from falling into his trap. Although it’s out in the open now, it’s too late and enough damage has been done.
Having said that, the questions that arise in one’s mind is: How do we prevent ourselves from falling for such people? How do we make sure such incidents don’t happen again?
It is clear that in our desperation we fail to verify the authenticity of the individuals: whether their statement is genuine or not, whether they have a hidden agenda. The first mistake we all make is we conclude, we assume.
The moment they say something we desperately wanted to hear, we lose our sensibility and fall for such words. Sigh! Finally, someone who understands and empathizes with us, and in that we fail to notice the intention behind such speeches. We tend to draw an image, which is more than human; we imagine they are perfectly flawless and incapable of doing anything against those, who they support.
So rather than focusing on unrealistic expectations, expecting others to understand, or be our spokesperson and talk about issues we face in everyday life, we should learn to stand up for ourselves.
Lest we forget, every man is either inherently or intentionally a misogynist. Men are also victims of patriarchy. There are people, who try hard to get rid of the misogynistic mindset and strive for equality. But it’s not as easy as it looks like.
Therefore, instead of just expecting people who grew up in a patriarchal environment to take up an ideology and fight for our cause, it’s our collective responsibility as humans, as mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, to raise the next generation with a less misogynistic mindset. This will create a better society for our children.
Let’s not be deceived by the wolf in sheep’s clothing again. Let’s not be the sheep that invite the wolf for the feast and cry foul when they are being eaten. Let’s be vigilant and rational. Let’s rise and fight for our cause.
The writer would like to be known by his nom de gurre, Arrow. He is a proclaimed liberal from the South, a political observer, and a free thinker. Twitter: @asyounotlike.
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