‘Why Do Companies Hire Men Who’ve Been Called Out?’: Rebecca John

‘Why do corporates keep re-hiring men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment?’ asks senior advocate Rebecca John.

Published04 Oct 2019, 12:25 PM IST
2 min read

Editor: Md Irshad
Camera: Garvita Khybri

As the #MeToo movement turns one, senior advocate Rebecca John talks about the many facets of the movement and how it affected Indian society.

After the global #MeToo movement that started in the west in 2017, Indian actor Tanushree Dutta brought the movement to India in 2018 when she accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss.

Rebecca John talks about the way in which society has responded to the movement and how the corporates need to bear more responsibility towards the women they employ.

Here’s an excerpt of her interview:

“I think men like to ignore these kind of disclosures, by and large. I think there is absolutely no responsibility at the top. Again, when you employ people who have been called out so often, no background checks are done. I don’t see any kind of corporate responsibility because how do you get to employ people against whom so many women have alleged so many forms of harassment and assault? Inevitably, it is the woman who has to face the consequences of the disclosure. The men go back to being who they are. They go back and they re-own the spaces that they had temporarily surrendered. Women find it difficult to find new jobs, women are generally viewed as trouble-makers because they have made these disclosures.”
Rebecca John

Since women have come out with their disclosures, many of them have been slapped with defamation charges. John, however, believes that women never disclosed the charges to prosecute anybody. She believes that they wanted to speak out for public good.

“I don’t think a large majority of women who came out with their disclosures and stories actually wanted to prosecute anybody. I think they needed to say what they said because of the experiences that they faced, which were very dark and very humiliating experiences. They also wanted to warn the younger members of their fraternity about the various dangers that lurk in a workplace. I think it was done to spread awareness, it was done to empower women. And I think that was not recognised for what it was. The minute the men were called out they became aggressive again and they started to file cases against women.” 
Rebecca John

Despite the many stories that came out, many more are yet to be heard.

“I am still thinking that this is not enough. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that is happening that we don’t know of. So many women are compelled to keep quiet because of the fact that if they speak out they will face unimaginable pain and backlash.”  
Rebecca John

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